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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And Cloudesley lay redy in a cart,
Fast bound both fote and hand ; And a stronge rope about hys necke,
All readye for to be hang'd.
The Justice called to him a ladde, Cloudesley's clothes shold hee have,
To take the measure of that yeman, Thereafter to make hys grave.
; I have sene as great mervaile,' said Cloudesley,
' As betweyne thys and pryme, He that maketh a grave for mee,
Hymselfe may lye therin.'
' Thou speakest proudlye,' said the Justice, ' I will thee hange with my hande.'
Full wel herd this his brethren two, There styll as they dyd stande.
Then Cloudesley cast his eyen asyde
And saw hys brethren stande At a corner of the market place,
With theyr good bowes bent in theyr hand.
' I se comfort,' sayd Cloudesley;
' Yet hope I well to fare ; If I might have my handes at wyll, Ryght lytell wolde I care.' 480
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