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Lord Dernwentwater

No: 208; variant: 208B

  1. THE king he wrote a love-letter, And he sealed it up with gold, And he sent it to Lord Derwentwater, For to read it if he could.
  2. The first two lines that he did read, They made him for to smile; But the next two lines he looked upon Made the tears from his eyes to fall.
  3. ‘Oh,’ then cried out his lady fair, As she in child-bed lay, ‘Make your will, make your will, Lord Derwentwater, Before that you go away.’
  4. ‘Then here’s for thee, my lady fair, . . . . A thousand pounds of beaten gold, To lead you a lady’s life.’
  5. . . . . . . his milk-white steed, The ring dropt from his little finger, And his nose it began to bleed.
  6. He rode, and he rode, and he rode along, Till he came to Westminster Hall, Where all the lords of England’s court A traitor did him call.
  7. ‘Oh, why am I a traitor?’ said he; ‘Indeed, I am no such thing; I have fought the battles valiantly Of James, our noble king.’
  8. O then stood up an old gray-headed man, With a pole-axe in his hand: ‘‘Tis your head, ‘tis your head, Lord Derwentwater, ‘Tis your head that I demand.’
  9. . . . . His eyes with weeping sore, He laid his head upon the block, And words spake never more.