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 up an' spake the second knight— I wat he spake right boustruslie—
Says, ' Baith your life an' your ladye bright This night shall wauk the woods wi' me.'—
' My ladye is my warldis meed :
My life I winna yield to nane; But if ye be men of your manheid,
Ye'll only fight me ane by ane.—
' O sit ye down, my dearest dear,
Sit down an' hold my milk-white steed,
An' see that ye dinna change your cheer Until ye see my body bleed.'
He set his back unto an aik,
He set his feet against a stane, He 's feightin a' these fifteen outlaws,
An' kill'd them a' but barely ane.
An' he has gane to his ladye dear, I wat he kiss'd her cheek an' chin—
' Thou art mine ain, I have bought thee dear, An' now we will wauk the woods our lane.
warldis meed] world's reward, most precious thing in the world : or perhaps corrupted from warldis make, mate.        aik]
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