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 BATTLE OF OTTERBURN
XLI
' Yet had I liefer be rynde and rent, —By Mary, that mickle may ! —
Than ever my manhood be reproved With a Scot another day.
XLII
' Wherefore shoot, archers, for my sake !
And let sharp arrows flee. Minstrels, play up for your waryson I
And well quit it shall be.
XLIII
' Every man thynke on his true-love, And mark him to the Trinitye:
For unto God I make mine avowe This day will I not flee.'
XLIV
The blodye herte in the Douglas arms
His standard stood on hie, That every man might full wel knowe ;
Bysyde stood starres three.
XLV
The white lyon on the English part,
Forsooth as I you sayn, The lucettes and the cressants both
The Scot fought them again.
XLVI
Upon Seynt Andrewe loud can they crye, And thrice they showt on hyght,
Syne mark'd them on our English men, As I have told you right.
rynde] riven, or flayed.             mickle may] mighty maid.
waryson] reward.          lucettes] luces, pikes (heraldic).
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