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The Broomfield Wager

This song is from the Upper Thames Valley.
The tune is also from southern England.

    A wager, a wager, a wager I will lay,
    Here's five hundred guineas to your ten,
    That a maiden you may go to the merry green broom,
    But a maiden you shall never more return.

    I'll wager, I'll wager with you kind sir,
    It's five hundred guineas to my ten,
    That a maiden I will go to the merry green broom,
    And a maiden I'll return back again.

    And when that she came to the bonny broom field,
    Her true love lay there fast asleep,
    With his horse by his head and a knife in his hand,
    And his greyhound, it lay there, at his feet.

    O three times she walked round the crown of his head,
    And three times she walked round his feet,
    And three times she kissed his rosy red lips
    As he lay on the ground fast asleep.

    She took from her left hand her golden ring
    And placed it on his right hand,
    And all for a token when he did awake
    That his true love had been there and gone.

    O where were you, my good greyhound,
    That once I bought so dear,
    That you did not waken me from my sleep
    When my true love was here ?

    I patted with my foot, master,
    And three times I made my bells to ring,
    And still I cried, Awake, awake, master,
    For now is the hour and the time.

    Sleep more in the night, master,
    And wake more in the day,
    And then you will see when your true love she does come
    And when she goes away.

    Had I been awake when my true love was here,
    And if I could not have gained my will,
    All these wild birds in this merry broomfield
    This night they should all have had their fill.

    Her blood should have been their drink for them,
    Her flesh should have been their meat,
    Her bones should have been their pillow by night,
    When they lay them down to sleep.

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