No: 208; variant: 208D
- THE king has written a braid letter,
And seald it up wi gowd,
And sent it to Lord Derntwater,
To read it if he coud.
- The first lines o’t that he read,
A blythe, blythe man was he;
But ere he had it half read through,
The tear blinded his ee.
- ‘Go saddle to me my milk-white horse,
Go saddle it with speed;
For I maun ride to Lun[n]on town,
To answer for my head.’
- ‘Your will, your will, my lord Derntwater,
Your will before ye go;
For you will leave three dochters fair,
And a wife to wail and woe.’
- ‘My will, my will, my lady Derntwater?
Ye are my wedded wife;
Be kind, be kind to my dochters dear,
If I should lose my life.’
- He set his ae fit on the grund,
The tither on the steed;
The ring upon his finger burst,
And his nose began to bleed.
- He rode till he cam to Lunnon town,
To a place they ca Whiteha;
And a’ the lords o merry England
A traitor him gan ca.
- ‘A traitor! a traitor! O what means this?
A traitor! what mean ye?’
‘It’s a’ for the keeping o five hundred men
To fecht for bonny Jamie.’
- Then up started a gray-headed man,
Wi a braid axe in his hand:
‘Your life, your life, my lord Derntwater,
Your life’s at my command.’
- ‘My life, my life, ye old gray-headed man,
My life I’ll freely gie;
But before ye tak my life awa
Let me speak twa words or three.
- ‘I’ve fifty pounds in ae pocket,
Go deal it frae door to door;
I’ve fifty five i the other pocket,
Go gie it to the poor.
- ‘The velvet coat that I hae on,
Ye may take it for your fee;
And a’ ye lords o merry Scotland
Be kind to my ladie!’