Part 2

M'lord is going hunting

With hawk, and steed, and hound.

He departs upon the morrow.

His body won't be found.

I milked Holstein at the Castle

As a maid of seventeen.

M'lord's wife was a widow,

Homely, but with means.

M'lord was tall and comely,

His shoulders strong and broad.

His elegance seemed wasted

With a shrew as cold as cod.

One eve when teats were emptied,

For home I did depart.

M'lord sulked in a courtyard,

Brooding, sick of heart.

Tearful did he tell me

Of his distant, spiteful wife.

He spoke with noble sorrow

Of the pity of his life.

I took his hand, thou wearied

And followed through a door.

My heart leapt like a knelling

When I knew the Castle floor.

His chamber door creaked open.

Fearful, I walked through.

My want of sleep forgotten

As a new desire grew.

My heart was warm with wanting

As I dreamt another life.

Should I not be his lady?

Could I not be his wife?

First gentle, then with violence,

M'lord did wrest his prize

Then cast me out half-naked

And warned against true lies.

My 'da did beat me bloody

When he saw my belly swell.

My mother turned her face away

And said I'd go to hell.

My home became a gaol

As my bastard-child grew.

I caught myself in hoping

That the child be born blue.

I fled with squalling baby

Into the darkling trees.

I'll raise her in the forest

Where no Lord may spread her knees.

So, rising one clear morning,

I coaled my tresses black.

I hear the bugles blowing

In chase of hide and rack.

Thus waiting m'lord finds me

Upon a lonely trail:

A peasant girl, black tresses,

With milk-gorged Bosom Vale.

His eye doth gaze with hunger

Upon my rounded valley.

He wants another bastard

To add unto his tally.

"An hour with my body?" asked.

"For just a couple coins?"

"You'll have no payment from thy lord

For the issue of his loins!"

Dismounting from his warhorse,

He forces me to knees.

He tries to ram his oak home

With no witness but the trees.

The dirk leaps quickly to my hand,

From hid within my Vale.

The blade is true upon its path,

His face now draining pale.

So turning I gaze at his fear

As the crimson, bubbling, flows.

I slit his throat both deep and clean

With that vengeful blow.

"You named me 'Slut'," I now proclaim.

"You called me 'dove' and 'sprite'.

Know my face, recall your sin

Now bared unto the light."

A morning ray breaks through the wood,

A new life now I'll make.

I have some meat to gift my 'da

And my daughter soon will wake.