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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v ; What price thy flesh ?' said jolly Robin,
' Come, tell it soon unto me; And the price of thy mare, be she never so dear,
For a butcher fain would I be.'
' The price of my flesh,' the butcher repli'd,
'1 soon will tell unto thee ; With my bonny mare, and they are not dear,
Four mark thou must give unto me.'
' Four mark I will give thee,' saith jolly Robin,
' Four mark it shall be thy fee; Thy mony come count, and let me mount,
For a butcher I fain would be.'
Now Robin he is to Notingham gone,
His butcher's trade for to begin ; With good intent, to the Sheriff he went,
And there he took up his inn.
When other butchers they opened their meat,
Bold Robin he then begun ; But how for to sell he knew not well,
For a butcher he was but young.
When other butchers no meat could sell,
Robin got both gold and fee; For he sold more meat for one peny
Than others could do for three. 608
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