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The Cruel Brother

No: 11; variant: 11C

  1. THERE waur three ladies in a ha, Hech hey an the lily gey By cam a knicht, an he wooed them a’. An the rose is aye the redder aye
  2. The first ane she was cled in green; ‘Will you fancy me, an be my queen?’
  3. ‘You may seek me frae my father dear, An frae my mither, wha did me bear.
  4. ‘You may seek me frae my sister Anne, But no, no, no frae my brither John.’
  5. The niest ane she was cled in yellow; ‘Will you fancy me, an be my marrow?’
  6. ‘Ye may seek me frae my father dear, An frae my mither, wha did me bear.
  7. ‘Ye may seek me frae my sister Anne, But no, no, no frae my brither John.’
  8. The niest ane she was cled in red: ‘Will ye fancy me, an be my bride?’
  9. ‘Ye may seek me frae my father dear, An frae my mither wha did me bear.
  10. ‘Ye may seek me frae my sister Anne, An dinna forget my brither John.’
  11. He socht her frae her father, the king, An he socht her frae her mither, the queen.
  12. He socht her frae her sister Anne, But he forgot her brither John.
  13. Her mither she put on her goun, An her sister Anne preened the ribbons doun.
  14. Her father led her doon the close, An her brither John set her on her horse.
  15. Up an spak our foremost man: ‘I think our bonnie bride’s pale an wan.’
  16. ‘What will ye leave to your father dear?’ ‘My . . . . . an my . . . . . chair.’
  17. ‘What will ye leave to your mither dear?’ ‘My silken screen I was wont to wear.’
  18. ‘What will ye leave to your sister Anne?’ ‘My silken snood an my golden fan.’
  19. ‘What will you leave to your brither John?’ ‘The gallows tree to hang him on.’