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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' Along with the nobles, that fell at that tide, His eldest son Henry, who fought by his side, Was fell'd by a blow he received in the fight; A blow that deprived him for ever of sight.
' Among the dead bodies all lifeless he lay, Till evening drew on of the following day; When by a young lady discovered was he; And this was thy mother., my pretty Bessee!
' A baron's fair daughter stept forth in the night To search for her father, who fell in the fight, And seeing young Montfort, where gasping he lay, Was moved with pity, and brought him away.
e In secret she nurst him, and swaged his pain, While he through the realm was believed to be slain At length his fair bride she consented to be, And made him glad father of pretty Bessee.
' And now, lest our foes our lives should betray, We clothed ourselves in beggars' array; Her jewels she sold, and hither came we : All our comfort and care was our pretty Bessee.
' And here have we lived in fortune's despite, Though poor, yet contented with humble delight: Full forty winters thus have I been A silly blind beggar of Bednall-green.
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