The Twa Sisters

No: 10; variant: 10N

  1. THERE were twa sisters livd in a bouir, Binnorie, O Binnorie Their father was a baron of pouir. By the bonnie mildams of Binnorie
  2. The youngest was meek, and fair as the may Whan she springs in the east wi the gowden day.
  3. The eldest austerne as the winter cauld, Ferce was her saul, and her seiming was bauld.
  4. A gallant squire can sweet Isabel to wooe; Her sister had naething to luve I trow.
  5. But filld was she wi dolour and ire, To see that to her the comlie squire
  6. Preferd the debonair Isabel: Their hevin of luve of spyte was her hell.
  7. Till ae ein she to her sister can say, ‘Sweit sister, cum let us wauk and play.’
  8. They wauked up, and they wauked down, Sweit sang the birdis in the vallie loun.
  9. Whan they cam to the roaring lin, She drave unweiting Isabel in.
  10. ‘O sister, sister, tak my hand, And ye sall hae my silver fan.
  11. ‘O sister, sister, tak my middle, And ye sall hae my gowden girdle.’
  12. Sumtimes she sank, sumtimes she swam, Till she cam to the miller’s dam.
  13. The miller’s dochtor was out that ein, And saw her rowing down the streim.
  14. ‘O father deir, in your mil-dam There is either a lady or a milk-white swan!’
  15. Twa days were gane, whan to her deir Her wraith at deid of nicht cold appeir.
  16. ‘My luve, my deir, how can ye sleip, Whan your Isabel lyes in the deip!
  17. ‘My deir, how can ye sleip bot pain Whan she by her cruel sister is slain!’
  18. Up raise he sune, in frichtfu mude: ‘Busk ye, my meiny, and seik the flude.’
  19. They socht her up and they socht her doun, And spyd at last her glisterin gown.
  20. They raisd her wi richt meidle care; Pale was her cheik and grein was her hair.