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Lord Lovel

No: 75; variant: 75I

  1. There came a ghost to Helen’s bower, Wi monny a sigh and groan: ‘O make yourself ready, at Wednesday at een, Fair Helen, you must be gone.’
  2. ‘O gay Death, O gallant Death, Will you spare my life sae lang Untill I send to merry Primrose, Bid my dear lord come hame?’
  3. ‘O gay Helen, O galant Helen, I winna spare you sae lang; But make yoursell ready, again Wednesday at een, Fair Helen, you must be gane.’
  4. ‘O where will I get a bonny boy, That would win hose and shoon, That will rin fast to merry Primrose, Bid my dear lord come soon?’
  5. O up and speak a little boy, That would win hose and shoon: ‘Aft have I gane your errants, lady, But by my suth I’ll rin.’
  6. When he came to broken briggs He bent his bow and swam, And when he came to grass growing He cast off his shoon and ran.
  7. When he came to merry Primrose, His lord he was at meat: ‘O my lord, kend ye what I ken, Right little wad ye eat.’
  8. ‘Is there onny of my castles broken doun, Or onny of my towers won? Or is Fair Helen brought to bed Of a doughter or a son?’
  9. ‘There’s nane of [your] castles broken doun, Nor nane of your towers won, Nor is Fair Helen brought to bed Of a doghter or a son.’
  10. ‘Gar sadle me the black, black steed, Gar sadle me the brown; Gar sadle me the swiftest horse Eer carried man to town.’
  11. First he bursted the bonny black, And then he bursted the brown, And then he bursted the swiftest steed Eer carried man to town.
  12. He hadna ridden a mile, a mile, A mile but barelins ten, When he met four and twenty gallant knights, carrying a dead coffin.
  13. ‘Set down, set down Fair Helen’s corps, Let me look on the dead;’ And out he took a little pen-knife, And he screeded the winding-sheet.
  14. O first he kist her rosy cheek, And then he kist her chin, And then he kist her coral lips, But there’s nae life in within.
  15. ‘Gar deal, gar deal the bread,’ he says, ‘The bread bat an the wine, And at the morn at twelve o’clock Ye’s gain as much at mine.’
  16. The tane was buried in Mary’s kirk, The tother in Mary’s choir, And out of the tane there sprang a birch, And out of the tother a briar.
  17. The tops of them grew far sundry, But the roots of them grew neer, And ye may easy ken by that They were twa lovers dear.