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 LADY TURNED SERVING-MAN
XVI
Now mark what strange thing came to pass : As the King one day a-hunting was. With all his lords and noble train, Sweet William did at home remain.
XVII
Sweet William had no company then With him at home, but an old man: And when he saw the house was clear. He took a lute which he had there:
XVIII
Upon the lute Sweet William play'd, And to the same he sang and said, With a sweet and noble voice Which made the old man to rejoice:
XIX
' My father was as brave a lord As ever Europe did afford, My mother was a lady bright, My husband was a valiant knight:
XX
6 And I myself a lady gay, Bedeck'd with gorgeous rich array; The bravest lady in the land Had not more pleasure at command,
XXI
' I had my music every day, Harmonious lessons for to play; I had my virgins fair and free Continually to wait on me.
'35
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