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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'We have a letter,' sayd Adam Bell, ' To the Justice we must it brynge;
Let us in our message to do,
That we were agayne to the Kynge.'—
' Here commeth none in,' sayd the porter,
' By hym that dyed on a tre, Tyll a false thefe be hanged,
Called Wyllyam of Cloudesley.'
Then spake the good yeman, Clym of the Clough,
And swore by Mary fre, ' And if that we stande long wythout,
Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be.
' Lo ! here we have got the Kynge's seale:
What, lordane, art thou wode ?' The porter wende it had ben so,
And lyghtly dyd off hys hode.
' Welcome is my lordes seale,' he saide;
• For that ye shall come in.' He opened the gate right shortlye:
An evyl openyng for him !
' Now are we in,5 sayde Adam Bell,
' Wherof we are full faine ; But Christ he knowes, that harowed hell,
How we shall come out agayne.'
lordane] dolt. wode] mad. wende] weened, thought. 478
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