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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ADAM BELL, ETC.
IV
They were outlaw'd for venyson,
These yemen everych-one; They swore them brethren upon a day,
To Englyshe-wood for to gone.
v Now lith and lysten, gentylmen,
That of myrthes loveth to here : Two of them were single men,
The third had a wedded fere.
VI
Wyllyam was the wedded man, Muche more then was hys care:
He sayde to hys brethren upon a day, To Carleile he would fare;
VII
For to speke with fayre Alyce his wife,
And with hys chyldren thre. ' By my trouth,' sayde Adam Bel,
' Not by the counsell of me :
VIII
' For if ye go to Carleile, brother, And from thys wylde wode wende,
If that the Justice may you take, Your lvfe were at an ende.'
IX
' If that I come not to-morowe, brother,
By pryme to you agayne, Truste you then that I am taken,
Or else that I am slayne.'
Englyshe-wood] Inglewood, near Carlisle.          lith] hearken,
fere] mate.        pryme] six in the morning.
460
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