Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
79. Hugh of Lincoln
and The Jew’s Daughter

A’ THE boys of merry Lincoln
  Were playing at the ba’,
And by it came him sweet Sir Hugh,
  And he play’d o’er them a’.

He kick’d the ba’ with his right foot,
  And catch’d it wi’ his knee,
And thro’-and-thro’ the Jew’s window
  He gar’d the bonny ba’ flee.

He’s doen him to the Jew’s castell,
  And walk’d it round about;        10
And there he saw the Jew’s daughter
  At the window looking out.

‘Throw down the ba’, ye Jew’s daughter,
  Throw down the ba’ to me!’—
‘Never a bit,’ says the Jew’s daughter,        15
  ‘Till up to me come ye.’—

‘How will I come up? How can I come up?
  How can I come up to thee?
I winna come up, I darena come up,
  Without my play-feres three.’        20

She’s ta’en her to the Jew’s garden,
  Where the grass grew long and green,
She’s pu’d an apple red and white
  To wyle the pretty boy in.

She’s wyled him in through ae dark door,
  And sae has she through nine;
She’s laid him on a dressing table,
  And stickit him like a swine.

And first came out the thick, thick blood,
  And syne came out the thin,        30
And syne came out the bonny heart’s blood;
  There was no more within.

She’s row’d him in a cake o’ lead,
  Bade him lie still and sleep;
She’s thrown him into Our Lady’s draw-well,        35
  Was fifty fathom deep.

When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
  And a’ the bairns came hame,
Then every lady had hame her son,
  But Lady Helen had nane.        40

She’s ta’en her mantle her about,
  Her coffer by the hand,
And she’s gone out to seek her son,
  And wander’d o’er the land.

She’s doen her to the Jew’s castell
  Where a’ were fast asleep;
Cries, ‘Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir Hugh,
  I pray you to me speak!’

She near’d Our Lady’s deep draw-well,
  And fell down on her knee:        50
‘Where’er ye be, my sweet Sir Hugh,
  I pray you speak to me!’—

‘O the lead is wondrous heavy, mother,
  The well is wondrous deep;
The little penknife sticks in my throat,        55
  And I downa to ye speak.

‘Gae hame, gae hame, my mither dear,
  Prepare my winding sheet,
And at the back o’ merry Lincoln
  The morn I will you meet.’        60

Now Lady Helen is gane hame,
  Made him a winding sheet,
And at the back o’ merry Lincoln
  The dead corpse did her meet.

And a’ the bells o’ merry Lincoln
  Without men’s hands were rung;
And a’ the books o’ merry Lincoln
  Were read without man’s tongue;
And never was such a burial
  Sin’ Adam’s day begun.        70
GLOSS:  ba’] ball, football.  doen] betaken.  play-feres] playfellows.  row’d] wrapped.  downa] cannot, have not the force to.


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