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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' Alas ! ' then sayde the lytle boye,
' Ye tary here all too longe ; Cloudeslee is taken, and dampned to death,
And readye for to honge.'
' Alas ! ' then sayd good Adam Bell,
' That ever we saw thys daye ! He had better have tarryed with us,
So ofte as we dyd him praye.
''He myght have dwelt in grene foreste,
Under the shadowes greene, And have kepte both hym and us att reste,
Out of all trouble and teene.'
Adam bent a ryght good bow,
A great hart sone hee had slayne :
' Take that, chylde, to thy dynner, And bryng me myne arrowe agayne.'
' Now go we hence,' sayed these wight yeomen,
' Tarry we no longer here ; We shall hym borowe by God his grace,
Though we buy itt full dere.'
To Carleile wente these bold yemen,
All in a mornyng of maye.— Here is a Fyt of Cloudesley,
And another is for to saye.
dampned] condemned.             teene] sorrow.             borowe]
ransom, redeem. 476
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