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,
x
He toke his leave of hys brethren two,
And to Carleile he is gon : There he knock'd at his owne windowe
Shortlye and anone.
XI
' Wher be you, fayre Alyce,' he sayd, ' My wife and chyldren three ?
Lyghtly let in thyne owne husbande, Wyllyam of Cloudesley.'
XII
' Alas !' then sayde fayre Alyce,
And syghed wonderous sore, 8 Thys place hath ben besette for you
Thys halfe yere and more.'
XIII
' Now am I here,' sayde Cloudesley,
' I would that in I were. Now fetche us meate and drynke ynoughe,
And let us make good chere.'
XIV
She fetched hym meate and drynke plentye,
Lyke a true wedded wyfe; And pleased hym with that she had,
Whom she loved as her lyfe.
xv There lay an old wyfe in that place,
A lytle besyde the fyre, Whych Wyllyam had found of charytye
More than seven yere.
found] provided for. 470
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