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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f My lord,' says he, ' if you've chosen me Of a hundred gunners to be the head,
You may hang me at your maine-mast tree If I miss my mark past three pence bread.'
The next of all my lord he did call,
A noble bowman he was one ; In Yorkshire was this gentleman borne,
And William Horsley was his name.
xv ' Horsley,' says he, ' I must sayle to the sea,
To seek out an enemy ; God be my speede ! Before all others I have chosen thee ;
Of a hundred bowemen thou'st be my head.'
' My lord,' says he, ' if you've chosen me Of a hundred bowemen to be the head,
Hang me at your main-mast tree
If I miss my mark past twelve pence bread.'
With pikes, and gunnes, and bowmen bold, This noble Howard is gone to the sea
On the day before Midsummer-even,
And out at Thames' mouth sayled they.
They had not sayled dayes three
Upon their journey they took in hand,
But there they met with a noble ship,
And stoutely made it both stay and stand.
three pence bread] the breadth of a threepenny piece. 686
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