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 he came to the greene forrest,
Underneath a greene holly tree, Their sate that lady in red scarlet
That unseemly was to see.
xxxiv Sir Kay beheld this lady's face,
And looked uppon her swire; 'Whosoever kisses this lady,' he sayes,
' Of his kisse he stands in feare.'
Sir Kay beheld the lady againe,
And looked upon her snout; 'Whosoever kisses this lady,' he saies,
' Of his kisse he stands in doubt.'
' Peace, cozen Kay,' then said Sir Gawaine,
' Amend thee of thy life ; For there is a knight amongst ul aii
That must marry her to his wife.'
' What ! wedd her to wiffe !' then said Sir Kay,
' In the divell's name anon ! Gett me a wiffe where-ere I may,
For I had rather be slaine !'
Then some tooke up their hawkes in hast.
And some tooke up their hounds, And some sware they wo'Id not marry her
For citty nor for towne.
swire] neck. 94
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