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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Thoro' rich mail and manoplie
Many stern they struck down straight;
Many a freyke that was full free There under foot did light.
xxx At last the Douglas and the Percy met,
Like to captains of might and of main ; They swapt together till they both swat
With swordes of fine Milan.
These worthy freykes for to fight
Thereto they were full fain, Till the blood out of their basnets sprent
As ever did hail or rain.
' Yield thee, Percy,' said the Douglas,
i And i' faith I shall thee bring Where thou shah have an Earl's wages
Of Jamie our Scottish king.
' Thou shake have thy ransom free,
—I hight thee here this thing; For the manfullest man thou art that e'er
I conquer'd in field fighting.'
xxxrv But ' Nay', then said the lord Percye,
' I told it thee beforn That I would never yielded be
To man of a woman born.'
manoplie] long gauntlet.           stern] stern men, warriors,
freyke] bold fellow.           swapt] smote.           swat] sweated,
sprent] spurted.          hight] promise.
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