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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He pluck'd out of his potener,
And longer wo'ld not dwell, He pull'd forth a pretty mantle
Betweene two nut-shells.
' Have thou here, King Arthur,
Have thou here of mee : Give itt to thy comely queene
Shapen as itt is alreadye.
' Itt shall never become that wiffe
That hath once done amisse.' Then every knight in the king's court
Began to care for his.
Forth came dame Guenever,
To the mantle she her bed ; The ladye shee was new fangle
But yett she was affrayd. x When shee had taken the mantle,
She stoode as shce had beene madd; It was from the top to the toe
As sheeres had it shread.
One while was it gaule,
Another while was itt greene, Another while was it wadded;
111 itt did her beseeme.
potener] pouch, purse, care] bethink him. bed] bid, offered, new fangle] capricious.          gaule] gules, red.         wadded] of
woad colour, blue.
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