The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Three Knights

Words and Music: English Traditional
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, pp 68-71.

1. There did three Knights come from the West,
    With the high and the lily oh!
And these three Knights courted one Lady,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

2. The first Knight came was all in white,
    With the high and the lily oh!
And asked of her if she'd be his delight,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

3. The next Knight came was all in green,
    With the high and the lily oh!
And asked of her, if she'd be his Queen,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

4. The third Knight came was all in red,
    With the high and the lily oh!
And asked of her, if she would wed,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

5. Then have you asked of my Father dear,
    With the high and the lily oh!
Likewise of her who did me bear?
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

6. And have you asked of my brother John?
    With the high and the lily oh!
And also of my sister Anne?
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

7. Yes, I have asked of your Father dear,
    With the high and the lily oh!
Likewise of her who did you bear,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

8. And I have asked of your sister Anne,
    With the high and the lily oh!
But I've not asked of your brother John,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

[Here some verses seem to be wanting.]

9. For on the road as they rode along,
    With the high and the lily oh!
There did they meet with her brother John,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

10. She stooped low tokiss him sweet,
    With the high and the lily oh!
He to her heart did a dagger meet,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

11. Ride on, ride on, cried the serving man,
    With the high and the lily oh!
Methinks your bride she looks wond'rous wan,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

12. I wish I were on yonder stile,
    With the high and the lily oh!
For there I would site and bleed awhile,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

13. I wish I were on yonder hill,
    With the high and the lily oh!
There I'd alight and make my will,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

14. What would you give to your Father dear,
    With the high and the lily oh!
The gallant steed which doth me bear,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

15. What would you give to your Mother dear,
    With the high and the lily oh!
My wedding shift which I do wear,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

16. But she must wash it very clean,
    With the high and the lily oh!
For my heart's blood sticks in ev'ry seam,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

17. What would you give to your sister Anne,
    With the high and the lily oh!
My gay gold ring, and my feathered fan,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

18. What would you give to your brother John,
    With the high and the lily oh!
A rope and gallows to hang him on,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

19. What would you give to your brother John's wife,
    With the high and the lily oh!
A widow's weeds, and a quiet life,
    As the rose was so sweetly blown.

Sheet Music

Editor's Note:

Text notes in brackets are from Mr. Gilbert.

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