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 Innocents i
M ARK this song, for it is true, For it is true as clerkes tell: In old time strange things came to passs Great wonder and great marvel was In Israel.
ii There was one Octavian, Octavian of Rome Emperour, As bookes old doe specify, Of all the wide world truely
He was lord and govemour.
in The Jews that time lacked a king, They lacked a king to guide them well, The Emperour of power and might, Chose one Herod against all right, In Israel.
IV
This Herod then was King of Jews Was King of Jews, and he no Jew. Forsooth he was a Paynim born, Wherefore on faith it may be sworn He reigned King untrue.
v By prophecy one Isai", One Isai at least did tell A child should come (wondrous news) That should be born true King of Jews In Israel.
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