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Lady Maisry

No: 65; variant: 65D

  1. LADY MARGERY was her mother’s ain daughter, And her father’s only heir, And she’s away to Strawberry Castle, To learn some unco lair.
  2. She hadna been in Strawberry Castle A year but only three, Till she has proved as big with child, As big as woman could be.
  3. Word has to her father gone, As he pat on his shoon, That Lady Margery goes wi child, Unto some English loon.
  4. Word has to her mother gane, As she pat on her gown, That Lady Margery goes wi child, Unto some English loon.
  5. The father he likes her ill, The mother she likes her waur, But her father he wished her in a fire strang, To burn for ever mair.
  6. ‘Will ye hae this auld man, Lady Margery, To be yeer warldly make? Or will ye burn in fire strang, For your true lover’s sake?’
  7. ‘I wunna hae that old, old man To be my worldly make, But I will burn in fire strang, For my true lover’s sake.’
  8. ‘O who will put of the pot? O who will put of the pan? And who will build a bale-fire, To burn her body in.’
  9. The brother took of the pot, The sister took of the pan, And her mother builded a bold bale-fire, To burn her body in.
  10. ‘O where will I get a bony boy That will run my errand soon? That will run to Strawberry Castle, And tell my love to come soon?’
  11. But then started up a little boy, Near to that lady’s kin: ‘Often have I gane your errands, madam, But now it is time to rin.’
  12. O when he came to Strawberry Castle, He tirled at the pin; There was nane sae ready as that lord himsell To let the young body in.
  13. ‘O is my towers broken? Or is my castle wone? Or is my lady Margery lighter Of a daughter or a son?’
  14. ‘Your towers are not broken, Nor is your castle wone; But the fairest lady of a’ the land For thee this day does burn.’
  15. ‘Go saddle for me the black, black horse, Go saddle to me the brown; Go saddle to me as swift a steed As ever man rade on.’
  16. They saddled to him the black horse, They saddled to him the brown; They’ve saddled to him as swift a steed As ever man rade on.
  17. He put his foot into the stirrup, He bounded for to ride; The silver buttons lap of his breast, And his nose began to bleed.
  18. He bursted fifteen gude stout steeds, And four o them were dappled gray, And the little foot-page ran aye before, Crying, Mend it, an ye may!
  19. When he came to the bale-fire, He lighted wi a glent, Wi black boots and clean spurs, And through the fire he went.
  20. He laid ae arm about her neck, And the other beneath her chin; He thought to get a kiss o her, But her middle it gade in twain.
  21. ‘But who has been so false,’ he said, ‘And who has been sae cruel, To carry the timber from my ain wood To burn my dearest jewel?
  22. ‘But I’ll burn for ye, Lady Margery, Yeer father and yeer mother; And I’ll burn for ye, Lady Margery, Yeer sister and yeer brother.
  23. ‘I’ll do for ye, Lady Margery, What never was done for nane; I’ll make many lady lemanless, And many a clothing thin.
  24. ‘And I’ll burn for yeer sake, Lady Margery, The town that yeer burnt in, And [make] many a baby fatherless, That’s naething o the blame.’