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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And when King Arthur in his bed was laid,
These were the words said hee: ' I'le make mine avow to God,
And alsoe to the Trinity, That I'le be the bane of Cornewall Kinge
Litle Brittaine or ever I see! '
' It is an unadvised vow,' saies Gawaine the gay,
' As ever king hard make I; But wee that beene five christian men,
Of the christen faith are wee, And we shall fight against anoynted king
And all his armorie.'
And then bespake him noble Arthur,
And these were the words said he: ' Why, if thou be afraid, Sir Gawaine the gay,
Goe home, and drinke wine in thine owne country.'
And then bespake Sir Gawaine the gay, And these were the words said hee :
' Nay, seeing you have made such a hearty vow, Heere another vow make will I.
' I'le make mine avow to God,
And alsoe to the Trinity, That I will have yonder faire lady
To Litle Brittaine with mee.
While they lie talking, an unguarded movement of the sprite in the barrel leads to his discovery. Then follows a great combat.
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