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Fair Margaret fate in her bower-window,

A combing of her hair ;
There she espied sweet William and his bride,

As they were a riding near.

Down she laid her ivory comb,


he bound ber hair ;
She went away first from the bower,

But never more came there.

When day was gone, and night was come,

And all men faft asleep,
Then came the spirit of fair Margaret,

And stood at Williams bed feet.

God give you joy, you true lovèrs,

In bride-bed faft asleep ;
Lo! I am going to my grass-green grave,

And I am in my winding sheet.

When day was come, and night was gone,

And all men wak'd from sleep,
Sweet William to his lady faid,

My dear, I've cause to weep.

I dream'd

I dream'd a dream, my dear lady,

Such dreams are never good;
I dream'd my bower was full of red swine,

And my bride-bed full of blood.

Such dreams, such dreams, my honour'd fir,

They never do prove good ;
To dream thy bower was full of swine,

And thy bride-bed full of blood.


He called his merry men all,

By one, by two, and by three, Saying, I'll away to fair Margarets bower,

By the leave of my lady.

And when he came to fair Margarets bower,

He knocked at the ring ;
So ready were her seven brethren,

To let sweet William in.

Then he turn'd up the covering-sheet, ,

Pray let me see the dead ;
Methinks she looks both pale and wan,

She has lost her cherry red.

I'll do more for thee, Margaret,

any of thy kin;
For I will kiss thy pale wan lips,

Though a smile I cannot win.

With that bespoke the seven brethren,

Making most piteous moan,
You may go kiss your jolly brown dame,

And let our sister alone.

If I do kiss my jolly brown dame,

I do but what is right ;
For I made no vow to your fifter dear,

By day, nor yet by night.

Pray tell me, then, how much you'll deal,

Of white bread and your wine :
So much as is dealt at her funeral to-day,

To-morrow shall be dealt at mine.

Fair Margaret died to-day, to-day,

Sweet William he died the morrow ; Fair Margaret died for pure true love,

Sweet William he died for forrow.

Margaret was buried in the lower chancel,

And William in the higher ;
Out of her breast there sprang a rose,

And out of his a briar.

They grew as high as the church-top,

Till they could grow no higher;
And there they grew in a true lovers knot,

Which made all the people admire.



Then came the clerk of the parish,

As you this truth shall hear,
And by misfortune cut them down,

Or they had now been there.



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OU dainty dames so finely fram'd

Of beautys chiefest mold,
And you that trip it up and down,

Like lambs in Cupids fold,
Here is a lesson to be learn’d;

A lesson, in my mind,
For such as will prove false in love,

And bear a faithless mind.

Not far from Nottingham, of late,

In Clifton, as I hear,
There dwelt a fair and comely dame,

For beauty without peer ;
Her cheeks were like the crimson-rose;

Yet, as you may perceive,
The faireft face, the falsest heart,

And sooneft will deceive.

* The full title of the old copy is, “ A Godly Warning to all Maidens, by the Example of God's Judgment shewed on Jerman's Wife of Clifton, in the County of Nottingham, who, lying in child-bed was born away, and never heard of after.” A tragedy, intitled The Vow breaker, written by one William Sampson, and printed in 1636, is founded on this ballad, and quotes two or three verses from it, as “ a lamentable new ditty."

This gallant dame she was belov'd

Of many in that place ;
And many fought, in marriage-bed,

Her body to embrace :
At last a proper handsome youth,

Young Bateman callid by name,
In hopes to make a married wife,

Unto this maiden came.

Such love and liking there was found,

That he, from all the rest,
Had ftol'n away the maidens heart,

And she did love him beft :
Then plighted promide secretly

Did pass between them two,
That nothing could, but death itself,

This true loves knot undo.

He brake a piece of gold in twain,
One half to her he

The other, as a pledge, quoth he,

Dear heart, myself will have.
If I do break my vow, quoth me,

While I remain alive,
May never thing I take in hand

Be seen at all to thrive.

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This passed on for two months space,

And then this maid began
To settle love and liking too
Upon another man :

O 2

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