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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The Mayre of Carleile forth com was,
Wyth hym a ful great route : These thre yemen dred hym full sore,
For theyr lyves stode in doute.
The Mayre came armed a full great pace,
With a polaxe in hys hande ; Many a strong man wyth him was,
There in that stowre to stande. xc The Mayre smot at Cloudesley with his byll,
Hys buckler he brast in two, Full many a yeman with great yll,
' Alas ! Treason ! ' they cryed for wo. ' Kepe well the gates fast we wyll,
That these traytours therout not go.' xci But al for nought was that they wrought,
For so fast they downe were layde, Tyll they all thre, that so manfully fought
Were gotten without, at a braide. xcn ' Have here your keys,' sayd Adam Bell,
' Myne office I here forsake ; And yf you do by my counsell
A new porter do ye make.' xcin He threw theyr keys there at theyr hedes,
And bad them well to thryve, And all that letteth any good yeman
To come and comfort his wyfe.
stowre] press of fight.        braide] sudden spring.        lettetb"]
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