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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' Do thou me off thy satin doublet,
Thy shirtband wrought wi' glisterin' gold,
And do me off thy golden chain About thy neck with many a fold.
' And do me off thy velvet hat, With feather in it that is so fine ;
And all unto thy silken shirt,
That's work'd with many a golden seam.'
But when the child was naked stript, With skin as white as the lily-flow'r,
He might, for his body and his bewtie, Have been a princess' paramour.
He put him in an old kelter coat,
And hose of the same above the knee,
And he bade him go to a shepherd's house, To tend sheep on a lonely lee.
The child said, ' What shall be my name ?
Prithee, good Steward, tell to me.'— ' Thy name shall ba Poor Disaware,
To tend sheep on a lonely lee.'
The child came to the shepherd's house— O Lord ! he weeped pitifullye—
Says, ' Do you not want a servant-boy, To tend your sheep on a lonely lee ?'
kelter] of undyed wool.
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