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To the Reader.
It is scarcely needful to disclaim anything like an antiquarian character for the present little work. It simply professes to be a Selection, within the compass of a pocket volume, of some of the more popular specimens of our Ballad Poetry; and as such it is hoped it may be acceptable to those who do not possess, or have not leisure for the study of the more extended collections from which the compilation has been made. It may be added, that those copies of the ballads have been followed which seemed on the whole best adapted for general perusal; and in some cases, where the matter seemed unnecessarily prolix, slight abridgements have been made; not, however, in such a way as to injure the effect of the piece.
The contents of the present volume are, with few exceptions, derived from British sources. Another little work, of a similar class, is intended to comprise translated specimens from the German and other continental languages.
LONDON, January 1st, 1845.
“ Nowe sain thee and save thee, thou little foot-page,
Nowe welcome art thou to me;
And what may thy tydinges be?” “My lady she is all woe begone,
And the teares they falle from her eyne ; And aye she laments the deadlye feude
Betweene her house and thine.
“And here shee sends thee a silken scarse,
Bedewde with many a teare,
Who loved thee so deare.
« And here she sends thee a ring of golde,
The last boone thou mayst have, And biddes thee weare it for her sake,
When she is layd in grave.
And in grave soone must shee be,
And forbidde her to think of thee.
“Her father hath brought her a churlish knighte,
Sir John, of the north countraye ;
Or he vowes he will her slaye.”
“Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,
And greet thy ladye from mee;
Will dye, or sette her free.
“ Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,
And let thy fair ladye know,
Betide me weale or woe.”
The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne,
He neither stint ne stayd,
When kneeling down he sayd,