The Cruel Brother
No: 11; variant: 11A
- THERE was three ladies playd at the ba,
With a hey ho and a lillie gay
There came a knight and played oer them a’.
As the primrose spreads so sweetly
- The eldest was baith tall and fair,
But the youngest was beyond compare.
- The midmost had a graceful mien,
But the youngest lookd like beautie’s queen.
- The knight bowd low to a’ the three,
But to the youngest he bent his knee.
- The ladie turned her head aside,
The knight he woo’d her to be his bride.
- The ladie blushd a rosy red,
And sayd, ‘Sir knight, I’m too young to wed.’
- ‘O ladie fair, give me your hand,
And I’ll make you ladie of a’ my land.’
- ‘Sir knight, ere ye my favor win,
You maun get consent frae a’ my kin.’
- He’s got consent frae her parents dear,
And likewise frae her sisters fair.
- He’s got consent frae her kin each one,
But forgot to spiek to her brother John.
- Now, when the wedding day was come,
The knight would take his bonny bride home.
- And many a lord and many a knight
Came to behold that ladie bright.
- And there was nae man that did her see,
But wishd himself bridegroom to be.
- Her father dear led her down the stair,
And her sisters twain they kissd her there.
- Her mother dear led her thro the closs,
And her brother John set her on her horse.
- She leand her oer the saddle-bow,
To give him a kiss ere she did go.
- He has taen a knife, baith lang and sharp,
And stabbd that bonny bride to the heart.
- She hadno ridden half thro the town,
Until her heart’s blude staind her gown.
- ‘Ride softly on,’ says the best young man,
‘For I think our bonny bride looks pale and wan.’
- ‘O lead me gently up yon hill,
And I’ll there sit down, and make my will.’
- ‘O what will you leave to your father dear?’
‘The silver-shod steed that brought me here.’
- ‘What will you leave to your mother dear?’
‘My velvet pall and my silken gear.’
- ‘What will you leave your sister Anne?’
‘My silken scarf and my gowden fan.’
- ‘What will you leave to your sister Grace?’
My bloody cloaths to wash and dress.’
- ‘What will you leave to your brother John?’
‘The gallows-tree to hang him on.’
- ‘What will you leave to your brother John’s wife?’
‘The wilderness to end her life.’
- This ladie fair in her grave was laid,
And many a mass was oer her said.
- But it would have made your heart right sair,
To see the bridegroom rive his haire.