THE OUTLAW. by SIR W. SCOTT.

 
 
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THE OUTLAW.

 

O Brignall banks are wild and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there
Would grace a summer-queen.
And as I rode by Dalton-Hall
Beneath the turrets high,
A Maiden on the castle-wall
Was singing merrily:
"O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green;
I'd rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English queen."
"If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me,
To leave both tower and town,
Thou first must guess what life lead we
That dwell by dale and down.
And if thou canst that riddle read,
As read full well you may,
Then to the greenwood shalt thou speed
As blithe as Queen of May."
Yet sung she "Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are green;
I'd rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English queen.
"I read you by your bugle-horn
And by your palfrey good,
I read you for a ranger sworn
To keep the King's greenwood."
"A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,
And 'tis at peep of light;
His blast is heard at merry morn,
And mine at dead of night."
Yet sung she, "Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are gay;
I would I were with Edmund there
To reign his Queen of May!
"With burnish'd brand and musketoon
So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold Dragoon,
That lists the tuck of drum."
"I list no more the tuck of drum,
No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum
My comrades take the spear.
And O! though Brignall banks be fair,
And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare,
Would reign my Queen of May!
"Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
A nameless death I'll die;
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
Were better mate than I!
And when I'm with my comrades met
Beneath the greenwood bough,
What once we were we all forget,
Nor think what we are now.
_Chorus._
Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather flowers there
Would grace a summer-queen.
SIR W. SCOTT., THE GOLDEN TREASURY Of the best Songs and Lyrical Pieces In the English Language Selected by Francis Turner Palgrave
 
Notes: Brignall is a village in the Pennines of England, situated close to Barnard Castle. It was historically located in the North Riding of Yorkshire but along with the rest of the former Startforth Rural District it was transferred to County Durham for administrative and ceremonial purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
Brignall sits adjacent to the River Greta, a site of special scientific interest. The River Greta and the Brignall area were famously painted by John Sell Cotman.
 
 
 

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