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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This marriage being solemnized then, With musick performed by the skilfullest men, The nobles and gentles sat down at that tide, Each one admiring the beautiful bride.
Now, after the sumptuous dinner was done,
To talk and to reason a number begun :
They talk'd of the blind beggar's daughter most bright,
And what with his daughter he gave to the Knight.
Then spake the nobles, ' Much marvel have we, This jolly blind beggar we cannot here see.' 'My lords,' quoth the bride, 'my father's so base, He is loth with his presence these states to disgrace.'—
' The praise of a woman in question to bring, Before her own face, were a flattering thing, But we think thy father's baseness,' quoth they, ' Might by thy beauty be clean put away.'
They had no sooner these pleasant words spoke, But in comes the beggar clad in a silk cloak; A fair velvet cap, and a feather had he, And now a musician forsooth he would be.
xlv He had a dainty lute under his arm, He touched the strings, which made such a charm, Says, ' Please you to hear any musick of me, I'll sing you a song of pretty Bessee.' 820
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