Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
162. The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington
 
 
I

THERE was a youth, and a well-belovèd youth,
  And he was an esquire’s son,
He loved the bailiff’s daughter dear,
  That lived in Islington.’
 
II

But she was coy, and she would not believe
        5
  That he did love her so,
No, nor at any time she would
  Any countenance to him show.
 
III

But when his friends did understand
  His fond and foolish mind,        10
They sent him up to fair London,
  An apprentice for to bind.
 
IV

And when he had been seven long years,
  And his love he had not seen;
‘Many a tear have I shed for her sake        15
  When she little thought of me.’
 
V

All the maids of Islington
  Went forth to sport and play;
All but the bailiff’s daughter dear;
  She secretly stole away.        20
 
VI

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.
 
VII

As she went along the road,
        25
  The weather being hot and dry,
There was she aware of her true-love,
  At length came riding by.
 
VIII

She stept to him, as red as any rose,
  And took him by the bridle-ring:        30
‘I pray you, kind sir, give me one penny,
  To ease my weary limb.’—
 
IX

‘I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
  Where that thou wast born?’—
‘At Islington, kind sir,’ said she,        35
  ‘Where I have had many a scorn.’—
 
X

‘I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
  Whether thou dost know
The bailiff’s daughter of Islington?’—
  ‘She’s dead, sir, long ago.’—        40
 
XI

‘Then will I sell my goodly steed,
  My saddle and my bow;
I will into some far countrey,
  Where no man doth me know.’—
 
XII

‘Oh stay, O stay, thou goodly youth!
        45
  She’s alive, she is not dead;
Here she standeth by thy side,
  And is ready to be thy bride.’—
 
XIII

‘O farewell grief, and welcome joy,
  Ten thousand times and o’er!        50
For now I have seen my own true-love,
  That I thought I should have seen no more.’
 
GLOSS:  puggish] tramp’s.
 

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