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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He gave them fifty pound a-piece, And the rest for himself did keep ;
The priests they durst not speak one word, But they sighed wondrous deep.
With that the priests rose up from their knees,
And thought to have parted so ; ' Nay, stay,' said Robin Hood, ' one thing more
I have to say ere you go.
' You shall be sworn,' said Robin Hood,
' Upon this holy grass, That you will never tell lies again,
Which way soever you pass.
' The second oath that you here must take,
All the days of your lives You never shall tempt maids to sin,
Nor covet other men's wives.
' The last oath you shall take, it is this,
Be charitable to the poor ; Say you have met with a holy friar,
And I desire no more.'
He set them upon their horses again,
And away then they did ride ; And he return'd to the merry green-wood,
With great joy, mirth and pride.
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