Legends & Sagas
108: Christopher White
108.1 AS I walked forth one morninge,
By one place that pleased mee,
Wherin I heard a wandering wight,
Sais, Christopher White is good companye.
108.2 I drew me neere, and very neere,
Till I was as neere as neere cold bee;
Loth I was her councell to discreene,
Because I wanted companye.
108.3 Say on, say on, thou well faire mayd,
Why makest thou moane soe heauilye?
Sais, All is for one wandering wight,
Is banished forth of his owne countrye.
108.4 I am the burgesse of Edenburrow,
Soe am I more of townes three;
I haue money and gold great store,
Come, sweet wench, and ligg thy loue on mee.
108.5 The merchant pulled forth a bagg of gold
Which had hundreds two or three;
Sais, Euery day throughout the weeke
Ile comt as much downe on thy knee.
108.6 O merchant, take thy gold againe,
A good liuing twill purchase thee;
If I be false to Christopher White,
Merchant, I cannott be true to thee.
108.7 Sais, I haue halls, soe haue I bowers,
Sais, I haue shipps sayling on the sea;
I ame the burgess of Edenburrowe;
Come, sweete wench, ligge thy loue on mee.
108.8 Come on, come, thou well faire mayde,
Of our matters lett vs goe throughe,
For to-morrowe Ile marry thee,
And thy dwelling shalbe in Edenburrough.
108.9 The lady shee tooke this gold in her hand,
The teares th fell fast from her eye;
Sais, Siluer and gold makes my hart to turne,
And makes me leaue good companye.
108.10 They had not beene marryed
Not ouer monthes two or three,
But tydings came to Edenburrowe
That all the merchants must to the sea.
108.11 Then as this lady sate in a deske,
Shee made a loue-letter full round;
She mad a lettre to Christopher White,
And in itt shee put a hundred pound.
108.12 She lind the letter with gold soe red,
And mony good store in itt was found;
Shee sent itt to Christopher White,
That was soe far in the Scotts ground.
108.13 Shee bade him then frankely spend,
And looke that hee shold merry bee,
And bid him come to Edenburrowe,
Now all the merchants be to the sea.
108.14 But Christopher came to leeue London,
And there he kneeled lowly downe,
And there hee begd his pardon then,
Of our noble king that ware the crowne.
108.15 But when he came to his true-loues house,
Which was made both of lime and stone,
Shee tooke him by the lily-white hand,
Sais, True-loue, you are welcome home!
108.16 Welcome, my honey, welcome, my ioy,
Welcome, my true-loue; home to mee!
Ffor thou art hee that will lengthen my dayes,
And I know thou art good companye.
108.17 Christopher, I am a merchants wiffe;
Christopher, the more shall be your gaine;
Siluer and gold you shall haue enough,
Of the merchants gold that is in Spaine.
108.18 But if you be a merchants wiffe,
Something to much you are to blame;
I will thee reade a loue-letter
Shall sture thy stumpes, thou noble dame.
108.19 Althoug I be a marchants wiffe,
. . . shall . . mine
. and g . . . . .
Into England Ile goe with the.
108.20 They packet vp both siluer and plate,
Siluer and gold soe great plentye,
And they be gon into Litle England,
And the marchant must them neuer see.
108.21 And when the merchants they came home,
Their wiues to eche other can say,
Heere hath beene good Christopher White,
And he hath tane thy wiffe away.
108.22 They haue packett vp spoone and plate,
Siluer and gold great plenty,
And they be gon into Litle England,
And them againe thow must neuer see.
108.23 I care nott for my siluer and gold,
Nor for my plate soe great plentye,
But I mourne for that like-some ladye
That Christopher White hath tane from mee.
108.24 But one thing I must needs confesse,
This lady shee did say to me,
If shee were false to Christopher White,
Shee cold neuer be true to mee.
108.25 All young men a warning take,
A warning, looke, you take by mee;
Looke that you loue your old loues best,
For infaith they are best companye.
Next: 109. Tom Potts