Lord Lovel he stood at his castle gate,
A-combing his milk-white steed;
When along came Lady Nancy Bell,
A-wishing her lover good speed,
A-wishing her lover good speed.
"O where are you going, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"O where are you going?" said she;
"I'm going, my dear Nancy Bell,
Strange countries for to see."
"O when will you be back, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"O when will you be back?" said she.
"In a year or two or three at the least
I'll return to my Lady Nancy."
He hadn't been gone but a year and a day,
Strange countries for to see,
When a languishing thought came into his mind,
Lady Nancy Bell he must see.
He rode and he rode upon his white steed,
Till he came to London Town;
And there he heard St. Varner's bell,
And the people all mourning round.
"Is anybody dead?" Lord Lovel he said,
"Is anybody dead?" said he.
"A lord's daughter's dead," a lady replied,
"And some call her Lady Nancy."
He ordered the grave to be opened forthwith
And the shroud to be folded down;
And there he kissed the clay-cold lips,
Till the tears came trinkling down.
Lady Nancy she died as she might be to-day
Lord Lovel he died to-morrow
And out of her bosom there grew a red rose
And out of Lord Lovel's a briar
They grew and they grew till they reached the church top
And there they couldn't grow any higher
And there they twined in a true lover's knot
Which true lovers always admire.
Collected from Blanche Satterfield in 1915
Printed in Folk-songs of the South