The Knight and the Shepherd’s Daughter
No: 110; variant: 110A
- THERE was a shepherd’s daughter
Came triping on the way,
And there she met a courteous knight,
Which caused her to stay
Sing trang sil do lee
- ‘Good morrow to you, beautious maid,’
These words pronounced he;
‘O I shall dye this day,’ he said,
‘If I have not my will of thee.’
- ‘The Lord forbid,’ the maid reply’d,
‘That such a thing should be,
That ever such a courteous yong knight
Should dye for love of me.’
- He took her by the middle so small,
And laid her down on the plain,
And after he had had his will,
He took her up again.
- ‘Now you have had your wil, good sir,
And put my body thus to shame,
Even as you are a courteous knight,
Tel me what is your name.’
- ‘Some men do call me Jack, sweet heart,
And some do call me John,
But when I come to the king’s [fair] court,
They call me Sweet William.’
- He set his foot in the stirrop,
And away then did he ride;
She tuckt her kirtle about her middle,
And run close by his side.
- But when she came to the broad water,
She set her brest and swom,
And when she was got out again,
She took her heels and run.
- He never was the courteous knight
To say, Fair maid, will you ride?
Nor she never was so loving a maid
To say, Sir Knight, abide.
- But when she came to the king’s fair court,
She knocked at the ring;
So ready was the king himself
To let his fair maid in.
- ‘O Christ you save, my gracious leige,
Your body christ save and see!
You have got a knight within your court
This day hath robbed me.
- ‘What hath he robbed thee of, fair maid?
Of purple or of pall?
Or hath he took thy gay gold ring,
From off thy finger small?’
- ‘He hath not robbed me, my liege,
Of purple nor of pall;
But he hath got my maidenhead,
Which grieves me worst of all.’
- ‘Now if he be a batchelor,
His body I’le give to thee;
But if he be a married man,
High hanged shall he be.’
- He called down his merry men all,
By one, by two, and by three;
Sweet William was us’d to be the first,
But now the last comes hee.
- He brought her down full forty pound,
Ty’d up with[in] a glove:
‘Fair maid, I give the same to the,
And seek another love.’
- ‘O I’le have none of your gold,’ she said,
‘Nor I’le have none of your fee;
But I must have your fair body
The king hath given me.’
- Sweet William ran and fetcht her then
Five hundred pound in gold,
Saying, Fair maid, take this unto thee;
Thy fault will never be told.
- '’Tis not your gold that shall me tempt,’
These words then answered she,
‘But I must have your own body;
So the king hath granted me.’
- ‘Would I had drank the fair water
When I did drink the wine,
That ever any shepherd’s daughter
Should be a fair lady of mine!
- ‘Would I had drunk the puddle-water
When I did drink the ale,
That ever any shepherd’s daughter
Should have told me such a tale!’
- ‘A shepheard’s daughter as I was,
You might have let me be;
I’d never come to the king’s fair court
To have craved any love of thee.’
- He set her on a milk-white steed,
And himselfe upon a gray;
He hung a bugle about his neck,
And so they rode away.
- But when they came unto the place
Where marriage rites were done,
She provd her selfe a duke’s daughter,
And he but a squire’s son.
- ‘Now you have married me, sir knight,
Your pleasures may be free;
If you make me lady of one good town,
I’le make you lord of three.’
- ‘Accursed be the gold,’ he said,
‘If thou hadst not bin true,
That should have parted thee from me,
To have chang’d thee for a new.’
- Their hearts being then so linked fast,
And joyning hand in hand,
He had both purse and person too,
And all at his command.