Berkshire lady's garland (1)

Berkshire Lady's Garland (1840–1850)

Date is estimated.

3190061Berkshire Lady's Garland1840-1850


Berkshire Lady's



I. Cupid’s Conquest over a coy Lady of five thousand a-year, &c.

II. The Lady's letter of a challange to fight him upon refusing to wed her in a mask without knowing who she was.

III. How they met by appointment in a Grove, where she obliged him to fight or wed her.

IV. How they rode together in her gilded Coach to her noble seat or castle, &c.



Berkshire Lady’s Garland.

Tune,———The Royal Forrester."

Bachelors of every station,
Mark this strange and true relation,
Which in brief to you I bring,
Never was a stranger thing.

You shall find it worth the hearing,
Loyal love is most endearing,
When it takes the deepest root,
Yielding charms and gold to boot.

Some will wed for love of treasure;
But the sweetest joy and pleasure
Is in faithful love you’ll find,
Graced with a noble mind.

Such a noble disposition,
Had this lady, with submission,
Of whom I this sonnet write,
Store of wealth and beauty bright.

She had left by a good grannum,
Full five thousand pounds per annum,
Whioh she held without controll;
Thus she did in riches roll.

Tho’ she had vast store of riches,
Which some persons much bewitches,
Yet she bore a courteous mind,
Not the least to pride inclin’d.

Many noble persons courted
This young lady, ’tis reported,
But their labour prov’d in vain,
They could not her favour gain.

Tho’ she made such true resistance,
Yet by Cupid’s true assistance,
She was conquer’d after all.
How it was declare I shall.

Being at a noble wedding,
Near the famous town of Redding,
A young gentleman she saw,
Who belonged to the law.

As she view’d his sweet behaviour,
Every courteous carriage gave her
New additions to her grief;
Forc’d she was to seek relief.

Privately she then enquir’d,
About him so much admir’d,
Both his name and where he dwelt,
Such was the hot flames she felt.

Then at night this youthful lady,
Call’d her coach, which being ready,
Homeward straight she did return,
But her heart in flames did burn.


Night and morning for a season,
In her closet would she reason
With herself, and often said,
Why has love my heart betray’d?

I that have so many slighted,
Am at length so well requited,
For my griefs are not a few!
Now I find what love can do.

He that has my heart in keeping,
Tho’ I for his sake be weeping;
Little knows what grief I feel,
But I’ll try it out with steel.

For I will a challenge send him,
And appoint where I’ll attend him;
In a grove without delay,
By the dawning, of the day.

He shall not the least discover,
That I am a virgin lover.
By the challenge which I send ;
But for justice l contend.

He has caused sad distraction,
And I come for satisfaction,
Which if he denies to give,
One of us shall eease to live.

Having thus her mind reveal’d,
She her letter closed and sealed:
Now when it came to his hand,
The young man was at a stand.

In her letter she conjur’d him,
For to meet, and well assur'd him,
Reeompence he must afford,
Or dispute it with the sword.

Having read the strange relation,
He was in a consternation;
Then advising with his friend,
He persuades him to attend.

Be of courage and make ready,
Faint heart never won fair lady,
In regard it must be so,
I along with you will go.


Early on a summer’s morning,
When bright Phœbus was adorning
Every bower with his beams,
The fair lady came it seems.

At the bottom of the mountain,
Near a pleasant crystal fountain;
There she left her gilded coach,
While the grove she did approanh,
Covered with her mask and walking.

There she met her lover talking
With a friend that he had brought;
Straight she ask’d him, who she sought.

I am challenged by a gallant,
Who resolves to try my talent;
Who he is I cannot say,
But I hope to shew him play.

It is that I did invite you,
You shall wed me or I’ll fight you,
Underneath those spreading trees;
Therefore choose you which you please.

You shall find I do not vapour,
I have brought my trusty rapier,
Therefore take your choice says she,
Either fight or marry me.

Said he, madam, pray what mean you?
In my life I never saw you;
Pray unmask, your visage ahow,
Then I’ll tell you Aye or No.

I will not my face uncover,
Till the marriage ties are over,
Therefore choose you which you will,
Wed me, sir, or try your skill.

Step within that pleasant bower,
With your friend one single hour,
Strive your thoughts to reconcile,
And I will wander here the while.

While this charming lady waited,
The young bachelors debated,
What was best for to be done;
Quoth his friend, the hazard run.

If my judgment may be trusted,
Wed her first, you can’t be worsted,
If she’s rich, you’ll rise to fame,
If she’s poor, why you’re the same.

He consented to be married,
In her coach they all were carried,
To a church without delay,
Where he weds the lady gay.

The sweet pretty Cupids hover’d,
Round her eyes, her face was cover'd
With a mask, he took her thus,
Just for better or for worse.

With a courteous kind behaviour,
She presents his friend a favour,
And withal dismiss’d him straight,
That he might no longer wait


As the gilded coach stood ready,
The young lover and his lady,
Rode together till they came
To her house of state and fame.

Which appeared like a castle,
Where he might behold a parcel
Of young ceders tall a d straight,
Just before her palace gate.

Hand in hand they walked together,
To a hall or parlour rather,
Which was beautiful and fair,
All alone she left him there.

Two long hours there he waited,
Her return at length he fretted,
And began to grieve at last,
For he had not broke his fast.

Still he sat like one amazed,
Round a spacious room he gazed,
Which was richly beautify’d;
But, alas! he lost his bride.

There was peeping, laughing, sneering,
All within the lawyer’s hearing:
But his bride he could not see;
Would I was at home thought he.

While his heart was melancholy,
Said the Stewart brisk and jolly,
Tell me friend, how came you hore?
You have some design I fear.

He reply’d dear loving master,
You shall meet with no disaster,
Through my means in any case,
Madam brought me to this place.

Then the Steward did retire,
Saying that he would enquire,
Whether it was true or no;
Never was love hampered so.

Now the lady who had fill’d him
With those fears, full well beheld him
From a window, where she drest,
Pleased at the pleasant jest.

When she had herself attired,
In rich robes to be admired,
She appeared in his sight,
Like a moving angel bright.

Sir, my servants have related,
How you have some hours waited
In my parlour, tell me who
In my house you ever knew.

Madam if I have offended,
It is more than I Intended;
A young lady brought me here,
That is true said she my dear.

I can be no longer cruel
To my joy and only jewel,
Thou art mine and I am thine,
Hand aud heart I do resign.

Once I was a wounded lover,
Now those fears are clearly over;
By receiving what I gave,
Thou art Lord of what I have.

Beauty, honour, love and treasure,
A rich golden stream of pleasure,
With his lady he enjoys;
Thanks to Cupid's kind decoys.

Now he’s cloth’d in rich attire,
Not inferior to a squire,
Beauty, honour, riches, store,
What can man desire more.


This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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