The Gypsy Countess

There came an earl a-riding by,
A gypsy maid espied he.
" O nut-brown maid," to her he said,
" I prithee come away with me.

" I'll take you up, I'll carry you home,
I'll put a safeguard over you,
Your shoes shall be of the Spanish leather,
And silken stockings all of blue."

" My brothers three no more I'll see
If that I went along with you.
I'd rather be torn by thistle and thorn
With my bare feet all in the dew."

" I'll lock you up in a castle tall,
I'll bar you up in a room so high,
Thou gypsy maid from greenwood glade,
That ne'er a gypsy shall come by.

" Thou shalt no more be set in stocks
And trudge about from town to town,
But thou shalt ride in pomp and pride
In velvet red and broidered gown."

" I'll pawn my hat, I'll pawn my gown,
I'll pawn my ribbons, stockings blue.
I'll pawn my petticoat next my shift
To follow along with the gypsies O!"

" All night you lie 'neath the starry sky,
In rain and snow you walk all day,
But ne'er thy head shall have feather bed
And in thy arms no husband lay."

" I love to lie 'neath a starry sky,
I do not heed the rain and snow,
And I will away, come night come day,
To follow along with my gypsies O!"

" I will thee wed, sweet maid," he said,
" I will thee wed with a golden ring,
Then you shalt dance and merry, merry be
And I'll make thee a gay wedding."

" I will not wed, kind sir," she said,
" I will not wed with a golden ring,
For fickle as wind I fear I'll find
The man that would make my wedding."

Three gypsies stood at the castle gate,
They sang so high, they sang so low.
The lady sat in her chamber late,
Her heart it melted away as snow.

They sang so sweet, they sang so shrill
That fast her tears began to flow
And she laid down her golden gown,
Her golden rings and all her show.

And she put off her silken shoes
That were of Spanish leather O,
All forth for to go in the rain and snow,
All forth in the stormy weather,
And down the stair came the lady fair
To go away with the gypsies O.

At past midnight her lord came home
And where his lady was would know.
All servants replied on every side,
" She's gone away with the gypsies O."

" Come saddle my horse, come saddle my mare,
And hang my sword to the saddle bow,
That I may ride for to seek my bride
That is gone away with the gypsies O."

They saddled his horse, they saddled his mare
And hung his sword on his saddle bow
That he might ride for to seek his bride
That was gone away with the gypsies O.

Then he rode high, and he rode low,
He rode through hills and valleys O,
He rode till he spied his own fair bride
Following along with the gypsies O.

" What makes you leave both house and lands,
What makes you leave your money O,
What takes you abroad from your wedded lord
To follow along with the gypsies O?"

" Oh I want none of your house and lands
And I want none of your money O,
Neither care I for my wedded lord,
I will follow along with the gypsies O"

" Last night you slept in a feather bed
Rolled in the arms of your husband O,
And now you must sleep on the cold, cold ground
And walk along in the rain and snow."

" I care not to sleep in a feather bed
Rolled in the arms of a husband O.
Far rather I'd sleep on the cold, cold ground
And walk along in the rain and snow."

" Nay, that shall not be, I swear," said he.
He drew his sword from his saddle bow,
And once he smote on her lily-white throat
And then her red blood down did flow.
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