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 Bishop of Durham commanded his men,
And shortlye he them bade, That never a man shold goe to fight
Till he had served his God.
Five hundred priests said mass that day
In Durham in the field, And afterwards, as I hard say,
They bare both spear and shield.
The Bishop orders himselfe to fight,
With his battell-axe in his hand; He said, ' This day now I will fight
As long as I can stand! '
' And soe will I,' sayd my Lord of Carlile,
' In this faire morning gay '; 'And soe will I,' said my Lord Fitzwilliams,
' For Mary, that mild may.'
Our English archers bent their bowes
Shortly and anon; They shot over the Scottish oast
And scantly toucht a man.
' Hold downe your hands,' sayd the Bishop of Durham,
' My archers good and true' ! The second shoote that they shott,
Full sore the Scots it rue.
may] maiden.
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