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The horse fair Annet rade upon,
He amblit like the wind, Wi' siller he was shod before,
W' burning gowd behind.
Four and twanty siller bells
Wer a' tyed till his mane, And yae
tift o' the norland wind, They tinkled ane by ane.
Four and twanty gay gude knichts
Rade by fair Annets side,
As gin she had bin a bride.
And whan she cam to Maries kirk,
She sat on Maries stean : 'The cleading that fair Annet had on
Il skinkled in their een.
And whan she cam into the kirk,
She shimmer'd like the sun;
Was a' wi' pearles bedone.
She sat her by the nut-browne bride,
And her een they wer sae clear,
Whan fair Annet she drew near.
He had a rose into his hand,
And he gave it kisses three,
Laid it on fair Annets knee.
Up than spak the nut-browne bride.
She spak wi' meikle spite;
That does mak yee sae white ?
o I did get the rose-water
Whair wull neir get nane, !
rose-water Into my mithers wame.
The bride she drew a long bodkin,
Frae out her gay head-gear,
That word she nevir spak mair.
Lord Thomas he saw fair Annet wex pale,
And marvelit what mote bee :
A’ wood-wroth wexed hee.
He drew his dagger, that was sae sharp,
That was sae sharp and meet,
That fell deid at his feit.
Now stay for me, dear Annet, he sed,
Now stay, my dear, he cry'd ;
And fell deid by her side.
Lord Thomas was buried without kirk-wa',
Fair Annet within the quiere; And o' the tane thair grew a birk,
The other a bonny briere.
And ay they grew, and ay they threw,
As they wad faine be neare ;
They were twa luvers deare.
This little beautiful sonnet is reprinted from a small volume of “Poems by Thomas Carew, Esq. one of the “gentlemen of the privie-chamber, and sewer in ordi“ nary to his majesty (Charles I.) Lond. 1640." This elegant and almost-forgotten writer, whose poems have been deservedly revived, died, in the prime of his age, in 1639.
In the originab follows a third stanza ; which, not being of general application, nor of equal merit, I have ventured to omit.
Hee, that loves a rosie cheeke,
Or a corall lip admires,
Fuell to maintaine his fires,
But a smooth and stedfast mind,
Gentle thoughts, and calme desires,
Kindle never-dying fires :
The subject of this ballad is sufficiently popular from the modern play which is founded upon it. This was written by George Lillo, a jeweller of London, and first acted about 1730.-As for the ballad, it was printed at least as early as the middle of the last century.
It is here given from three old printed copies, which exhibit a strange intermixture of Roman and black letter. It is also collated with another copy in the Ashmole Collection at Oxford, which is thus intitled, “ An excellent ballad of GEORGE BARNWELL, an ap
prentice of London, who ... thrice robbed his master rand murdered his vncle in Ludlow.” The tune is “ The Merchant."
This tragical narrative seems to relate a real fact; but when it happened I have not been able to discover.
THE FIRST PART,
All youths of fair England
That dwell both far and near,
And to my song give ear.
A London lad I was,
A merchant's prentice bound;
My master many a pound.