Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Courteous Knight
Anonymous
 
(Deuteromelia [with music]; 1609; cf. “The Baffled Knight: or The Lady’s Policy” [Roxburgh Ballads, ii. 281])

YONDER comes a courteous Knight,
  Lustily raking over the hay,
He was well ’ware of a bonny lass,
  As she came wandering over the way:
 
Then she sang down a down,        5
  Hey down derry.
Then she sang down a down,
  Hey down derry.
 
Jove you speed, fair Lady, he said,
  Amongst the leaves that be so green;        10
If I were a King, and wore a Crown,
  Full soon fair Lady, should thou be a Queen.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
Also Jove save you, fair Lady,
  Among the Roses that be so red;
If I have not my will of you,        15
  Full soon fair Lady, shall I be dead.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
Then he looked East, then he looked West,
  He looked North, so did he South:
He could not find a privy place,
  For all lay in the Devil’s mouth.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
        20
 
If you will carry me, gentle Sir,
  A maid unto my father’s hall;
Then you shall have your will of me
  Under purple and under Pall.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
He set her upon a steed,        25
  And himself upon another;
And all the day he rode her by,
  As tho’ they had been sister and brother.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
When she came to her father’s hall,
  It was well walled round about;        30
She rode in at the wicket gate,
  And shut the four ear’d fool without.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
You had me (quoth she) abroad in the field,
  Among the corn, amidst the hay,
Where you might had your will of me,        35
  For, in good faith, Sir, I ne’er said nay.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
You had me also amid the field,
  Among the rushes that were so brown;
Where you might had your will of me,
  But you had not the face to lay me down.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
        40
 
He pull’d out his nut-brown sword,
  And wip’d the rust off with his sleeve:
And said: Jove’s Curse come to his heart,
  That any Woman would believe.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
When you have your own true love,        45
  A mile or twain out of the Town,
Spare not for her gay clothing,
  But lay her body flat on the ground.
    Then she sang down a down, etc.
 
 
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