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Tell fortune of her blindnesle ;
Tell nature of decay ;
And if they dare reply,
Tell arts, they have no foundneffe,
But vary by esteeming;
If arts, and schooles reply,
Tell faith, it's fled the citie;
Tell how the countrey erreth ;
And, if they doe reply,
So, when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing,
Yet stah at thee, who will,
LORD THOMAS AND FAIR ANNET,
A SCOTTISH BALL A D,
-- seems to be composed (not without improvements ) out of two ancient English ones, printed in the former volume. See book I. ballad Xiv. and book 11. ballad IV. If this had been the original, the authors of those two ballads would hardly have adopted two such different fiories : besides this contains enlargements not to be found in either of the others. It is given with some corrections, from a Ms. copy transmitted from Scoiland.
ORD Thomas and fair Annet
Sate a' day on a hill ;
They had not talkt their fill.
The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear,
Fair Annet she has gat nane;
O it wull soon be gane !
And he has till his brother gane :
Now brother rede ye mee;
And let fair Annet bee?
The nut-browne bride has oxen, brother,
The nut-browne bride has kye;
And cast fair Annet bye.
Her oxen may dye i' the house, Billie,
And her kye into the byre; And I fall hae nothing to my fell, Bot a fat fadge by the fyre.
And he has till his fifter
gane : Now fister rede ye mee ; O sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,
And fet fair Annet free?
Ise rede ye tak fair Annet, Thomas,
And let the browne bride alane ; Left ye fould figh and say, Alace!
What is this we brought hame?
No, I will tak my mithers counsel,
And marrie me owt o'hand;
Fair Annet may leive the land.
Up then rose fair Annets father
Twa hours or it wer day,
Wherein fair Annet lay.
Rise up, rise up, fair Annet, he says, ,
Put on your ficken sheene ; Let us gae to St. Maries kirke
And see that rich weddeen.
My maides, gae to my dresing roome,
And dress to me my hair ; Whair-eir yee laid a plait before, See yee lay ten times mair.