Lady Maisry

No: 65; variant: 65G

  1. ‘MY father was the first good man Who tied me to a stake; My mother was the first good woman Who did the fire make.
  2. ‘My brother was the next good man Who did the fire fetch; My sister was the next good woman Who lighted it with a match.
  3. ‘They blew the fire, they kindled the fire, Till it did reach my knee: ‘O mother, mother, quench the fire! The smoke will smother me.’
  4. ‘O had I but my little foot-page, My errand he would run; He would run unto gay London, And bid my lord come home.’
  5. Then there stood by her sister’s child, Her own dear sister’s son: ‘O many an errand I’ve run for thee, And but this one I’ll run.’
  6. He ran, where the bridge was broken down He bent his bow and swam; He swam till he came to the good green turf, He up on his feet and ran.
  7. He ran till he came at his uncle’s hall; His uncle sat at his meat: ‘Good mete, good mete, good uncle, I pray, O if you knew what I’d got to say, How little would you eat!’
  8. ‘O is my castle broken down, Or is my tower won? Or is my gay lady brought o bed, Of a daughter or a son?’
  9. ‘Your castle is not broken down, Your tower it is not won; Your gay lady is not brought to bed, Of a daughter or a son.
  10. ‘But she has sent you a gay gold ring, With a posy round the rim, To know, if you have any love for her, You’ll come to her burning.’
  11. He called down his merry men all, By one, by two, by three; He mounted on his milk-white steed, To go to Margery.
  12. They blew the fire, they kindled the fire, Till it did reach her head: ‘O mother, mother, quench the fire! For I am nearly dead.’
  13. She turned her head on her left shoulder, Saw her girdle hang on the tree: ‘O God bless them that gave me that! They’ll never give more to me.’
  14. She turned her head on her right shoulder, Saw her lord come riding home: ‘O quench the fire, my dear mother! For I am nearly gone.’
  15. He mounted off his milk-white steed, And into the fire he ran, Thinking to save his gay ladye, But he had staid too long.