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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The first of them was a gallant young knight, And he came unto her disguised in the night: The second a gentleman of good degree, Who wooed and sued for pretty Bessee.
A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small, He was the third suitor, and proper withal : Her master's own son the fourth man must be, Who swore he would die for pretty Bessee.
' And, if thou wilt marry with me,' quoth the knight, ' I'll make thee a lady with joy and delight j My heart so enthralled is by thy beautie, That soon I shall die for pretty Bessee.'
The gentleman said, ' Come, marry with me, As fine as a lady my Bessy shall be : My life is distressed: O hear me,' quoth he; ' And grant me thy love, my pretty Bessee.' —
xv ' Let me be thy husband,' the merchant did say, ' Thou shalt live in London both gallant and gay; My ships shall bring home rich jewels for thee, And I will for ever love pretty Bessee.'
Then Bessy she sighed, and thus she did say, ' My father and mother I mean to obey; First get their good will, and be faithful to me, And then you shall marry your pretty Bessee.'
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