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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But Sir Cawline then he shooke a speare;
The King was bold, and abode: And the timber those two children bare
Soe soon in sunder slode : Forth they tooke and two good swords,
And they layden on good loade.
The Eldritch King was mickle of might, And stiffly to the ground did stand ;
But Sir Cawline with an aukeward stroke He brought from him his hand—
Ay, and flying over his head so hye It fell down of that lay land.
His ladye stood a little thereby,
Fast her hands wringinge : ' For the mayden's love that you have most minde,
Smyte you noe more [this King].
xxv ' And he's never come upon Eldritch Hill
Him to sport, gammon or play, And to meet no man of middle-earth
That lives on Christ his lay.'
But he then up, that Eldritch King,
Set him in his sadle againe, And that Eldritch King and his ladye
To their castle are they gone.
slode] split.          good loade] heavily           aukeward] back-
handed,          lay land] lea, land not under cultivation; here
= ground.         he's never] he will never.         middle-earth] this
earth, as midway between heaven and hell. lay] law, faith. 18
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