A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Anaïs Mitchell

"Willie of Winsbury (Child 100)"

The king has been a prisoner
And a prisoner long in Spain
And Willie of the Winsbury
Has lain long with his daughter Jane

"What ails you, what ails you, my daughter Jane?
Why, you look so pale and wan
Oh, have you had any ill sickness
Or yet been sleeping with a man?"

"I have not had any ill sickness
Nor yet been sleeping with a man
It is for you my father dear
For biding so long in Spain"

"Cast off, cast off your robe and gown
Stand naked on the stone
That I might know you by your shame
If you be maiden or none"

And she's cast off her robe and gown
Stood naked on a stone
Her apron was tight and her waist was round
Her face was pale and wan

"And was it with a lord or a gentleman
Or a man of wealth and fame?
Or was it with one of my servingmen
While I was a prisoner in Spain?"

"No, it wasn't with a lord or a gentlemen
Or a man of wealth and fame
It was with Willie of Winsbury
I could bide no longer alone"

And the king has called his servingmen
By one, by two, by three
Saying "Where is this Willie of Winsbury?
For hang-ed he shall be"

And when they came before the king
By one, by two, and by three
Willie should have been the first of them
But the last of them was he

And Willie of the Winsbury
All dressed up in red suit
His hair hung like the strands of gold
His breast was white as milk

"No wonder, no wonder", the king he said
"That my daughter's love you did win
If I were a woman as I am a man
In my own bed you would have been -

And will you marry my daughter Jane
By the faith of your right hand?
And I'll make you the lord of my servingmen
I'll make you the heir to my land"

"Oh yes, I'll marry your daughter Jane
By the faith of my right hand
But I'll not be the lord of any man
I'll be not be the heir to your land"

And he's raised her up on a milk white steed
And himself on a dapple gray
He has made her the lady of as much land
As she can ride on a long summer's day

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


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