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They rode till they came unto the sea-side,

Three hours before it was day.
5. “Light off, light off thy milk-white steed,

And deliver it unto me;
Six pretty maids have I drowned here,

And thou the seventh shall be. 6. “Pull off, pull off thy silken gown,

And deliver it unto me;
Methinks it looks too rich and too gay

To rot in the salt sea.
7. “Pull off, pull off thy silken stays,

And deliver them unto me;
Methinks they are too fine and gay

To rot in the salt sea.
8. “Pull off, pull off thy Holland smock,

And deliver it unto me;
Methinks it looks too rich and gay

To rot in the salt sea.”
9. “If I must pull off my Holland smock,

Pray turn thy back unto me,
For it is not fitting that such a ruffian

A woman unclad should see.” 10. He turned his back towards her,

And viewed the leaves so green;
She catch'd him round the middle so small,

And tumbled him into the stream. 11. He dropped high, and he dropped low,

Until he came to the tide, “ Catch hold of my hand, my pretty maiden,

And I will make you my bride." 12. “ Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,

Lie there instead of me;
Six pretty maidens have you drowned here,
And the seventh has drowned thee."


13. She mounted on her milk-white steed,

And led the dapple grey,
She rode till she came to her father's hall,
Three hours before it was day.



1. DID


hear of the curate who mounted his mare, And merrily trotted along to the fair ? Of creature more tractable none ever heard, In the height of her speed she would stop at a word; But again with a word, when the curate said, Hey,

She put forth her mettle and gallop'd away. 2. As near to the gates of the city he rode,

While the sun of September all brilliantly glow'd,
The good priest discover'd, with eyes of desire,
A mulberry-tree in a hedge of wild briar;
On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot,

Hung, large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit. 3. The curate was hungry, and thirsty to boot; He shrunk from the thorns, though he long'd for

the fruit; With a word he arrested his courser's keen speed, And he stood up erect on the back of his steed; On the saddle he stood while the creature stood still,

And he gather'd the fruit till he took his good fill. 4. “Sure, never,” he thought, was a creature so rare,

So docile, so true, as my excellent mare ;
Lo, here now I stand,” and he gazed all around,
“As safe and as steady as if on the ground;
Yet how had it been, if some traveller this way

Had, dreaming nomischief, but chanced to cry, Hey?" 6. He stood with his head in the mulberry-tree,

And he spoke out aloud in his fond reverie ;

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At the sound of the word the good mare made a

push, And down went the priest in the wild-briar bush. He remember'd too late, on his thorny green bed, Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.


THE LADY TURNED SERVING-MAN. 1. You beauteous ladies, great and small,

I write unto you, one and all,
Whereby that you may understand
What I have suffer'd in this land.

2. I was by birth a lady fair,

My father's chief and only heir,
But when my good old father died,

Then I was made a young knight's bride. 3. And then my love built me a bower,

Bedeck'd with many a fragrant flower ;
A braver bower you ne'er did see


true love did build for me.
4. But there came thieves late in the night,

They robb’d my bower, and slew my knight,
And after that my knight was slain

I could no longer there remain. 5. My servants all from me did fly

In the midst of my extremity,
And left me by myself alone
With a heart more cold than



6. Yet though my heart was full of care,

Heaven would not suffer me to despair;
Wherefore in haste I changed my name
From fair Elsie to Sweet William.

7. And therewithal I cut my hair,

And dress’d myself in man's attire;
And in my beaver, hose, and band,

I travelld far through many a land. 8. With a silver rapier by my side,

So like a gallant I did ride ;
The thing that I delighted on,

It was to be a serving-man.
9. Thus in my sumptuous man's array

I bravely rode along the way;
And at the last it chanced so

That I to the king's court did go. 10. Then to the king I bow'd full low, My love and duty for to show;

so much favour I did crave, That I a serving-man's place might bave. 11. “Stand up, brave youth," the king replied,

Thy service shall not be denied ;
But tell me first what thou canst do;

Thou shalt be fitted thereunto. 12. “ Wilt thou be usher of my hall,

To wait upon my nobles all ?
Or wilt thou be taster of my wine,

To wait on me when I do dine ?
13. “Or wilt thou be my chamberlain,

To make my bed both soft and fine ?
Or wilt thou be one of my guard ?

And I will give thee thy reward.” 14. Sweet William, with a smiling face,

Said to the king, “If't please your Grace
To show such favour unto me,

Your chamberlain I fain would be." 15. The king then did the nobles call,

To ask the counsel of them all,

Who gave consent Sweet William he

The king's own chamberlain should be. 16. Now mark what strange thing came to pass :

As the king one day a-hunting was,
With all his lords and noble train,

Sweet William did at home remain. 17. Sweet William had no company then

With him at home, but an old man :
And when he saw the house was clear

He took a lute which he had there : 18. Upon the lute Sweet William play'd,

And to the same he sang and said,
With a sweet and noble voice,

Which made the old man to rejoice : 19. “My father was as brave a lord

As ever Europe did afford,
My mother was a lady bright,

My husband was a valiant knight : 20. “And I myself a lady gay, Bedeck'd with



array ; The bravest lady in the land

Had not more pleasure at command. 21. “I bad my music every day,

Harmonious lessons for to play ;
I had my virgins fair and free

Continually to wait on me. 22. “But



husband's dead, And all my friends are from me fled; My former joys are pass'd and gone,

For I am now a serving-man.'
23. At last the king from hunting came,
And presently, upon the same,

He called for this good old man,
And thus to speak the king began :

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