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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' You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same, Until the next morning he riseth againe ; And then your Grace need not make any doubt, But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about.'
The King he laughed, and swore by St. Jone,
' I did not think it could be gone so soone!
—Now from the third question thou must not shrinke.
But tell me here truly what I do thinke.'—
xxv ' Yea, that shall I do, and make your Grace merry: You thinke I'm the Abbot of Canterburye ; But I'm his poor shepheard, as plain you may see, That am come to beg pardon for him and for mee.J
The King he laughed, and swore by the Masse,
' I'll make thee Lord Abbot this day in his place ! '—
' Now naye, my liege, be not in such speede,
For alacke I can neither write, ne reade.'—
' Four nobles a weeke, then, I will give thee For this merry jest thou hast showne unto mee; And tell the old Abbot when thou comest home, Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.
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