No: 68; variant: 68E
- LORD WILLIAM was the bravest knight
That dwalt in fair Scotland,
And, though renowned in France and Spain,
Fell by a ladie’s hand.
- As she was walking maid alone,
Down by yon shady wood,
She heard a smit o bridle reins,
She wishd might be for good.
- ‘Come to my arms, my dear Willie,
You’re welcome hame to me;
To best o chear and charcoal red,
And candle burnin free.’
- ‘I winna light, I darena light,
Nor come to your arms at a’;
A fairer maid than ten o you
I’ll meet at Castle-law.’
- ‘A fairer maid than me, Willie?
A fairer maid than me?
A fairer maid than ten o me
Your eyes did never see.’
- He louted owr his saddle-lap
To kiss here ere they part,
And wi a little keen bodkin,
She pierced him to the heart.
- ‘Ride on, ride on, Lord William now,
As fast as ye can dree;
Your bonny lass at Castle-law
Will weary you to see.’
- Out up then spake a bonny bird,
Sat high upon a tree:
‘How could you kill that noble lord?
He came to marry thee.’
- ‘Come down, come down, my bonny bird,
And eat bread aff my hand;
Your cage shall be of wiry goud,
Whar now it’s but the wand.’
- ‘Keep ye your cage o goud, lady,
And I will keep my tree;
As ye hae done to Lord William,
Sae wad ye do to me.’
- She set her foot on her door-step,
A bonny marble stane,
And carried him to her chamber,
Oer him to make her mane.
- And she has kept that good lord’s corpse
Three quarters of a year,
Until that word began to spread;
Then she began to fear.
- Then she cryed on her waiting-maid,
Ay ready at her ca:
‘There is a knight into my bower,
‘Tis time he were awa.’
- The ane has taen him by the head,
The ither by the feet,
And thrown him in the wan water,
That ran baith wide and deep.
- ‘Look back, look back, now, lady fair,
On him that loed ye weel;
A better man than that blue corpse
Neer drew a sword of steel.’