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
XXIV
Whatever befall, I never shall
Of this thing be upbraid : But if ye go, and leave me so,
Then have ye me betrayed. Remember you wele, how that ye dele;
For if ye, as ye said, Be so unkind to leave behind
Your love, the Nut-brown Maid, Trust me truly that I shall die
Soon after ye be gone: For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
XXV
If that ye went, ye should repent;
For in the forest now I have purveyed me of a maid
Whom I love more than you: Another more fair than ever ye were
I dare it well avow; And of you both each should be wroth
With other, as I trow: It were mine ease to live in peace;
So will I, if I can : Wherefore I to the wood will go,
Alone, a banished man.
XXVI
Though in the wood I understood
Ye had a paramour, All this may nought remove my thought,
But that I will be your':
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