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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But when he sold his meat so fast,
No butcher by him could thrive ; For he sold more meat for one peny
Than others could do for five.
Which made the butchers of Notingham
To study as they did stand, Saying, surely he was some prodigal,
That had sold his father's land.
The butchers they stepped to jolly Robin,
Acquainted with him for to be ; ' Come, brother,' one said, ' we be all of one trade,
Come, will you go dine with me ?'
' Accurst of his heart,' said jolly Robin,
' That a butcher doth deny ! I will go with you, my brethren true,
And as fast as I can hie.'
But when to the Sheriff's house they came,
To dinner they hied apace, And Robin Hood he the man must be
Before them all to say grace.
' Pray God bless us all,' said jolly Robin,
' And our meat within this place; A cup of sack good, to nourish our blood, And so I do end my grace. 1225                                        x                                         609
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