No: 208; variant: 208H
- THE king he wrote a letter,
And seale:d it with gold,
And sent it to Lor Derwentwater,
To read it if he could.
- The first three lines he looked upon,
They made him to smile;
And the next three lines he looked upon
Made tears fall from his eyes.
- O then bespoke his gay lady,
As she on a sick-bed lay:
‘Make your will, my lord,
Before you go away.’
- ‘O there is for my eldest son
My houses and my land,
And there is for my youngest son
Ten thousand pounds in hand.
- ‘There is for you, my gay lady,
My true and lawful wife,
The third part of my whole estate,
To maintain you a lady’s life.’
- Then he called to his stable-groom
To bring him his gray steed;
For he must to London go,
The king had sent indeed.
- When he put his foot in the stirrup,
To mount his grey steed,
His gold ring from his finger burst,
And his nose began to bleed.
- He had not gone but half a mile
When it began to rain;
‘Now this is a token,’ his lordship said,
‘That I shall not return again.’
- When he unto London came,
A mob did at him rise,
And they calle:d him a traitor,
Made the tears fall from his eyes.
- ‘A traitor, a traitor!’ his lordship said,
. . . .
Is it for keeping eight score men
To fight for pretty Jimmee?’
- O then bespoke a grave man,
With a broad axe in his hand:
‘Hold your tongue, Lord Derwentwater,
Your life lies at my command.’
- ‘My life, my life,’ his lordship said,
‘My life I will give to thee,
And the black velvet coat upon my back,
Take it for thy fee.’
- Then he laid his head upon the block,
He did such courage show,
And asked the executioner
To cut it off at one blow.