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 ESTMERE
LXIII
Hee played agayne both loud and shrille,
And Adler he did syng, ' O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
Noe harper, but a kyng.
LXIV
' O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
As playnlye thou mayest see, And He rid thee of that foule paynim
Who partes thy love and thee.'
LXV
The ladye looked, the ladye blushte,
And blushte and lookt agayne, While Adler he hath drawne his brande,
And hath the Sowdan slayne.
LXVI
Up then rose the kemperye men,
And loud they gan to crye : ' Ah ! traytors, yee have slayne our kyng,
And therefore yee shall dye.'
LXVII
Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde,
And swith he drew his brand, And Estmere he and Adler Yonge
Right stiffe in stour can stand.
lxviii And aye their swordes soe sore can byte,
Throughe help of gramarye, That soone they have slayne the kempery men,
Or forst them forth to flee.
swith] swiftly.          stour] press of fighting.
178
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