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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Three times Little John shot about.
And alway cleft the wand, The proud Sheriff of Nottingham
By the marks gan stand.
The Sheriff swore a full great oath, ' By Him that died on a tree,
This man is the best archer That yet saw I me.
' Say me now, wight young man,
What is now thy name ? In what country were thou born,
And where is thy woning wane?'-
' In Holderness I was bore,
I-wis, all of my dame, Men call me Reynold Greenleaf,
When I am at hamc.'
i Say me, Reynold Greenleaf,
Wilt thou dwell with me ? And every year I will thee give
Twenty mark to thy fee.'
'I have a master,' said Little John,
' A courteous knight is he May ye get leave of him,
The better may it be.'
wight] strong, brave.        woning wane] usual dwelling-place.
I-wis] assuredly.
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