It is said of old, Soon hot, soon cold;
                And so is a womàan:
            Wherefore I to the wood will go,
                Alone, a banished man.

She.      If ye take heed, it is no need
               Such words to say to me;
            For oft ye prayed, and long assayed,
                Or I loved you, pardàe:
            And though that I of ancestry
                A baron’s daughter be,
            Yet have you proved how I you loved,
                A squire of low degree;
            And ever shall, whatso befall,
                To die therefore anone;
            For, in my mind, of all mankind
                I love but you alone.

He.      A baron’s child to be beguiled,
               It were a cursàed deed!
            To be felàaw with an outlaw—
                Almighty God forbede!
            Yet better were the poor squyere
                Alone to forest yede9
            Than ye shall say another day
                That by my cursàed rede
            Ye were betrayed. Wherefore, good maid,
                The best rede that I can,
            Is, that I to the green- wood go,
                Alone, a banished man.

She.      Whatever befall, I never shall
               Of this thing be upbraid:
            But if ye go, and leave me so,
                Then have ye me betrayed.
            Remember you wele, how that ye dele;
                For if ye, as ye said,
            Be so unkind to leave behind
                Your love, the Nut-brown Maid,
            Trust me trulày that I shall die
                Soon after ye be gone:
            For, in my mind, of all mankind
                I love but you alone.

He.      If that ye went, ye should repent;
               For in the forest now
            I have purveyed me of a maid
                Whom I love more than you:
            Another more fair than ever ye were
                I dare it well avow;
            And of you both each should be wroth
                With other, as I trow:
            It were mine ease to live in peace;
                So will I, if I can:
            Wherefore I to the wood will go,
                Alone, a banished man.

She.      Though in the wood I understood
               Ye had a paramour,
            All this may nought remove my thought,
                But that I will be your’:
            And she shall find me soft and kind
                And courteis every hour;
            Glad to fulfil all that she will
                Command me, to my power:
            For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,
                Yet would I be that one:
            For, in my mind, of all mankind
                I love but you alone.

He.      Mine own dear love, I see the prove
               That ye be kind and true;
            Of maid, of wife, in all my life,
                The best that ever I knew.
            Be merry and glad; be no more sad;
                The case is changàed new;
            For it were ruth that for your truth
                Ye should have cause to rue.
            Be not dismayed, whatsoever I said
                To you when I began:
            I will not to the green-wood go;
                I am no banished man.

She.      These tidings be more glad to me
               Than to be made a queen,
            If I were sure they should endure;
                But it is often seen
            When men will break promise they speak
                The wordis on the splene.10
            Ye shape some wile me to beguile,
                And steal from me, I ween:
            Then were the case worse than it was,
                And I more wo- begone:
            For, in my mind, of all mankind
                I love but you alone.

He.      Ye shall not nede further to drede:
               I will not disparàage
            You (God defend), sith you descend
                Of so great a linàage.
            Now understand: to Westmoreland,
                Which is my heritage,
            I will you bring; and with a ring,
                By way of marriàage
            I will you take, and lady make,
                As shortly as I can:
            Thus have you won an Earles son,
                And not a banished man.

Here may ye see that women be
    In love meek, kind, and stable;
Let never man reprove them than,
    Or call them variable;
But rather pray God that we may
    To them be comfortable;
Which sometime proveth such as He loveth,
    If they be charitable.
For sith men would that women should
    Be meek to them each one;
Much more ought they to God obey,
    And serve but Him alone.

   33Cradle Song

16th Cent.

O MY deir hert, young Jesus sweit,
Prepare thy creddil in my spreit,
And I sall rock thee in my hert
And never mair from thee depart.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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