The Cruel Brother

No: 11; variant: 11F

  1. THERE did three knights come from the west, With the high and the lily oh And these three knights courted one lady. As the rose was so sweetly blown
  2. The first knight came was all in white, And asked of her, if she’d be his delight.
  3. The next knight came was all in green, And asked of her, if she’d be his queen.
  4. The third knight came was all in red, And asked of her, if she would wed.
  5. ‘Then have you asked of my father dear, Likewise of her who did me bear?
  6. ‘And have you asked of my brother John? And also of my sister Anne?’
  7. ‘Yes, I have asked of your father dear, Likewise of her who did you bear.
  8. ‘And I have asked of your sister Anne, But I’ve not asked of your brother John.’
  9. Far on the road as they rode along, There did they meet with her brother John.
  10. She stooped low to kiss him sweet, He to her heart did a dagger meet.
  11. ‘Ride on, ride on,’ cried the serving man, ‘Methinks your bride she looks wondrous wan.’
  12. ‘I wish I were on yonder stile, For there I would sit and bleed awhile.
  13. ‘I wish I were on yonder hill, There I’d alight and make my will.’
  14. ‘What would you give to your father dear?’ ‘The gallant steed which doth me bear.’
  15. ‘What would you give to your mother dear?’ ‘My wedding shift which I do wear.
  16. ‘But she must wash it very clean, For my heart’s blood sticks in evry seam.’
  17. ‘What would you give to your sister Anne?’ ‘My gay gold ring and my feathered fan.’
  18. ‘What would you give to your brother John?’ ‘A rope and gallows to hang him on.’
  19. ‘What would you give to your brother John’s wife?’ ‘A widow’s weeds, and a quiet life.’