The Cruel Brother
No: 11; variant: 11[L]
- There were three ladies playing at the ba,
With a hey and a lilly gay
When the King o Fairies rode by them a’.
And the roses they grow sweetlie
- The foremost one was clad in blue;
He askd at her if she’d be his doo.
- The second of them was clad in red;
He asked at her if she’d be his bride.
- The next of them was clad in green;
He askd at her if she’d be his queen.
- ‘Go you ask at my father then,
And you may ask at my mother then.
- ‘You may ask at my sister Ann,
And not forget my brother John.’
- ‘O I have askd at your father then,
And I have askd at your mother then.
- ‘And I have askd at your sister Ann,
But I’ve quite forgot your brother John.’
- Her father led her down the stair,
Her mother combd down her yellow hair.
- Her sister Ann led her to the cross,
And her brother John set her on her horse.
- ‘Now you are high and I am low,
Give me a kiss before ye go.’
- She’s lootit down to gie him a kiss,
He gave her a deep wound and didna miss.
- And with a penknife as sharp as a dart,
And he has stabbit her to the heart.
- ‘Ride up, ride up,’ says the foremost man,
‘I think our bride looks pale an wan.’
- ‘Ride up, ride up,’ says the middle man,
‘I see her heart’s blude trinkling down.’
- ‘Ride on, ride,’ says the Fairy King,
‘She will be dead lang ere we win hame.’
- ‘O I wish I was at yonder cross,
Where my brother John put me on my horse.
- ‘I wish I was at yonder thorn,
I wad curse the day that ere I was born.
- ‘I wish I was at yon green hill,
Then I wad sit and bleed my fill.’
- ‘What will you leave your father then?’
‘The milk-white steed that I ride on.’
- ‘What will you leave your mother then?’
‘My silver Bible and my golden fan.’
- ‘What will ye leave your sister Ann?’
‘My good lord, to be married on.’
- ‘What will ye leave your sister Pegg?’
‘The world wide to go and beg.’
- ‘What will you leave your brother John?’
‘The gallows-tree to hang him on.’
- ‘What will you leave your brother’s wife?’
‘Grief and sorrow to end her life.’