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
With bow in hand for to withstand
Your enemies, if need be : And this same night, before daylight,
To woodward will I flee. If that ye will all this fulfil,
Do it shortly as ye can : Else will I to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man.
xx She. I shall as now do more for vou
J
Than 'longeth to womanhede ; To short my hair, a bow to bear,
To shoot in time of need. O my sweet mother! before all other
For you I have most drede ! But now, adieu ! I must ensue
Where fortune doth me lead. All this make ye: Now let us flee;
The day cometh fast upon : For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
XXI
He. Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go, And I shall tell you why— Your appetite is to be light
Of love, I well espy : For, right as ye have said to me,
In likewise hardily Ye would answere whosoever it were, In way of company :
303
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