Blackamoor in the wood, or, A lamentable ballad on the tragical end of a gallant lord and virtuous lady
IN THE WOOD.
A Lamentable Ballad
On the tragical end of a gallant Lord and his
Together with the untimely death of their
Wickedly performed by a blood-thirſty villain
The like of which Cruelty was
never heard of
Stirling—Printed and Sold by M Randall.
The blackamoor in the Wood.
IN Rome a Nobleman did wed
a virgin of great fame;
A fairer creature never did
dame nature ever frame.
By whom he had two children fair,
whoſe beauty did excel,
And were their parents only joy;
they lov'd' them both ſo well.
This Lord he lov'd to hunt the buck,
the tyger and the boar:
And ſtill for ſwiftneſs always took
with him a Blackamoor:
Which Blackamoor within the wood,
his Lord he did offend
But there he did him then correct,
in hopes he would amend.
The day it drew unto an end,
when homeward they did haſte,
When with his Lady, he did reſt,
until the night was paſt.
Then in the morning he did riſe,
and both his ſervants call,
A hunting to provide to go,
ſtraight they were ready all.
Cauſe of his toil, his lady did
intreat him not to go;
Alas I good Lady, (then quoth he)
why art thou grieved ſo!
Content thyſelf, I will return
with ſpeed to thee again;
Good father, quoth the little babes,
with us ſtill here remain.
Farewel dear children, I will go
a fine thing you to buy;
but they therewith no whit content,
aloud began to cry,
Their mother takes them by the hand,
ſaying, come and go with me,
into the higheſt tower, where
your father you ſhall ſee.
The blackamoor perceived now
who then did ſtay behind,
his Lord a hunting to be gone,
began to call to mind,
My maſter he did me correct,
my fault not being great;
now of his wife I'll be reveng'd,
ſhe ſhall not me intreat.
The place was moated round about,
the bridge he up did draw;
the gates he bolted very ſtrong,
of none he ſtood in awe.
He up into the tower went,
the Lady being there,
Who when ſhe ſaw his count'nance grim,
ſhe ſtraight began to fear.
But now my trembling heart it quakes,
to think what I muſt write;
My ſenſes all begin to faint,
my ſoul it doth affright.
Yet I muſt make an end of this,
which here I have begun,
Which will make ſad the hardeſt heart
before that I have done.
The wretch unto the lady went
and there with ſpeed did will
His luſt forthwith to ſatisfy,
his mind for to fulfil.
The lady ſhe amazed was
to hear the villain ſpeak;
Alas! quoth ſhe, what ſhall I do!
with grief my heart will break.
With that he took her in his arms,
ſhe ſtraight for help did cry:
Content yourſelf, Lady, quoth he,
your husband is not nigh.
The bridge is drawn, the gate is ſhut,
therefore come lie with me,
Or elſe I do proteſt and vow
thy butcher I will be
The chryſtal tears ran from her checks,
her children cry'd amain,
And fought to help their mother dear
but alas! 'twas all in vain.
For the egregious filthy rogue
her hands behind her bound,
And then by foree with all his ſtrength
he threw her on the ground.
With that ſhe ſhriek'd, her children cry'd,
and ſuch a noiſe did make,
The townſmen hearing their lament,
did ſeek their part to take;
But all in vain, no way was found
to aid the lady's need,
Who cried to them moſt piteouſly,
oh help, oh help with ſpeed.
Some did run to the foreſt wide,
her lord home for to call;
And they that ſtood did ſore lament
the gallant lady's fall.
With ſpeed the lord came poſting hone,
but could not enter in;
His lady's cries did pierce his heart:
to call he did begin.
Hold thy rude hand, thou ſavage Moor,
to hurt her do forbear.
Or elſe as ſure as that I live
wild horſes ſhall thee tear.
With that the rogue ran to the wall,
he having had his well,
And brought one child under his arm,
his deareſt blood to ſpill
The child ſeeing his father there,
to him for help did cail,
O Father, help my mother dear,
we ſhall be killed all.
Then fell the lord upon his knees,
and did the Moor intreat,
To ſave the life of his poor child,
whoſe fear was then ſo great.
But the ſad wretch, the little child
by both the heels did take,
And daſh'd his head againſt the wall
while parents heart did quake.
But being dead, he quickly ran
the other child to fetch,
And pluck't it from the Mother's breaſt,
Like a moſt cruel wretch.
Within one hand a knife he brought,
the child into the other,
And holding it over the wall,
ſaid, This way ſhall die the mother.
With that he cut the throat of it,
then on the father calls
To ſee how he the head had cut
that down the brains did fall,
This done, he threw it o'er the wall
into the moat ſo deep,
Which made his father wring his hands;
and grievouſly to weep.
Then to the Lady this rogue went,
who was near dead with fear,
Yet the wild wretch moſt cruelly.
did drag her by the hair.
And drew her to the the very wall,
which there his lord did ſee;
then preſently he called out
and fell upon his knee.
Quoth he. It thou wilt ſave her life,
whom I do hold ſo dear,
will forgive thee all that's paſt,
tho' they concern me near.
ſave her life, I thee beſeech,
O ſave her life I pray,
and I will give thee what thou wilt
demand of me this day.
Yell, quoth the Moor, I do regard
the moan that thou doſt make,
thou wilt grant what I requeſt,
I'll ſave her for thy ſake.
ſave her life, and now demand
of me then what thou wilt:
cut off thy noſe, and not one drop
of her blood ſhall be ſpilt.
With that the noble lord did take,
a knife into his hand,
And there his noſe did quite cut off,
in place where he did ſtand.
Now I have bought my lady's life,
he to the Moor did call:
Then take her quoth tbe wicked rogue,
and down he let her fall.
Which when his lordſhip he did ſee,
his ſenſes all did fail;
Yet mang fought to ſave his life,
but they could not avail.
When as the Moor did ſee him dead,
then he did laugh amain
At them, who for this gallant lord
and lady did complain
Quoth he, I know you'll torture me
if that you could me get,
But all your threats I do not fear,
nor do regard one whit:
Wild horſes would my body tear,
I know it to be true;
But I'll prevent you of that pain,
then down himſelf he threw.
Too good a death for ſuch a wretch
a villain void of fear:
And thus doth end as ſad a tale
as ever you did hear.
This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.