The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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KING ARTHUR AND KING CORNWALL
If thou wilt greete him well, Cornewall King, And greete him well from me.
xvii ' Pray him for one night's lodging and two meales' meate,
For his love that dyed uppon a tree; Of one ghesting and two meales' meate,
For his love that dyed uppon tree.
XVIII
' Of one ghesting, of two meales' meate,
For his love that was of virgin borne, And in the morning that we may scape away,
Either without scath or scorne.'
XIX
Then forth is gone this proud porter,
As fast as he co'ld hye, And when he came befor Cornewall King,
He kneeled downe on his knee.
XX
Sayes, ' I have beene porter-man at thy gate
This thirty winter and three, [But there is fHve knights before itt now,
The like I never did see.']
King Cornwall questioning the strangers, they happen to speak of a certain shrine of Our Lady, from which he gathers that they have been in Little Britain. This leads him to question them concerning King Arthur.
XXI
Our Lady was borne ; then thought Cornewall King ' These palmers had beene in Brittaine.'
ghesting] guesting, lodging. 78
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