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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ABBOT OF CANTERBURY
XXIII
' You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same, Until the next morning he riseth againe ; And then your Grace need not make any doubt, But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about.'
XXIV
The King he laughed, and swore by St. Jone,
' I did not think it could be gone so soone!
—Now from the third question thou must not shrinke.
But tell me here truly what I do thinke.'—
xxv ' Yea, that shall I do, and make your Grace merry: You thinke I'm the Abbot of Canterburye ; But I'm his poor shepheard, as plain you may see, That am come to beg pardon for him and for mee.J
XXVI
The King he laughed, and swore by the Masse,
' I'll make thee Lord Abbot this day in his place ! '—
' Now naye, my liege, be not in such speede,
For alacke I can neither write, ne reade.'—
XXVII
' Four nobles a weeke, then, I will give thee For this merry jest thou hast showne unto mee; And tell the old Abbot when thou comest home, Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.
853
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