Page:Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918.djvu/466

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ANONYMOUS

It was about the midnight hour,

When they asleep were laid, When in and came her seven brothers,

Wi' torches burning red.

When in and came her seven brothers,

Wi' torches burning bright They said, 'We hae but one sister,

And behold her lying with a knight!'

Then out and spake the first o' them, 'I bear the sword^ shall gar him die.'

And out and spake the second o' them, 'His father has nae mair but he.'

And out and spake the third o' them,

'I wot that they are lovers dear.' And out and spake the fourth o' them,

'They hae been in love this mony a year.'

Then out and spake the fifth o' them, 'It were great sin true love to twain.'

And out and spake the sixth o' them, 'It were shame to slay a sleeping man.'

Then up and gat the seventh o' them,

And never a word spake he; But he has striped his bright brown brand

Out through Clerk Saunders' fair bodye.

Clerk Saunders he started, and Margaret she turn'd

Into his arms as asleep she lay; And sad and silent was the night

That was atween thir twae.

striped] thrust.

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