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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' I have no child,' the shepherd said,
' My boy, thou'st tarry and dwell with me ;
My living, my house, but and my goods, I'll make thee heir of them all, perdie.'
And then bespake the shepherd's wife
Unto the child so tenderlye: ' Thou must take the sheep and go to the field,
And tend them upon the lonely lee.'
Now let us leave talk of the child
That is tending sheep on the lonely lee,
And we'll talk more of the false steward, Of him and of his treacherye.
He bought himself a suit of apparel
That any lord might a-seem'd to worn;
He went a-wooing to the Duke's daughter, And call'd himself the Lord of Lorn.
The Duke he welcomed the [brisk] young lord With three baked stags and the Rhenish wine:
If he had wist him the false steward, With the devil he'd have bade him dine.
xxx But when they were at supper set
With dainty delicates that was there, The Duke said, 'If thou'lt wed my daughter I'll give thee a thousand pound a year.' 336
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