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Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173E

  1. ‘MY father was the Duke of York, My mother a lady free, Mysell a dainty damsell, Queen Mary sent for me.
  2. ‘Yestreen I washd Queen Mary’s feet, Kam’d down her yellow hair, And lay a’ night in the young man’s bed, And I’ll rue t for evermair.
  3. ‘The queen’s kale was aye sae het, Her spice was aye sae fell, Till they gart me gang to the young man’s bed, And I’d a’ the wyte mysell.
  4. ‘I was not in the queen’s service A twelvemonth but barely ane, Ere I grew as big wi bairn As ae woman could gang.
  5. ‘But it fell ance upon a day, Was aye to be it lane, I did take strong travilling As ever yet was seen.’
  6. Ben it came the queen hersell, Was a’ gowd to the hair; ‘O where’s the bairn, Lady Maisry, That I heard greeting sair?’
  7. Ben it came the queen hersell, Was a’ gowd to the chin: ‘O where’s the bairn, Lady Maisry, That I heard late yestreen.’
  8. ‘There is no bairn here,’ she says, ‘Nor never thinks to be; ‘Twas but a stoun of sair sickness That ye heard seizing me.’
  9. They sought it out, they sought it in, They sought it but and ben, But between the bolster and the bed They got the baby slain.
  10. ‘Come busk ye, busk ye, Lady Maisdry, Come busk, an go with me; For I will on to Edinburgh, And try the verity.’
  11. She woud not put on the black, the black, Nor yet wad she the brown, But the white silk and the red scarlet, That shin’d frae town to town.
  12. As she gaed down thro Edinburgh town The burghers’ wives made meen, That sic a dainty damsel Sud ever hae died for sin.
  13. Make never meen for me,’ she says, ‘Make never meen for me; Seek never grace frae a graceless face, For that ye’ll never see.’
  14. As she gaed up the Tolbooth stair, A light laugh she did gie; But lang ere she came down again She was condemned to die.
  15. ‘A’ you that are in merchants-ships, And cross the roaring faem, Hae nae word to my father and mother, But that I’m coming hame.
  16. ‘Hold your hands, ye justice o peace, Hold them a little while! For yonder comes my father and mother, That’s travelld mony a mile.
  17. ‘Gie me some o your gowd, parents, Some o your white monie, To save me frae the head o yon hill, Yon greenwood gallows-tree.’
  18. ‘Ye’ll get nane o our gowd, daughter, Nor nane o our white monie; For we hae travelld mony a mile, This day to see you die.’
  19. ‘Hold your hands, ye justice o peace, Hold them a little while! For yonder comes him Warenston, The father of my chile.
  20. ‘Give me some o your gowd, Warenston, Some o your white monie, To save me frae the head o yon hill, Yon greenwood gallows-tree.’
  21. ‘I bade you nurse my bairn well, And nurse it carefullie, And gowd shoud been your hire, Maisry, And my body your fee.’
  22. He’s taen out a purse o gowd, Another o white monie, And he’s tauld down ten thousand crowns, Says, True love, gang wi me.