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EBBA 31270

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
Lamentable Ballad of the LADYs Fall.
To the Tune of, In Peascod Time, etc

MARK well my heavy doleful tale,
You loyal lovers all,
And heedfully bear in your breast
A gallant Ladys Fall.
Long was she wood ere she was won
To lead a wedded life;
But folly wrought her overthrow,
Ere she became a wife.

Too soon, alas! she gave consent
To yield unto his will;
Tho he protested to be true,
And faithful to her still.
She felt her body alterd quite,
Her bright hue waxed pale;
Her fair red cheeks turnd colour white,
Her strength began to fail:

So that with many a sorrowful sigh,
This beauteous maiden mild,
With grievous heart perceivd herself
To be conceivd with child.
She kept it from her fathers sight,
As close as close might be,
And so put on a silken gown,
None might her swelling see.

Unto her love secretly
She did herself bewray;
And walking with him hand in hand,
These words to him did say.

Behold, said she, a maids distress,
My love brought to thy bow.
Behold I go with child by thee,
But none thereof doth know.

The little babe springs in my womb,
To hear the fathers voice;
Let it not be a bastard calld,
Since I made thee my choice,
Come, come, my love, perform thy vow,
And wed me out of hand:
O leave me not in this extreme,
In grief always to stand.

Think on thy former promise made,
Thy vows and oaths each one:
Remember with what bitter tears
To me thou madst thy moan:
Convey me to some secret place,
And marry me with speed,
Or with thy rapier end my life,
Ere further shame proceed.

Alas! my dearest love, quoth he,
My greatest joy on earth;
Which way can I convey thee hence,
Without a sudden death.
Thy friends they be of high degree,
And I of mean estate;
Full hard it is for to get forth
Out of thy fathers gate.

Dread not thyself to save my fame,
And if thou taken be,
Myself will step between the swords,
And take the harm on me.
So shall I escape dishonour quite,
If so I should be slain:
What can they say, but that true love,
Did work a ladys bane?

And fear not any further harm,
Myself will so devise,
That I may go away with thee,
Unseen of mortal eyes.
Disguised like some pretty page,
Ill meet thee in the dark
And all alone Ill come to thee,
Hard by my fathers park.

And there quoth he, Ill meet,
If God doth send me life,
And this day month, without all fail,
I will make thee my wife.
Then with a sweet and loving kiss,
They parted presently;
And at their parting brinish tears
Stood in each others eye.

At length the wishd for day was come,
Whereon this lovely maid,
With lovely eyes and strange attire,
For her true lover staid.
When any person she espyd,
Come riding oer the plain,
She thought it was her own true love,
But all her hopes were vain.

Then did she weep, and sore bewail,
Her most unhappy state:
Then did she speak these mournful words,
While succourless she sat.
O false, forsworn, and faithless wretch,
Disloyal to thy love;
Hast thou forgot thy promise made?
And wilt thou perjurd prove?

And hast thou now forsaken me,
In this my sad distress?
To end my days in open shame,
Which thou mightst well redress:
Woe is the day I did believe
That flattering tongue of thine,
Would God that I had never seen
The tears of thy false eyne.

And thus with many a bitter sigh,
Homeward she went again,
No rest came in her watery eyes,
She felt such bitter pain.
In travail strong she fell that night.
With many a bitter throw:
What woeful pangs she felt that night,
Doth each good women know.

She called up her waiting maid,
That lay at her beds feet;
Who musing at her mistress woes
Did strait began to weep.
Weep not, she said, but shut the doors
And windows round about:
Let none bewail my wretched case,
But keep all persons out.

O mistress! call your mother dear,
Of women you have need;
And of some skilful midwifes help,
The better you may speed.
Call not my mother for thy life,
Nor call no woman here;
The midwifes help comes now too late,
My death I do not fear.

With that the babe sprung from her womb,
No creature being nigh;
And with a sigh that broke her heart,
This gallant dame did die.
The living infant then,
The mother being dead,
Resignd his new-received breath,
To him that had him made.

Next morning came her lover true,
Affrighted at this news,
And he for sorrow slew himself,
Whom each one did accuse.
The mother with the new-born babe,
Were both laid in one grave;
Their parents overcome with woe,
No joy of them could have.

Take heed ye dainty damsels all,
Of flattering words beware;
And of the honour of your names
Have you especial care.
Too true alas, the story is,
As many a one can tell,
By others harms learn to be wise,
And ye shall do full well.

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