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Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173C

  1. THERE lived a lord into the west, And he had dochters three, And the youngest o them is to the king’s court, To learn some courtesie.
  2. She was not in the king’s court A twelvemonth and a day, Till she was neither able to sit nor gang, Wi the gaining o some play.
  3. She went to the garden, To pull the leaf aff the tree, To tak this bonnie babe frae her breast, But alas it would na do!
  4. She rowed it in her handkerchief, And threw it in the sea: ‘O sink ye, swim ye, wee wee babe! Ye’ll get nae mair o me.’
  5. Word is to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha, That Mary Myle she goes wi child To the highest Steward of a’.
  6. Down and came the queen hersell, The queen hersell so free: ‘O mary Myle, whare is the child That I heard weep for thee?’
  7. ‘O hold your tongue now, Queen,’ she says, ‘O hold your tongue so free! For it was but a shower o the sharp sickness, I was almost like to die.’
  8. ‘O busk ye, busk ye, Mary Myle, O busk, and go wi me; O busk ye, busk ye, Mary Mile, It’s Edinburgh town to see.’
  9. ‘I’ll no put on my robes o black, No nor yet my robes [o] brown; But I’ll put on my golden weed, To shine thro Edinburgh town.’
  10. When she went up the Cannongate-side, The Cannongate-side so free, Oh there she spied some ministers’ lads, Crying Och and alace for me!
  11. ‘Dinna cry och and alace for me! Dinna cry o[c]h and alace for me! For it’s all for the sake of my innocent babe That I come here to die.’
  12. When she went up the Tolbooth-stair, The lap cam aff her shoe; Before that she came down again, She was condemned to die.
  13. ‘O all you gallant sailors, That sail upon the sea, Let neither my father nor mother know The death I am to die!
  14. ‘O all you gallant sailors, That sail upon the faem, Let neither my father nor mother know But I am coming hame!
  15. ‘Little did my mother know, The hour that she bore me, What lands I was to travel in, What death I was to die.
  16. ‘Little did my father know, When he held up my head, What lands I was to travel in, What was to be my deid.
  17. ‘Yestreen I made Queen Mary’s bed, Kembed doun her yellow hair; Is this the reward I am to get, To tread this gallows-stair!’