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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xxvirr ' Yelde the Cloudesley,' sayd the Justice,
' And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro.'— { God's curse on hys hart,' sayd fair Alyce,
' That my husband councelleth so ! '—
' Set fyre on the house,' saide the Sherife,
' Syth it wyll no better be, And brenne we therin Wyllyam,' he saide,
' Hys wyfe and chyldren thre.'
They fyred the house in many a place,
The fyre flew up on hye: ' Alas ! ' then cryed fayre Alyce,
' I see we here shall dye.'
xxxr Wyllyam openyd a backe wyndowe,
That was in hys chamber hie, And there with sheetes he did let downe
His wyfe and children three.
' Have you here my treasure,' sayde Wyllyam, ' My wyfe and my chyldren thre:
For Christes love do them no harme, But wreke you all on me.'
Wyllyam shot so wonderous well,
Tyll hys arrowes were all agoe, And the fyre so fast upon hym fell,
That hys bowstryng brent in two.
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