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Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard

No: 81; variant: 81I

  1. ‘IT’S gold shall be your hire,’ she says, ‘And silver shall be your fee, If you will keep the secrets Between Little Sir Grove and me.’
  2. ‘Tho gold should be my hire,’ he says, ‘And silver should be my fee, It’s I’ll not keep the secret Betwixt Little Sir Grove and thee.’
  3. Up he rose, and away he goes, And along the plain he ran, And when he came to Lord Bengwill’s castle, He tinkled at the pin; And who was sae ready as Lord Bengwill himsell To let his little page in.
  4. ‘Is any of my towers burnt?’ he said, ‘Or any of my castles taen? Or is Lady Bengwill brought to bed, Of a daughter or a son?’
  5. ‘It’s nane of your towers are burnt,’ he said, ‘Nor nane of your castles taen; But Lady Bengwill and Little Sir Grove To merry bed they are gane.’
  6. ‘If this be true that you tell me, Rewarded you shall be; And if it’s a lie that you tell me, You shall be hanged before your ladie’s een.
  7. ‘Get saddled to me the black,’ he says, ‘Get saddled to me the brown; Get saddled to me the swiftest steed That ever man rode on.’
  8. The firsten town that he cam to, He blew baith loud and schill, And aye the owre-word o the tune Was, ‘Sir Grove, I wish you well.’
  9. The nexten town that he came to, He blew baith loud and long, And aye the owre-word of the tune Was ‘Sir Grove, it is time to be gone.’
  10. ‘Is yon the sound of the hounds?’ he says, ‘Or is yon the sound of the deer? But I think it’s the sound of my brother’s horn, That sound sae schill in my ear.’
  11. ‘Lye still, lye still, Sir Grove,’ she says, ‘And keep a fair lady from cold; It’s but the sound of my father’s herd-boys, As they’re driving the sheep to the fold.’
  12. They lay down in each other’s arms, And they fell fast asleep, And neer a one of them did wake Till Lord Bengwill stood at their feet.
  13. ‘How do you love my soft pillow? Or how do you love my sheets? Or how do you love my fair lady, That lies in your arms and sleeps?’
  14. ‘Full well I love your soft pillow, Far better I love your sheets; But woe be to your fair lady, That lies in my arms and sleeps!’
  15. ‘Rise up, rise up, Sir Grove,’ he says, ‘Some clothes there put you upon; Let it never be said in fair England I fought with a naked man.’
  16. ‘Oh where shall I go, or where shall I fly, Or where shall I run for my life? For you’ve got two broadswords into your hand, And I have never a knife.’
  17. ‘You shall take the one sword,’ he says, ‘And I shall take the other, And that is as fair I’m sure to day As that you are my born brother.’
  18. ‘Hold your hand, hold your hand, my brother dear, You’ve wounded me full sore; You may get a mistress in every town, But a brother you’ll never get more.’
  19. The very first stroke that Lord Bengwill gave him, He wounded him full sore; The very next stroke that Lord Bengwill gave him, A word he never spoke more.
  20. He’s lifted up Lady Bengwill, And set her on his knee, Saying, Whether do you love Little Sir Grove Better than you do me?
  21. ‘Full well I love your cherry cheeks, Full well I love your chin, But better I love Little Sir Grove, where he lies, Than you and all your kin.’
  22. ‘A grave, a grave,’ Lord Bengwill cried, ‘To put these lovers in, And put Lady Bengwill uppermost, For she’s come of the noblest kin.’