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Queen Eleanor’s Confession

No: 156; variant: 156B

  1. OUR queen’s sick, an very sick, She’s sick an like to die; She has sent for the friars of France, To speak wi her speedilie.
  2. ‘I’ll put on a friar’s robe, An ye’ll put on anither, An we’ll go to Madam the Queen, Like friars bath thegither.’
  3. ‘God forbid,’ said Earl Marishall, ‘That ever the like shud be, That I beguile Madam the Queen! I wad be hangit hie.’
  4. The King pat on a friar’s robe, Earl Marishall on anither; They’re on to the Queen, Like friars baith thegither.
  5. ‘Gin ye be the friars of France, As I trust well ye be—- But an ye be ony ither men, Ye sall be hangit hie.’
  6. The King he turnd him roun, An by his troth sware he, We hae na sung messe Sin we came frae the sea.
  7. ‘The first sin ever I did, An a very great sin ‘twas tee, I gae my maidenhead to Earl Marishall, Under the greenwood tree.’
  8. ‘That was a sin, an a very great sin, But pardond it may be;’ ‘Wi mendiment,’ said Earl Marishall, But a heavy heart had he.
  9. ‘The next sin ever I did, An a very great sin ‘twas tee, I poisened Lady Rosamond, An the King’s darling was she.’
  10. ‘That was a sin, an a very great sin, But pardond it may be;’ ‘Wi mendiment,’ said King Henry, But a heavy heart had he.
  11. ‘The next sin ever I did, An a very great sin ‘twas tee, I keepit poison in my bosom seven years, To poison him King Henrie.’
  12. ‘That was a sin, an a very great sin, But pardond it may be;’ ‘Wi mendiment,’ said King Henry, But a heavy heart had he.
  13. ‘O see na ye yon bonny boys, As they play at the ba? An see na ye Lord Marishal’s son? I lee him best of a’.
  14. ‘But see na ye King Henry’s son? He’s headit like a bull, and backit like a boar, I like him warst awa:’ ‘And by my sooth,’ says him King Henry, ‘I like him best o the twa.’
  15. The King he turned him roun, Pat on the coat o goud, . . . . The Queen turnd the King to behold.
  16. . . . . . . . . ‘Gin I hadna sworn by the crown and sceptre roun, Earl Marishal sud been gart die.’