Lord Delamere 1 Good people give attention to a story you shall hear: Between the king and my lord Delamere, A quarrel arose in the Parliament House, Concerning the taxes to be put in force. With my fal de ral de ra. 2 I wonder, I wonder that James, our good king, So many hard taxes upon the poor should bring; So many hard taxes, as I have heard them say Makes many a good farmer to break and run away. 3 Such a rout has been in the parliament, as I hear, Betwixt a Dutch lord and my lord Delamere. He said to the king, as he sat on the throne, 'If it please you, my liege, to grant me a boon.' 4 'O what is thy boon? Come, let me understand.' 'It's to give me all the poor you have in the land; I'll take them down to Cheshire, and there I will sow Both hemp-seed and flax-seed, and hang them in a row. 5 'It's better, my liege, they should die a shorter death Than for your Majesty to starve them on earth.' With that up starts a Dutch lord, as we hear, And he says, 'Thou proud Jack,' to my lord Delamere, 6 'Thou ought to be stabbed,' and he turned him about, 'For affronting the king in the Parliament House.' Then up got a brave duke, the Duke of Devonshire, Who said, I will fight for my lord Delamere. 7 'He is under age, as I'll make it appear, So I'll stand in defence of my lord Delamere.' A stage then was built, and to battle they went, To kill or be killed it was their intent. 8 The very first blow, as we understand, Devonshire's rapier went back to his hand; Then he mused awhile, but not a word spoke, When against the king's armour his rapier he broke. 9 O then he stept backward, and backward stept he, And then stept forward my lord Willoughby; He gave him a rapier, and thus he did say; Play low, Devonshire, there's treachery, I see. 10 He knelt on his knee, and he gave him the wound, With that the Dutch lord fell dead on the ground: The king calld his soldiers, and thus he did say: Call Devonshire down, take the dead man away. 11 He answered, My liege, I've killed him like a man, And it is my intent to see what clothing he's got on. O treachery! O treachery! as I well may say, It was your intent, O king, to take my life away. 12 'He fought in your armour, while I fought him bare, And thou, king, shalt win it before thou dost it wear; I neither do curse king, parliament, or throne, But I wish every honest man may enjoy his own. 13 'The rich men do flourish with silver and gold, While poor men are starving with hunger and cold; And if they hold on as they have begun, They'll make little England pay dear for a king. Child #207 Child's version B, from Llewellynn Jewitt, Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire, 1867 Not historically accurate, according to Child, May refer to event of 1687 betwee n the Earl of Devonshire and Colonel Colepepper, which was not in Parliament and did not involve swords. SOF APR99
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!