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Then coming was the night sae dark,
gane was a' the light of day: The carle was fear'd to miss his mark,
And therefore wad nae longer stay : Then
he gat, and ran his way, I trowe, the wife the day she wan; And aye
the owreword of the fray Was, Evir alake! mine auld goodman.
FAIR MARGARET AND SWEET WILLIAM.
This seems to be the old song quoted in Fletcher's "Knight of the Burning Pestle, Acts 2d and 3d ; although the six lines there preserved are somewhat different from those in the ballad, as it stands at present. The Reader will not wonder at this, when he is informed that this is only given from a modern printed copy picked up on a stali. Its full title is, “ Fair Mar
garet's Misfortunes; or Sweet William's frightful " dreams on his wedding night, with the sudden death " and burial of those noble lovers."The lines preserved in the play are this distich,
“ You are no love for me, Margaret,
“ I am no love for you.” And the following stanza,
“When it was grown to dark midnight,
“ And all were fast asleep,
" And stood at Williams feet.
Since the first edition some improvements have been inserted, which were communicated by a lady of the first distinction, as she had heard this song repeated in
As it fell out on a long summer's day
Two lovers they sat on a hill ;
And could not talk their fill.
I see no harm by you, Margaret,
And you see none by mee;
A rich wedding you shall see.
Fair Margaret sat in her bower-window,
Combing her yellow hair ;
As they were a riding near.
Then down she layd her ivory combe,
And braided her hair in twain : She went alive out of her bower,
But ne'er came alive in't again.
When day was gone, and night was come,
And all men fast asleep,
And stood at Williams feet.
Are you awake, sweet William ? shee said;
Or, sweet William, are you asleep? God give you joy of your gay bride-bed,
And me of my winding sheet.
When day was come, and night was gone,
And all men wak'd from sleep, Sweet William to his lady sayd,
My dear, I have cause to weep.
I dreamt a dream, my dear ladyè,
Such dreames are never good :
bride-bed full of blood.
Such dreams, such dreams, my honoured Sir,
They never do prove good;
And thy bride-bed full of blood.
up his merry men all,
And when he came to fair Marg'ret's bower,
He knocked at the ring;
To let sweet William in.
Then he turned up the covering-sheet,
Pray let me see the dead; Methinks she looks all pale and wan,
She hath lost her cherry red.
Ver. 31. 35. Swine, PCC.
I'll do more for thee, Margaret,
Than any of thy kin;
Though a smile I cannot win.
With that bespake the seven brethren,
kiss your jolly brown bride, And let our sister alone.
You may go
If I do kiss my jolly brown bride,
I do but what is right ;
By day, nor yet by night.
Deal on, deal on, my merry men all,
Shall be dealt to-morrow at mine.
Fair Margaret dyed to-day, to-day,
Sweet William dyed the morrow : Fair Margaret dyed for pure true love,
Sweet William dyed for sorrow.
Margaret was buryed in the lower chancel,
And William in the higher :
And out of his a briar.
* Alluding to the dole anciently given at funerals.