Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
48. Brown Adam
 
 
I

O WHA would wish the wind to blau
  Or the green leaves fa’ therewith?
Or wha would wish a lealer love
  Than Brown Adam the Smith?
 
II

But they hae banish’d Brown Adam,
        5
  Frae father and frae mither;
And they hae banish’d Brown Adam,
  Frae sister and frae brither.
 
III

And they hae banish’d Brown Adam
  Frae the flow’r o’ a’ his kin;        10
And he’s biggit a bow’r i’ the good green-wood
  Between his ladye and him.
 
IV

O it fell once upon a day
  Brown Adam he thought long,
And he is to the green-wood        15
  As fast as he could gang.
 
V

He has ta’en his bow his arm over,
  His sword intill his han’,
And he is to the good green-wood
  To hunt some venison.        20
 
VI

O he’s shot up, and he’s shot down
  The bunting on the breer;
And he’s sent it hame to his ladye,
  Bade her be of good cheer.
 
VII

O he’s shot up, and he’s shot down,
        25
  The linnet on the thorn,
And sent it hame to his ladye,
  Said he’d be hame the morn.
 
VIII

When he cam’ till his lady’s bow’r-door
  He stood a little forbye,        30
And there he heard a fu’ fause knight
  Tempting his gay ladye.
 
IX

O he’s ta’en out a gay gold ring
  Had cost him mony a poun’;
‘O grant me love for love, ladye,        35
  And this sall be your own.’—
 
X

‘I lo’e Brown Adam well,’ she says,
  ‘I wot sae does he me;
I wadna gie Brown Adam’s love
  For nae fause knight I see.’        40
 
XI

Out he has ta’en a purse of gold
  Was a’ fu’ to the string;
‘O grant me love for love, ladye,
  And a’ this sall be thine.’—
 
XII

‘I lo’e Brown Adam well,’ she says,
        45
  An’ I ken sae does he me;
An’ I wadna be your light leman
  For mair nor ye could gie.’
 
XIII

Then out he drew his lang, lang bran’,
  And he’s flash’d it in her e’en:        50
‘Now grant me love for love, lady,
  Or thro’ you this sall gang.’—
 
XIV

‘O,’ sighing said that gay ladye,
  ‘Brown Adam tarries lang!’—
Then up and starts him Brown Adam,        55
  Says, ‘I’am just to your hand.’
 
XV

He’s gar’d him leave his bow, his bow,
  He’s gar’d him leave his brand;
He’s gar’d him leave a better pledge—
  Four fingers o’ his right hand.        60
 
GLOSS:  biggit] built,  breer] briar.
 

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