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
XL VII
Seynt George the bryght, Our Ladye's knyght,
To name they were full fayne ; Our English men they cry'd on hyght,
And thrice they shot agayne. XLvin With that sharp arrows began to flee,
I tell you in certayne: Men of arms began to joyne,
Many a doughty man was slayne.
XLIX
The Percy and the Douglas met
That either of other was fayne ; They swapp'd together while they swet
With swords of fyne Collayne : L Until the blood from their bassonets ran
As the roke doth in the rayne ; ' Yield thou to me,' sayd the Douglas,
' Or elles thou shalt be slayne.
LI
' For I see by thy bryght bassonet
Thou art some man of myght: And so I do by thy burnysh'd brand,
Thou'rt an earl or elles a knyght.'
LII
' By my good faith,' said the noble Percye,
' Now hast thou rede full ryght; Yet will I never yield me to thee,
While I may stand and fyght.'
swapp'd] smote.                 swet] sweated.               Collayne]
Cologne steel.          bassonets] steel skull-caps.         roke] reek,
mist.
65c
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