A Bundle of Ballads



There were two sisters sat in a bour;
Binnorie, O Binnorie!
There came a knight to be their wooer
By the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie.

He courted the eldest with glove and ring,
But he lo’ed the youngest aboon a’ thing.

He courted the eldest with brooch and knife,
But he lo’ed the youngest aboon his life.

The eldest she was vex-ed sair,
And sore envi-ed her sister fair.

Upon a morning fair and clear
She cried upon her sister dear:

"O, sister, come to yon river strand,
And see our father’s ships come to land."

She’s ta’en her by the lily hand,
And led her down to the river strand.

And as they walk-ed by the linn,
The eldest dang the youngest in.

"O, sister, sister, reach your hand,
And ye’ll be heir to a’ my land!"—

"Foul fa’ the hand that I wad take
To twin me o’ my warld’s make!"—

"O, sister, reach me but your glove,
And sweet William shall be your love!"—

"Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove,
And sweet William shall be my love:

"Your cherry cheeks and your yellow hair
Garr’d me gang maiden evermair."

She clasped her hands about a broom root,
But her cruel sister she loosed them out.

Sometimes she sunk, and sometimes she swam,
Until she came to the miller’s dam.

The miller’s daughter was baking bread,
She went for water as she had need.

"O father, father, draw your dam!
There’s either a maid or a milk-white swan!"

The miller hasted and drew his dam,
And there he found a drowned wom-an.

You couldna see her yellow hair
For gowd and pearls that were sae rare;

You couldna see her middle sma’,
Her gowden girdle was sae bra’.

A famous harper passing by,
The sweet pale face he chanced to spy;

And when he looked that ladye on,
He sighed and made a heavy moan.

He made a harp of her breast-bone,
Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone;

He’s ta’en three locks of her yellow hair,
And wi’ them strung his harp sae fair.

He brought it to her father’s hall,
And there was the court assembled all.

He laid this harp upon a stone,
And straight it began to play alone:

"Oh, yonder sits my father, the king,
And yonder sits my mother, the queen,

And yonder stands my brother, Hugh,
And yonder my William, sweet and true."

But the last tune that the harp played then
Binnorie! O Binnorie!
Was, "Wae to my sister, false Ellen,
By the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie!"


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Chicago: Morley, Henry, 1822-1894, ed. Bowring, Edgar Alfred, 1826-1911, trans., "Binnorie.," A Bundle of Ballads in A Bundle of Ballads (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1891), Original Sources, accessed July 18, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DAI9SG37PDACTM9.

MLA: . "Binnorie." A Bundle of Ballads, edited by Morley, Henry, 1822-1894, and translated by Bowring, Edgar Alfred, 1826-1911, in A Bundle of Ballads, Vol. 3, London, George Routledge & Sons, 1891, Original Sources. 18 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DAI9SG37PDACTM9.

Harvard: (ed.) (trans.), 'Binnorie.' in A Bundle of Ballads. cited in 1891, A Bundle of Ballads, George Routledge & Sons, London. Original Sources, retrieved 18 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DAI9SG37PDACTM9.