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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' Ffror when I came to Tearne Wadling,
A bold barron there I fand, With a great club upon his backe,
Standing stiflfe and strong.
' And he asked me wether I wo'ld fight
Or from him I shold begone, Or else I must him a ransome pay,
And soe depart him from.
' To fight with him I saw noe cause;
Methought it was not meet; For he was stiffe and strong with-all, His strokes were nothing sweete.
' Therefor this is my ransome, Gawaine,
I ought to him to pay ; I must come againe, as I am sworne,
Upon the New Yeer's day;
' And I must bring him word what thing it is
[That a woman will most desire].
Arthur, having collected and written down many answers to the baron's riddle, was true to his promise, thusó
Then king Arthur drest him for to ryde,
In one soe rich array, Toward the fore-said Tearne Wadling,
That he might keepe his day. 90
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