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Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173F

  1. my father was the Duke of York, My mother a lady free, Mysel a dainty demosell, Queen Mary sent for me.
  2. The queen’s meat, it was sae sweet, Her colthing was sae rare, It made me lang for Sweet Willie’s bed, An I’ll rue it ever maer.
  3. Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton, And Lady Livinston, three, We’ll never meet in Queen Mary’s bower, Now Maries tho ye be.
  4. Queen Mary sat in her bower, Sewing her silver seam; She thought she heard a baby greet, But an a lady meen.
  5. She threw her needle frae her, Her seam out of her hand, An she is on to Lady Mary’s bower, As fast as she could gang.
  6. ‘Open your door, Lady Mary,’ she says, ‘And lat me come in; For I hear baby greet, But an a lady meen.’
  7. ‘There is na bab in my bower, madam, Nor never thinks to be, But the strong pains of gravel This night has seized me.’
  8. She pat her fit to the door, But an her knee, Baith of brass and iron bands In flinders she gard flee.
  9. She pat a hand to her bed-head, An ither to her bed-feet, An bonny was the bab Was blabbering in its bleed.
  10. ‘Wae worth ye, Lady Mary, An ill dead sall ye die! For an ye widna kept the bonny bab, Ye might ha sen’t to me.’
  11. ‘Lay na the wate on me, madam, Lay na the wate on me! For my fas love bare the brand at his side That gared my barrine die.’
  12. ‘Get up, Lady Beaton, get up, Lady Seton, And Lady Livinstone three, An we will on to Edinburgh, An try this gay lady.’
  13. As she came to the Cannongate, The burgers’ wives they cryed Hon ohon, ochree! . . . . . .
  14. ‘O had you still, ye burgers’ wives, An make na meen for me; Seek never grace of a graceless face, For they hae nane to gie.
  15. ‘Ye merchants and ye mariners, That trade upon the sea, O dinna tell in my country The dead I’m gaen to die!
  16. ‘Ye merchants and ye mariners, That sail upo the faeme, O dinna tell in my country But that I’m comin hame!
  17. ‘Little did my father think, Whan he brought me our the sea, That he wad see me yellow locks Hang on a gallow’s tree.
  18. ‘Little did my mither think Whan she brought me fra hame, That she maught see my yellow loks Han[g] on a gallow-pin.
  19. ‘O had your hand a while! . . . For yonder comes my father, I’m sure he’l borrow me.
  20. ‘O some of your goud, father, An of your well won fee, To save me [frae the high hill] [And ] frae the gallow-tree!’
  21. ‘Ye’s get nane of my goud, Nor of my well won fee, For I would gie five hundred pown To see ye hangit hie.’
  22. ‘O had yer hand a while! . . . Yonder is my love Willie, Sure he will borrow me.
  23. ‘O some o your goud, my love Willie, An some o yer well won fee, To save me frae the high hill, And fra the gallow-tree!’
  24. ‘Ye’s get a’ my goud, And a’ my well won fee, To save ye fra the headin-hill, And frae the gallow-tree.’