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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Fytte the Second LII
And when they came to mery Carleile,
In a fayre morayng tyde, They founde the gates shut them untyU
About on every syde.
' Alas ! ' then sayd good Adam Bell,
' That ever we were made men ! These gates be shut so wonderly well,
We may not come therein.'
Then bespake him Clym of the Clough,
' With a wyle we wyl us in bryng ; Let us say we be messengers,
Streyght comen from our King.'
Adam said, ' I have a letter written,
Now let us wysely werke, We wyl saye we have the Kynge's seaie;
I holde the porter no clerke.'
Then Adam Bell bete on the gates
With strokes great and stronge: The porter herde such a noyse therat.
And to the gates he thronge.
' Who is there now,' sayd the porter, i That maketh all thys knockinge ?'
' We be two messengers,' quoth Clym of the Clough, ' Be come ryght from our Kynge.'
thronge] hastened.
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