Half Hitch A noble rich man in Plymouth did dwell He had but one daughter, a beautiful girl A handsome young farmer with riches supplied He courted this fair maid to make her his bride He courted her long and gained her love And then she intended this young man to prove When he asked her to marry she quickly replied And told him right off she would not be his bride He vowed then that home he quickly would steer And by a sad oath to her he did swear How he'd wed the first woman that e'er he did see If she was as mean as a beggar could be She ordered her servants this man to delay Her jewels and rings, she laid them away She put on the worst of old rags she could find She looked like a teapot before and behind She rubbed both her hands on the old chimney back And then blackened her face from corner to crack Then around to the road she flew like witch With her petticoats hoisted all on the half hitch The young man came riding and when he did see her He cried out 'alas' for his oath he did fear But being so faithful to keep his words true He soon overtook her, saying "Pray, who are you?" "I am a woman" This answer did suit him as well as the rest It lay very heavy and hard on his breast "How can I bear for to make her my bride?" But still he did ask her behind him to ride "Your horse will throw me, I know" "No", he replied, "My horse, he will not" So then she climbed up and behind him she got He wished himself well from his promises free But he turned to her saying, "Will you have me?" "Yes I will" My heart it doth fail me, I dare not go home My parents will think I am sorely undone I will leave you here with my neighbor to tarry Within a few days with you I will marry "You won't, I know" He told her he would and home he did go He soon told his father and mother also Of his woeful case and how he had sworn His parents said to him, "For that do not mourn" Oh, ne'er break your vows, but bring home your girl We'll soon snug her up and she'll do very well They asked his old spark to the wedding to come Her servants replied that she was not at home They invited her maidens to wait on her there And then for the wedding they all did prepare Published the banns and invited the guests And then they intended the bride for to dress "I'll just be married in my old clothes" When they were married, they sat down to eat With her fingers she hauled out the cabbage and meat As she stood a-stooping some called to his bride Saying pray go along and sit by his side "I'll just sit in the chimney corner like I'm used to" She burned all her fingers in the pudding, I fear Then licked them and wiped them all on her old rags They gave her a candle, what could she want more And showed her the way to the chamber door "Husband, when you hear my shoes go "clunk", you may come along" Upstairs she then went and kept stepping about His mother said to him, " What think is the rout?" He cried out, "Dear Mother, Pray don't say a word For ne'er any comfort can this world afford" A little while later, her shoes they went "clunk" They gave him a candle and bade him go along Upstairs then he went and quickly he found As handsome a lady as e'er stepped the ground All dressed in the richest of clothes to behold She was finer and fairer than pictures of gold He greatly rejoiced at this end to his fears For he had married the lady he courted for years Downstairs they went and a frolic they had Which made both their hearts feel merry and glad They looked like two flower that pleased the eye With many full glasses, all wished them great joy ___________ related to Child 31 The Marriage of Sir Gawain Pete Seeger has recorded it on "Story Songs" DT #453 Laws N23 SOF
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