Legends & Sagas
276A: The Friar in the Well
276A.1 As I lay musing all alone,
fa, la, la, la, la
A pretty jeast I thought upon;
fa, la, la, la, la
Then listen a while, and I will you tell
Of a fryer that loved a bonny lass well.
fa, la, la, la, la
fa, la, la, lang-tre-down-dilly
276A.2 He came to the maid when she went to bed,
Desiring to have her maidenhead,
But she deny d his desire,
And told him that she feard hell-fire.
276A.3 Tush, quoth the fryer, Thou needst not doubt
If thou wert in hell I could sing thee out:
Then, quoth the maid, Thou shalt have thy request;
The fryer was glad as a fox in his nest.
276A.4 But one thing, quoth she, I do desire,
Before you have what you require;
Before that you shall do the thing,
An angel of mony thou shalt me bring.
276A.5 Tush, quoth the fryer, we shall agree,
No mony shall part my love and me;
Before that I will see thee lack,
Ile pawn the grey gown from my back.
276A.6 The maid bethought her of a wile
How she the fryer might bequile;
While he was gone, the truth to tell,
She hung a cloth before the well.
276A.7 The fryer came, as his covenant was,
With money to his bonny lass;
Good morrow, fair maid! Good morrow! quoth she.
Here is the mony I promised thee.
276A.8 thankt the man, and she took his mony:
Now let us go to t, quoth he, Sweet hony:
O stay, quoth she, Some respite make,
My father comes, he will me take.
276A.9 Alas! quoth the fryer, where shall I run,
To hide me till that he be gone?
Behinde the cloath run thou, quoth she,
And there my father cannot thee see.
276A.10 Behind the cloath the fryer crept,
And into the well on the sudden he leapt;
Alas, quoth he, i am in the well!
No matter, quoth she, if thou wert in hell.
276A.11 Thou sayst thou couldst sing me out of hell,
Now prithee sing thy self out of the well:
The fryer sung with a pittiful sound,
Oh help me out, or I shall be dround!
276A.12 I trow, quoth she, your courage is coold.
Quoth the fryer, I was never so foold,
I never was serv d so before.
Then take heed, quoth she, Thou comst there no more.
276A.13 Quoth he, For sweet Saint Francis sake
On his disciple some pitty take:
Quoth she, Saint Francis never taught
His scholars to tempt young maids to naught.
276A.14 The fryer did entreat her still
That she should help him out of the well;
She heard him make such pittious moan
She helpd him out, and bid him be gone.
276A.15 Quoth he, Shall I have my mony again,
Which thou from me hast beforehand tane?
Good sir, said she, Theres no such matter;
Ile make you pay for fouling my water.
276A.16 The fryer went all along the street,
Droping wet, like a new-washd sheep;
Both old and young commended the maid
That such a witty prank had plaid.
276B: The Friar in the Well
276B.1 O HEARKEN and hear, and I will you tell
Sing, Faldidae, faldidadi
Of a friar that loved a fair maiden well.
Sing, Faldi dadi di di (bis)
276B.2 The friar he came to this maidens bedside,
And asking for her maidenhead.
276B.3 O I would grant you your desire,
If twerena for fear o hells burning fire.
276B.4 O hells burning fire ye need have no doubt;
Altho you were in, I could whistle you out.
276B.5 O if I grant to you this thing,
Some money you unto me must bring.
276B.6 He brought her the money, and did it down tell;
She had a white cloth spread over the well.
276B.7 Then the fair maid cried out that her master was come;
O, said the friar, Then where shall I run?
276B.8 O ye will go in behind yon screen,
And then by my master ye winna be seen.
276B.9 n in behind the screen she him sent.
But he fell into the well by accident.
276B.10 Then the friar cried out with a piteous moan,
O help! O help me! or else I am gone.
276B.11 Ye said ye wad whistle me out o hell;
Now whistle your ain sel out o the well.
276B.12 She helped him out and bade him be gone;
The friar he asked his money again.
276B.13 As for your money, there is no much matter
To make you pay more for jumbling our water.
276B.14 Then all who hear it commend this fair maid
For the nimble trick to the friar she played.
276B.15 friar he walked on the street,
And shaking his lugs like a well-washen sheep.
Next: 277. The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin