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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Who asked of him, ' Where wert thou born ?
Or tell to me, where dost thou fare ?'— ' I am a poore fisherman,' saith he then,
' This day intrapped all in care.'
' What is thy name, thou fine fellow ?
I pray thee heartily tell to me'; 'In mine own country where I was born,
Men called me Simon over the Lee.'
' Simon, Simon,' said the good wife,
' I wish thou maist well brook thy name' ;
The outlaw was ware of her courtesie, And rejoyc'd he had got such a dame.
' Simon, wilt thou be my man ?
And good round wages l'le give thee; I have as good a ship of mine owne
As any sayle upon the sea.
' Anchors and planks thou shalt want none, Masts and ropes that are so long'—
' And if that you thus furnish me,'
Said Simon, ' nothing shall goe wrong.'
They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, More of a day then two or three ;
When others cast in their baited hooks, The bare lines into the sea cast he.
brook] enjoy, or earn the name of Simon, as a fisherman.
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