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THE FAMOUS FLOWER OF SERVING-MEN. 175
I was by birth a lady fair, 5
My father's chief and only heir, But when my good old father died, Then I was made a young knight's bride.
And then my love built me a bower, Bedeck'd with many a fragrant flower ; 10 A braver bower you ne'er did see, Than my true love did build for me.
But there came thieves late in the night, They robb'd my bower, and slew my knight, And after that my knight was slain, u
I could no longer there remain.
My servants all from me did fly,
In the midst of my extremity,
And left me by myself alone,
With a heart more cold than any stone. 20
Yet, though my heart was full of care, Heaven would not suffer me to despair; "Wherefore in haste I chang'd my name From Fair Elise to Sweet William.
And therewithall I cut my hair, 25
And dress'd myself in man's attire, My doublet, hose, and beaver hat, And a golden band about my neck.