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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' An thou be afear'd, thou Little John,
At home I rede thee be.' ' An you be wroth, my deare master
You shall never hear more of me.'
Now Robin is gone to merry Kirkleys
And knocked upon the pin: Up then rose Dame Prioress
And let good Robin in.
Then Robin gave to Dame Prioress
Twenty pound in gold, And bade her spend while that did last,
She sho'ld have more when she wo'ld.
' Will you please to sit down, cousin Robin, And drink some beer with me ? '
' No, I will neither eat nor drink Till I am blooded by thee.'
x Down then came Dame Prioress
Down she came in that ilk, With a pair of blood-irons in her hands,
Were wrapped all in silk.
' Set a chafing-dish to the fire,' she said,
' And strip thou up thy sleeve.' I hold him but an unwise man
That will no warning 'leeve !
in that ilk] in that same (moment), then and there. 'leeve] believe.
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