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The King’s Dochter Lady Jean

No: 52; variant: 52A

  1. THE king’s young dochter was sitting in her window, Sewing at her silken seam; She lookt out o the bow-window, And she saw the leaves growing green, my luve, And she saw the leaves growing green.
  2. She stuck her needle into her sleeve, Her seam down by her tae, And she is awa to the merrie green-wood, To pu the nit and slae.
  3. She hadna pu’t a nit at a’, A nit but scarcely three, Till out and spak a braw young man, Saying, How daur ye bow the tree?
  4. ‘It’s I will pu the nit,’ she said, ‘And I will bow the tree, And I will come to the merrie green wud, And na ax leive o thee.’
  5. He took her by the middle sae sma, And laid her on the gerss sae green, And he has taen his will o her, And he loot her up agen.
  6. ‘Now syn ye hae got your will o me, Pray tell to me your name; For I am the king’s young dochter,’ she said, ‘And this nicht I daurna gang hame.’
  7. ‘Gif ye be the king’s dochter,’ he said, ‘I am his auldest son; I wish I had died on some frem isle, And never had come hame!
  8. ‘The first time I came hame, Jeanie, Thou was na here nor born; I wish my pretty ship had sunk, And I had been forlorn!
  9. ‘The neist time I came hame, Jeanie, Thou was sittin on the nourice knee; And I wish my pretty ship had sunk, And I had never seen thee!
  10. ‘And the neist time I came hame, Jeanie, I met thee here alane; I wish my pretty ship had sunk, And I had neer come hame!’
  11. She put her hand down by her side, And doun into her spare, And she pou’t out a wee pen-knife, And she wounded hersell fu sair.
  12. Hooly, hooly rase she up, And hooly she gade hame, Until she came to her father’s parlour, And there she did sick and mane.
  13. ‘O sister, sister, mak my bed, O the clean sheets and strae, O sister, sister, mak my bed, Down in the parlour below.’
  14. Her father he came tripping down the stair, His steps they were fu slow; ‘I think, I think, Lady Jean,’ he said, ‘Ye’re lying far ower low.’
  15. ‘O late yestreen, as I came hame, Down by yon castil wa, O heavy, heavy was the stane That on my briest did fa!’
  16. Her mother she came tripping doun the stair, Her steps they were fu slow; ‘I think, I think, Lady Jean,’ she said, ‘Ye’re lying far ower low.’
  17. ‘O late yestreen, as I cam hame, Down by yon castil wa, O heavy, heavy was the stane That on my breast did fa!’
  18. Her sister came tripping doun the stair, Her steps they were fu slow; ‘I think, I think, Lady Jean,’ she said, ‘Ye’re lying far ower low.’ ‘O late yestreen, as I cam hame, Doun by yon castil wa, O heavy, heavy was the stane That on my breast did fa!’
  19. Her brither he cam trippin doun the stair, His steps they were fu slow; He sank into his sister’s arms, And they died as white as snaw.