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 soon after this, by break of the day The Knight had from Rumford stole Bessy away. The young men of Rumford, as thick as might be, Rode after to fetch again pretty Bessee.
As swift as the wind to ryde they were seen, Until they came near unto Bednall-green ; And as the Knight lighted most courteouslie, They all fought against him for pretty Bessee.
But rescue came speedily over the plain, Or else the young Knight for his love had been slain. This fray being ended, then straightway he see His kinsmen come railing at pretty Bessee.
Then spake the blind beggar, ' Although I be poor, Yet rail not against my child at my own door: Though she be not decked in velvet and pearl, Yet will I drop angels with you for my girl.
' And then, if my gold may better her birth, And equal the gold that you lay on the earth, Then neither rail nor grudge you to see The blind beggar's daughter a lady to be.
' But first you shall promise, and have it well known, The gold that you dropt shall all be your own.' With that they replied, i Contented be we.' ' Then here's,' quoth the beggar, 'for pretty Bessee! '
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