Two excellent new songs (1)/Knight and shepherds's daughter

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The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter.


THERE was a shepherd's daughter
came tripping on the way;
And there by chance a knight the met,
which caused her to stay.

Good morrow to you, beauteous maid,
these words pronounced he;
O I shall die this day he said,
if I have not my will of thee.

The Lord forbid, the maid reply’d,
that you should wax so wode!
But for all that she could say,
he would not be withstood.

Sith you have had your will of me,
and put me to open shame;
Now, if you are a courteous knight,
tell me what is your name?

Some do call me Jack, sweet-heart,
and some do Call me Jill;
But when I come to the king’s fair court
they call me Willful Will.

He set his foot in the stirrup,
and away then he did ride;
he tuckt her girdle about her middle,
and ran close by his side.

But when she came to the broad water,
she sat her breast and swam,
And when she was got out again,
She took to her heels and ran.

He never was the courteous knight,
to say, fair maid, will ye ride?
And she was ever too loving a maid,
to say, Sir knight abide.

When she came to the king’s fair court,
she knocked at the ring;
o ready was the king himself
to let this fair maid in.

Now hear my prayer, my gracious liege,
Now be you judge and ice,
You have a knight within your court
this day hath robbed me.

What hath he robbed thee of sweet-heart?
of purple or of pall?
Or hath he taken thy gay gold ring
from off thy finger small?

He hath not robbed me, my liege,
of purple or of pall;
But he hath got my maidenhead,
which grieves me worst of all.

Now if he be a batchelor,
his body I’ll give thee;
But if he be a married man,
high hanged shall he be.

He called down his merry men all,
by one by two, and by three;
Sir William used to be the first,
but the last came he.

He brought her down full forty pound,
tied up within a glove;
Fair maid, I’ll give the fame to thee,
go, seek the another love.

O I’ll have none of your gold, she said,
nor I’ll have none of your fee;
But your fair body I must have,
The king has granted me.

Sir William ran and fetched her then
five hundred pounds in gold,
Saying, fair maid, take this to thee,
thy fault will ne’er be told.

Tis not thy gold that shall me tempt
these words then answered she,
But your own body I must have,
the king hath granted me.

Would I had drunk the water clear,
when I had drunk the wine,
Rather than any Shepherd’s brat
should be a lady of mine!

Would I had drunk the puddle foul,
when I did drink the ale,
Rather than ever a shepherd’s brat,
Should tell me such a tale!

A Shepherd’s brat even as I was,
you might have let me be;
I never had come to the king’s fair court,
to crave any love of thee.

He set her on a milk white steed,
and himself upon a grey;
He hung a bougle upon her neck,
and so they rode away.

But when they came unto the place,
where marriage rites were done,
She prov’d herself a duke’s daughter,
and he but a squire’s son.

Nowmarry me, or not, sir knight,
your pleasure shall be free;
If you make me lady of one good town,
I'll make you lord of three.

Ah! cursed be the gold, he said,
if thou hadst not been true,
I should have forsaken my sweet love,
and have changed her for a new.

And now their hearts being linked fast,
they join hand in hand;
Thus he had both purse and person too,
and all at his command.


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