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Babylon or The Bonnie Banks o Fordie

No: 14; variant: 14D

  1. THERE were three sisters, they lived in a bower, Sing Anna, sing Margaret, sing Marjorie The youngest o them was the fairest flower. And the dew goes thro the wood, gay ladie
  2. The oldest of them she’s to the wood gane, To seek a braw leaf and to bring it hame.
  3. There she met with an outlyer bold, Lies many long nights in the woods so cold.
  4. ‘Istow a maid, or istow a wife? Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy sweet life?’
  5. ‘O kind sir, if I hae’t at my will, I’ll twinn with my life, keep my maidenhead still.’
  6. He’s taen out his we pen-knife, He’s twinned this young lady of her sweet life
  7. He wiped his knife along the dew; But the more he wiped, the redder it grew.
  8. The second of them she’s to the wood gane, To seek her old sister, and to bring her hame.
  9. There she met with an outlyer bold, Lies many long nights in the woods so cold.
  10. ‘Istow a maid, or istow a wife? Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy sweet life?’
  11. ‘O kind sir, if I hae’t at my will, I’ll twinn with my life, keep my maidenhead still.’
  12. He’s taen out his we pen-knife, He’s twinned this young lady of her sweet life.
  13. He wiped his knife along the dew; But the more he wiped, the redder it grew.
  14. The youngest of them she’s to the wood gane, To seek her two sisters, and to bring them hame.
  15. There she met with an outlyer bold, Lies many long nights in the woods so cold.
  16. ‘Istow a maid, or istow a wife? Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy sweet life?’
  17. ‘If my three brethren they were here, Such questions as these thou durst nae speer.’
  18. ‘Pray, what may thy three brethren be, That I durst na mak so bold with thee?’
  19. ‘The eldest o them is a minister bred, He teaches the people from evil to good.
  20. ‘The second o them is a ploughman good, He ploughs the land for his livelihood.
  21. ‘The youngest of them is an outlyer bold, Lies many a long night in the woods so cold.’
  22. He stuck his knife then into the ground, He took a long race, let himself fall on.