The Broom of Cowdenknows
No: 217; variant: 217A
- THERE was a troop of merry gentlemen
Was riding atween twa knows,
And they heard the voice of a bonny lass,
In a bught milking her ews.
- There’s ane o them lighted frae off his steed,
And has ty’d him to a tree,
And he’s gane away to yon ew-bught,
To hear what it might be.
- ‘O pity me, fair maid,’ he said,
‘Take pity upon me;
O pity me, and my milk-white steed
That’s trembling at yon tree.’
- ‘As for your steed, he shall not want
The best of corn and hay;
But as to you yoursel, kind sir,
I’ve naething for to say.’
- He’s taen her by the milk-white hand,
And by the green gown-sleeve,
And he as led her into the ew-bught,
Of her friends he speerd nae leave.
- He as put his hand in his pocket,
And given her guineas three:
‘If I dinna come back in half a year,
Then luke nae mair for me.
- ‘Now show to me the king’s hie street,
Now show to me the way;
Now show to me the king’s hie street,
And the fair water of Tay.’
- She showd to him the king’s hie street,
She showd to him the way;
She showd him the way that he was to go,
By the fair water of Tay.
- When she came home, her father said,
‘Come, tell to me right plain;
I doubt you’ve met some in the way,
You have not been your lain.’
- ‘The night it is baith mist and mirk,
You may gan out and see;
The night is mirk and misty too,
There’s nae body been wi me.
- ‘There was a tod came to your flock,
The like I neer did see;
When he spake, he lifted his hat,
He had a bonny twinkling eee.’
- When fifteen weeks were past and gane,
Full fifteen weeks and three,
Then she began to think it lang
For the man wi the twinkling eee.
- It fell out on a certain day,
When she cawd out her father’s ky,
There was a troop of gentlemen
Came merrily riding by.
- ‘Weel may ye sigh and sob,’ says ane,
‘Weel may you sigh and see;
Weel may you sigh, and say, fair maid,
Wha’s gotten this bairn wi thee?’
- She turned her sel then quickly about,
And thinking meikle shame,
‘O no, kind sir, it is na sae,
For it has a dad at hame.’
- ‘O hawd your tongue, my bonny lass,
Sae loud as I hear you lee!
For dinna you mind that summer night
I was in the bught wi thee?’
- He lighted off his milk-white steed,
And set this fair maid on;
‘Now caw out your ky, good father,’ he said,
‘She’ll neer caw them out again.
- ‘I am the laird of Knottington,
I’ve fifty plows and three;
I’ve gotten now the bonniest lass
That is in the hale country.’