PR Website

Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard

No: 81; variant: 81H

  1. LITTLE MUSGROVE is to the church gone, Some ladies for to sply; Doun came one drest in black, And one came drest in brown, And down and came Lord Barlibas’ lady, The fairest in a’ the town.
  2. ‘I know by the ring that’s on your finger That you’r my Lord Barlibas’ lady:’ ‘Indeed I am the Lord Barlibas’ lady, And what altho I bee?’
  3. ‘Money shall be your hire, foot-page, And gold shall be your fee; You must not tell the secrets That’s between Musgrove and me.’
  4. ‘Money shall not be hire,’ he said, ‘Nor gold shall be my fee; But I’ll awa to my own liege lord, With the tidings you’ve told to me.’
  5. When he cam to the broken brig, He coost aff his clothes and he swimd, And when he cam to Lord Barlibas’ yett, He tirled at the pin.
  6. ‘What news, what news, my little foot-page? What news have ye brocht to me? Is my castle burnt?’ he said, ‘Or is my tower tane? Or is my lady lighter yet, Of a daughter or son?’
  7. ‘Your castle is not burnt,’ he says, ‘Nor yet is your tower tane, Nor yet is your lady brocht to bed, Of a daughter or a son; But Little Musgrove is lying wi her, Till he thinks it is time to be gane.’
  8. ‘O if the news be a lie,’ he says, ‘That you do tell unto me, I’ll ca up a gallows to my yard-yett, And hangd on it thou shalt be.
  9. ‘But if the news be true,’ he says, ‘That you do tell unto me, I have a young fair dochter at hame, Weel wedded on her you shall be.’
  10. He called upon his merry men, By thirties and by three: ‘Put aff the warst, put on the best, And come along with me.’
  11. He put a horn to his mouth, And this he gard it say: ‘The man that’s in bed wi Lord Barlibas’ lady, It’s time he were up and away.’
  12. ‘What does yon trumpet mean?’ he sayd, ‘Or what does yon trumpet say? I think it says, the man that’s in bed wi Lord Barlibas’ lady, It’s time he were up and away.’
  13. ‘O lie you still, my Little Musgrove, And cover me from the cold, For it is but my father’s sheepherd, That’s driving his sheep to the fold.’
  14. . . . . . . In a little while after that, Up started good Lord Barlibas, At Little Musgrove his feet.
  15. ‘How do you like my blankets?’ he says, ‘Or how do you like my sheets? Or how do you like mine own fair lady, That lies in your arms and sleeps?’
  16. ‘I like your blankets very well, And far better your sheets; But woe be to this wicked woman, That lies in my arms and sleeps!’
  17. ‘Rise up, rise up, my Little Musgrove, Rise up, and put your clothes on; It’s neer be said on no other day That I killed a naked man.
  18. ‘There is two swords in my chamber, I wot they cost me dear; Take you the best, give me the warst, We’ll red the question here.’
  19. The first stroke that Lord Barlibas struck, He dang Little Musgrove to the ground; The second stroke that Lord Barlibas gave Dang his lady in a deadly swound.
  20. ‘Gar mak, gar mak a coffin,’ he says, ‘Gar mak it wide and long, And lay my lady at the right hand, For she’s come of the noblest kin.’