Literature: The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward

First night after I was borne, a lord I was,
An earle after my father doth die;
My father is the worthy Lord of Learne,
And child he hath noe more but mee;
He sent me over the sea with the false steward,
And thus that he hath beguiled mee.

The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward is Child Ballad #271.

The young lord of Lorn is sent abroad to study languages. The servant who went with him — and had sworn to keep him safe — tries to murder him and lets him off only on the promise to never reveal the truth to any man or woman.

The lord gets a job as a shepherd. The steward, presenting himself as the lord, wins the daughter of the Duke of France. She sees the lord one day and offers him a job; the steward objects because of his lowliness, and the duke gives him a job in the stable.

One day a horse kicks him and the lord rebukes it, telling it if only it knew whom it was kicking. The daughter overhears, asks him to explain, and, when he refuses, sits down and tells him to tell the horse. He does. She puts off the wedding and sends a letter to his father, who arrives with a great force. The steward is captured and executed as he had sworn he would be if he failed to guard the young lord. The young lord and the daughter marry.

Compare the Gender Flip Fairy Tale "The Goose Girl". It appears to be derived from the Chivalric Romance Roswall And Lillian. Full text of the two Child variants here; yet another variant here.

Tropes included