The Queen's Crowning


They were wedded at midnight
By shine of candles three,
And they were bedded till daylight
Before he went to sea.


" When are you home, my love," she said,
" When are you home from sea?"
" You may look for me home, my love," he said,
" In two years or in three."


" Heaven make the time be short," she said,
" Although it were years three.
Heaven make it sweet to you," she said,
" And make it short to me.


And what is your true name?" she said,
" Your name and your degree?
How shall I call my love," she said,
" When he is over the sea?"


" O I am the king's son," he said,
" Lord William they call me.
I give you my love and I give you my land,
When I come home from sea."


He yearn'd, he yearn'd to have his love,
For two years and for three.
Then he set sail in a golden ship
With a golden company.


Or ever he set his foot to the land
He saw his brothers three.
" O have you here a foreign lady
Come with you from over the sea?"


" O I have here no foreign lady
Come with me from over the sea."
" Then will you wed with an English lady,
As wedded you must be?"


Says " Get you, get you a lady to wed
That has both gold and fee.
Ere you set sail the king was dead.
The crown has come to thee."


" And if I chose a love to wed
That was of low degree?
The crown should be unto her head
And what were that to thee?"


One has gone to the king's steward,
Shewn him both gold and fee:
Said " Who then is this lowly woman,
And truly tell to me."


The king's friend told the thing that was hid
Because of gold and fee.
Said, it was not meet the king should wed
With one of low degree.


They have held his eyes with blindfold bands
Because he should not see.
They have bound his feet, they have bound his hands:
It was but one to three.┬░


They have taken out their long brands,┬░
They made him kneel on knee.
" It is for the shame of the lowly woman
That this has come to thee."


They have happ'd him with the sand and stone┬░
That was beside the sea.
In his heart said everyone
The crown shall be for me.


Lowly Alice sat in her bower
With a two years child at her knee.
" I think it is seven days," she said,
" Thy father thou shalt see."


Lowly Alice look'd abroad
Over field and tree,
And she was ware of a servingman
Came running over the lea.


" O what will you now, good servingman,
O what will you now with me?"
Says " Are you not Lord William's love
That is of low degree?"


" I am Lord William's love," she said,
" And Alice they call me."
" Lord William comes hunting tomorrow morning,
And he will come to thee.


But how will you Lord William know
Beside his brothers three?"
" Because he is my love," she said,
" And is so fair to see."


" Yet how will you Lord William know
Beside his brothers three?
His three brothers are each as tall
And each as fair as he.


If it be a white rose in his hand,
A lily if it should be,
In this wise you may know your lord
Beside his brothers three:


If he wear the crown upon his head
Among his brothers three,
If he wear a crown upon his head
And bring a crown for thee."


She heard the hunt the morrow morning
And she came out to see.
And there she never saw the king,
But saw his brothers three.


She stood before them in the glen,
She kneeled upon her knee.
" O where is Lord William, my lords," she said,
" I pray you tell to me."


Two made answer in one breath
And each said " I am he."
" Fie, you are not Lord William," she said;
" O fie that this should be."


Then up and spake the third brother,
Said " Listen now to me.
Lord William is king of all this land
And thou of low degree."


" Fie," she said unto them all,
" No truth between you three.
If he were king of all this land
He would have come for me."


As she lay weeping at the night
She heard but knockings three.
" It is as cold as death without:
Open the door to me."


Said " Who is this that stands without?"
Said " Open, open to me."
When she had made the door wide
Her true-love she might see.


" O why art thou so wan," she said,
" And why so short with me?
And art thou come from English land,
Or come from over the sea?"


" I am not come from English land,
Nor yet from over the sea.
If I were come from Paradise,
It were more like to be."


" Is it a lily in your hand,
Is it a rose I see?
Did you pull it in the king's garden
When you came forth for me?"


" I did not pull it in king's garden
When I came forth for thee.
If it were a flower of Paradise,
It were more like to be."


" Is that the King's crown on your head,
And have you a crown for me?"
" If it were a crown of Paradise,
It were more like to be."


The more she ask'd, the more he spoke,
The fairer waxed he.
The more he told, the less she spoke,
The wanner waned she.


" Wilt thou follow me, my true love,
If I give thee kisses three?
Wilt thou follow me, my true love?
I have a crown for thee."


" O I will follow thee, my true love.
Give me thy kisses three.
Sweeter thy kisses, my own love,
Than all the crowns to me."


He gave her kisses cold as ice;
Down upon ground fell she.
She has gone with him to Paradise.
There shall her crowning be.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.