Legends & Sagas
272A: The Suffolk Miracle
272A.1 A WONDER stranger ner was known
Then what I now shall treat upon.
In Suffolk there did lately dwell
A farmer rich and known full well.
272A.2 He had a daughter fair and bright,
On whom he placd his chief delight;
Her beauty was beyond compare,
She was both virtuous and fair.
272A.3 A young man there was living by,
Who was so charm d with her eye
That he could never be at rest,
He was with love so much possest.
272A.4 He made address to her, and she
Did grant him love immediately;
Which when her father came to hear,
He parted her and her poor dear.
272A.5 Forty miles distant was she sent,
Unto his brothers, with intent
That she should there so long remain
Till she had changd her mind again.
272A.6 Hereat this young man sadly grievd,
But knew not how to be relievd;
He sighd and sobd continually
That his true love he could not see.
272A.7 She by no means could to him send
Who was her hearts espous d friend;
He sighd, she grievd, but all in vain,
For she confind must still remain.
272A.8 He mournd so much that doctors art
Could give no ease unto his heart;
Who was so strang[e]ly terrified,
That in short time for love he dyed.
272A.9 She that from him was sent away
Knew nothing of his dying-day,
But constant still she did remain;
To love the dead was then in vain.
272A.10 After he had in grave been laid
A month or more, unto this maid
He comes about middle of the night,
Who joyd to see her hearts delight.
272A.11 Her fathers horse, which well she knew,
Her mothers hood and safeguard too,
He brought with him to testifie
Her parents order he came by.
272A.12 Which when her unckle understood,
He hopt it would be for her good,
And gave consent to her straightway
That with him she should come away.
272A.13 When she was got her love behind,
They passd as swift as any wind,
That in two hours, or little more,
He brought her to her fathers door.
272A.14 But as they did this great haste make,
He did complain his head did ake;
Her handkerchief she then took out,
And tyed the same his head about.
272A.15 And unto him she thus did say:
Thou art as cold as any clay;
When we come home, a fire weel have;
But little dreamt he went to grave.
272A.16 Soon were they at her fathers door,
And after she ner see him more;
Ile set the horse up, then he said,
And there he left this harmless maid.
272A.17 She knockt, and strait a man he cryed,
Whos there? Tis I, she then replyed;
Who wondred much her voice to hear,
And was possest with dread and fear.
272A.18 Her father he did tell, and then
He stared like an affrighted man:
Down stairs he ran, and when he see her,
Cryd out, My child, how camst thou here?
272A.19 Pray, sir, did you not send for me,
By such a messenger? said she:
Which made his hair stare on his head,
As knowing well that he was dead.
272A.20 Where is he? then to her he said;
Hes in the stable, quoth the maid.
Go in, said he, a+end go to bed;
Ile see the horse well littered.
272A.21 He stared about, and there could hee
No shape of any mankind see,
But found his horse all on a sweat;
Which made him in a deadly fret.
272A.22 His daughter he said nothing to,
Nor no one else, though well they knew
That he was dead a month before,
For fear of grieveing her full sore.
272A.23 Her father to his father went
Who was deceasd, with this intent,
To tell him what his daughter said;
So both came back unto this maid.
272A.24 They askd her, and she still did say
Twas he that then brought her away;
Which when they heard they were amazd,
And on each other strang[e]ly gazd.
272A.25 A handkerchief she said she tyed
About his head, and that they tryed;
The sexton they did speak unto,
That he the grave would then undo.
272A.26 Affrighted then they did behold
His body turning into mould,
And though he had a month been dead,
This kercheif was about his head.
272A.27 This thing unto her then they told,
And the whole truth they did unfold;
She was thereat so terrified
And grievd, she quickly after dyed.
272A.28 Part not true love, you rich men, then;
But, if they be right honest men
Your daughters love, give them their way,
For force oft breeds their lives decay.
Next: 273. King Edward the Fourth and a Tanner of Tamworth