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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' The Monk hath two and fifty men,
And seven somers strong ; There rideth no bishop in this land
So royally along.
' Bretheren,' said Little John,
'Here are no more but three ; But we bring them to dinner,
Our master we dare not see.
' Bend your bows,' said Little John,
' Make all yon press to stand ; The foremost Monk, his life and death Is closed in my hand.
ccxix ' Abide, churl Monk !' said Little John,
' No further that thou wend ; If thou dost, by dear-worth God,
Thy death is in my hend.
ccxx ' And evil thrift upon thy head,
Right under thy hat's band ! For thou hast made our master wroth,
He is so lang fastand.'
' Who is your master ?' said the Monk. Little John said, i Robin Hood.'
' He is a strong thief,' said the Monk, ' Of him I never heard good.'
somers] pack-horses.            But] unless.            press] crowd.
hend] hands.          thrift] thriving, luck.
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