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Willie o Winesberry

No: 100; variant: 100I

  1. IT fell upon a time that the proud king of France Went a hunting for five months and more; His daughter fell in love with Lord Winsberry, Who from Scotland was newly come oer.
  2. ‘You’re welcome, welcome, dear father,’ she said, ‘You’re welcome again to your own; For I have been sick, and very, very sick, Thinking long for your coming home.’
  3. ‘Put off, put off your gown of green,’ he says, ‘And spread it on yonder green, And tell them from me that in mourning you are, Or that he have lain with a man.’
  4. She’s put off her gown of green, And spread it on the strand; Her haunches were round, and her belly was big, From her face the colour is gone.
  5. ‘O is it to a man of might,’ he says, ‘Or is it to a man that’s mean? Or is it to one of those rank rebels, That lately from Scotland came?’
  6. ‘O it is to a man of might,’ she says, ‘It is not to one that is mean; It is to Lord Thomas of Winsberry, And for him I must suffer pain.’
  7. The king called up his merry men all, By one, by two, and by three: ‘Go fetch me Lord Thomas of Winsberry, For tomorrow he shall die.’
  8. They sought him up, they sought him down, As fast as fast could be; There they found Lord Thomas of Winsberry, Sitting under an orange tree.
  9. ‘Get up, get up, Lord Thomas,’ they said, ‘Get up, and bound your way; For the king has sworn by his honoured crown That tomorrow is thy dying-day.’
  10. ‘O what have I robbd, or what have I stolen, Or what have I killed or slain, That I should be afraid to speak to your king? For I have done him no wrong.’
  11. Lord Thomas came tripping up the stair, His cloathing was of the silk; His fine yellow hair hung dangling down, His skin was white as the milk.
  12. And when he came before the king He kneeled down on his knee; Says, What is your will with me, my liege, What is your will with me?
  13. ‘I think no wonder, Lord Thomas,’ he says, ‘That my daughter fell in love with thee; If thou wert a woman, as thou art a man, My bed-fellow thou wouldst be.
  14. ‘Will ye marry my daughter Jean, By the faith of thy right hand? Thou’se have part of my gold, part of my gear, And a third part of my land.’
  15. ‘Yes, I will marry thy daughter Jean, By the faith of my right hand; I’ll have none of your gold, none of your gear; I have enough in fair Scotland.’
  16. He has mounted her on a milk-white steed, Himself on a dapple-grey; He’s got as much land in fair Scotland As they can ride in a summer’s day.