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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130.         Sir Andrew Barton
i
AS it befel in midsummer-time, When birds singe sweetlye on every tree, Our noble king, King Henry the Eighth, Over the river of Thames pass'd he.
n
He was no sooner over the river,
Downe in a forrest to take the ayre, But eighty merchants of London citye
Came kneeling before King Henry there.
in ' O ye are welcome, rich merchants,
Good saylers, welcome unto me ! ' They swore by the rood they were saylers good,
But rich merchants they co'ld not be.
IV
' To France nor Flanders dare we not passe, Nor Bourdeaux voyage we dare not fare,
All for a false robber that lyes on the seas, And robbs us of our merchants-ware.'
v King Henry was stout, and he turned him about,
And swore by the Lord that was mickle of might, ' I thought he'd not been in the world throughout
That durst have wrought England such unright.'
VI
But ever they sighed, and said, alas!
Unto King Harry this answer againe : ' He is a proud Scott that will robb us all
Were we twenty shipps and he but one.' 684
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