No: 53; variant: 53E
- IN London was Young Beichan born,
He longed strange countries for to see,
But he was taen by a savage Moor,
Who handled him right cruellie.
- For he viewed the fashions of that land,
Their way of worship viewed he,
But to Mahound or Termagant
Would Beichan never bend a knee.
- So in every shoulder they’ve putten a bore,
In every bore they’ve putten a tree,
And they have made him trail the wine
And spices on his fair bodie.
- They’ve casten him in a dungeon deep,
Where he could neither hear nor see,
For seven years they kept him there,
Till he for hunger’s like to die.
- This Moor he had but ae daughter,
Her name was called Susie Pye,
And every day as she took the air,
Near Beichan’s prison she passed by.
- O so it fell upon a day
She heard Young Beichan sadly sing:
‘My hounds they all go masterless,
My hawks they flee from tree to tree,
My younger brother will heir my land,
Fair England again I’ll never see!’
- All night long no rest she got,
Young Beichan’s song for thinking on;
She’s stown the keys from her father’s head,
And to the prison strong is gone.
- And she has opend the prison doors,
I wot she opend two or three,
Ere she could come Young Beichan at,
He was locked up so curiouslie.
- But when she came Young Beichan before,
Sore wonderd he that may to see;
He took her for some fair captive:
‘Fair Lady, I pray, of what countrie?’
- ‘O have ye any lands,’ she said,
‘Or castles in your own countrie,
That ye could give to a lady fair,
From prison strong to set you free?’
- ‘Near London town I have a hall,
With other castles two or three;
I’ll give them all to the lady fair
That out of prison will set me free.’
- ‘Give me the truth of your right hand,
The truth of it give unto me,
That for seven years ye’ll no lady wed,
Unless it be along with me.’
- ‘I’ll give thee the truth of my right hand,
The truth of it I’ll freely gie,
That for seven years I’ll stay unwed,
For the kindness thou dost show to me.’
- And she has brib’d the proud warder
Wi mickle gold and white monie,
She’s gotten the keys of the prison strong,
And she has set Young Beichan free.
- She’s gien him to eat the good spice-cake,
She’s gien him to drink the blood-red wine,
She’s bidden him sometimes think on her,
That sae kindly freed him out of pine.
- She’s broken a ring from her finger,
And to Beichan half of it gave she:
‘Keep it, to mind you of that love
The lady bore that set you free.
- ‘And set your foot on good ship-board,
And haste ye back to your own countrie,
And before that seven years have an end,
Come back again, love, and marry me.’
- But long ere seven years had an end,
She longd full sore her love to see,
For ever a voice within her breast
Said, ‘Beichan has broke his vow to thee:’
So she’s set her foot on good ship-board,
And turnd her back on her own countrie.
- She sailed east, she sailed west,
Till to fair England’s shore she came,
Where a bonny shepherd she espied,
Feeding his sheep upon the plain.
- ‘What news, what news, thou bonny shepherd?
What news hast thou to tell to me?’
‘Such news I hear, ladie,’ he says,
‘The like was never in this countrie.
- ‘There is a wedding in yonder hall,
Has lasted these thirty days and three;
Young Beichan will not bed with his bride,
For love of one that’s yond the sea.’
- She’s put her hand in her pocket,
Gien him the gold and white monie:
‘Hae, take ye that, my bonny boy,
For the good news thou tellst to me.’
- When she came to Young Beichan’s gate,
She tirled softly at the pin;
So ready was the proud porter
To open and let this lady in.
- ‘Is this Young Beichan’s hall,’ she said,
‘O is that noble lord within?’
‘Yea, he’s in the hall among them all,
And this is the day o his weddin.’
- ‘And has he wed anither love?
And has he clean forgotten me?’
And sighin said that gay ladie,
I wish I were in my own countrie!
- And she has taen her gay gold ring,
That with her love she brake so free;
Says, Gie him that, ye proud porter,
And bid the bridegroom speak to me.
- When the porter came his lord before,
He kneeled down low on his knee:
‘What aileth thee, my proud porter,
Thou art so full of courtesie?’
- ‘I’ve been porter at your gates,
It’s thirty long years now and three;
But there stands a lady at them now,
The like o her did I never see.
- ‘For on every finger she has a ring,
And on her mid-finger she has three,
And as meickle gold aboon her brow
As would buy an earldom to me.’
- It’s out then spak the bride’s mother,
Aye and an angry woman was shee:
‘Ye might have excepted our bonny bride,
And twa or three of our companie.’
- ‘O hold your tongue, thou bride’s mother,
Of all your folly let me be;
She’s ten times fairer nor the bride,
And all that’s in your companie.
- ‘She begs one sheave of your white bread,
But and a cup of your red wine,
And to remember the lady’s love
That last relievd you out of pine.’
- ‘O well-a-day!’ said Beichan then,
‘That I so soon have married thee!
For it can be none but Susie Pye,
That sailed the sea for love of me.’
- And quickly hied he down the stair;
Of fifteen steps he made but three;
He’s taen his bonny love in his arms,
And kist and kist her tenderlie.
- ‘O hae ye taen anither bride?
And hae ye quite forgotten me?
And hae ye quite forgotten her
That gave your life and libertie?’
- She looked oer her left shoulder,
To hide the tears stood in her ee:
‘Now fare thee well, Young Beichan,’ she says,
‘I’ll try to think no more on thee.’
- ‘O never, never, Susie Pye,
For surely this can never be,
Nor ever shall I wed but her
That’s done and dreed so much for me.’
- Then out and spak the forenoon bride:
‘My lord, your love it changeth soon;
This morning I was made your bride,
And another chose ere it be noon.’
- O hold thy tongue, thou forenoon bride,
Ye’re neer a whit the worse for me,
And whan ye return to your own countrie,
A double dower I’ll send with thee.’
- He’s taen Susie Pye by the white hand,
And gently led her up and down,
And ay as he kist her red rosy lips,
‘Ye’re welcome, jewel, to your own.’
- He’s taen her by the milk-white hand,
And led her to yon fountain stane;
He’s changed her name from Susie Pye,
And he’s call’d her his bonny love, Lady Jane.