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 LORD OF LORN
XLIII
But then bespake the Duke of France (The child was pleasant to his e'e),
Says, ' Boy, if thou love horses well, My groom of stables thou shalt be.'
XLIV
The child applied his office so well
Till that twelve months drew to an end;
He was so courteous and so true That every man became his friend.
XLV
He led a gelding forth one morning, To water him at the water so free—
The gelding up, and with his head He hit the child above the e'e.
XL VI
' Woe worth thee, gelding ! ' said the child, ' Woe worth the mare that foaled thee !
Thou little knowest the Lord of Lorn : Thou'st stricken a lord of high degree.'
XL VII
The lady was in her garden green,
And heard the child that made this moan:
All weeping [straight] she ran to him And left her maidens all alone.
XLVIII
' Sing on thy song, thou stable groom, I will release thee of thy pain.'—
' Nay, lady, I have made an oath ; I dare not tell my tale again.'—
339
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