Mistaken lady's garland, or, The squire cheated/The Mistaken Lady's Garland

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The Mistaken LADY'S Garland.

YOung ladies in country and city I pray,
Give ear to my ditty and hear what I say,
If you have a sweetheart that’s charming and gay,
Take care that your maid does not steal him away.

In fair London city this project was done,
A gallant brisk lady, both wealthy and young,
She had a young chambermaid who was so fair,
That few in the city could with her compare.

A wealthy young squire a person of fame,
A courting unto this young lady he came,
Altho’ that the mistress he courted, it’s said,
A hankering mind he had after the maid.

Young Cupid his arrows he quickly let fly,
And he wounded the squire most desperately,
That no rest nor no comfort at all he could take,
Saying, if I han’t her my heart it will break.

Must I slight a lady of honour and fame,
To wed with her servant, I’m sure it’s a shame,
The girl is brisk, young, charming and gay,
To enjoy her, perhaps, I may find a way.

Indeed I’m not willing to make her my bride,
Yet fain would I have her to ly by my side,
Her mistress to visit I will go again,
Perhaps I may fancy my choice to obtain.

The squire ne’er fail’d of his visits ’tis said,
A kiss to the mistress and six to the maid,
With many fine presents both costly and rare,
And be sure keep it secret from your lady fair.

'Tis you, my dear jewel, I come here to see,
For fear my friends should be angry with me,
I tell them the lady I court for my wife,
But, Betty, ’tis you are the joy of my life.

The 'Squire he thought that he cunning did play,
One day when the lady was out of the way,
He met Mrs. Betty alone in her room,
And once to salute her he thus did presume.

Fairest of creatures, be kind unto me,
A hundred bright guineas I’ll give unto thee,
Then let me enjoy you, without further strife,
By heaven, dear Betty, I’ll make thee my wife.

The money it tempted the girl to consent,
She pleased the ’squire, and gave him content,
He gave her a kiss then at parting we hear,
Saying, I will for ever prove true to my dear.

But soon he forgot all the vows that he made,
Says Betty, he thinks that my heart’s betray’d,
To trick the young ’squire I’ll find out a way,
So she once on a time to her lady did say.

Madam, a secret I have for to tell,
I hope at my hands you will not take it ill,
But first you shall promise me for to be true,
Then all the whole matter I’ll tell unto you.

To be true the young lady did solemnly swear,
Your father I heard to say, I declare,
That you should not wed with the gallant young squire
At this the young lady was like to expire.

The squire he came for to visit his dear,
And feeing her cheeks bedew’d with tears,
Alas! my dear jewel, what means this I pray?
With a million of sighs she to him did say.

My father he says that I shan’t be your bride,
Why then I am utterly ruin’d, he cry’d,
And Betty she thro’ the key-hole did peep,
And heard every word that the squire did speak.

Who told you the news, my jewel, he cry’d,
That question she answer’d must be deny’d,
Come let us contrive my father to cheat,
So there they embrac’d with kisses so sweet.

To church then we’ll go in private, said he,
Suppose to the minister we give a fee,
Your face shall be covered that none may you know,
So they did conclude for to order it so.

Both privately we’ll go out in the morn,
And pair at the church, so homeward return,
At night in the dark to my chamber you'll come,
Then my old father may know what we’ve done.

This fancy I tell you pleased him very well,
But, dearest, be sure your maid do not tell,
And to-morrow morning pray let it be so,
This day to the parson, my dear, I will go.

My father three days to the country is gone,
And in the mean time, love, this thing may be done,
Thinks Betty, but I’ll be too cunning for thee,
For master’s bride I'm resolved to be.

As soon as the ’squire was gone as we hear,
Young Betty she goes to her lady so fair,
The lady she quickly the secret did tell,
And Betty did seem to be pleas’d very well.

Madam, if you will be counsel’d by me,
In your chamber in private I’d have you stay,
The servants I’ll tell you are visiting gone,
For if you’re betray’d madam, we are undone.

The lady she lik’d her advice very well,
So to all the servants she straightway did tell,
Her mistress she was a-visiting gone,
Bo, gallants, I pray now observe but the fun.

That night the young lady with Betty would lie,
The crafty young damsel most secretly,
A medicine had got to cause her to sleep,
While she the young squire would go for to meet.

In the morning early indeed she arose,
And drest herself up in her mistresses clothes,
With a mast on her face, to the ’squire she went,
And soon they were marry’d to her great content.

That minute the marriage was over and done,
According to promise she homeward did come,
Before that the family rose. I declare,
The bride was undrest, and in her own rigging were.

She cover’d the lady warm up in her bed,
And there she did sleep as if she’d been dead,
The night being come, she to bed did repair,
Expecting the squire, her joy and her dear.

At length comes the squire and opens the door,
Being eager, saluted her once and no more,
But off with his clothes, and to bed with his bride,
Biest be this night my dear jewel, he cry’d.

Straightway to embrace her the squire did begin,
What consternation, poor fool, was he in !
Saying, My dear, you have me beguil’d,
If I’m not mistaken you are with child.

You are the father, my dear, if I am,
Adzooks, said the ’squire, what is’t I have done,
Performed the promise you made unto me,
And it is sweet Betty that lieth by thee.

How came you the secret to know? I desire,
My lady she told me. Why then, quoth the ’squire,
If she be such a fool I commend thee my dear,
A lady thou art of five hundred a year.

He stroaked her belly and with her did play,
The lady she waked by the break of day,
And missing her maid, she to her chamber did creep,
Thinking not there the ’squire for to meet.

As soon as she enter’d the room, as we hear,
She saw Betty in bed in the arms of her dear,
What now have I caught you! you strumpet! she cry’d,
Hold there, said the ’squire, for she is my bride.

Had you kept your counsel you’d been in her place,
And I thus betray’d 'tis a sorrowful case,
I’ll ne’er trust a servant no more I declare,
So be gone from my presence and come no more here.

The ’squire arose and took home his sweet bride,
And now she has servants to run by her side,
The ’squire adores her and calls her his dear,
And is willing to father the child as we hear.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.