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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Then bespake him Cornewall King, These were the words he said there:
' Did you ever know a comely king, His name was King Arthur ?'
And then bespake him noble King Arthur,
These were the words said hee: ' I doe not know that comly king,
But once my selfe I did him see.' Then bespake Cornewall King againe,
These were the words said he:
Sayes, ' Seven yeere I was clad and fed,
In Litle Brittaine, in a bower; I had a daughter by King Arthur's wife,
That now is called my flower; For King Arthur, that kindly cockward,
Hath none such in his bower.
' For I durst sweare, and save my othe,
That same lady soe bright, That a man that were laid on his death bed
Wo'ld open his eyes on her to have sight.' ' Now, by my faith,' sayes noble King Arthur,
' And that's a full faire wight! '
And then bespake Cornewall [King] againe, And these were the words he said :
' Come hither, five or three of my knights, And feitch me downe my steed ;
King Arthur, that foule cockeward, Hath none such, if he had need.
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