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John of Hazelgreen

No: 293; variant: 293D

  1. As I went forth to take the air Intill an evening clear, And there I spied a lady fair, Making a heavy bier; Making a heavy bier, I say, But and a piteous meen, And aye she sighd, and said, Alas, For John o Hazelgreen!
  2. The sun was sinking in the west, The stars were shining clear, When thro the thickets o the wood, A gentleman did appear. Says, Who has done you the wrong, fair maid, And left you here alane? Or who has kissd your lovely lips, That ye ca Hazelgreen?
  3. ‘Hold your tongue, kind sir,’ she said, ‘And do not banter so; How will ye add affliction Unto a lover’s woe? For none’s done me the wrong,’ she said, ‘Nor left me here alane; Nor none has kissd my lovely lips, That I ca Hazelgreen.’
  4. ‘Why weep ye by the tide, lady? Why weep ye by the tide? How blythe and happy might he be Gets you to be his bride! Gets you to be his bride, fair maid, And him I’ll no bemean; But when I take my words again, Whom call ye Hazelgreen?
  5. ‘What like a man was Hazelgreen? Will ye show him to me?’ ‘He is a comely, proper youth I in my sleep did see; Wi arms tall, and fingers small, He’s comely to be seen;’ And aye she loot the tears down fall For John o Hazelgreen.
  6. ‘If ye’ll forsake young Hazelgreen, And go along with me, I’ll wed you to my eldest son, Make you a lady free.’ ‘It’s for to wed your eldest son I am a maid oer mean; I’ll rather stay at home,’ she says ‘And die for Hazelgreen.’
  7. ‘If ye’ll forsake young Hazelgreen, And go along with me, I’ll wed you to my second son, And your weight o gowd I’ll gie.’ ‘It’s for to wed your second son I am a maid oer mean; I’ll rather stay at home,’ she says, ‘And die for Hazelgreen.’
  8. Then he’s taen out a siller comb, Combd down her yellow hair; And looke:d in a diamond bright, To see if she were fair. ‘My girl, ye do all maids surpass That ever I have seen; Cheer up your heart, my lovely lass, And hate young Hazelgreen.’
  9. ‘Young Hazelgreen he is my love, And ever mair shall be; I’ll nae forsake young Hazelgreen For a’ the gowd ye’ll gie.’ But aye she sighd, and said, Alas! And made a piteous meen, And aye she loot the tears down fa For John o Hazelgreen.
  10. He looke:d high, and lighted low, Set her upon his horse; And they rode on the Edinburgh, To Edinburgh’s own cross. And when she in that city was, She lookd like ony queen: ‘‘Tis a pity such a lovely lass Shoud love young Hazelgreen.’
  11. ‘Young Hazelgreen, he is my love, And ever mair shall be; I’ll nae forsake young Hazelgreen For a’ the gowd ye’ll gie.’ And aye she sighd, and said, Alas! And made a piteous meen, And aye she loot the tears down fa For John o Hazelgreen.
  12. ‘Now hold your tongue, my well-fard maid, Lat a’ your mourning be, And a’ endeavours I shall try To bring that youth to thee, If ye’ll tell me where your love stays, His stile and proper name.’ ‘He’s laird o Taperbank,’ she says, ‘His stile, Young Hazelgreen.’
  13. Then he has coft for that lady A fine silk riding-gown, Likewise he coft for that lady A steed, and set her on; Wi menji feathers in her hat, Silk stockings and siller sheen, And they are on to Taperbank, Seeking young Hazelgreen.
  14. They nimbly rode along the way, And gently spurrd their horse, Till they rode on to Hazelgreen, To Hazelgreen’s own close. Then forth he came, young Hazelgreen, To welcome his father free: ‘You’re welcome here, my father dear, And a’ your companie.’
  15. But when he lookd oer his shoulder, A light laugh then gae he; Says, If I getna this lady, It’s for her I must die. I must confess this is the maid I ance saw in a dream, A walking thro a pleasant shade, As fair’s a cypress queen.
  16. ‘Now hold your tongue, young Hazelgreen, Lat a’ your folly be; If ye be wae for that lady, She’s thrice as wae for thee. She’s thrice as wae for thee, my son, As bitter doth complain; Well is she worthy o the rigs That lie on Hazelgreen.’
  17. He’s taen her in his arms twa, Led her thro bower and ha: ‘Cheer up your heart, my dearest dear, Ye’re flower out-oer them a’. This night shall be our wedding-een, The morn we’ll say, Amen; Ye’se never mair hae cause to mourn, Ye’re lady o Hazelgreen.’