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The Knight and the Shepherd’s Daughter

No: 110; variant: 110C

  1. THERE was a shepherd’s dochter Kept sheep on yonder hill; Bye cam a knicht frae the High College, And he wad hae his will.
  2. Whan he had got his wills o her, His will as he has taen: ‘Wad ye be sae gude and kind As tell to me your name?’
  3. ‘Some ca’s me Jock, some ca’s me John, Some disna ken my name, But whan I’m into the king’s court, Mitchcock is my name.’
  4. ‘Mitchcock! hey!’ the lady did say, And spelt it oure again; ‘If that’s your name in the Latin tongue, Earl Richard is your name!’
  5. O jumpt he upon his horse, And said he wad go ride; Kilted she her green claithing, And said she wad na bide.
  6. The knicht rade on, the lady ran, A live-lang simmer’s day, Till they cam to a wan water Was calld the river Tay.
  7. ‘Jump on behind, ye weill-faurd may, Or do ye chuse to ride?’ ‘No thank ye, sir,’ the lady said, ‘I rather chuse to wade;’ And afore that he was mid-water, She was at the ither side.
  8. ‘Turn back, turn back, ye weill-faurd may, My heart will brak in three:’ ‘And sae did mine in yon bonny hill-side, Whan ye wad [na] lat me be.’
  9. ‘Whare gat ye that gay claithing This day I see on thee?’ ‘My mither was a gude milk-nurse, And a gude nourice was she; She nursd the Earl of Stockford’s daughter, And gat aw this to me.’
  10. Whan she cam to the king’s court, She rappit wi a ring; Sae ready as the king himsel Was to let the lady in!
  11. ‘There is a knicht into your court This day has robbed me:’ ‘O has he taen your gowd,’ he says, ‘Or has he taen your fee?’
  12. ‘He has na taen my gowd,’ she says, ‘Nor yet has he my fee; But he has taen my maiden-head, The flowr o my fair bodie.’
  13. Then out bespak the queen hersel, Wha sat by the king’s knee: There’s na a knicht in aw our court Wad hae dune that to thee, Unless it war my brither, Earl Richard, And forbid it it war he!
  14. Wad ye ken your love, Amang a hunder men? ‘I wad,’ said the bonnie ladie, ‘Amang five hunder and ten.’
  15. The king made aw his merry men pass, By ane, by twa, and three; Earl Richard us’d to be the first man, But he was hinmost man that day.
  16. He cam hauping on ane foot, And winking with ae ee; But ‘Ha! ha!’ said the bonnie ladie, ‘That same young man are ye.’
  17. He’s taen her up to a hie towr-head And offerd her hunder punds in a glove: ‘Gin ye be a courteous maid, Ye’ll choice anither love.’
  18. ‘What care I for your hunder pund? Na mair than ye wad for mine; What’s a hunder pund to me, To a marriage wi a king!’
  19. Whan the marriage it was oure, And ilk ane took them horse, ‘It never set a beggar’s brat At nae knicht’s back to be.’
  20. The ladie met wi a beggar-wife, And gied her half o crown: ‘Tell aw your neebours, whan ye gang hame, That Earl Richard’s your gude-son.’
  21. ‘O hold your tongue, ye beggar’s brat, My heart will brak in three;’ ‘And sae did mine on yon bonny hill-side, Whan ye wad na let me be.’
  22. Whan she cam to yon nettle-dyke, . . . . . ‘An my auld mither she was here, Sae weill as she wad ye pu.
  23. ‘She wad boil ye weill, and butter ye weill, And sup till she war fu, And lay her head upon her dish-doup, And sleep like onie sow.’
  24. Whan she cam to Earl Richard’s house, The sheets war holland fine: ‘O haud awa thae linen sheets, And bring to me the linsey clouts I hae been best used in.’
  25. [‘Awa, awa wi your siller spoons, Haud them awa frae me; It would set me better to feed my flocks Wi the brose-cap on my knee: Sae bring to me the gude ram’s horn, The spoons I’ve been used wi.’]
  26. ‘Hold your tongue, ye beggar’s brat, My heart will brak in three;’ ‘And sae did mine on yon bonnie hillside, Whan ye wadna lat me be.’
  27. ‘I wish I had drank the well-water Whan first I drank the wine! Never a shepherd’s dochter Wad hae been a love o mine.
  28. ‘O I wish I’d drank the well-water Whan first I drank the beer, That ever a shepherd’s dochter Shoud hae been my only dear!’
  29. ‘Ye’ll turn about, Earl Richard, And mak some mair o me; An ye mak me lady o ae puir plow, I can mak ye laird o three.’
  30. ‘If ye be the Earl of Stockford’s dochter, As I’ve taen some thouchts ye be, Aft hae I waited at your father’s yett, But your face I coud never see.’