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ANONYMOUS - Willy o’ Winsbury

Willy o’ Winsbury

The king has been a prisoner

And a prisoner long in Spain

And Willie of the Winsbury

Has lain long with his daughter at home

"What ails you, what ails you, my daughter Janet?

Why you look so pale and wan?

Oh, have you had any sore sickness

Or yet been sleepin' with a man?"

"I have not had any sore sickness

Nor yet been sleepin' with a man

It is for you, my father dear

For bidin' so long in Spain"

"Cast off, cast off your berry-brown gown

You stand naked upon the stone

That I may know you by your shape

If you be a maiden or no"

And she's cast off her berry-brown gown

She stood naked upon the stone

Her apron was low and her haunches were round

Her face was pale and wan

"Oh, was it with a lord or duke or knight

Or a man of birth and fame

Or was it with one of my serving men

That's lately come out of Spain?"

"No, it wasn't with a lord, nor duke or knight

Nor a man of birth and fame

But it was with Willie of Winsbury

I could bide no longer alone"

And the king has called on his merry men all

By thirty and by three

Says, "Fetch me this Willie of Winsbury

For hanged he shall be"

But when he came the king before

He was clad all in the red silk

His hair was like the strands of gold

His skin was as white as the milk

And "It is no wonder," said the king

"That my daughter's love you did win

For if I was a woman, as I am a man

My bedfellow you would have been"

"And will you marry my daughter Janet

By the truth of your right hand?

Oh, will you marry my daughter Janet?

I will make you the lord of my land"

"Oh yes, I will marry your daughter Janet

By the truth of my right hand

Why yes, I will marry your daughter Janet

But I'll not be the lord of your land"

And he's mounted her on a milk-white steed

And himself on a dapple grey

He has made her the lady of as much land

As she shall ride in a long summer's day