As it fell one holy-day,
As many be in the yeare,
When young men and maids together did goe,
Their mattins and masse to heare,
Little Musgrave came to the church-dore;
The preist was at private masse;
But he had more minde of the faire women
Than he had of Our Lady's grace.
Then one of them was clad in green,
Another was clad in pall,
And then came in my lord Bernard's wife,
The fairest amongst them all.
She cast an eye on Little Musgrave,
As bright as the summer sun;
And then bethought this Little Musgrave,
This lady's heart have I woonn.
Quoth she, I have loved thee, Little Musgrave,
Full long and many a day;
So have I loved you, fair lady,
Yet never word durst I say.
I have a bower at Buckelsfordbery,
Full daintyly it is delight:
If though wilt wend thither, thou Little Musgrave,
Thou's lig in mine armes all night.
Quoth he, I thank yee, faire lady,
This kindnes thou showest to me;
But whether it be to my weal or woe,
This night I will lig with thee.
With that he heard, a little tyne page,
By his ladye's coach as he ran:
All though I am my ladye's foot-page,
Yet I am Lord Barnard's man.
My lord Barnard shall knowe of this,
Whether I sink or swim;
And ever where the bridges were broake
He laid him down to swimme.
A sleep or wake, thou Lord Barnard,
As thou art a man of life,
For Little Musgrave is at Bucklesfordbery,
A bed with thy own wedded wife.
If this be true, thou little tinny page,
This thing thou tellest to me,
Then all the land in Bucklesfordbery
I freely will give to thee.
But if it be a ly, thou little tinny page,
This thing thou tellest to me,
On the hyest tree in Bucklesfordbery,
Then hanged shalt though be.
He called up his merry men all:
Come saddle me my steed;
This night must I go to Buckellsfordbery,
For I never had greater need.
And some of them whistld, and some of them sung,
And some these words did say,
And ever when my lord Barnard's horn blew,
Away, Musgrave, away!
Methinks I hear the thresel-cock,
Methinks I hear the jaye;
Methinks I hear my lord Barnard,
And I would I were away.
Lye still, lye still, thou Little Musgrave,
And huggell me from the cold;
'Tis nothing but a shephard's boy,
A driving his sheep to the fold.
Is not thy hawke upon a perch?
Thy steed eats oats and hay;
And thou a fair lady in thine armes,
And wouldst thou be away?
With that my lord Barnard came to the dore,
And lit a stone upon;
He plucked out three silver keys,
And he opend the dores each one.
He lifted up the coverlett,
He lifted up the sheet:
How now, thou Littell Musgrave,
Doest thou find my lady sweet?
I find her sweet, quoth Little Musgrave,
The more 'tis to my paine;
I would gladly give three hundred pounds
That I were on yonder plaine.
Arise, arise, thou Littell Musgrave,
And put thy clothes on;
I shall nere be said in my country
I have killed a naked man.
I have two swords in one scabberd,
Full deere they cost my purse;
And thou shalt have the best of them,
And I will have the worse.
The first stroke that Little Musgrave stroke,
He hurt Lord Barnard sore;
The next stroke that Lord Barnard stroke,
Little Musgrave nere struck more.
With that bespake the faire lady,
In bed whereas she lay:
Although thou'rt dead, thou Little Musgrave,
Yet I for thee will pray.
And wish well to thy soule will I;
So long as I have life;
So will I not for thee, Barnard,
Although I am thy wedded wife.
He cut her paps from off her brest;
Great pitty it was to see
That some drops of this ladie's heart's blood
Ran trickling downe her knee.
Woe worth you, woe worth, my mery men all,
You were nere borne for my good;
Why did you not offer to stay my hand,
When you see me wax so wood?
For I have slaine the bravest sir knight
That ever rode on steed;
So have I done the fairest lady
That ever did woman's deed.
A grave, a grave, Lord Barnard cryd,
To put these lovers in'
Bly lay my lady on the upper hand,
For she came of the better kin.
The Penguin Book Of Ballads, ed Geoffry Grigson
Child's "A" text, Little Musgrave and the Lady Barnard, includes two variants; (a) that appearing in Wit Restor'd (1658) and in the reprint, Facetiae (London, 1817, I, 293); and (b) from Wit and Drollery, 1682, p.81. The latter differs in various details, which are specified in Child's notes. Bronson has no tune for 81A; but comments:
" This ballad is one of those quoted in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Knight of the Burning Pestle (c.1611), and it was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1630. The Gosson broadside [81C] printed by Child is little later, the Percy Folio text [81B] is of about the same date, and the A-text is of 1658. There has also survived a Scottish text earlier than any of these in the Panmure MS., as yet unprinted. None of these early texts, so far as I have learned, either preserves or names a tune. They are in ordinary ballad-quatrains, single or double, and without refrain; except that the A-text has an interpolated "Hay downe" after the first line. In this feature it is like the scrap quoted in The Knight, except that the latter has an extra "down". These may probably be an abbreviated indication of a fuller refrain such as is found at the same place in several of the Robin Hood ballads. Some of the latter add a similar indication after the fourth line. One may conjecture that the refrain as actually sung in these cases was of the Three Ravens pattern, appearing as the second, fourth, and seventh and eighth phrases of an eight-phrase tune. This is a normal form for country dances in the seventeenth century; and ballad-tunes adapted to dancing, usually in 6/8 time, were likely to be so extended. On the other hand, the tune of Arthur-a-Bland, used with some of the Robin Hood ballads, had only this single interpolated phrase after the second line and may be the one here intended."
No certain tune for this example, then. Bronson goes on to say:
"The earliest tunes actually reported from tradition are of a far later date, being Motherwell's of 1827 [Child 81M, Little Mushiegrove] and Chappell's of c.1858. (Rimbault, in 1850, follows Motherwell with editorial alteration.) These are both variants of the same tune."
These two appear in Bronson as (81) Group Ad; nos. 31 and 32.
Two broadside editions of the later 17th century can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:lamentable ballad of Little Musgrove, and the lady Barnet
Printed 169- for A.M. W.]O. and T. Thackeray at the Angel in Duck-lane [London]. Firth b.19(13). [A lamentable] ballad of the little Musgrove, and the lady Barnet
Printed between 1663 and 1674 for F. Coles, T. Vere and J. Wright [London]. Douce Ballads 1(115b).
The tunes offered are taken from Chappell and Motherwell (see above):
In the first (Chappell), Slurs and word-fitting, which Bronson does not quote have been "refitted".
The second is as quoted from Bronson.
Both tunes are avilable in all formats except MIDI from this site. MIDI will play the first tune.
(Search Roud index at VWML)