English Songs and Ballads
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Crosland, T.W.H. [ed.] (1903) "English Songs and Ballads" (The World's Classics Series)

(Produced by Lewis Jones)




Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE

First Impression April 1902 Second Impression April l903


ENGLISH SONGS AND BALLADS' must not be regarded as 'a choice,' but simply as a bringing together of poetical pieces which are, presumably, well known to the average person,—that is to say, the compiler has endeavoured to illustrate the general taste rather than his own preference.


(Transcriber's note: No author is cited for the first song in the collection, "My Swete Sweting." Page references in the "Index of First Lines" and in the "Index of Authors" have been expunged since they do not apply to this electronic version; please use electronic searches to locate poems.)

About the sweet bag of a bee A chieftain to the Highlands bound Ae fond kiss, and then we sever Agincourt, Agincourt Ah, my swete swetyng Alas! my love, you do me wrong Allen-a-Dale has no faggot for burning All in the Downs the fleet was moor'd All ye woods, and trees, and bowers And did you not hear of a jolly young Waterman An old song made by an aged old pate A parrot from the Spanish main Arm, arm, arm, arm, the scouts are all come in A simple child As I came thro' Sandgate Ask me no more where Jove bestows Ask me no more, the moon may draw the sea A spirit haunts the year's last hours As thro' the land at eve we went A sweet disorder in the dress Attend all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise A weary lot is thine, fair maid A Well there is in the west country A wet sheet and a flowing sea

Beauty clear and fair Be it right or wrong, these men among Believe me, if all those endearing young charms Bird of the wilderness Blame not my Lute! for he must sound Blow, blow, thou winter wind Blow high, blow low, let tempests tear Break, break, break Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride But are ye sure the news is true

Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren Cherry ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain Come all ye jolly shepherds Come, cheerful day, part of my life to me Come, cheer up, my lads, 'tis to glory we steer Come follow, follow me Come into the garden, Maud Come live with me and be my love Come not, when I am dead Come, Sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving

Dear is my little native vale Doubt thou the stars are fire Drink to me only with thine eyes Duncan Gray came here to woo

Faintly as tolls the evening chime Fair daffodils, we weep to see Fair pledges of a fruitful tree Fair stood the wind for France Fear no more the heat o' the sun Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow For auld lang syne, my dear Four and twenty bonny boys From Oberon, in fairy land From the forests and highlands From the white blossom'd sloe my dear Chloe requested Full fathom five thy father lies

Gather the rose-buds while ye may God Lyaeus, ever young God prosper long our noble King God save our gracious King Go fetch to me a pint o' wine Go, lovely Rose Good-morrow to the day so fair Good people all, of every sort Go where glory waits thee Green fields of England, wheresoe'er

Hame, hame, hame, hame fain wad I be Hang fear, cast away care Hark! now everything is still Hark, hark, the lark at Heaven's gate sings He is gone on the mountain Her arms across her breast she laid Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee Here's a health unto His Majesty Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen Hide me, O twilight air Home they brought her warrior dead Ho! why dost thou shiver and shake How should I your true love know

I arise from dreams of thee I cannot eat but little meat I come from haunts of coot and hern I come, I come! ye have called me long I knew an old wife lean and poor I lov'd a lass, a fair one I'm lonesome since I cross'd the hill I'm sitting on the stile, Mary In going to my naked bed In good King Charles's golden days In her ear he whispered gaily In the merry month of May In Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he Is there for honest poverty I tell thee, Dick, where I have been It is an ancient Mariner It is the miller's daughter I travelled among unknown men It was a blind beggar had long lost his sight It was a friar of orders gray It was a lover and his lass It was a summer evening It was the frog in the well It was the time when lilies blow I've seen the smiling I wander'd by the brook-side

John Anderson, my jo, John John Gilpin was a citizen

Kentish Sir Byng stood for his King King Death was a rare old fellow

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks Lawn as white as driven snow Lay a garland on my hearse Let me the canakin clink, clink Let the bells ring, and let the boys sing Lithe and listen, gentlemen Long the proud Spaniards had vaunted to conquer us Lord, thou hast given me a cell Love wakes and weeps

Maxwelltown braes are bonnie Men of England who inherit Mine be a cot beside the hill Move eastward, happy earth, and leave My banks they are furnished with bees My heart is sair, I darena tell My heart is wasted with my woe My mind to me a kingdom is O, Willie brew'd a peck o' maut

Napoleon's banners at Boulogne No stir in the air, no stir in the sea Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are Now, now the mirth comes Now ponder well, you parents dear Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white Now the hungry lion roars

Of all the girls that are so smart Of a' the airts the wind can blaw Of Nelson and the North Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray Oft in the stilly night Oh, call my brother back to me Oh, Mary, go and call the cattle home Oh! the days are gone when Beauty bright Oh, the sweet contentment Oh where, and oh where, is your Highland laddie gone O Jenny's a' weet, poor body O listen, listen, ladies gay O mistress mine, where are you roaming O, my luve 's like a red red rose O Nanny, wilt thou go with me On either side the river lie On Linden when the sun was low, On that deep-retiring shore On the banks of Allan Water Orpheus with his lute made trees O sing unto my roundelay O swallow, swallow, flying south Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lowered Over hill, over dale O waly, waly up the bank O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms O whistle and I'll come to ye, my lad O world! O life! O time! O, young Lochinvar is come out of the West

Pack clouds, away, and welcome, day Pibroch of Donuil Dhu Piping down the valleys wild Proud Maisie in the wood

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair

Red rows the Nith 'tween bank and brae Rich and rare were the gems she wore Rose cheek'd Laura, come

Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled Shall I, wasting in despair She dwelt among untrodden ways She is a winsome wee thing She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps She stood breast high among the corn She walks in beauty like the night Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more Sing his praises, that doth keep Some asked me where the rubies grew Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules Some years of late, in eighty-eight So now is come our joyfullest part So, we'll go no more a-roving Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king Still to be neat, still to be drest Sweet and low, sweet and low Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright Sweet Emma Moreland of yonder town

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind Tell me, where is fancy bred The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold The boy stood on the burning deck The breaking waves dashed high The bride cam' out o' the byre The deil cam' fiddlin' thro' the toun The feathered songster chanticleer The fountains mingle with the river The glories of our blood and state The harp that once through Tara's halls The King sits in Dunfermline town The laird o' Cockpen, he's proud an' he 's great The lawns were dry in Euston park The minstrel boy to the war is gone There be none of Beauty's daughters There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin, There come seven gypsies on a day There is a garden in her face There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet There was a youth, a well beloved youth There was three kings into the East There were three ladies play'd at the ba' There were three sailors of Bristol city The splendour falls on castle walls The stars are with the voyager The stately homes of England The time I've lost in wooing They grew in beauty side by side Three fishers went sailing out into the west Tiger, tiger, burning bright 'Tis the last rose of summer Toll for the brave Turn, gentle hermit of the dale 'Twas in the prime of summer time

Under the greenwood tree

Was this fair face the cause, quoth she Wha 'll buy my caller herrin' When all among the thundering drums When all is done and said When Britain first, at Heaven's command When cats run home, and light is come When daffodils begin to peer, When daisies pied and violets blue, When Hercules did use to spin When icicles hang by the wall When love with unconfined wings When o'er the hill the Eastern star When the British warrior queen When the sheep are in the fauld, when the kye 's come hame When this old cap was new When we two parted Where gang ye, thou silly auld carle Where the bee sucks, there lurk I While larks with little wing Who is Sylvia? what is she Why does your brand so drop with blood Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears Why so pale and wan, fond lover With fingers weary and worn

Ye gentlemen of England Ye little birds that sit and sing Ye mariners of England You are old, father William, the young man cried You spotted snakes with double tongue























AH, my swete swetyng! My lytyle prety swetyng, My swetyng will I love wherever I go; She is so proper and pure, Full stedfast, stabill and demure, There is none such, ye may be sure, As my swete swetyng.

In all this world, as thynketh me, Is none so pleasant to my eye, That I am glad soe ofte to see, As my swete swetyng.

When I behold my swetyng swete, Her face, her hands, her minion fete, They seme to me there is none so swete, As my swete swetyng.

Above all other prayse must I, And love my pretty pygsnye, For none I fynd so womanly As my swete swetyng.



WHEN all is done and said, In the end thus shall you find, He most of all doth bathe in bliss That hath a quiet mind: And, clear from worldly cares, To deem can be content The sweetest time in all his life In thinking to be spent.

The body subject is To fickle Fortune's power, And to a million of mishaps Is casual every hour: And Death in time doth change It to a clod of clay; Whenas the mind, which is divine, Runs never to decay.

Companion none is like Unto the mind alone; For many have been harmed by speech Through thinking, few, or none. Fear oftentimes restraineth words, But makes not thought to cease; And he speaks best that hath the skill When for to hold his peace.

Our wealth leaves us at death; Our kinsmen at the grave; But virtues of the mind unto The heavens with us we have. Wherefore, for virtue's sake, I can be well content, The sweetest time of all my life To deem in thinking spent.



IN going to my naked bed as one that would have slept, I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept; She sighed sore, and sang full sweet, to bring the babe to rest, That would not cease, but cried still, in sucking at her breast. She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with her child; She rocked it and rated it, till that on her it smiled: Then did she say, Now have I found this proverb true to prove The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love.

Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write, In register for to remain, of such a worthy wight; As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat, Much matter uttered she of weight, in place whereas she sat. And proved plain, there was no beast, nor creature bearing life, Could well be known to live in love, without discord and strife: Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God above, The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love.

She said that neither king, nor prince, nor lord could live aright, Until their puissance they did prove, their manhood and their might; When manhood shall be matched so that fear can take no place, Then weary works make warriors each other to embrace, And leave their force that failed them, which did consume the rout, That might before have lived in peace their time and nature out: Then did she sing as one that thought no man could her reprove, The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love.

She said she saw no fish, nor fowl, nor beast within her haunt, That met a stranger in their kind, but could give it a taunt; Since flesh might not endure for long, but rest must wrath succeed, And force the fight to fall to play, in pasture where they feed; So noble nature can well end the work she hath begun, And bridle well that will not cease her tragedy in some: Thus in her song she oft rehearsed, as did her well behove, The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love.

I marvel much pardy, quoth she, for to behold the rout, To see man, woman, boy, and beast, to toss the world about; Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some cheek, and some can smoothly smile, And some embrace others in arm, and there think many a wile; Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble and some stout, Yet are they never friends in deed until they once fall out: Thus ended she her song, and said before she did remove, The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love.



BLAME not my Lute! for he must sound Of this or that as liketh me; For lack of wit the Lute is bound To give such tunes as pleaseth me; Though my songs be somewhat strange, And speak such words as touch my change, Blame not my Lute!

My Lute, alas! doth not offend, Though that perforce he must agree To sound such tunes as I intend To sing to them that heareth me; Then though my songs be somewhat plain, And toucheth some that use to feign, Blame not my Lute!

My Lute and strings may not deny, But as I strike they must obey; Break not them so wrongfully, But wreak thyself some other way; And though the songs which I indite Do quit thy change with rightful spite, Blame not my Lute!

Spite asketh spite, and changing change, And falsed faith must needs be known; The faults so great, the case so strange; Of right it must abroad be blown: Then since that by thine own desert My songs do tell how true thou art, Blame not my Lute!

Blame but thyself that hast misdone, And well deserved to have blame; Change thou thy way, so evil begone, And then my Lute shall sound that same; But if till then my fingers play, By thy desert their wonted way, Blame not my Lute!

Farewell! unknown; for though thou break My strings in spite with great disdain, Yet have I found out for thy sake, Strings for to string my Lute again: And if perchance this silly rhyme Do make thee blush at any time, Blame not my Lute!



COME live with me and be my Love, And we will all the pleasures prove That hills and valleys, dale and field, And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks And see the shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool, Which from our pretty lambs we pull, Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds With coral clasps and amber studs: And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat As precious as the gods do eat, Shall on an ivory table be Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my Love.



I CANNOT eat but little meat, My stomach is not good; But sure I think that I can drink With him that wears a hood. Though I go bare, take ye no care, I nothing am a-cold; I stuff my skin so full within Of jolly good ale and old. Back and side go bare, go bare; Both foot and hand go cold; But, belly, God send thee good ale enough, Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast, And a crab laid in the fire; A little bread shall do me stead, Much bread I not desire, No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow, Can hurt me if I wold; I am so wrapp'd and thoroughly lapp'd Of jolly good ale and old.

And Tib, my wife, that as her life Loveth well good ale to seek, Full oft drinks she till ye may see The tears run down her cheek. Then doth she trowl to me the bowl Even as a maltworm should, And saith, 'Sweetheart, I took my part Of this jolly good ale and old.'

Now let them drink till they nod and wink, Even as good fellows should do; They shall not miss to have the bliss Good ale doth bring men to; And all poor souls that have scour'd bowls, Or have them lustily troll'd, God save the lives of them and their wives Whether they be young or old. Back and side go bare, go bare; Both foot and hand go cold; But, belly, God send thee good ale enough, Whether it be new or old.



IN the merry month of May, In a morn by break of day, With a troop of damsels playing Forth I went forsooth a-maying.

When anon by a wood side, Where, as May was in his pride, I espied, all alone, Phillida and Corydon.

Much ado there was, God wot! He would love, and she would not, She said, never man was true: He says none was false to you;

He said he had lov'd her long; She says love should have no wrong, Corydon would kiss her then; She says, maids must kiss no men,

Till they do for good and all, When she made the shepherd call All the heavens to witness truth, Never lov'd a truer youth.

Then with many a pretty oath, Yea and nay, faith and troth, Such as silly shepherds use, When they will not love abuse;

Love, which had been long deluded, Was with kisses sweet concluded; And Phillida with garlands gay Was made the lady of May.



SPRING, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay, Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day, And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo.

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit, In every street these tunes our ears do greet, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! Spring! the sweet Spring!



My mind to me a kingdom is, Such perfect joy therein I find, That it excels all other bliss That God or nature hath assigned: Though much I want that most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely port, nor wealthy store, Nor force to win a victory; No wily wit to salve a sore, No shape to win a loving eye; To none of these I yield as thrall, For why, my mind despise them all.

I see that plenty surfeits oft, And hasty climbers soonest fall; I see that such as are aloft, Mishap doth threaten most of all; These get with toil, and keep with fear: Such cares my mind can never bear.

I press to bear no haughty sway; I wish no more than may suffice; I do no more than well I may, Look what I want, my mind supplies; Lo, thus I triumph like a king, My mind's content with any thing.

I laugh not at another's loss, Nor grudge not at another's gain; No worldly waves my mind can toss; I brook that is another's bane; I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend; I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.

My wealth is health and perfect ease, And conscience clear my chief defence, I never seek by bribes to please, Nor by desert to give offence; Thus do I live, thus will I die; Would all do so as well as I!



THE glories of our blood and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings: Sceptre and Crown Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field, And plant fresh laurels where they kill: But their strong nerves at last must yield; They tame but one another still: Early or late They stoop to fate, And must give up their murmuring breath When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow; Then boast no more your mighty deeds; Upon Death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds: Your heads must come To the cold tomb; Only the actions of the just Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust.



Yz, little birds that sit and sing Amidst the shady valleys, And see how Phillis sweetly walks Within her garden-alleys; Go, pretty birds, about her bower; Sing, pretty birds, she may not lower; Ah me! methinks I see her frown! Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Go tell her through your chirping bills, As you by me are bidden, To her is only known my love, Which from the world is hidden. Go, pretty birds, and tell her so, See that your notes strain not too low, For still methinks I see her frown; Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Go tune your voices' harmony And sing, I am her lover; Strain loud and sweet, that every note With sweet content may move her: And she that hath the sweetest voice, Tell her I will not change my choice: —Yet still methinks I see her frown! Ye pretty wantons, warble.

O fly! make haste! see, see, she falls Into a pretty slumber! Sing round about her rosy bed That waking she may wonder: Say to her, 'tis her lover true That sendeth love to you, to you! And when you hear her kind reply, Return with pleasant warblings.


PACK clouds, away, and welcome, day! With night we banish sorrow. Sweet air, blow soft; mount, lark, aloft To give my Love good-morrow! Wings from the wind to please her mind, Notes from the lark I'll borrow; Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale, sing! To give my Love good-morrow! To give my Love good-morrow Notes from them all I'll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, robin red-breast! Sing, birds, in every furrow! And from each bill let music shrill Give my fair Love good-morrow! Blackbird and thrush in every bush, Stare, linnet, and cocksparrow, You pretty elves, among yourselves Sing my fair Love good-morrow! To give my Love good-morrow! Sing, birds, in every furrow!



COME, Sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving Lock me in delight awhile; Let some pleasing dreams beguile All my fancies; that from thence I may feel an influence All my powers of care bereaving!

Though but a shadow, but a sliding, Let me know some little joy! We that suffer long annoy Are contented with a thought Through an idle fancy wrought: O let my joys have some abiding!


ALL ye woods, and trees, and bowers, All ye virtues and ye powers That inhabit in the lakes, In the pleasant springs or brakes, Move your feet To our sound, Whilst we greet, All this ground, With his honour and his name That defends our flocks from blame.

He is great and he is just, He is ever good, and must Thus be honoured. Daffodillies, Roses, pinks, and loved lilies, Let us fling, Whilst we sing, Ever holy, Ever holy, Ever honoured, ever young! Thus great Pan is ever sung.


LAY a garland on my hearse Of the dismal yew; Maidens, willow branches bear; Say, I died true.

My love was false, but I was firm From my hour of birth. Upon my buried body lie Lightly, gentle earth!



BEAUTY clear and fair, Where the air Rather like a perfume dwells; Where the violet and the rose Their blue veins and blush disclose, And come to honour nothing else:

Where to live near And planted there Is to live, and still live new; Where to gain a favour is More than light, perpetual bliss— Make me live by serving you!

Dear, again back recall To this light, A stranger to himself and all! Both the wonder and the story Shall be yours, and eke the glory; I am your servant, and your thrall.


LET the bells ring, and let the boys sing, The young lasses skip and play; Let the cups go round, till round goes the ground, Our learned old vicar will stay.

Let the pig turn merrily, merrily, ah And let the fat goose swim; For verily, verily, verily, oh! Our vicar this day shall be trim.

The stewed cock shall crow, cock-a-loodle-loo, A loud cock-a-loodle shall he crow; The duck and the drake shall swim in a lake Of onions and claret below.

Our wives shall be neat, to bring in our meat To thee our most noble adviser; Our pains shall be great, and bottles shall sweat, And we ourselves will be wiser.

We'll labour and smirk, we'll kiss and we'll drink, And tithes shall come thicker and thicker; We'll fall to our plough, and have children enow, And thou shalt be learned old vicar.


WEEP no more, nor sigh, nor groan, Sorrow calls no time that's gone: Violets pluck'd, the sweetest rain Makes not fresh nor grow again. Trim thy locks, look cheerfully; Fate's hid ends eyes cannot see. Joys as winged dreams fly fast, Why should sadness longer last? Grief is but a wound to woe; Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no moe.


SING his praises that doth keep Our flocks from harm, Pan, the father of our sheep; And arm in arm Tread we softly in a round, Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground Fills the music with her sound.

Pan, O great god Pan, to thee Thus do we sing! Thou who keep'st us chaste and free As the young spring: Ever be thy honour spoke, From that place the morn is broke, To that place day doth unyoke!


GOD LYAEUS, ever young, Ever honour'd, ever sung, Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes, In a thousand lusty shapes Dance upon the mazer's brim, In the crimson liquor swim; From thy plenteous hand divine Let a river run with wine: God of youth, let this day here Enter neither care nor fear.


ARM, arm, arm, arm! the scouts are all come in; Keep your ranks close, and now your honours win. Behold from yonder hill the foe appears; Bows, bills, glaives, arrows, shields, and spears! Like a dark wood he comes, or tempest pouring; O view the wings of horse the meadows scouring! The vanguard marches bravely. Hark, the drums! Dub, dub!

They meet, they meet, and now the battle comes: See how the arrows fly That darken all the sky! Hark how the trumpets sound! Hark how the hills rebound— Tara, tara, tara, tara, tara!

Hark how the horses charge! in, boys! boys, in! The battle totters; now the wounds begin: O how they cry! O how they die! Room for the valiant Memnon, armed with thunder! See how he breaks the ranks asunder! They fly! they fly! Eumenes has the chase, And brave Polybius makes good his place: To the plains, to the woods, To the rocks, to the floods, They fly for succour. Follow, follow, follow! Hark how the soldiers hollow! Hey, hey!

Brave Diodes is dead, And all his soldiers fled; The battle 's won, and lost, That many a life hath cost.



ALAS! my love, you do me wrong To cast me off discourteously; And I have loved you so long, Delighting in your company.

Greensleeves was all my joy! Greensleeves was my delight! Greensleeves was my heart of gold! And who but my Lady Greensleeves!

I bought thee petticoats of the best, The cloth so fine as fine as might be; I gave thee jewels for thy chest, And all this cost I spent on thee. Greensleeves was all my joy! Greensleeves was my delight! Greensleeves was my heart of gold! And who but my Lady Greensleeves!

Thy smock of silk, both fair and white, With gold embroidered gorgeously; Thy petticoat of sendal right: And these I bought thee gladly. Greensleeves was all my joy! Greensleeves was my delight! Greensleeves was my heart of gold! And who but my Lady Greensleeves!

Greensleeves now farewell! adieu! God I pray to prosper thee! For I am still thy lover true: Come once again and love me! Greensleeves was all my joy! Greensleeves was my delight! Greensleeves was my heart of gold! And who but my Lady Greensleeves!



MY true love hath my heart, and I have his, By just exchange one for another given: I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss; There never was a better bargain driven: My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one, My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides: He loves my heart, for once it was his own, I cherish his because in me it bides: My true love hath my heart, and I have his.



CALL for the robin-redbreast and the wren, Since o'er shady groves they hover, And with leaves and flowers do cover The friendless bodies of unburied men. Call unto his funeral dole The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole, To rear him hillocks that shall keep him warm, And (when gay tombs are robb'd) sustain no harm; But keep the wolf far thence, that's foe to men, For with his nails he'll dig them up again.


HARK! now everything is still, The screech-owl and the whistler shrill, Call upon our dame aloud, And bid her quickly don her shroud!

Much you had of land and rent; Your length in clay's now competent: A long war disturb'd your mind; Here your perfect peace is sign'd.

Of what is't fools make such vain keeping? Sin their conception, their birth weeping, Their life a general mist of error, Their death a hideous storm of terror. Strew your hair with powders sweet, Don clean linen, bathe your feet, And—the foul fiend more to check— A crucifix let bless your neck; 'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day; End your groan and come away.



ART thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers? O sweet content! Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex'd? O punishment! Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex'd To add to golden numbers, golden numbers? O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content! Work apace, apace, apace, apace; Honest labour bears a lovely face; Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!

Canst drink the waters of the crisped spring? O sweet content! Swimm'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears? O punishment! Then he that patiently want's burden bears No burden bears, but is a king, a king! O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content! Work apace, apace, apace, apace; Honest labour bears a lovely face; Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!


COLD's the wind, and wet's the rain, Saint Hugh be our good speed! Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain, Nor helps good hearts in need.

Troll the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl, And here, kind mate, to thee! Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul, And down it merrily.

Down-a-down, hey, down-a-down, Hey derry derry down-a-down. Ho! well done, to let me come, Ring compass, gentle joy!

Troll the bowl, the nut-brown bowl, And here, kind mate, to thee! Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul, And down it merrily.

Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain, Saint Hugh be our good speed! Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain, Nor helps good hearts in need.



THE king sits in Dunfermline toun, Drinking the blude-red wine; Oh whare will I get a gude sailor, To sail this ship o' mine?'

Then up and spake an eldern knight Sat at the king's right knee; 'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor That ever sail'd the sea.'

The king has written a braid letter, And seal'd it wi' his hand, And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens Was walking on the strand.

'To Noroway, to Noroway, To Noroway o'er the faem; The king's daughter to Noroway, 'Tis thou maun tak' her hame.'

The first line that Sir Patrick read, A loud laugh laughed he; The neist line that Sir Patrick read, The tear blinded his ee.

'O wha is this has done this deed, And tauld the king o' me, To send us out at this time o' the year, To sail upon the sea?'

'Be't wind or weet, be't hail or sleet, Our ship maun sail the faem; The king's daughter to Noroway, 'Tis we maun tak' her hame.'

They hoisted their sails on Monenday morn, Wi' a' the speed they may; And they hae landed in Noroway Upon a Wodensday.

They hadna been a week, a week, In Noroway but twae, When that the lords o' Noroway Began aloud to say—

'Ye Scotisman spend a' our king's gowd, And a' our queenis fee.' 'Ye lee, ye lee, ye leears loud, Sae loud 's I hear ye lee!'

'For I brought as much o' the white monie As gane my men and me, And a half-fou o' the gude red gowd, Out owre the sea with me.

'Mak' ready, mak' ready, my merry men a', Our gude ship sails the morn.' 'O say na sae, my master dear, I fear a deadlie storm.

'I saw the new moon late yestreen, Wi' the auld moon in her arm; And if we gang to sea, master, I fear we'll come to harm!'

They hadna sail'd a league, a league, A league but barely three, When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brak, and the tap-masts lap, It was sic a deadlie storm; And the waves cam' owre the broken ship, Till a' her sides were torn.

'O whare will I get a gude sailor Will tak' the helm in hand, Till I get up to the tall tap-mast, To see if I can spy land.'

'O here am I, a sailor gude, To tak' the helm in hand, Till ye get up to the tall tap-mast, But I fear ye'll ne'er spy land.'

He hadna gane a step, a step, A step but barely ane, When a bout flew out o' the gude ship's side, And the saut sea it cam in.

'Gae, fetch a web o' the silken claith, Anither o' the twine, And wap them into our gude ship's side, And letna the sea come in.'

They fetch'd a wab o' the silken claith, Anither o' the twine, And they wapp'd them into the gude ship's side, But aye the sea cam' in.

O laith, laith were our Scots lords' sons To weet their coal-black shoon, But lang ere a' the play was play'd, They wat their hats abune.

And mony was the feather-bed That fluttered on the faem, And mony was the gude lord's son That never mair cam' hame.

O lang, lang may the ladies sit, Wi' their fans into their hand, Before they see Sir Patrick Spens Come sailing to the strand.

And lang, lang may the maidens sit, Wi' the gowd kaims in their hair, A' waiting for their ain dear loves, For them they'll see nae mair.

Half owre, half owre to Aberdour 'Tis fifty fathom deep, And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.



IT was a blind beggar, had long lost his sight, He had a fair daughter of beauty most bright; And many a gallant brave suitor had she, For none was so comely as pretty Bessee.

And though she was of favour most faire, Yet seeing she was but a poor beggar's heyre, Of ancyent housekeepers despised was she, Whose sons came as suitors to pretty Bessee.

Wherefore in great sorrow fair Bessy did say, Good father, and mother, let me go away To seek out my fortune, whatever it be, This suite then they granted to pretty Bessee.

Then Bessy, that was of beauty so bright, All cladd in grey russet, and late in the night From father and mother alone parted she; Who sighed and sobbed for pretty Bessee.

She went till she came to Stratford-le-Bow; Then knew she not whither, nor which way to go: With tears she lamented her hard destinie, So sad and so heavy was pretty Bessee.

She kept on her journey until it was day, And went unto Rumford along the high way; Where at the Queen's arms entertained was she: So fair and well-favoured was pretty Bessee.

She had not been there a month to an end, But master and mistress and all was her friend: And every brave gallant, that once did her see, Was straightway enamour'd of pretty Bessee.

Great gifts they did send her of silver and gold, And in their songs daily her love was extolled; Her beauty was blazed in every degree; So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee.

The young men of Rumford in her had their joy She showed herself courteous and modestly coy And at her commandment still would they be; So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee.

Four suitors at once unto her did go; They craved her favour, but still she said no; I would not wish gentles to marry with me; Yet ever they honoured pretty Bessee.

The first of them was a gallant young knight, And he came unto her disguised in the night: The second a gentleman of good degree, Who wooed and sued for pretty Bessee.

A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small, He was the third suitor, and proper withal: Her master's own son the fourth man must be, Who swore he would die for pretty Bessee.

And, if thou wilt marry with me, quoth the knight, I'll make thee a lady with joy and delight; My heart's so enthralled by thy beautie, That soon I shall die for pretty Bessee.

The gentleman said, Come, marry with me, As fine as a lady my Bessy shall be: My life is distressed: O hear me, quoth he; And grant me thy love, my pretty Bessee.

Let me be thy husband; the merchant did say, Thou shalt live in London both gallant and gay; My ships shall bring home rich jewels for thee, And I will for ever love pretty Bessee.

Then Bessy she sighed, and thus she did say, My father and mother I mean to obey; First get their good will, and be faithful to me, And then you shall marry your pretty Bessee.

To every one this answer she made, Wherefore unto her they joyfully said, This thing to fulfil we all do agree; But where dwells thy father, my pretty Bessee?

My father, she said, is soon to be seen: The silly blind beggar of Bednall-green, That daily sits begging for charitie, He is the good father of pretty Bessee.

His marks and his tokens are known very well; He always is led with a dog and a bell: A silly old man, God knoweth, is he, Yet he is the father of pretty Bessee.

Nay then, quoth the merchant, thou art not for me. Nor, quoth the innholder, my wife thou shalt be: I loth, said the gentle, a beggar's degree, And therefore adieu, my pretty Bessee.

Why then, quoth the knight, hap better or worse, I weigh not true love by the weight of the purse, And beauty is beauty in every degree; Then welcome unto me, my pretty Bessee.

With thee to thy father forthwith I will go. Nay soft, quoth his kinsmen, it must not be so; A poor beggar's daughter no lady shall be, Then take thy adieu of pretty Bessee.

But soon after this, by break of the day The knight had from Rumford stole Bessy away. The young men of Rumford, as thick as might be, Rode after to fetch again pretty Bessee.

As swift as the wind to ryde they were seen, Until they came near unto Bednall-green; And as the knight lighted most courteouslie, They all fought against him for pretty Bessee.

But rescue came speedily over the plain, Or else the young knight for his love had been slain. This fray being ended, then straightway he see His kinsmen come railing at pretty Bessee.

Then spake the blind beggar, Although I be poor, Yet rail not against my child at my own door: Though she be not decked in velvet and pearl, Yet will I drop angels with you for my girl.

And then, if my gold may better her birth, And equal the gold that you lay on the earth, Then neither rail nor grudge you to see The blind beggar's daughter a lady to be.

But first you shall promise, and have it well known, The gold that you drop shall all be your Own. With that they replied, Contented be we. Then here's, quoth the beggar, for pretty Bessee.

With that an angel he cast on the ground, And dropped in angels full three thousand pound; And oftentimes it was proved most plain, For the gentlemen's one, the beggar dropt twain:

So that the place, wherein they did sit, With gold it was covered every whit. The gentlemen then having dropt all their store, Said, Now, beggar, hold, for we have no more,

Thou hast fulfilled thy promise aright. Then marry, quoth he, my girl to this knight; And here, added he, I will now throw you down A hundred pounds more to buy her a gown.

The gentlemen all, that this treasure had seen, Admired the beggar of Bednall-green: And all those, that were her suitors before, Their flesh for very anger they tore.

Thus was fair Bessy matched to the knight, And then made a lady in others' despite: A fairer lady there never was seen, Than the blind beggar's daughter of Bednall-green.

But of their sumptuous marriage and feast, What brave lords and knights thither were prest, The second fitt shall set forth to your sight With marvellous pleasure and wished delight.


Of a blind beggar's daughter most bright, That late was betrothed unto a young knight; All the discourse thereof you did see: But now comes the wedding of pretty Bessee.

Within a gorgeous palace most brave, Adorned with all the cost they could have, This wedding was kept most sumptuouslie, And all for the credit of pretty Bessee.

All kind of dainties and delicates sweet Were bought for the banquet, as it was most meet; Partridge, and plover, and venison most free, Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessee.

This marriage through England was spread by report, So that a great number thereto did resort Of nobles and gentles in every degree; And all for the fame of pretty Bessee.

To church then went this gallant young knight; His bride followed after, an angel most bright, With troops of ladies, the like ne'er was seen, As went with sweet Bessy of Bednall-green.

This marriage being solemnized then, With musick performed by the skilfullest men, The nobles and gentles sat down at that tide, Each one admiring the beautiful bride.

Now, after the sumptuous dinner was done, To talk, and to reason a number begun: They talked of the blind beggar's daughter most bright, And what with his daughter he gave to the knight.

Then spake the nobles, 'Much marvel have we, This jolly blind beggar we cannot here see.' My lords, quoth the bride, my father's so base, He is loth with his presence these states to disgrace.

'The praise of a woman in question to bring Before her own face, were a flattering thing, But we think thy father's baseness,' quoth they, 'Might by thy beauty be clean put away.'

They had no sooner these pleasant words spoke, But in comes the beggar clad in a silk cloak; A fair velvet cap, and a feather had he, And now a musician forsooth he would be.

He had a dainty lute under his arm, He touched the strings, which made such a charm, Says, Please you to hear any musick of me, I'll sing you a song of pretty Bessee.

With that his lute he twanged straightway, And thereon began most sweetly to play; And after that lessons were played two or three, He strain'd out this song most delicatelie.

'A poor beggar's daughter did dwell on a green, Who for her fairness might well be a queen: A blithe bonny lass, and a dainty was she, And many one called her pretty Bessee.

'Her father he had no goods, nor no land, But begged for a penny all day with his hand; And yet to her marriage he gave thousands three, And still he hath somewhat for pretty Bessee.

'And if any one here her birth do disdain, Her father is ready, with might and with main, To prove she is come of noble degree: Therefore never flout at pretty Bessee.'

With that the lords and the company round With hearty laughter were ready to swound; At last said the lords, Full well we may see, The bride and the beggar's beholden to thee.

On this the bride all blushing did rise, The pearly drops standing within her fair eyes, 'O pardon my father, grave nobles, quoth she, That through blind affection thus doteth on me.'

'If this be thy father,' the nobles did say, 'Well may he be proud of this happy day; Yet by his countenance well may we see, His birth and his fortune did never agree:

'And therefore, blind man, we pray thee bewray (And look that the truth thou to us do say) Thy birth and thy parentage, what it may be; For the love that thou bearest to pretty Bessee.'

'Then give me leave, nobles and gentles, each one, One song more to sing, and then I have done; And if that it may not win good report, Then do not give me a groat for my sport.

'Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shall be; Once chief of all the great barons was he, Yet fortune so cruel this lord did abase, Now lost and forgotten are he and his race.

'When the barons in arms did king Henry oppose, Sir Simon de Montfort their leader they chose; A leader of courage undaunted was he, And ofttimes he made their enemies flee.

'At length in the battle on Evesham plain, The barons were routed, and Montfort was slain; Most fatal that battle did prove unto thee, Though thou wast not born then, my pretty Bessee!

'Along with the nobles, that fell at that tide, His eldest son Henry, who fought by his side, Was felled by a blow he received in the fight; A blow that deprived him for ever of sight.

'Among the dead bodies all lifeless he lay, Till evening drew on of the following day, When by a young lady discovered was he; And this was thy mother, my pretty Bessee.

'A baron's fair daughter stept forth in the night To search for her father, who fell in the fight, And seeing young Montfort, where gasping he lay, Was moved with pity, and brought him away.

'In secret she nurst him, and swaged his pain, While he through the realm was believed to be slain: At length his fair bride she consented to be, And made him glad father of pretty Bessee.

'And now, lest our foes our lives should betray, We clothed ourselves in beggars' array; Her jewels she sold, and hither came we: All our comfort and care was our pretty Bessee.

'And here have we lived in fortune's despite, Though poor, yet contented with humble delight: Full forty winters thus have I been A silly blind beggar of Bednall-green.

'And here, noble lords, is ended the song Of one, that once to your own rank did belong: And thus have you learned a secret from me, That ne'er had been known, but for pretty Bessee.'

Now when the fair company every one, Had heard the strange tale in the song he had shown, They all were amazed, as well they might be, Both at the blind beggar, and pretty Bessee.

With that the fair bride they all did embrace, Saying, Sure thou art come of an honourable race Thy father likewise is of noble degree, And thou art well worthy a lady to be.

Thus was the feast ended with joy and delight, A bridegroom most happy then was the knight, In joy and felicitie long lived he, All with his fair lady, the pretty Bessee.


Now ponder well, you parents dear, These words, which I shall write; A doleful story you shall hear, In time brought forth to light. A gentleman of good account In Norfolk dwelt of late, Who did in honour far surmount Most men of his estate.

Sore sick he was, and like to die, No help his life could save; His wife by him as sick did lie, And both possest one grave. No love between these two was lost, Each was to other kind, In love they liv'd, in love they died, And left two babes behind:

The one a fine and pretty boy, Not passing three yeares old; The other a girl more young than he, And fram'd in beauty's mould. The father left his little son, As plainly doth appeare, When he to perfect age should come, Three hundred pounds a yeare.

And to his little daughter Jane Five hundred pounds in gold, To be paid down on marriage-day, Which might not be controll'd: But if the children came to die, Ere they to age should come, Their uncle should possesse their wealth; For so the will did run.

Now, brother, said the dying man, Look to my children dear; Be good unto my boy and girl, No friends else have they here: To God and you I recommend My children dear this daye; But little while be sure we have Within this world to stay.

You must be father and mother both, And uncle all in one; God knows what will become of them, When I am dead and gone. With that bespake their mother dear, O brother kind, quoth she, You are the man must bring our babes To wealth or miserie:

And if you keep them carefully, Then God will you reward; But if you otherwise should deal, God will your deeds regard. With lips as cold as any stone, They kist their children small: God bless you both, my children dear; With that the tears did fall.

These speeches then their brother spake To this sick couple there, The keeping of your little ones, Sweet sister, do not feare; God never prosper me nor mine, Nor aught else that I have, If I do wrong your children dear, Wheli you are laid in grave.

The parents being dead and gone, The children home he takes, And brings them straite unto his house, Where much of them he makes. He had not kept these pretty babes A twelvemonth and a day, But, for their wealth, he did devise To make them both away.

He bargain'd with two ruffians strong, Which were of furious mood, That they should take these children young, And slay them in a wood. He told his wife an artful tale, He would the children send To be brought up in fair London, With one that was his friend.

Away then went those pretty babes, Rejoycing at that tide, Rejoycing with a merry mind, They should on cock-horse ride. They prate and prattle pleasantly, As they rode on the way, To those that should their butchers be, And work their lives' decay:

So that the pretty speech they had, Made Murder's heart relent; And they that undertook the deed, Full sore did now repent. Yet one of them, more hard of heart, Did vow to do his charge, Because the wretch, that hired him, Had paid him very large.

The other won't agree thereto, So here they fall to strife; With one another they did fight, About the children's life: And he that was of mildest mood, Did slay the other there, Within an unfrequented wood; The babes did quake for fear!

He took the children by the hand, Tears standing in their eye, And bade them straightway follow him, And look they did not cry: And two long miles he led them on, While they for food complain: Stay here, quoth he, I'll bring you bread, When I come back again.

The pretty babes, with hand in hand, Went wandering up and down; But never more could see the man Approaching from the town; Their pretty lips with black-berries, Were all besmear'd and dyed, And when they saw the darksome night, They sat them down and cryed.

Thus wandered these poor innocents, Till death did end their grief, In one another's arms they died, As wanting due relief: No burial this pretty pair Of any man receives, Till Robin-redbreast piously Did cover them with leaves.

And now the heavy wrath of God Upon their uncle fell; Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house, His conscience felt an hell: His barns were fir'd, his goods consum'd, His lands were barren made; His cattle died within the field, And nothing with him stayd.

And in a voyage to Portugal Two of his sons did die; And to conclude, himself was brought To want and misery: He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land Ere seven years came about. And now at length this wicked act Did by this means come out:

The fellow, that did take in hand These children for to kill, Was for a robbery judg'd to die, Such was God's blessed will: Who did confess the very truth, As here hath been display'd: Their uncle having died in gaol, Where he for debt was laid.

You that executors be made, And overseers eke, Of children that be fatherless, And infants mild and meek; Take you example by this thing, And yield to each his right, Lest God with such like misery Your wicked minds requite.


IN Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder, In Wakefield, all on a green;

'There is neither knight nor squire,' said the pinder, 'Nor baron that is so bold, Dare make a trespasse to the town of Wakefield, But his pledge goes to the pinfold.'

All this beheard three witty young men, 'Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John; With that they spied the jolly pinder, As he sate under a thorn.

'Now turn again, turn again,' said the pinder, 'For a wrong way have you gone; For you have forsaken the king his highway, And made a path over the corn.'

'Oh, that were great shame,' said jolly Robin, 'We being three, and thou but one': The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 'Twas thirty good foot and one.

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn, And his foot unto a stone, And there he fought a long summer's day, A summer's day so long, Till that their swords, on their broad bucklers, Were broken fast unto their hands.


'Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin Hood, 'And my merry men every one; For this is one of the best pinders That ever I try'd with sword.

'And wilt thou forsake thy pinder his craft, And live in the green wood with me?'


'At Michaelmas next my covenant comes out, When every man gathers his fee; I'le take my blew blade all in my hand, And plod to the green wood with thee.'

'Hast thou either meat or drink,' said Robin Hood, 'For my merry men and me?'


'I have both bread and beef,' said the pinder, 'And good ale of the best'; 'And that is meat good enough,' said Robin Hood, For such unbidden guest.

O wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft And go to the green wood with me? 'Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, The one green, the other brown shall be.'

'If Michaelmas day were once come and gone, And my master had paid me my fee, Then would I set as little by him As my master doth set by me.'


He. BE it right or wrong, these men among On women do complain; Affirming this, how that it is A labour spent in vain, To love them well; for never a deal They love a man again: For let a man do what he can, Their favour to attain, Yet, if a new do them pursue, Their first true lover then Laboureth for nought; for from their thought He is a banished man.

She. I say not nay, but that all day It is both written and said, That woman's faith is, as who saith, All utterly decayed; But, nevertheless, right good witness In this case might be laid, That they love true, and continue: Record the Nut-brown Maid: Which, when her love came, her to prove, To her to make his moan, Would not depart; for in her heart She loved but him alone.

He. Then between us let us discuss What was all the manner Between them two: we will also Tell all the pain, and fear, That she was in. Now I begin, So that ye me answer; Wherefore, all ye, that present be, I pray you give an ear. 'I am the knight; I come by night, As secret as I can; Saying, alas! thus standeth the case, I am a banished man.'

She. And I your will for to fulfil In this will not refuse; Trustying to show, in words few, That men have an ill use (To their own shame) women to blame, And causeless them accuse; Therefore to you I answer now, All women to excuse, Mine own heart dear, with you what cheer I pray you, tell anon; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. It standeth so; a deed is done Whereof great harm shall grow: My destiny is for to die A shameful death, I trow; Or else to flee. The one must be; None other way I know, But to withdraw as an outlaw, And take me to my bow. Wherefore adieu, my own heart true! None other rede I can: For I must to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. O Lord, what is this worldis bliss, That changeth as the moon! My summer's day in lusty May Is derked before the noon. I hear you say, farewell: Nay, nay, We depart not so soon, Why say ye so? whither will ye go? Alas! what have you done? All my welfare to sorrow and care Should change, if you were gone; For in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. I can believe, it shall you grieve, And somewhat you distrain; But, afterward, your paines hard Within a day or twain Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take Comfort to you again. Why should ye ought? for to make thought, Your labour were in vain. And thus I do; and pray you to, As hartely, as I can; For I must to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Now, sith that ye have showed to me The secret of your mind, I shall be plain to you again, Like as ye shall me find. Sith it is so, that ye will go, I will not live behind; Shall never be said, the Nut-brown Maid Was to her love unkind: Make you ready, for so am I, Although it were anone; For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone.

He. Yet I you rede to take good heed What men will think, and say: Of young and old it shall be told, That ye be gone away, Your wanton will for to fulfil, In green-wood you to play; And that ye might for your delight No longer make delay. Rather than ye should thus for me Be called an ill woman, Yet would I to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Though it be sung of old and young, That I should be to blame, Theirs be the charge, that speak so large In hurting of my name: For I will prove that faithful love It is devoid of shame; In your distress, and heaviness, To part with you, the same: And sure all those, that do not so, True lovers are they none; For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone.

He. I counsel you, Remember how, It is no maiden's law, Nothing to doubt, but to run out To wood with an outlaw: For ye must there in your hand bear A bow, ready to draw, And, as a thief, thus must you live, Ever in dread and awe; Whereby to you great harm might grow: Yet had I liever than, That I did to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. I think not nay, but as ye say, It is no maiden's lore: But love may make me for your sake, As I have said before, To come on foot, to hunt, and shoot To get us meat in store; For so that I your company May have, I ask no more: From which to part, it maketh my heart As cold as any stone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. For an outlaw this is the law, That men him take and bind; Without pitie, hanged to be, And waver with the wind. If I had need (as God forbid!) What socours could ye find? Forsooth, I trow, ye and your bow For fear would draw behind: And no marvel; for little avail Were in your counsel then: Wherefore I will to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Right well know ye that woman be But feeble for to fight; No womanhede it is indeed To be bold as a knight: Yet, in such fear if that ye were With enemies day or night, I would withstand, with bow in hand, To grieve them as I might, And you to save; as women have From death men many one; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. Yet take good heed; for ever I dread That ye could not sustain The thorny ways, the deep valleys, The snow, the frost, the rain, The cold, the heat: for dry, or wet, We must lodge on the plain; And, us above, no other roof But a brake bush, or twain: Which soon should grieve you, I believe, And ye would gladly than That I had to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Sith I have here been partynere With you of joy and bliss, I must also part of your woe Endure, as reason is: Yet am I sure of one pleasure; And shortly, it is this: That, where ye be, me seemeth, parde, I could not fare amiss. Without more speech, I you beseech That we were soon agone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. If you go thyder, ye must consider, When ye have lust to dine, There shall no meat be for you gete, Neither beer, ale, nor wine; No slakes clean, to lie between, Made of thread and twine; None other house but leaves and boughs, To cover your head and mine, Lo, mine heart sweet, this evil diete Should make you pale and wan; Wherefore I will to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Among the wild deer, such an archere As men say that ye be, Ne may not fail of good vitayle, Where is so great plente: And water clear of the rivere Shall be full sweet to me; With which in hele I shall right wele Endure, as ye shall see; And, or we go, a bed or two I can provide anone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. Lo yet, before, ye must do more, If ye will go with me: As cut your hair up by your ear, Your kirtle by the knee; With bow in hand, for to withstand Your enemies, if need be: And this same night before daylight. To woodward will I flee. If that ye will all this fulfil, Do it shortly as ye can: Else will I to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. I shall as now do more for you Than 'longeth to womanhede; To shote my hair, a bow to bear, To shoot in time of need. O my sweet mother, before all other For you I have most dread! But now, adieu! I must ensue, Where fortune doth me lead. All this make ye: Now let us flee; The day cometh fast upon; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go, And I shall tell you why, Your appetite is to be light Of love, I well espy: For, like as ye have said to me, In likewise hardily Ye would answere whosoever it were, In way of company. It is said of old, Soon hot, soon cold; And so is a woman. Wherefore I to the wood will go, Alone, a banished man.

She. If ye take heed, it is no need Such words to say by me; For oft ye prayed, and long assayed, Or I loved you, parde And though that I of ancestry A baron's daughter be, Yet have you proved how I you loved, A squire of low degree; And ever shall, whatso befall; To die therefore anone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. A baron's child to be beguil'd! It were a cursed deed; To be felawe with an outlaw! Almighty God forbid! Yet better were the poor squyere Alone to forest yede, Than ye shall say another day, That, by my cursed rede, Ye were betrayed: Wherefore, good maid, The best rede that I can, Is, that I to the green-wood go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Whatever befall, I never shall Of this thing be upbraid: But if ye go, and leave me so, Then have ye me betrayed. Remember you well, how that ye deal; For, if ye, as ye said, Be so unkind, to leave behind, Your love, the Nut-brown Maid, Trust me truly, that I shall die Soon after ye be gone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. If that ye went, ye should repent; For in the forest now I have purvayed me of a maid, Whom I love more than you; Another more fair than ever ye were, I dare it well avow; And of you both each should be wroth With other, as I trow: It were mine ease to live in peace; So will I, if I can; Wherefore I to the wood will go, Alone, a banished man.

She. Though in the wood I understood Ye had a paramour, All this may nought remove my thought, But that I will be yours: And she shall find me soft and kind, And courteous every hour; Glad to fulfil all that she will Command me to my power: For had ye, lo, an hundred mo, Yet would I be that one, For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. Mine own dear love, I see the prove That ye be kind and true; Of maid, and wife, in all my life, The best that ever I knew. Be merry and glad, be no more sad, The case is changed new; For it were ruth, that, for your truth, Ye should have cause to rue. Be not dismayed; whatsoever I said To you when I began; I will not to the green-wood go; I am no banished man.

She. These tidings be more glad to me, Than to be made a queen, If I were sure they should endure; But it is often seen, When men will break promise, they speak The wordis on the spleen. Ye shape some wile me to beguile, And steal from me, I ween: Then were the case worse than it was, And I more wobegone; For, in my mind, of all mankind I love but you alone.

He. Ye shall not need further to dread; I will not disparage You (God defend), sith ye descend Of so great lineage. Now understand; to Westmoreland, Which is my heritage, I will you bring; and with a ring, By way of marriage I will you take, and lady make, As shortly as I can. Thus have you won an Erle's son, And not a banished man.

Here may ye see, that woman be In love, meek, kind, and stable: Let never man reprove them than, Or call them variable; But rather pray God that we may To them be comfortable; Which sometimes proveth such, as He loveth, If they be charitable. For sith men would that women should Be meek to them each one; Much more ought they to God obey, And serve but Him alone.


FOUR and twenty bonny boys Were playing at the ba'; Then up and started sweet Sir Hugh, The flower amang them a'.

He hit the ba' a kick wi's fit, And kept it wi' his knee, That up into the Jew's window He gart the bonny ba' flee.

'Cast doun the ba' to me, fair maid, Cast doun the ba' to me '; 'O ne'er a bit o' the ba' ye get Till ye cum up to me.

'Cum up, sweet Hugh, cum up, dear Hugh, Cum up and get the ba''; 'I canna cum, I darna cum, Without my playferes twa.'

'Cum up, sweet Hugh, cum up, dear Hugh, Cum up and play wi' me'; I canna cum, I darna cum, Without my playferes three.'

She's gane into the Jew's garden, Where the grass grew lang and green; She pow'd an apple red and white, To wyle the young thing in.

She wyl'd him into ae chamber, She wyl'd him into twa; She wyl'd him to her ain chamber, The fairest o' them a'.

She laid him on a dressing-board Where she did sometimes dine; She put a penknife in his heart And dressed him like a swine.

Then out and cam the thick, thick blude, Then out and cam the thin; Then out and cam the bonny heart's blude, Where a' the life lay in.

She row'd him in a cake of lead, Bad him lie still and sleep; She cast him into the Jew's draw-well, Was fifty fadom deep.

She's tane her mantle about her head, Her pike-staff in her hand; And prayed Heaven to be her guide Unto some uncouth land.

His mither she cam to the Jew's castle, And there ran thryse about: 'O sweet Sir Hugh, gif ye be here, I pray ye to me speak.'

She cam into the Jew's garden, And there ran thryse about: 'O sweet Sir Hugh, gif ye be here, I pray ye to me speak.'

She cam unto the Jew's draw-well, And there ran thryse about: 'O sweet Sir Hugh, gif ye be here, I pray ye to me speak.'

'How can I speak, how dare I speak, How can I speak to thee? The Jew's penknife sticks in my heart, I canna speak to thee.

'Gang hame, gang hame, O mither dear, And shape my winding-sheet, And at the birks of Mirryland town There you and I shall meet.'

When bells were rung and Mass was sung, And a' men bound for bed, Every mither had her son, But sweet Sir Hugh was dead.


THERE come seven gypsies on a day, Oh, but they sang bonny, O! And they sang so sweet, and they sang so clear, Down cam the earl's ladie, O.

They gave to her the nutmeg, And they gave to her the ginger; But she gave to them a far better thing, The seven gold rings off her fingers.

When the earl he did come home, Enquiring for his ladie, One of the servants made this reply, 'She's awa with the gypsie laddie.'

'Come saddle for me the brown,' he said, 'For the black was ne'er so speedy, And I will travel night and day Till I find out my ladie.'

'Will you come home, my dear?' he said, Oh will you come home, my honey? And by the point of my broad sword, A hand I'll ne'er lay on you.'

'Last night I lay on a good feather-bed, And my own wedded lord beside me, And to-night I'll lie in the ash-corner, With the gypsies all around me.

'They took off my high-heeled shoes, That were made of Spanish leather, And I have put on coarse Lowland brogues, To trip it o'er the heather.'

'The Earl of Cashan is lying sick; Not one hair I'm sorry; I'd rather have a kiss from his fair lady's lips Than all his gold and his money.'


THERE were three ladies play'd at the ba', With a hey, hey, an' a lilly gay.

Bye cam three lords an' woo'd them a', Whan the roses smelled sae sweetly.

The first o' them was clad in yellow: 'O fair May, will ye be my marrow?' Whan the roses smelled sae sweetly.

The niest o' them was clad i' ried: O fair May, will ye be my bride?'

The thrid o' them was clad i' green: He said, 'O fair May, will ye be my queen?'



LITHE and listen, gentlemen, To sing a song I will begin: It is of a lord of faire Scotland, Which was the unthrifty heir of Linne.

His father was a right good lord, His mother a lady of high degree; But they, alas! were dead, him froe, And he lov'd keeping companie.

To spend the day with merry cheer, To drinke and revell every night, To card and dice from eve to morne, It was, I weep, his heart's delight.

To ride, to run, to rant, to roar, To alwaye spend and never spare, I wot, an' it were the king himself, Of gold and fee he mote be bare.

So fares the unthrifty lord of Linne Till all his gold is gone and spent; And he maun sell his lands so broad, His house, and lands, and all his rent.

His father had a keen stewarde, And John o' the Scales was called he: But John is become a gentel-man, And John has got both gold and fee.

Says, Welcome, welcome, lord of Linne, Let nought disturb thy merry cheer; If thou wilt sell thy lands soe broad, Good store of gold I 'll give thee here.

My gold is gone, my money is spent; My land now take it unto thee: Give me the gold, good John o' the Scales, And thine for aye my land shall be.

Then John he did him to record draw, And John he cast him a gods-pennie; But for every pound that John agreed, The land, I wis, was well worth three.

He told him the gold upon the bord, He was right glad his land to win: The gold is thine, the land is mine, And now I'll be the lord of Linne.

Thus he bath sold his land so broad, Both hill and holt, and moore and fenne, All but a poor and lonesome lodge, That stood far off in a lonely glen.

For so he to his father hight. My son, when I am gone, said he, Then thou wilt spend thy land so broad, And thou wilt spend thy gold so free:

But swear me now upon the roode, That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend; For when all the world doth frown on thee, Thou there shalt find a faithful friend.

The heir of Linne is full of gold: And come with me, my friends, said he, Let 's drinke, and rant, and merry make, And he that spares, ne'er mote he thee.

They ranted, drank, and merry made, Till all his gold it waxed thin; And then his friends they slunk away; They left the unthrifty heir of Linne.

He had never a penny left in his purse, Never a penny left but three, And one was brass, another was lead, And another it was white money.

'Now well-aday,' said the heir of Linne, 'Now well-aday, and woe is me, For when I was the lord of Linne, I never wanted gold nor fee.

'But many a trusty friend have I, And why should I feel dole or care? I'll borrow of them all by turns, So need I not be never bare.'

But one, I wis, was not at home; Anther had payd his gold away; Another call'd him thriftless loon, And bade him sharply wend his way.

Now well-aday, said the heir of Linne, Now well-aday, and woe is me! For when I had my lands so broad, On me they liv'd right merrilee.

To beg my bread from door to door I wis, it were a burning shame: To rob and steal it were a sin: To work my limbs I cannot frame.

Now I'll away to that lonesome lodge, For there my father bade me wend; When all the world should frown on me, I there shold find a trusty friend.


Away then hied the heir of Linne O'er hill and holt and moor and fen, Untill he came to the lonesome lodge, That stud so lowe in a lonely glenne.

He looked up, he looked down, In hope some comfort for to win: But bare and lothly were the walls. Here's sorry cheer, quo' the heir of Linne.

The little window dim and dark Was hung with ivy, brere, and yew; No shimmering sun here ever shone; No wholesome breeze here ever blew.

Nor chair, nor table he mote spy, No cheerful hearth, no welcome bed, Nought save a rope with a running noose, That dangling hung up o'er his head.

And over it in broad letters, These words were written so plain to see: 'Ah! graceless wretch, hast spent thine all, And brought thyself to penurie?

'And this my boding mind misgave I therefore left this trusty friend Let it now shield thy foule disgrace, And all thy shame and sorrows end.'

Sorely shent wi' this rebuke, Sorely shent was the heir of Lime; His heart, I wis, was near to burst With guilt and sorrow, shame and sin.

Never a word spake the heir of Lime, Never a word he spake but three: 'This is a trusty friend indeed, And is right welcome unto me'

Then round his neck the cord he drew, And sprang aloft with his bodie: When lo! the ceiling burst in twaine, And to the ground came tumbing he.

Astonished lay the heir of Linne Nor knewe if he were live or dead: At length he looked, and saw a bill, And in it a key of gold so redd.

He took the bill, and lookt it on, Strait good comfort found he there: It told him of a hole in the wall, In which there stood three chests in-fere.

Two were full of the beaten gold, The third was full of white money; And over them in broad letters These words were written so plain to see:

'Once more, my son, I set thee clear; Amend thy life and follies past; For but thou amend thee of thy life, That rope must be thy end at last.'

And let it be,' said the heir of Linne; 'And let it be, but if I amend: For here I will make mine avow, This read shall guide me to the end.'

Away then went with a merry cheer, Away then went the heir of Linne; I wis, he neither ceas'd nor stayed, Till John o' the Scales' house he did win.

And when he came to John o' the Scales, Up at the window then looked he: There sate three lords upon a row, Were drinking of the wine so free.

And John himself sate at the bord-head, Because now lord of Linne was he. 'I pray thee,' he said, 'good John o' the Scales, One forty pence for to lend me.'

'Away, away, thou thriftless loone; Away, away, this may not be: For a curse upon my head he said, If ever I trust thee one pennie.'

Then bespake the heir of Linne, To John o' the Scales' wife then spake he: 'Madame, some alms on me bestow, I pray for sweet saint Charitie.'

'Away, away, thou thriftless loone, I swear thou gettest no alms of me; For if we shold hang any losel here, The first we would begin with thee.'

Then bespake a good fellowe, Which sat at John o' the Scales his bord; Sayd, 'Turn again, thou heir of Linne; Some time thou wast a well good Lord:

'Some time a good fellow thou hast been, And sparedst not thy gold and fee: Therefore I'll lend thee forty pence, And other forty if need be.

'And ever, I pray thee, John o' the Scales, To let him sit in thy companie: For well I wot thou hadst his land, And a good bargain it was to thee.'

Up then spake him John o' the Scales, All hot he answered him againe: 'Now a curse upon my head, he said, But I did lose by that bargaine.

'And here I proffer thee, heir of Linne, Before these lords so fair and free, Thou shalt have it back again better cheap, By a hundred markes, than I had it of thee.

'I draw you to record, lords, he said. With that he cast him a god's pennie: Now by my fay, sayd the heir of Linne, And here, good John, is thy money.'

And he pull'd forth three bags of gold, And layd them down upon the board: All woebegone was John o' the Scales, Soe sheet he could say never a word.

He told him forth the good red gold, He told it forth with mickle dinne, The gold is thine, the land is mine, And now I'm again the lord of Linne.

Sayes, 'Have thou here, thou good fellowe, Forty pence thou didst lend me: Now I am again the lord of Linne, And forty pounds I will give thee.

'I'll make thee keeper of my forest, Both of the wild deere and the tame; For unless I reward thy bounteous heart, I wis, good fellowe, I were to blame.'

'Now well-aday!' sayth John o' the Scales: 'Now well-aday! and woe is my life!' 'Yesterday I was lady of Linne, Now I'm but John o' the Scales his wife.'

'Now fare thee well, said the heir of Linne; Farewell now, John o' the Scales, said he. A curse light on me, if ever again I bring my lands in jeopardy.'


AN old song made by an aged old pate, Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a greats estate, That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate, And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate; Like an old courtier of the queen's And the queen's old courtier.

With an old lady, whose anger one word assuages; They every quarter paid their old servants their wages, And never knew what belong'd to coachman, footmen, nor pages, But kept twenty old fellows with blue coats and badges; Like an old courtier...

With an old study fill'd full of learned old books, With an old reverend chaplain, you might know him by his looks. With an old buttery hatch worn quite off the hooks, And an old kitchen, that maintain'd half a dozen old cooks: Like an old courtier...

With an old hall, hung about with pikes, guns and bows, With old swords, and bucklers, that had borne many shrewde blows, And an old frize coat to cover his worship's trunk hose, And a cup of old sherry, to comfort his copper nose; Like an old courtier...

With a good old fashion, when Christmasse was come, To call in all his old neighbours with bagpipe and drum, With good chear enough to furnish every old room, And old liquor able to make a cat speak, and man dumb, Like an old courtier...

With an old falconer, huntsman, and a kennel of hounds, That never hawked, nor hunted, but in his own grounds, Who, like a wise man, kept himself within his own bounds, And when he dyed gave every child a thousand good pounds; Like an old courtier...

But to his eldest son his house and land he assign'd, Charging him in his will to keep the old bountifull mind, To be good to his old tenants, and to his neighbours be kind: But in the ensuing ditty you shall hear how he was inclin'd; Like a young courtier of the king's And the king's young courtier.

Like a flourishing young gallant, newly come to his land, Who keeps a brace of painted madams at his command, And takes up a thousand pound upon his father's land, And gets drunk in a tavern, till he can neither go nor stand; Like a young courtier...

With a new-fangled lady, that is dainty, nice, and spare, Who never knew what belong'd to good housekeeping, or care, Who buyes gaudy-color'd fans to play with wanton air, And seven or eight different dressings of other women's hair; Like a young courtier...

With a new-fashion'd hall, built where the old one stood, Hung round with new pictures, that do the poor no good, With a fine marble chimney, wherein burns neither coal nor wood, And a new smooth shovelboard, whereon no victuals ne'er stood; Like a young courtier...

With a new study, stuft full of pamphlets, and plays, And a new chaplain, that swears faster than he prays, With a new buttery hatch, that opens once in four or five days, And a new French cook, to devise fine kickshaws, and toys; Like a young courtier...

With a new fashion, when Christmas is drawing on, On a new journey to London straight we all must begone, And leave none to keep house, but our new porter John, Who relieves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone; Like a young courtier...

With a new gentleman-usher, whose carriage is compleat, With a new coachman, footmen, and pages to carry up the meat, With a waiting-gentlewoman, whose dressing is very neat, Who when her lady has din'd, lets the servants not eat; Like a young courtier...

With new titles of honour bought with his father's old gold, For which sundry of his ancestors' old manors are sold; And this is the course most of our new gallants hold, Which makes that good house-keeping is now grown so cold, Among the young courtiers of the king, Among the king's young courtiers.


LONG the proud Spaniards had vaunted to conquer us, Threatning our country with fyer and sword; Often preparing their navy most sumptuous With as great plenty as Spain could afford. Dub a dub, dub a dub, thus strike their drums; Tantara, tantara, the Englishman comes.

To the seas presentlye went our lord admiral, With knights couragious and captains full good; The brave Earl of Essex, a prosperous general, With him prepared to pass the salt flood.

At Plymouth speedilye, took they ship valiantlye, Braver ships never were seen under sayle, With their fair colours spread, and streamers o'er their head. Now bragging Spaniards, take heed of your tayle.

Unto Cales cunninglye, came we most speedilye, Where the kinges navy securelye did ryde; Being upon their backs, piercing their butts of sacks, Ere any Spaniards our coming descryde.

Great was the crying, the running and ryding, Which at that season was made in that place; The beacons were fyred, as need then required; To hyde their great treasure they had little space.

There you might see their ships, how they were fyred fast, And how their men drowned themselves in the sea; There you might hear them cry, wayle and weep piteously, When they saw no shift to 'scape thence away.

The great St. Philip, the pryde of the Spaniards, Was burnt to the bottom, and sunk in the sea; But the St. Andrew, and eke the St. Matthew, Wee took in fight manfullye and brought away.

The Earl of Essex, most valiant and hardye, With horsemen and footmen march'd up to the town; The Spanyards, which saw them, were greatly alarmed, Did fly for their savegard, and durst not come down.

Now, quoth the noble Earl, courage my soldiers all, Fight and be valiant, the spoil you shall have; And be well rewarded all from the great to the small; But look that the women and children you save.

The Spaniards at that sight, thinking it vain to fight, Hung upp flags of truce and yielded the towne; Wee marched in presentlye, decking the walls on hye, With English colours which purchas'd renowne.

Entering the houses then, of the most richest men, For gold and treasure we searched eche day; In some places we did find, pyes baking left behind, Meate at fire rosting, and folkes run away.

Full of rich merchandize, every shop catch'd our eyes, Damasks and sattens and velvets full fayre: Which soldiers measur'd out by the length of their swords; Of all commodities eche had a share.

Thus Cales was taken, and our brave general March'd to the market-place, where he did stand: There many prisoners fell to our several shares, Many crav'd mercye, and mercye they fannd.

When our brave general saw they delayed all, And would not ransome their towne as they said, With their fair wanscots, their presses and bedsteds, Their joint-stools and tables a fire we made; And when the town burned all in a flame, With tara, tantara, away we all came.


THERE was a youth, a well-beloved youth, And he was a squire's son; He loved the bayliffe's daughter dear, That lived in Islington.

Yet she was coy and would not believe That he did love her so, No nor at any time would she Any countenance to him show.

But when his friends did understand His fond and foolish mind, They sent him up to faire London An apprentice for to bind.

And when he had been seven long years, And never his love could see: Many a tear have I shed for her sake, When she little thought of me.

Then all the maids of Islington Went forth to sport and play, All but the bayliffe's daughter dear; She secretly stole away.

She pulled off her gown of green, And put on ragged attire, And to faire London she would go Her true love to enquire.

And as she went along the high road, The weather being hot and dry, She sat her down upon a green bank, And her true love came riding bye.

She started up, with a colour so redd, Catching hold of his bridle-reine; One penny, one penny, kind sir, she said, Will ease me of much pain.

Before I give you one penny, sweet-heart, Pray tell me where you were born. At Islington, kind sir, said she, Where I have had many a scorn.

I prythe, sweet-heart, then tell to me, O tell me, whether you know, The bayliffe's daughter of Islington. She is dead, sir, long ago.

If she be dead, then take my horse, My saddle and bridle also; For I will unto some far country, Where no man shall me know.

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