Literature / The Famous Flower of Serving Men

The Famous Flower of Serving Men is Child Ballad #106, with two sharply divergent stories.

In both variants, the heroine's mother sent knights to murder the heroine's husband and sometimes baby. The heroine dresses herself as a man and goes to court, where she works for the king.

In Francis Child's version, and many others, one day when the king is hunting, she laments her fate, and a servant who overhears her tell the king.

In others, the king goes hunting, chases a milk-white hind, and is led to the grave. There, the husband's ghost laments his wife's fate, and so the king hears of it.

In both variants, the king then executes her mother and marries her.

Child's variant here. One of the other type is here.

Tropes included