The Bloody GARDENER's Cruelty; Or, The Shepherd's Daughter betray'd.

COME all you constant lovers, and to me lend an ear,
And mind this sad relation, which I do give you here:
[...]t is of a maiden fair, a Shepherd's daughter dear;
But love did prove her utter overthrow.
She was of beauteous mold, fair and clear to behold,
And by a noble lord she courted were,
But was too young, we find, as yet fond love to mind;
Yet little Cupid did her heart ensnare.
His parents they were all of high degree,
They said, She is no match at all for thee
If you our blessing have, grant us but what we crave,
And wed with none but whom we shall agree.
Dear son, for you we have chosen out a bride,
With store of gold and beautiful beside;
Of a temper kind and free, she is the girl for me,
But not a Shepherd's daughter of mean degree,
And if by us you'll not be ruled or led,
You from our presence shall be banished:
No more we will you own, to be our only son:
Then let our will be done, to end the strife,
Madam, said be if a begging I should go,
[...] should be well contented so to do,
If that I could but have the girl that I do crave,
No cursed gold should part my love and me.
Was she as poor as Job, and I of royal robe,
And lord of all the globe she should be mine,
His mother said in scorn, Thou art most nobly born,
And with a beggar's brat shall never join,
He hearing of his mother to say so,
His eyes did then with tears like fountains flow;
Saying, a promise I have made, and her heart betray'd,
Therefore no other for my bride I chuse.
A cruel snare then for her life she laid,
And for to act this thing, oh! then she did,
With her Gardener she agreed, to do the bloody deed
And butcher her forthwith, and dig her grave,
To the Bloody Gardener she gave forescore pounds.
To murder her and lay her under ground,
All in a grave so deep, in everlasting sleep,
Hoping her fair body would not be found.
She wrote a letter, and sent it with speed:
Saying, My dearest, with haste now proceed.
Meet me this night, I've something to declare.
Poor girl, she little thought upon the deed.
The youthful shepherdess of this nothing knew,
But went to meet her true love as she used to do;
She search'd the garden all around, but no true love she found.
At length the Bloody Gardener did appear.
What siunness have you here, madam, I pray?
Are you come here to rob the garden gay?
Cries she, No theif I am, but wait for that young-man,
Who did this night appoint to meet me here.
He spoke no more, but strait a knife he took,
And pierc'd her heart before one word she spoke,
Then on the ground she fell, crying, Sweet love, farewel.
O welcome, welcome, Death, thy fatal stroke.
Was this done now, my dear; by your design?
Or by your cruel parents most unkind,
My life is thus betray'd?—farewell vain world, she said,
I hope in heaven I a place shall find
But when he see her life was really gone,
Immediately he lay'd her in the ground,
With flowers fine and gay her corpse did overlay,
Intending that her body should not be found.
Now all the time this lord he nothing knew,
But went to meet his [...] love as he used to do,
He search'd the vallies round, but no true love he found;
The little lambs went wandering to and fro'
Lamenting greatly for their shepherdess
Then he did lay him down upon the grass.
The heavens he did implore, to see his love once more,
Oh! then, ye Gods above, I am surely blest,
Oh! whither shall I seek the angel bright?
Who is alone my pleasure and delight:
Pray, if alive she be, let me my true love see,
Or else my soul will quickly take its flight.
Whereat the woods and groves began to mourn;
The small birds they did sing a mournfull tune,
Crying, Your love is gone, and you left quite alone,
Then on a mossy bank he laid him down.
He had no sooner clos'd his eyes to sleep,
But a milk-white dove came to his breast,
Her fluttering wings did beat, which wak'd him out of sleep,
And then the dove took wing, and he was blest,
To this mother's garden strait he did repair,
For to bemoan the loss of his own dear,
Here the dove once more he seas, far on a myrtle tree,
With dropping wings disconsolate she did appear.
Oh! dove disconsolate, why do you come?
Have you not lost your love, as I have done?
That you do doge me here, no comfort can I bear▪
Then thus the dove replied, and then flew down.
Saving it was your mother order'd it so.
Then from her milk white breast the blood did flow.
To the grove he did repair, but found no true love there,
Homewards then to his mother he did go.
And said, Mother most cruel and severe.
I fear you've kill'd my joy and only dear:
For a dove, I do declare, did all in blood appear.
He said, if she is dead, her fate I'll share.
His mother hearing what the son did say,
She turn'd as pale as death and swoon'd away:
Then into distraction run, and told what the had done;
And where the virgin's body it then lay.
He said no more, but straitways took a kinfe,
And said, Farewell to the comfort of my life,
Then into the garden flew and pierc'd his body [...]
And said, It was cursed gold caused all this strife.
These loyal lovers in one tomb were laid,
And many a briny tear for them was shed,
And the Gardener, as we hear, was apprehended there,
And hang'd in chains for being so severe,

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