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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no.            The Holy Well
AS it fell out one May morning, And upon one bright holiday, Sweet Jesus asked of his dear mother, If he might go to play.
ii ' To play, to play, sweet Jesus shall go,
And to play pray get you gone ; And let me hear of no complaint
At night when you come home.'
in Sweet Jesus went down to yonder town,
As far as the Holy Well, And there did see as fine children
As any tongue can tell.
IV
He said, ' God bless you every one, And your bodies Christ save and see :
Little children, shall I play with you, And you shall play with me ?'
v But they made answer to him, ' No :
They were lords and ladies all; And he was but a maiden's child,
Born in an ox's stall.'
VI
Sweet Jesus turned him around, And he neither laughed nor smiled,
But the tears came trickling from his eyes To be but a maiden's child.
453
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