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The Earl of Aboyne

No: 235; variant: 235A

  1. THE Earl of Aboyne he’s courteous and kind, He’s kind to every woman, And the Earl of Aboyne he’s courteous and kind, But he stays ower lang in London.
  2. The ladie she stood on her stair-head, Beholding his grooms a coming; She knew by their livery and raiment so rare That their last voyage was from London.
  3. ‘My grooms all, ye’ll be well in call, Hold all the stables shining; With a bretther o degs ye’ll clear up my nags, Sin my gude lord Aboyne is a coming.
  4. ‘My minstrels all, be well in call, Hold all my galleries ringing; With music springs ye’ll try well your strings, Sin my gude lord’s a coming.
  5. ‘My cooks all, be well in call, Wi pots and spits well ranked; And nothing shall ye want that ye call for, Sin my gude Lord Aboyne’s a coming.
  6. ‘My chamber-maids, ye’ll dress up my beds, Hold all my rooms in shining; With Dantzic waters ye’ll sprinkle my walls, Sin my good lord’s a coming.’
  7. Her shoes was of the small cordain, Her stockings silken twisting; Cambrick so clear was the pretty lady’s smock, And her stays o the braided sattin.
  8. Her coat was of the white sarsenent, Set out wi silver quiltin, And her gown was o the silk damask, Set about wi red gold walting.
  9. Her hair was like the threads of gold, Wi the silk and sarsanet shining, Wi her fingers sae white, and the gold rings sae grite, To welcome her lord from London.
  10. Sae stately she steppit down the stair, And walkit to meet him coming; Said, O ye’r welcome, my bonny lord, Ye’r thrice welcome home from London!
  11. ‘If this be so that ye let me know, Ye’ll come kiss me for my coming, For the morn should hae been my bonny wedding-day Had I stayed the night in London.’
  12. Then she turned her about wi an angry look, O for such a sorry woman! ‘If this be so that ye let me know, Gang kiss your ladies in London.’
  13. Then he looked ower his left shoulder To the worthie companie wi him; Says he, Isna this an unworthy welcome The we’ve got, comin from London!
  14. ‘Get yer horse in call, my nobles all, And I’m sorry for yer coming, But we’ll horse, and awa to the bonny Bog o Gight, And then we’ll go on to London.’
  15. ‘If this be Thomas, as they call you, You’ll see if he’ll hae me with him; And nothing shall he be troubled with me But myself and my waiting-woman.’
  16. ‘I’ve asked it already, lady,’ he says, ‘And your humble servant, madam; But one single mile he winna lat you ride Wi his company and him to London.’
  17. A year and mare she lived in care, And docters wi her dealin, And with a crack her sweet heart brack, And the letters is on to London.
  18. When the letters he got, they were all sealed in black, And he fell in a grievous weeping; He said, She is dead whom I loved best If I had but her heart in keepin.
  19. Then fifteen o the finest lords That London could afford him, From their hose to their hat, they were all clad in black, For the sake of her corpse, Margaret Irvine.
  20. The furder he gaed, the sorer he wept, Come keping her corpse, Margaret Irvine. Until that he came to the yetts of Aboyne, Where the corpse of his lady was lying.