The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington

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The following appears in Percy's Reliques (1765).

There was a youth, and a well belov'd youth and he was a squire's son. He loved the bailiff's daughter dear that lived in Islington.

She was coy, and she would not believe that he did love her so, No, nor at any time she would any countenance to him show.

But when his friends did understand, his fond and foolish mind, They sent him up to fair London, an apprentice for to bind.

And when he had been seven long years and his love he had not seen, Many a tear have I shed for her sake, when she little thought of me.

All the maids of Islington went forth to sport and play; All but the bailiff's daughter dear; she secretly stole away.

She put off her gown of grey and put on her puggish attire; She's up to fair London gone, her true-love to require.

As she went along the road, the weather being hot and dry, There was she aware of her true-love, at length come riding by.

She stept to him, as red as any rose and took him by the bridle ring; "I pray you, kind sir, give me one penny, to ease my weary limb."

"I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me where that thou wast born?" "At Islington, kind sir," said she, "where I have had many a scorn."

"I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me whether thou dost know The bailiff's daughter of Islington?" "She's dead, sir, long ago."

"Then will I sell my goodly steed, my saddle and my bow; I will into some far country where no man doth me know."

"O stay, O stay, thou goodly youth! She's alive, she is not dead; Here she standeth by thy side and is ready to be thy bride."