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The Twa Sisters

No: 10; variant: 10A

  1. 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
  2. And when they came unto the sea-brym, The elder did push the younger in.
  3. ‘O sister, O sister, take me by the gowne, And drawe me up upon the dry ground.’
  4. ‘O sister, O sister, that may not bee, Till salt and oatmeale grow both of a tree.’
  5. Somtymes she sanke, somtymes she swam, Until she came unto the mill-dam.
  6. The miller runne hastily downe the cliffe, And up he betook her withouten her life.
  7. What did he doe with her brest-bone? He made him a violl to play thereupon.
  8. What did he doe with her fingers so small? He made him peggs to his violl withall.
  9. What did he doe with her nose-ridge? Unto his violl he made him a bridge.
  10. What did he doe with her veynes so blew? He made him strings to his violl thereto.
  11. What did he doe with her eyes so bright? Upon his violl he played at first sight.
  12. What did he doe with her tongue so rough? Unto the violl it spake enough.
  13. What did he doe with her two shinnes? Unto the violl they danc’d Moll Syms.
  14. Then bespake the treble string, ‘O yonder is my father the king.’
  15. Then bespake the second string, ‘O yonder sitts my mother the queen.’
  16. And then bespake the strings all three, ‘O yonder is my sister that drowned mee.’
  17. ‘Now pay the miller for his payne, And let him bee gone in the divel’s name.’