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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' Now haste the,' then sayd the Kynge, ' By hym that dyed on a tre,
But yf thou do not, as thou hest sayde, Hanged shalt thou be.
' An thou touche his head or gowne,
In syght that men may se, By all the sayntes that be in heaven,
I shall hange you all thre ! '
' That I have promised,' said Wyllyam, i That I wyll never forsake.'
And there even before the Kynge In the earth he drove a stake:
And bound thereto his eldest sonne, And bad hym stand styll thereat;
And turned the childe's face him fro, Because he should not start.
An apple upon his head he set, And then his bowe he bent:
Syxe score paces they were out-met, And thether Cloudesley went
There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe, —Hys bowe was great and longer-He set that arrowe in his bowe, That was both styffe and stronge.
out-met] measured out.
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