Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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REIGNS OF JAMES I. AND CHARLES I.                                361
THE COURT LADY.
The first ballad in the Collection of Old Ballads, 8vo., 1727, vol. i., is "The unfortunate Concubine, or Rosamond's Overthrow; occasioned by her brother's praising her beauty to two young knights of Salisbury, as they rid on the road. To the tune of The Court Lady." I have not found the ballad of The Court Lady, but the tune is contained in The Dancing Master, from 1650 to 1698, under the name of Confess, or The Court Lady. ■
This ballad of Fair Rosamond is so exceedingly long (twenty-six stanzas of eight lines, and occupying ten pages in vol. ii. of Evans' Old Ballads, where it is reprinted), that the first, third, and fourth stanzas only, are here subjoined.
As three young knights of Salisbury
AVere riding on the way, One boasted of a fair lady,
Within her bower so gay : I have a sister, Clifford swears,
But few men do her know; Upon her face the skin appears
Like drops of blood on snow.
My sister's locks of curled hair
Outshine the golden ore; Her skin for whiteness may compare
With the fine lily flow'r; Her breasts are lovely to behold,
Like to the driven snow; I would not, for her weight in gold,
King Henry should her know, &c.