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
XVII
If ye go thyder, ye must consider,
When ye have lust to dine, There shall no meat be for to gete,
Nether bere, ale, ne wine, Ne shetes clean, to lie between,
Made of the thread and twine; None ether house, but leaves and boughs,
To cover your head and mine. Lo, mine heart sweet, this ill diete
Should make you pale and wan : Wherefore I'll to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man.
XVIII
Among the wild deer such an archere,
As men say that ye be, Ne may not fail of good vitayle
Where is so great plente: And water clear of the rivere
Shall be full sweet to me ; With which in hele I shall right wele
Endure, as ye shall see ; And, or we go, a bed or two
I can provide anone ; For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
XIX
Lo yet, before, ye must do more,
If ye will go with me : As, cut your hair up by your ear,
Your kirtle by the knee;
hele] health.
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