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The Franklin's Maid

From Songs of Action (1898).

(From 'The White Company')

The franklin he hath gone to roam,
The franklin's maid she bides at home;
But she is cold, and coy, and staid,
And who may win the franklin's maid?

There came a knight of high renown
In bassinet and ciclatoun;
On bended knee full long he prayed -
He might not win the franklin's maid.

There came a squire so debonair,
His dress was rich, his words were fair.
He sweetly sang, he deftly played -
He could not win the franklin's maid.

There came a mercer wonder-fine,
With velvet cap and gaberdine;
For all his ships, for all his trade,
He could not buy the franklin's maid.

There came an archer bold and true,
With bracer guard and stave of yew;
His purse was light, his jerkin frayed -
Haro, alas! the franklin's maid!

Oh, some have laughed and some have cried,
And some have scoured the countryside;
But off they ride through wood and glade,
The bowman and the franklin's maid.

Arthur Conan Doyle