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 thus I do; and pray you to,
As hartely as I can : For I must to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man.
She. Now, sith that ye have showed to me
The secret of your mind, I shall be plain to you again,
Like as ye shall me find. Sith it is so that ye will go,
I will not live behind. Shall never be said the Nut-brown Maid
Was to her love unkind. Make you ready, for so am I,
Although it were anone: For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.
He. Yet I you rede to take good heed
What men will think and say: Of young, of old, it shall be told
That ye be gone away Your wanton will for to fulfil,
In green-wood you to play ; And that ye might for your delight
No longer make delay. Rather than ye should thus for me
Be called an ill woman Yet would I to the green-wood go,
Alone, a banished man. 298
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