Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• How now, master abbot ! you're welcome home :
" What news have you brought us from good King John ?'

Derry down, &c.

hree,

Sad news, sad 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.

[ocr errors]

• 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.

[ocr errors]

And the next question I must not flout,
• 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.

[merged small][ocr errors]

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.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

• Now I am set ‘so 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

. 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 flout, • 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.

. 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 I'm his poor shepherd, as you may see, * And am come to beg pardon for him and for me.'

Derry down, &c.

The king he turn’d him about and did smile,
Saying, thou shalt be the abbot the other while.'

O no, my grace, there is no such need, "For I can neither write nor read.'

Derry down, &c.

" Then four pounds a week will I give unto thee,
'For this merry true jest thou hast told unto me;

And tell the old abbot when thou comest home, " Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.

Derry down, &c.

BALLAD XVII.

THE SCOTCHMAN OUTWITTED BY THE FARMER'S

DAUGHTER.

Cold and raw the North did blow,

Bleak in the morning early,
All the hills were hid with snow,

Cover'd with winter yearly;
As I was riding o'er the slough,

I met with a farmer's daughter,
Rosy cheeks, and a bonny brow,

Good faith! my mouth did water.

Down I vail'd my bonnet low,

Meaning to show my breeding;
She return'd a graceful bow,

Her visage far exceeding :
I ask'd her where she was going so soon,

And long'd to hold a parley;
She told me, to the next market-town,

On purpose to sell her barley.

' In this purse, sweet soul, (said I,)

Twenty pounds lies fairly ;
Seek no further one to buy,

For Ise take all thy barley :
- Twenty pound more shall purchase delight,

Thy person I love so dearly,
• If thou wilt lig with me all night,

. And gang home in the morning early.' Vol, II.

Y

If forty pound would buy the globe,

• This thing I would not do, sir; • Or were my friends as poor as Job,

" I'd never raise 'em so, sir ; · For should you prove one night my friend,

Wese get a young kid together; And you'd be gone ere nine months end, " Then where should I find the father ?

[ocr errors]

* Pray, what would my parents say,

"If I should be so silly
- To give my maidenhead away,

And lose my true-love Billy ?
Oh, this would bring me to disgrace,

"And therefore I say you nay, sir :
. And if that you would me embrace ;

and then you may, sir.'

- First marry,

I told her, I had wedded been

Fourteen years, and longer ; Else I'd choose her for my queen,

And tie the knot more stronger. She bid me then no farther come,

But manage my wedlock fairly, And keep my purse for poor spouse at home,

For some other should buy her barley.

Then, as swift as any roe,

She rode away and left me ; After her I could not go,

Of joy she quite bereft me : Thus I myself did disappoint,

For she did leave me fairly ;

My words knock'd all things out of joint,

I lost both maid and barley.

Riding down a narrow lane,

Some two or three hours after, There I chanc'd to meet again

This farmer's bonny daughter : Although it was both raw and cold,

I stay'd to hold a parley, And show'd once more my purse of gold,

When as she had sold her barley.

" Love, (said I) pray do not frown,

But let us change embraces ; • I'll buy thee a fine silken gown,

" With ribbons, gloves, and laces, ' A ring and bodkin, muff and fan,

• No lady shall have neater ; · For, as I am an honest man,

"I ne'er saw a sweeter creature,'

[ocr errors]

Then I took her by the hand,

And said, “My dearest jewel,
Why shouldst thou thus disputing stand?

'I prithee be not cruel.'
She found my mind was wholly bent

To pleasure my fond desire, Therefore she seemed to consent,

But I wish I had never come nigh her.

'Sir, (said she) what shall I do,

'If I commit this evil,
And yield myself in love with you?

I hope you will prove civil.

« PreviousContinue »