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Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173G

  1. O MARY HAMILTON to the kirk is gane, Wi ribbons in her hair; An the king thoct mair o Marie Then onie that were there.
  2. Mary Hamilton’s to the preaching gane, Wi ribbons on her breast; An the king thocht mair o Marie Than he thocht o the priest.
  3. Syne word is thro the palace gane, I heard it tauld yestreen, The king loes Mary Hamilton Mair than he loes his queen.
  4. A sad tale thro the town is gaen, A sad tale on the morrow; Oh Mary Hamilton has born a babe, An slain it in her sorrow!
  5. And down then cam the auld queen, Goud tassels tied her hair: ‘What did ye wi the wee wee bairn That I heard greet sae sair?’
  6. ‘There neer was a bairn into my room, An as little designs to be; ‘Twas but a stitch o my sair side, Cam owre my fair bodie.’
  7. ‘Rise up now, Marie,’ quo the queen, ‘Rise up, an come wi me, For we maun ride to Holyrood, A gay wedding to see.’
  8. The queen was drest in scarlet fine, Her maidens all in green; An every town that they cam thro Took Marie for the queen.
  9. But little wist Marie Hamilton, As she rode oure the lea, That she was gaun to Edinbro town Her doom to hear and dree.
  10. When she cam to the Netherbow Port, She laughed loud laughters three; But when she reached the gallows-tree, The tears blinded her ee.
  11. ‘Oh aften have I dressed my queen, An put gowd in her hair; The gallows-tree is my reward, An shame maun be my share!
  12. ‘Oh aften hae I dressed my queen, An saft saft made her bed; An now I’ve got for my reward The gallows-tree to tread!
  13. ‘There’s a health to all gallant sailors, That sail upon the sea! Oh never let on to my father and mither The death that I maun dee!
  14. ‘An I charge ye, all ye mariners, When ye sail owre the main, Let neither my father nor mither know But that I’m comin hame.
  15. ‘Oh little did my mither ken, That day she cradled me, What lands I was to tread in, Or what death I should dee.
  16. ‘Yestreen the queen had four Maries, The nicht she’ll hae but three; There’s Marie Seaton, an Marie Beaton, An Marie Carmichael, an me.’