The Friar in the Well
No: 276; variant: 276B
- O HEARKEN and hear, and I will you tell
Sing, Faldidae, faldidadi
Of a friar that loved a fair maiden well.
Sing, Faldi dadi di di (bis)
- The friar he came to this maiden’s bedside,
And asking for her maidenhead.
- ‘O I would grant you your desire,
If ‘twerena for fear o hell’s burning fire.’
- ‘O hell’s burning fire ye need have no doubt;
Altho you were in, I could whistle you out.’
- ‘O if I grant to you this thing,
Some money you unto me must bring.’
- He brought her the money, and did it down tell;
She had a white cloth spread over the well.
- Then the fair maid cried out that her master was come;
‘O,’ said the friar, ‘Then where shall I run?’
- ‘O ye will go in behind yon screen,
And then by my master ye winna be seen.’
- Then in behind the screen she him sent.
But he fell into the well by accident.
- Then the friar cried out with a piteous moan,
O help! O help me! or else I am gone.
- ‘Ye said ye wad whistle me out o hell;
Now whistle your ain sel out o the well.’
- She helped him out and bade him be gone;
The friar he asked his money again.
- ‘As for your money, there is no much matter
To make you pay more for jumbling our water.’
- Then all who hear it commend this fair maid
For the nimble trick to the friar she played.
- The friar he walked on the street,
And shaking his lugs like a well-washen sheep.