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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LITTLE MUSGRAVE AND LADY BARNARD
XVIII
He lifted up the coverlet,
He lifted up the sheet: ' Dost thou like my bed, Little Musgrave ?
Dost thou find my lady sweet ?'
XIX
' I find her sweet,' quoth Little Musgrave,
' The more 'tis to my pain; I would gladly give three hundred pounds
That I were on yonder plain.'
xx
'Arise, arise, thou Little Musgrave,
And put thy clothes on ; It shall ne'er be said in my country
I have kill'd a naked man.
XXI
' I have two swords in one scabbard,
They are both sharp and clear; Take you the best, and I the worst,
We'll end the matter here.'
XXII
The first stroke Little Musgrave struck,
He hurt Lord Barnard sore; The next stroke that Lord Barnard struck,
Little Musgrave ne'er struck more.
XXIII
With that bespake this fair lady,
In bed where as she lay: ' Although thou'rt dead, thou Little Musgrave, Yet I for thee will pray. 230
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