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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Alyce opened a backe wyndowe,
And loked all aboute; She was ware of the Justice and Shirife bothe,
Wyth a full great route.
' Alas ! treason ! ' cryed Alyce,
' Ever wo may thou be ! Goe into my chamber, my husband,' she sayd,
' Swete Wyllyam of Cloudesley.'
He toke hys sword and hys buckler, Hys bow and hys chyldren thre,
And wente into hys strongest chamber, Where he thought surest to be.
Fayre Alyce, like a lover true,
Took a polaxe in her hande : Said, ' He shall dye that cometh in
Thys dore, whyle I may stand.'
xxvi Cloudesley bente a wel good bowe,
That was of a trusty tre, He smot the Justice on the brest,
That hys arowe brast in three.
xxvi I ' God's curse on his harte,' saide Wyllyam,
; Thys day thy cote dyd on ! If it had ben no better then myne,
It had gone nere thy bone.'—
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