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 walk ye up unto the Sayles,
And so to Watling Street, And wait after some uncouth guest;
Upchance ye may them meet.
' Be he an earl, or any baron,
Abbot, or any knight, Bring ye him to lodge with me;
His dinner shall be dight.'
Then went they up unto the Sayles,
Those yeoman alle three ; They looked east, they looked west,
They mighte no man see.
But as they looked in Barnesdale,
By a derne street, Then came a knight a-riding up;
Full soon they gan him meet.
All dreary then was his semblaunt,
And little was his pride; His one foot in the stirrup stood,
The other waved beside.
the Sayles] a small farm near Pontefract.        Watling Street]
the great North road.           Upchance] perchance.          dight]
prepared.               derne] hidden, retired.              street] road.
semblaunt] aspect. 500
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