KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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WINCHELSEA                        65
did not leave this inn without adding to my store of quaint old Sussex ballads. An old song, which I found pasted inside a history of Sussex, runs something in this fashion, and it was called " A Most Sweet Song of an English Merchant, born at Chichester." The merchant, who was a fine, valiant fellow, killed a man at Emden in a quarrel, was apprehended and ordered to be hung. How­ever, the law of the seventeenth century allowed a criminal to be saved if a woman came forward to marry him. A beautiful Dutch maid, with timely sympathy, came forward:
" * I goe my love,' she said,
' I run, I fly for thee ! And gentle Headsman spare a while,
My lover's life for me !' Unto the Duke she went,
Who did her grief remove, And with a hundred maidens more,
She went to fetch her love.
With musick sounding sweet,
The foremost of the traine, This gallant maiden like a Bride,
Did fetch him back againe ; Yes hand in hand they went
Unto the Church that day, And they were married presently,
In sumptuous rich array.
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