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The Fair Flower of Northumberland

No: 9; variant: 9E

  1. A BAILIFF’S fair daughter, she lived by the Aln, A young maid’s love is easily won She heard a poor prisoner making his moan, And she was the flower of Northumberland.
  2. ‘If ye could love me, as I do love thee, A young maid’s love is hard to win I’ll make you a lady of high degree, When once we go down to fair Scotland.’
  3. To think of the prisoner her heart was sore, A young maid’s love is easily won Her love it was much, but her pity was more, And she, etc.
  4. She stole from her father’s pillow the key, And out of the dungeon she soon set him free, And she, etc.
  5. She led him into her father’s stable, And they’ve taken a steed both gallant and able, To carry them down to fair Scotland.
  6. When they first took the way, it was darling and dear; As forward they fared, all changed was his cheer, And she, etc.
  7. They rode till they came to a fair Scottish corse; Says he, ‘Now, pray madam, dismount from my horse, And go get you back to Northumberland.
  8. ‘It befits not to ride with a leman light, When awaits my returning my own lady bright, My own wedded wife in fair Scotland.’
  9. The words that he said on her fond heart smote, She knew not in sooth if she lived or not, And she, etc.
  10. She looked to his face, and it kythed so unkind That her fast coming tears soon rendered her blind, And she, etc.
  11. ‘Have pity on me as I had it on thee, O why was my love so easily won! A slave in your kitchen I’m willing to be, But I may not go back to Northumberland.
  12. ‘Or carry me up by the middle sae sma, O why was my love so easily won! And fling me headlong from your high castle wa, For I dare not go back to Northumberland.’
  13. Her wailing, her woe, for nothing they went, A young maid’s love is easily won His bosom was stone and he would not relent, And she, etc.
  14. He turned him around and he thought of a plan, He bought an old horse and he hired an old man, To carry her back to Northumberland.
  15. A heavy heart makes a weary way, She reached her home in the evening gray, And she, etc.
  16. And all as she stood at her father’s tower-gate, More loud beat her heart than her knock thereat, And she, etc.
  17. Down came her step-dame, so rugged and doure, O why was your love so easily won! ‘In Scotland go back to your false paramour, For you shall not stay here in Northumberland.’
  18. Down came her father, he saw her and smiled, A young maid’s love is easily won ‘You are not the first that false Scots have beguiled, And ye’re aye welcome back to Northumberland.
  19. ‘You shall not want houses, you shall not want land, You shall not want gold for to gain a husband, And ye’re aye welcome back to Northumberland.’