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Quoth fir John Cockle, I'll pledge you a pottle,

Were it the best ale in Nottinghamshire :
But, then said our king, I do think of a thing ;

Some of your light-foot I would we had here.
Ho, ho, quoth Richard, full well I may say it,
'Tis knavery to eat it, and then to bewray it.

Why, art thou angry ? quoth our king merrily;
In faith, I take it

very

unkind :
I thought thou would'tt pledge me in ale and wine heartily.

Y'are like to ftay, quoth Dick, till I have din'd :
You feed us with twattling dishes so small ;
Zounds, a black-pudding is better than all.

Ay, marry, quoth our king, that were a dainty thing,

If a man could get one here for to eat.
With that Dick straight arose, and pluck'd one out of his

hose,
Which with heat of his breech began to sweat.
The king made a proffer to snatch it away :
“ 'Tis meat for your master : good sir, you must llay.

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Thus with great merriment, was the time wholly spent ;

And then the ladies prepared to dance :
Old fir John Cockle, and Richard, incontinent,

Unto this practice the king did advance :
Here with the ladies such sport they did make,
The nobles with laughing did make their hearts ake.

Many

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Many thanks for their pains did the king give them then,

Asking young Richard, if he would wed :
Among those ladies free, tell me which liketh thee ?”

Quoth he, Jug Grumball, with the red head:
She's my love, she's my life, she will I wed;
She hath sworn I shall have her maidenhead.

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Then fir John Cockle the king called unto him,

And of merry Sherwood made him overseer;
And gave him out of hand three hundred pound yearly ;
But now take heed

you
steal

of my

deer : And once a quarter let's here have your view ; And thus, fir John Cockle, I bid you adieu.

no more

B ALL A D XVI.

KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF CANTERBURY.

1"

'll tell you a story, a story anon,

Of a noble prince, and his name was King John ;
For he was a prince, and a prince of great might,
He held up great wrongs, and he put down great right.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

I'll tell you a story, a story so merry,
Concerning the abbot of Canterbury,
And of his house keeping and high renown,
Which made him repair to fair London town.

Derry down, &c.

How

How now, brother abbot ! 'tis told unto me,
That thou keepest a far better house than I;
And for thy house keeping and high renown,
I fear thou haft treason againft my crown.

Derry down, &c.

I hope, my liege, that you owe me no grudge,
For spending of my true gotten goods.
If thou doft not answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be taken from thy body.

Derry down, &c.

When I am set • fo high on my steed,'
With my crown of gold upon my head,
Amonglt all my nobility, with joy and much mirth,
Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worth.

Derry down, &c.

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And the next question thou' must not fout,
How long I shall be riding the world about ;
And [at] the third question thou must not fhrink,
But tell to me truly what I do think.

Derry down, &c.

O these are hard questions for my shallow wit,
For I cannot answer your grace as yet,
But if you will give me but three days space,
I'll do my endeavour to answer your grace.

Derry down, &c.

O three

O three days fpace I will thee give,
For that is the longest day thou hast to live ;
And if thou dost not answer these questions right,
Thy head shall be taken from thy body quite.

Derry down, &c.

And as the old shepherd was going to his fold,
He spied the old abbot come riding along,
How now, master abbot ! you're welcome home :
What news have you brought us from good King John ?

Derry down, &c.

Sad news, fad news, I have thee to give,
For I have but three days space to live;
If I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be taken from my body.

Derry down, &c.

When he is set •so high on his steed,'
With his crown of gold upon his head,
Amongst all his nobility, with joy and much mirth,
I must tell him to one penny what he is worth.

Derry down, &c.

And the next question I must not fout,
How long he shall be riding the world about;
And [at] the third question I must not shrink.
But tell him truly what he does think.

Derry down, &c.

master,

O master, did you never hear it yet,
That a fool may learn a wise man wit ;
Lend me but your horse and your apparel,
I'll ride to fair London and answer the quarrel.

Derry down, &c.

Now I am set • fo high on my steed,'
With my crown of gold upon my head,
Amongst all my nobility, with joy and much mirth,
Now tell me, to one penny, what I am worth.

Derry down, &c.

For thirty pence our saviour was sold,
Amongst the false Jews, as I have been told,
And nine and twenty's the worth of thee,
For I think thou art one penny worser than he.

Derry down, &c.

And the next question thou mayest not fout,
How long I shall be riding the world about.
You must rise with the sun and ride with the same
Until the next morning he rises again;
And then I am sure, you will make no doubt,
But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about.

Derry down, &c.

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And [at] the third question thou must not shrink,
But tell to me truly what I do think.
All that I can do, and 'twill make your grace merry,
For you think I'm the abbot of Canterbury;

But

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