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True Love Requited; or, The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington

An Old English Ballad

There was a youth, and a well-belov'd youth,

And he was an esquire's son,

He loved the bailiff's daughter dear,

That lived in Islington.

She was coy, and she would not believe

That he did love her so,

No, nor at any time she would

Any countenance to him show.

But when his friends did understand

His fond and foolish mind,

They sent him up to fair London,

An apprentice for to bind.

And when lie had, been seven long years,

And his love he had not seen,

"Many a tear have I shed for her sake

When she little thought of me."

All the maids of Islington

Went forth to sport and play

All but the bailiff's daughter dear

She secretly stole away.

She put off her gown of gray,

And put on her puggish attire;

She's up to fair London gone,

Her true-love to require.

As she went along the road,

The weather being hot and dry,

There was she aware of her true-love,

At length came riding by.

She stept to him, as red as any rose,

And took him by the bridle-ring:

"I pray you, kind sir, give me one penny,

To ease my weary limb."

"I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me

Where that thou wast born?"

"At Islington, kind sir," said she,

"Where I have had many a scorn."

"I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me

Whether thou dost know

The bailiff's daughter of Islington?"

"She's dead, sir, long ago."

"Then will I sell my goodly steed,

My saddle and my bow;

I will into some far countrey,

Where no man doth me know."

"O stay, O stay, thou goodly youth!

She's alive, she is not dead;

Here she standeth by thy side,

And is ready to be thy bride."

"O farewel grief, and welcome joy,

Ten thousand times and more!

For now I have seen my own true-love,

That I thought I should have seen no more."