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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' For I can ryde him as far on a day
As King Arthur can any of his on three;
And is it not a pleasure for a king
When he shall ryde forth on his journey ?
' For the eyes that beene in his head,
They glister as doth the gleed.' 'Now, by my faith,' says noble King Arthur,
' That is a well faire steed.'
After showing them other of his possessions, King Cornwall has the strangers conducted to bed ; but first takes the precaution to conceal the Burlow Beanie, or Billy Blind—friendly household spirit — in a rubbish-barrel by the bedside, to listen and overhear their conversation.
Then King Arthur to his bed was brought,
A greived man was hee; And soe were all his fellowes with him,
From him they thought never to flee.
Then take they did that lodly groome,
And under the rub-chadler closed was hee,
And he was set by King Arthur's bed-side, To heere theire talke and theire comunye ;
That he might come forth, and make proclamation,
Long before it was day; It was more for King Cornewall's pleasure,
Then it was for King Arthur's pay.
gleed] live coal.         lodly] loathly.        rub-chadler] rubbish-
tub. Pay] satisfaction. 80
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