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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THE NUT-BROWN MAID
Or else to flee. The t' one must be.
None other way I know But to withdraw as an outlaw,
And take me to my bow. Wherefore adieu, mine own heart true!
None other rede I can : For I must to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man.
VI
She. O Lord, what is this worldis bliss,
That changeth as the moon ! My summer's day in lusty May
Is darked before the noon. I hear you say, farewell: Nay, nay,
We depart not so soon. Why say ye so ? whither will ye go ?
Alas ! what have ye done ? All my welfare to sorrow and care
Should change, if ye were gone: For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
VII
He. I can believe it shall you grieve,
And somewhat you distrain; But afterward, your paines hard
Within a day or twain Shall soon aslake ; and ye shall take
Comfort to you again. Why should ye ought ? for, to make thought,
Your labour were in vain.
rede I can] counsel I know.              distrain] distress.
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