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
To come on foot, to hunt and shoot,
To get us meat and store; For so that I your company
May have, I ask no more. From which to part it maketh my heart
As cold as any stone; For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
xrn
He. For an outlaw this is the law,
That men him take and bind : Without pitie, hanged to be,
And waver with the wind. If I had need (as God forbede!)
What socours could ye find ? Forsooth, I trow, you and your bow
For fear would draw behind. And no mervail; for little avail
Were in your counsel than : Wherefore I'll to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man.
XIV
She. Right well know ye that women be
But feeble for to light ; No womanhede it is, indeed,
To be bold as a knight: Yet in such fear if that ye were
With enemies day and night, I would withstand, with bow in hand,
To grieve them as I might,
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