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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Babylon
The Ballad
 
Or, The Bonnie Banks o’ Fordie

1.  THERE were three ladies lived in a bower,
          Eh vow bonnie,
  And they went out to pull a flower
      On the bonnie banks o’ Fordie.
 
2.  They hadna pu’ed a flower but ane,        5
  When up started to them a banisht man.
 
3.  He’s ta’en the first sister by her hand,
  And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
4.  “It’s whether will ye be a rank robber’s wife,
  Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”        10
 
5.  “It’s I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
  But I’ll rather die by your wee pen-knife!”
 
6.  He’s killed this may, and he’s laid her by,
  For to bear the red rose company.
 
7.  He’s taken the second ane by the hand,        15
  And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
8.  “It’s whether will ye be a rank robber’s wife,
  Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”
 
9.  “I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
  But I’ll rather die by your wee pen-knife.”        20
 
10.  He’s killed this may, and he’s laid her by,
  For to bear the red rose company.
 
11.  He’s taken the youngest ane by the hand,
  And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
12.  Says, “Will ye be a rank robber’s wife,        25
  Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”
 
13.  “I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
  Nor will I die by your wee pen-knife.
 
14.  “For I hae a brother in this wood,
  And gin ye kill me, it’s he’ll kill thee.”        30
 
15.  “What’s thy brother’s name? Come tell to me.”
  “My brother’s name is Baby Lon.”
 
16.  “O sister, sister, what have I done!
  O have I done this ill to thee!
 
17.  “O since I’ve done this evil deed,        35
  Good sall never be seen o’ me.”
 
18.  He’s taken out his wee pen-knife,
  And he’s twyned 1 himsel o’ his own sweet life.
 
Note 1. Parted, deprived. [back]
 
 
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