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Lady Maisry

No: 65; variant: 65A

  1. THE young lords o the north country Have all a wooing gone, To win the love of Lady Maisry, But o them she woud hae none.
  2. O they hae courted Lady Maisry Wi a’ kin kind of things; An they hae sought her Lady Maisry Wi brotches an wi’ rings.
  3. An they ha sought her Lady Maisry Frae father and frae mother; An they ha sought her Lady Maisry Frae sister an frae brother.
  4. An they ha followd her Lady Maisry Thro chamber an thro ha; But a’ that they coud say to her, Her answer still was Na.
  5. ‘O had your tongues, young men,’ she says, ‘An think nae mair o me; For I’ve gien my love to an English lord, An think nae mair o me.’
  6. Her father’s kitchy-boy heard that, An ill death may he dee! An he is on to her brother, As fast as gang coud he.
  7. ‘O is my father an my mother well, But an my brothers three? Gin my sister Lady Maisry be well, There’s naething can ail me.’
  8. ‘Your father and your mother is well, But an your brothers three; Your sister Lady Maisry’s well, So big wi bairn gangs she.’
  9. ‘Gin this be true you tell to me, My mailison light on thee! But gin it be a lie you tell, You sal be hangit hie.’
  10. He’s done him to his sister’s bowr, Wi meikle doole an care; An there he saw her Lady Maisry, Kembing her yallow hair.
  11. ‘O wha is aught that bairn,’ he says, ‘That ye sae big are wi’ And gin ye winna own the truth, This moment ye sall dee.’
  12. She turnd her right an roun about, An the kem fell frae her han; A trembling seizd her fair body, An her rosy cheek grew wan.
  13. ‘O pardon me, my brother dear, An the truth I’ll tell to thee; My bairn it is to Lord William, An he is betrothd to me.’
  14. ‘O coud na ye gotten dukes, or lords, Intill your ain country, That ye draw up wi an English dog, To bring this shame on me?
  15. ‘But ye maun gi up the English lord, Whan youre young babe is born; For, gin you keep by him an hour langer, Your life sall be forlorn.’
  16. ‘I will gi up this English blood, Till my young babe be born; But the never a day nor hour langer, Tho my life should be forlorn.’
  17. ‘O whare is a’ my merry young men, Whom I gi meat and fee, To pu the thistle and the thorn, To burn this wile whore wi?’
  18. ‘O whare will I get a bonny boy, To help me in my need, To rin wi hast to Lord William, And bid him come wi speed?’
  19. O out it spake a bonny boy, Stood by her brother’s side: ‘O I would rin your errand, lady, Oer a’ the world wide.
  20. ‘Aft have I run your errands, lady, Whan blawn baith win and weet; But now I’ll rin your errand, lady, Wi sat tears on my cheek.’
  21. O whan he came to broken briggs, He bent his bow and swam, An whan he came to the green grass growin, He slackd his shoone and ran.
  22. O whan he came to Lord William’s gates, He baed na to chap or ca, But set his bent bow till his breast, An lightly lap the wa; An, or the porter was at the gate, The boy was i the ha.
  23. ‘O is my biggins broken, boy? Or is my towers won? Or is my lady lighter yet, Of a dear daughter or son?’
  24. ‘Your biggin is na broken, sir, Nor is your towers won; But the fairest lady in a’ the lan For you this day maun burn.’
  25. ‘O saddle me the black, the black, Or saddle me the brown; O saddle me the swiftest steed That ever rade frae a town.’
  26. Or he was near a mile awa, She heard his wild horse sneeze: ‘Mend up the fire, my false brother, It’s na come to my knees.’
  27. O whan he lighted at the gate, She heard his bridle ring: ‘Mend up the fire, my false brother, It’s far yet frae my chin.
  28. ‘Mend up the fire to me, brother, Mend up the fire to me; For I see him comin hard an fast Will soon men’t up to thee.
  29. ‘O gin my hands had been loose, Willy, Sae hard as they are boun, I would have turnd me frae the gleed, And castin out your young son.’
  30. ‘O I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry, Your father an your mother; An I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry, Your sister an your brother.
  31. ‘An I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry, The chief of a’ your kin; An the last bonfire that I come to, Mysel I will cast in.’