As I fell out on a bright holiday
Small hail from the sky did fall
Our Saviour asked his mother dear
If he might go and play at ball
"At ball? At ball? My own dear son?
It's time that you were gone,
And don't let me hear any mischief
At night when you come home."
So it's up the hill, and down the hill
Our sweet young Saviour run,
Until he met three rich young lords
"Good morning" to each one.
"Good morn", "good morn", "good morn"
said they, "Good morning" then said He
"And which one of you three rich young lords
will play at the ball with me?"
"Ah, we're all lords' and ladies' sons
born in a bower and hall
And you are nought but a poor maid's child
Born in an ox's stall"
"If I am nought but a poor maid's child
born in a ox's stall
I'll make you believe at your latter end
I'm an angel above you all"
So he made a bridge of beams of the sun
And over the river ran he
And after him ran these rich young lords
And drowned they all three.
Then it's up the hill, and it's down the hill
Three rich young mothers run
Crying "Mary Mild, fetch home her child
For ours he's drowned each one."
So Mary Mild fetched home her child
And laid him across her knee
And with a handful of withy twigs
She gave him lashes three.
"Ah bitter withy. Ah bitter withy
that causes me to smart,"
And the withy shall be very first tree
To perish at the heart.