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Ive nine milk-ews, my Marion,

A cow and a brawney quay ;
Ise gie tham au to my Marion,

Just on her bridal day.
And zees get a grein sey apron,

And waistcote o' London broun ;
And wow bot ze will be vaporing

Quhaneir ze gang to the toun.


Ise een gae

Ime yong and stout, my Marion,

None dance lik mee on the greine ; And gin ze forsak me, Marion,



wi' Jeane, Sae put on zour pearlins, Marion,

And kirtle oth cramasie;
And sune as my chin has nae haire on,

I sall cum west, and see zee.


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This ballad (given from an old black-letter Copy, with some corrections) was popular in the time of Queen Elizabeth, being usually printed with her picture before it, as Hearne informs us in his preface to “ Gul. Neubrig. Hist. Oxon. 1719, 8vo. vol. I, p. lxx." It is quoted in Fletcher's comedy of the Pilgrim, Act 4. sc. 1. There was a shepherds daughter

Came tripping on the waye;
And there by chance a knighte shee mett,

Which caused her to staye.

Good morrowe to you, beauteous maide,

These words pronounced hee :
O I shall dye this daye, he sayd,

If Ive not my wille of thee.

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The Lord forbid, the maide replyde,

shold waxe so wode!
* But for all that shee could do or saye,

He wold not he withstood.'

Sith you

have had


wille of mee,
And put me to open shame,
Now, if you are a courteous knighte,

Tell me what is your name?


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Some do call mee Jacke, sweet heart,

And some do call mee Jille ;
But when I come to the kings faire courte

They call me Wilfulle Wille.


Ile sett his foot into the stirrup,

And awaye then he did ride;
She tuckt her girdle about her middle,

And ranne close by his side.


But when she came to the brode water,

She sett her brest and swamme ; And when she was got out againe,

She tooke to her heels and ranne.


He never was the courteous knighte,

To saye, faire maide, will ye ride? * And she was ever too loving a maide

To saye, sir knighte abide.

When she came to the kings faire courtę,

She knocked at the ring;
So readye was the king himself

To let this faire maide in.


Now Christ you save, my gracious liege,

Now Christ you save and see,
You have a knighte within your courte

This dàye hath robbed mee.


What What hath he robbed thee of, sweet heart?

Of purple or of pall?
Or hath he took thy gaye gold ring

From off thy finger small ?
He hath not robbed mee, my leige,

Of purple nor of pall :
But he hath gotten my maiden head,

Which grieves mee worst of all.



Now if he be a batchelor,

His bodye Ile give to thee;
But if he be a married man,

High hanged he shall bee.
He called downe his merrye men all,

By one, by two, by three;
Sir William used to bee the first,

But nowe the last came hee.


He brought her downe full fortye pounde,

Tyed up withinne a glove :
Faire maid, Ile give the same to thee;

Go, seeke thee another love.


O Ile have none of your gold, she sayde,

Nor Ile have none of your fee ;
But your faire bodye I must have,

The king hath granted mee.

Ver. 50. His bodye Ile give to thee] This was agreeable to the feudal customs: The lord had a right to give a wife to his vassaly. See Shakespeare's “ All's well, that ends well,”


Sir William ranne and fetchd her then

Five hundred pound in golde, Saying, faire maide, take this to thee,

Thy fault will never be tolde.


Tis not the gold that shall mee tempt,

These words then answered shee, But your own bodye I must have,

The king hath granted mee.

Would I had dranke the water cleare,

When I did drinke the wine, Rather than any shepherds brat

Shold bee a ladye of mine!


Would I had drank the puddle foule,

When I did drink the ale, Rather than ever a shepherds brat

Shold tell me such a tale !

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A shepherds brat even as I was,

You mote have let me bee,
I never had come othe kings faire courte,

To crave any love of thee.


He sett her on a milk-white steede,

And himself upon a grayé ;
He hung a bugle about his necke,

And soe they rode awaye.


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