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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As they were drinking ale and wine
Within his brother's hall, ' When will ye marry a wyfe, brother,
A wyfe to glad us all ?'
Then bespake him Kyng Estmere,
And answered him hartilye : ' I know not that Iadye in any land,
That's able to marrye with mee.'—
v ' Kyng Adland hath a daughter, brother,
Men call her bright and sheene ; If I were kyng here in your stead,
That ladye shold be my queene.'—
Saies, ' Reade me, reade me, deare brother,
Throughout merry England, Where we might find a messenger
Betwixt us towe to sende.'—
Saies, ' You shal ryde yourselfe, brother,
He beare you companye ; Many a man throughe fals messengers is deceived,
And I feare lest soe shold wee.'
Thus they renisht them to ryde,
Of twoe good renisht steeds, And when they came to Kyng Adland's halle,
Of redd gold shone their weeds.
renisht] perhaps for 'revisht', dressed, arrayed.          weeds]
garments. 168
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