Lord Lovel was standing at his stable door,
Combing his milk-white steed;
And out came lady Nancybell,
To wish her lover good speed.
"Oh, where are you going, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"I pray you tell to me:"
"Oh, I am going a far journey,
Some strange countrie to see."
"And when will you return, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"I pray you tell to me."
"Oh, I'll return in seven long years,
Fair Nancybell for to see."
He had not been in merry England
A month but barely three,
When languishing thoughts came into his mind,
And Nancybell fain would he see.
So he rode and he rode along the highway
Till he came to yonder town;
He heard the sound of a chapel bell,
And the ladies were mourning around.
He asked them who it was that was dead,
And the ladies did him tell:
They said, "It is fair Nancybell,
She died for Lord Lovel."
The lid of the coffin he opened up,
The linens he folded down,
And now he kissed the pale, pale lips,
And the tears came trickling down.
"Oh, hast thou died, fair Nancybell,
Oh, hast thou died for me?
Oh, hast thou died, fair Nancybell?
Then I will die for thee!"
Lady Nancybell died, as it were, this day,
Lord Lovel, he died to-morrow.
Lady Nancybell died of pure, pure love,
Lord Lovel, he died of sorrow.
Lady Nancy was buried in St. Mary's church,
Lord Lovel in the choir,
And out of her breast there sprang a red rose,
And out of Lord Lovel's sweet-briar.
They grew and they grew to the top of the church,
And then they could grow no higher,
They grew till they made a true-lover's knot,
For all true lovers to admire.