Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
104. I Saw Three Ships
 
 
I

AS I sat under a sycamore tree,
  —A sycamore tree, a sycamore tree,
I looked me out upon the sea
  On Christ’s Sunday at morn.
 
II

I saw three ships a-sailing there,
        5
  —A-sailing there, a-sailing there,
Jesu, Mary and Joseph they bare
  On Christ’s Sunday at morn.
 
III

Joseph did whistle and Mary did sing,
  —Mary did sing, Mary did sing,        10
And all the bells on earth did ring
  For joy our Lord was born.
 
IV

O they sail’d in to Bethlehem!
  —To Bethlehem, to Bethlehem;
Saint Michael was the sterésman,        15
  Saint John sate in the horn.
 
V

And all the bells on earth did ring
  —On earth did ring, on earth did ring:
‘Welcome be thou Heaven’s King,
  On Christ’s Sunday at morn!’        20
 
GLOSS:  horn] prow.
 

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