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Young Hunting

No: 68; variant: 68F

  1. EARL RICHARD is a hunting gone, As fast as he can ride, His hunting-horn hung about his neck, And a small sword by his side.
  2. When he came to my lady’s gate He tirled at the pin, And wha was sae ready as the lady hersell To open and let him in.
  3. ‘O light, O light, Earl Richard,’ she says, ‘O light and stay a’ night; You shall have cheer wi charcoal clear, And candles burning bright.’
  4. ‘I will not light, I cannot light, I cannot light at all; A fairer lady than ten of thee Is waiting at Richard’s Wall.’
  5. He stooped from his milk-white steed, To kiss her rosy cheek; She had a pen-knife in her hand, And wounded him so deep.
  6. ‘O lie ye there, Earl Richard,’ she says, ‘O lie ye there till morn; A fairer lady than ten of me Will think lang of your coming home.’
  7. She called her servants ane by ane, She called them twa by twa: ‘I have got a dead man in my bower, I wish he were awa.’
  8. The one has taen [him] by the hand, And the other by the feet, And they’ve thrown him in a deep draw-well, Full fifty fathom deep.
  9. Then up bespake a little bird, That sat upon a tree: ‘Gae hame, gae hame, ye false lady, And pay your maids their fee.’
  10. ‘Come down, come down, my pretty bird, That sits upon the tree; I have a cage of beaten gold, I’ll gie it unto thee.’
  11. ‘Gae hame, gae hame, ye fause lady, And pay your maids their fee; As ye have done to Earl Richard, Sae wud ye do to me.’
  12. ‘If I had an arrow in my hand, And a bow bent on a string, I’d shoot a dart at thy proud heart, Amang the leaves sae green.’