Child's Ballads/21

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
The Maid and the Palmer, no. 21
For more information, see Wikipedia: The Maid and the Palmer


The Maid and the Palmer[edit]

THE maid shee went to the well to washe,
      Refrain: Lillumwham, lillumwham!
The mayd shee went to the well to washe,
      Refrain: Whatt then? what then?
The maid shee went to the well to washe,
Dew fell of her lilly white fleshe.
      Refrain: Grandam boy, grandam boy, heye!
Leg a derry, leg a merry, mett, mer, whoope, whir!
Driuance, larumben, grandam boy, heye!
While shee washte and while shee ronge,
While shee hangd o the hazle wand.
There came an old palmer by the way,
Sais, ‘God speed thee well, thou faire maid!’
‘Hast either cupp or can,
To giue an old palmer drinke therin?’
Sayes, ‘I have neither cupp nor cann,
To giue an old palmer drinke therin.’
‘But an thy lemman came from Roome,
Cupps and canns thou wold find soone.’
She sware by God & good St. John,
Lemman had shee neuer none.
Sais, ‘Peace, faire mayd, you are forsworne!
Nine children you haue borne.
‘Three were buryed vnder thy bed’s head,
Other three vnder thy brewing leade.
‘Other three on yon play greene;
Count, maid, and there be 9.’
‘But I hope you are the good old man
That all the world beleeues vpon.
‘Old palmer, I pray thee,
Pennaunce that thou wilt giue to me.’
‘Penance I can giue thee none,
But 7 yeere to be a stepping-stone.
‘Other seaven a clapper in a bell,
Other 7 to lead an ape in hell.
‘When thou hast thy penance done,
Then thoust come a mayden home.’






‘SEVEN years ye shall be a stone,
      Refrain: . . . . .
For many a poor palmer to rest him upon.
      Refrain: And you the fair maiden of Gowden-gane
‘Seven years ye’ll be porter of hell,
And then I’ll take you to mysell.’
* * * * *
‘Weel may I be a’ the other three,
But porter of hell I never will be.’
      Refrain: And I, etc.