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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A LITTLE GESTE OF
VI
Then bespake him good Robin :
' To dine I have no lest, Till that I have some bold baron,
Or some uncouth guest,
VII
' Till that I have some bold baron
That may pay for the best, Or else some knight, or some squier
That dwelleth here by West.'
VIII
A good manner then had Robin ;
In land where that he were, Every day ere he would dine
Three masses would he hear :
IX
The one in worship of the Father,
The other of the Holy Ghost, The third was of Our dear Lady
That he loved alder-most.
x
"Robin loved our dear Lady ;
For doubt of deadly sin Would he no company do harm
That woman was therein.
XI
' Master,' then said Little John, ' An we our board shall spread,
Tell us whither we shall go, And what life we shall lead ;
lest] lust, desire.          uncouth] unknown, strange.         were]
might be.          alder] of all.          doubt] fear.
498
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