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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[Than spake Moche, the mylner son,]
' We will go but we two.' ' An I mete hym,' seid Litull John,
[I trust to wyrke hym woo.]
' Loke that ye kepe wel owre tristil-tre,
Under the levys smale, And spare non of this venyson,
That gose in thys vale.'
Fforthe then went these yemen two, Litull John and Moche on fere,
And lokid on Moch' emys hows, The hye-way lay full nere.
Litull John stode at a wyndow in the mornyng,
And lokid forth at a stage ; He was war wher the munke came ridyng.
And with hym a litul page.
' Be my feith,' seid Litull John to Moch,
i I can the tel tithyngus gode ; I se wher the monke cumys rydyng,
I know hym be his wyde hode.'
They went in to the way, these yemen bothe,
As curtes men and hende ; Thei spyrred tithyngus at the munke,
As they hade bene his frende.
tristil-tre] trysting-tree, rendezvous.          smale] small. on
fere] in company.        emys hows] uncle's house.        at a stage]
on an upper Moor.           tithyngus] tidings.             hende] civil,
spyrred] spiered, inquired.
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