The Twa Sisters
No: 10; variant: 10A
- THERE were two sisters, they went playing,
With a hie downe downe a downe-a
To see their father’s ships come sayling in.
With a hy downe downe a downe-a
- And when they came unto the sea-brym,
The elder did push the younger in.
- ‘O sister, O sister, take me by the gowne,
And drawe me up upon the dry ground.’
- ‘O sister, O sister, that may not bee,
Till salt and oatmeale grow both of a tree.’
- Somtymes she sanke, somtymes she swam,
Until she came unto the mill-dam.
- The miller runne hastily downe the cliffe,
And up he betook her withouten her life.
- What did he doe with her brest-bone?
He made him a violl to play thereupon.
- What did he doe with her fingers so small?
He made him peggs to his violl withall.
- What did he doe with her nose-ridge?
Unto his violl he made him a bridge.
- What did he doe with her veynes so blew?
He made him strings to his violl thereto.
- What did he doe with her eyes so bright?
Upon his violl he played at first sight.
- What did he doe with her tongue so rough?
Unto the violl it spake enough.
- What did he doe with her two shinnes?
Unto the violl they danc’d Moll Syms.
- Then bespake the treble string,
‘O yonder is my father the king.’
- Then bespake the second string,
‘O yonder sitts my mother the queen.’
- And then bespake the strings all three,
‘O yonder is my sister that drowned mee.’
- ‘Now pay the miller for his payne,
And let him bee gone in the divel’s name.’