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
Then were the case worse than it was,
And I more wo-begone: For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
XXIX
He. Ye shall not nede further to drede:
I will not disparage Ycu (God defend), sith you descend
Of so great a linage. Now understand : to Westmoreland,
Which is my heritage, I will you bring ; and with a ring,
By way of marriage I will you take, and lady make,
As shortly as I can : Thus have you won an Earle's son,
And not a banished man.
xxx
Here may ye see that ivomen be
In love meeh, kind, and stable ; Let never man reprove them than,
Or call them variable ; But rather pray God that ive may
To them be comfortable ; Which sometime proveth such as He loveth,
If they be charitable. For sith men would that women should
Be meek to them each one ; Much more ought they to God obey,
And serve but Him alone.
307
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