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EBBA 31044

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
Ralph of Reading, and Black Bess of the Green.
Tune----The Kings Jigg.

AT Winchester there was a Wedding
The like was never seen,
Twixt lusty Ralph of Reading,
And bonny Black Bess of the Green;
The fiddlers were crowding before,
Each lass was as fine as a Queen,
There was an hundred and more,
For all the whole country came in.

Brisk Robin led Rose so fair,
She lookd like a lilly ith vale,
And ruddy facd Harry led Mary,
And Roger led bouncing Nell.
With Tommy came smiling Katy,
He helped her over a stile,
And swore there was none so pretty
In forty and forty long miles.

Kit gave a green gown to Betty,
And lent her his hand to rise;
But Jenny was jeerd by Watty,
For looking blue under the eyes.
Thus merrily chatting all day,
They past to the bride house along,
With Johnny and pretty facd Nany,
The fairest of all the throng.

The bridegroom came out to meet em,
Afraid the dinner was spoild,
And usherd them in to treat em
With bakd, and roast, and boild,
The lads were frolic and jolly,
For each lad his lass by his side,
But Willy was melancholly,
For he had a mind to the bride,
Then Philip began her health,

And turnd a beer-glass on his thumb,
But Jenkin was reckond for drinking,
The best in Christendom.
And now they had dined, advancing
Into the midst of the hall,
The fidlers struck for dancing,
And Jeremy led up the ball.

But Margery kept her quarter,
A lass that was proud of her pelf,
Cause Arthur had stolen her garter,
And swore he would tye it himself;
She struggld, she blushd and frownd,
And ready with anger to cry,
Cause Arthur in tying her garter
Had slipped his hand too high.

And now for throwing the stocking,
The bride away was led,
The bridegroom got drunk, and was
For candles to light them to-bed.

But Robin, who found him so silly,
Most kindly took him aside,
While that his wife with Willy
Was playing at hoopers hide.

And now the warm game begins,
The critical minute was come,
And chatting, and billing and kissing,
Went merrily round the room.
Pert Stephen was kind to Betty,
As blithe as a bird in the spring,
And Tommy was so to Katy,
And wedded her with a rush-ring.

Sukey that dancd with the cushion,
An hour from the room had been gone
And Barnaby knew by her blushing
Some other dance had been done.
And thus of fifty fair maids,
That went to the wedding with men,
Scarce five of the Fifty were left ye,
That so did return again.

Brisk Dolly and pretty facd Kate,
This merriment they did adore;
Each lass was so pleasd with her mate,
As she never had been before.
Nay, Susan was pleasd at the heart,
She said it and said it again;
The young men have playd their parts,
And no one had cause to complain.

The day was in merriment spent,
The pipers and fidlers did play
Before all the throng as they went,
Thus they made an end of the day.
So was not this a fine Wedding,
Where all was pleasd to the life;
And they say he makes a kind husband,
And she a very good wife.

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