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Merry broom fields; or, The west country wager

(13) Merry broom fields; or, The west country wager

   The Merry Broom Fields;

  Or, the West Country Wager.


[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

A noble young squire that lived in the west,
He courted a young lady gay,
And as he was merry he put forth a jest,
A wager with her he would lay;
A wager with me the lady replied,                   
I pray you now what must it be,                 
If I like the humour you shan't be denied,
I love to be merry and free.

Said he, I will lay you a hundred pounds,
An hundred pounds lay and ten,
If a maid you go to the merry green fields,
A maid you return not again.                       
I will lay you the wager, the lady said,
Then the money she flung down amain,
To the merry broom fields I will go a maid,
And the same I'll return back again.

He covered the bet in the midst of the hall,
With an hundred and ten jolly pounds,
And then to his servants he did call,
To bring forth his hawk and his hounds,
A ready obedience to his servants did yield,
And all was got ready that night,
Next morn he went to the merry broom field,
To meet with his joy and delight,             

When he came there having waited awhile,
Among the green brooms down he lies,
The lady came to him and could not but smile,
For sleep had fast closed his eyes.
Upon his right hand a ring she secured,         
From off her own finger so fair,
That when he awoke he might be assured, i
That his lady and love had been there.

She left him a posey of pleasant perfume,
Then step'd from the place where he lay,
And hid herself in the midst of the broom,
To hear what her lover would say;
He awoke and found the gold ring on his hand
What sorrow of heart he was in,
My love has been here I ean well understand
And the wager I shall not win.

O where was you my goodly go hawk,
The which I have purchased so dear,
Why did you not wake me out of my sleep,
When my lady love was here ;
O master, my bells I did merrily ring,
And soon with my feet I did run,
And still I did cry pray master awake,
She is here and she soon will be gone.

O where was you my gallant grey hound,
Whose collar is flourish'd with gold,
Why did you not wake me out of my sleep,
When thou dids't my lady behold ?
Dear master, I barked aloud when she came,
And likewise my collar I shook,
And told you there was the beautiful maid,
But no notice of me you took.

O where was you my servant man,
Whom I have clothed so fine,
If you had waked me when she had been here,
The wager had surely been mine ?
O master, O master, pray sleep in the night,
And keep you awake in the day,
If you'd not been asleep when here she came,
Then a maid she had not gone away.

So home he return'd when the wager he'd lost,
With sorrow of heart we may say,
The lady she laughed to see her love crossed,
And this was upon Midsummer day.
O there I lay in the bushes concealed,
And heard when you did complain,
So I have been to the merry broom fields,
And a maid have returned back again.

Be cheerful, be cheerful, and do not repine,
For now 'tis as clear as the sun,
The money, O squire, you must own it is mine,
For the wager I fairly have won.


Faintly as tolls the evening chime,
Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time
Soon as the woods on shore look dim,
We'll sing at St. Ann's our parting hymn.
Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
The rapids are near, and the day-light's past.

Why should we yet our sails unfurl ?
There's not a breath the blue wave to curl ;
But when the wind blows off the shore,
Oh, sweetly we'll rest our weary oar.

Utawa tide ! this trembling moon,
Shall see us float over thy surges soon,
Saint of this green isle, hear our prayer,
Grant us kind heaven a favouring air.

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High Streәt, St. Giles, London.—W.C.

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