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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' Stay thy harpe, thou proud harper,
For God's love I pray thee; For and thou playes as thou beginns,
Thou 'It till my bryde from mee.'
He stroake upon his harpe againe,
And play'd a pretty thinge; The ladye lough a loud laughter,
As shee sate by the king.
Saies, ' Sell me thy harpe, thou proud harper,
And thy stringes all; For as many gold nobles thou shalt have,
As heere bee ringes in the hall.'
' What wold ye doe with my harpe,' he sayd,
' If I did sell itt yee ?'— ' To playe my wiffe and me a (itt,
When abed together wee bee.'
' Now sell me.' quoth hee, ' thy bryde soe gay,
As shee sitts by thy knee; And as many gold nobles I will give
As leaves been on a tree.'
' And what wold ye doe with my bryde soe gay,
Iff I did sell her thee ? More seemelye it is for her fayre bodye
To lye by mee then thee.'
till] entice.          fitt] strain of music'
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