King Henry

Steeleye Span "Below the Salt"


Let never a man a-wooing wend that lacketh thing-s three:
A store of gold, an open heart, and full of charity
And this was said of King Henry, as he lay quite alone
For he's taken him to a Haunted hall, seven miles from the town

He's chased the deer now him before, and the doe down by the glen
When the fattest buck in all the flock, King Henry he has slain
His huntsmen followed him to the Hall, to make them burly cheer
When loud the wind was heard to howl, and an earthquake rocked the floor

As darkness covered all the Hall where they sat at their meat
The grey dogs, yowling, left their food and crept to Henry's feet
And louder howled the rising wind, and burst the fastened door
When in there came a grisly ghost, stamping on the floor!

Her head hit the rooftree of the house, her middle you could not span
Each frightened Huntsman fled the hall, and left the King alone
Her teeth were like the tether-stakes, her nose like club or mall
And nothing less she seemed to be than a Fiend that comes from Hell!

Some meat, some meat, you King Henry, some meat you bring to me
Go kill your horse, you King Henry, and bring some meat to me!
And he has slain his berry-brown steed, it made his heart full sore
For she's eaten it up, both skin and bone, left nothing but hide and hair!

More meat, more meat, you King Henry, more meat you give to me!
Oh you must kill your good greyhounds, and bring some meat to me!
And he has slain his good greyhounds, it made his heart full sore
For she's eaten them up, both skin and bone, left nothing but hide and hair!

More meat, more meat, you King Henry, more meat you give to me!
Oh, you must slay your good goshawks, and bring some meat to me!
And he has slain his good goshawks, it made his heart full sore
For she's eaten them up, both skin and bone, left nothing but feathers bare!

Some drink, some drink, you King Henry, some drink you give to me
Oh you sew up your horse's hide, and bring some drink to me!
And he's sewn up the bloody hide, and a pipe of wine put in
And she's drank it up all in one drop, left never a drop therein!

A bed, a bed, now King Henry, a bed you'll make for me!
Oh you must pull the heather green, and make it soft for me!
And he has pulled the heather green, and made for her a bed
And taken has he his good mantle, and over it he has spread.

Take off your clothes, now King Henry, and lie down by my side!
Now swear, now swear, you King Henry, to take me as your Bride!
Oh God forbid, said King Henry, that ever the like betide;
That ever a Fiend that comes from Hell should stretch down by my side!

Then the night was gone, and the day was come and the sun did fill the Hall
The fairest Lady that ever was seen lay twixt him and the wall!
I've met with many a Gentle Knight that gave me such a fill,
But never before with a Perfect Knight, that gave me all my Will!

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Last modified: June 12 2016 13:19:32