Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard
No: 81; variant: 81J
- FOUR and twenty ladies fair
Was playing at the ba,
And out cam the lady, Barnabas’ lady,
The flower amang them a’.
- She coost an ee on Little Mossgrey,
As brisk as any sun,
And he coost anither on her again,
And they thocht the play was won.
- ‘What would you think, Little Mossgrey,
To lye wi me this nicht?
Good beds I hae in Barnabey,
If they were ordered richt.’
- ‘Hold thy tongue, fair lady,’ he says,
‘For that would cause much strife;
For I see by the rings on your fingers
That you’re Lord Barnabas’ wife.’
- ‘Lord Barnabas’ lady indeed I am,
And that I’ll let you ken,
But he’s awa to the king’s court,
And I hope he’ll neer come hame.’
- Wi wrapped arms in bed they lay
Till they fell both asleep,
When up and starts Barnabas’ boy,
And stood at their bed-feet.
- ‘How likes thou the bed, Mossgrey?
Or how likes thou the sheets?
Or how likes thou my master’s lady,
Lyes in thy arms and sleeps?’
- ‘Weel I love the bed,’ he said,
‘And far better the sheets;
But foul may fa your master’s lady,
Lies in my arms and sleeps!’
- She pulled out a rusty sword,
Was sticking by the stroe;
Says, Tell no tidings of me, my boy,
Or thou’ll neer tell no moe.
- He’s awa to the king’s court,
As fast as he can dree;
He’s awa to the king’s court,
For to tell Barnaby.
- ‘Are there any of my biggins brunt?
Or any of my young men slain?
Or is my lady brocht to bed,
Of a dochter or a son?’
- ‘There is none of your biggings brunt,
There’s none of your young men slain;
But Little Mossgrey and your lady
They are both in a bed within.’
- ‘If that be true, my bonnie boy,
Thou tellest unto me,
I have not a dochter but only one,
And married ye shall be.
- ‘But if it be a lie, my bonnie boy,
You’re telling unto me,
On the highest tree of Balisberry,
Thereon I’ll gar hang thee.’
- There was a man in the king’s court
Had a love to Little Mossgrey;
He took a horn out of his pocket,
And blew both loud and hie:
‘He that’s in bed wi Barnabas’ lady,
It’s time he were away!’
- ‘Oh am I not the maddest man
Ere lay in a woman’s bed!
I think I hear his bridle ring,
But and his horse feet tread.’
- ‘Lye still, lye still, Little Mossgrey,
And keep me from the cold;
It’s but my father’s small sheep-herd,
Calling his sheep to the fold.’
- With wrapped arms in bed they lay
Till they fell both asleep,
Till up and darts Barnabas himsell,
And stood at their bed-fit.
- ‘How likest thou the bed, Mossgrey?
And how loves thou the sheets?
And how loves thou my lady fair,
Lyes in your arms and sleeps?’
- ‘Well I love your bed,’ he says,
‘And far better your sheets;
But foul may fa your lady fair,
Lyes in my arms and sleeps!’
- ‘Rise, O rise, Little Mossgrey,
Put on your hose and shoon;
I’ll neer hae’t said in a far countrie
I killed a naked man.’
- Slowly, slowly rose he up,
And slowly put he on,
And slowly down the stairs he goes,
And thinking to be slain.
- ‘Here’s two swords,’ Barnabas said,
‘I wad they cost me dear;
Tak thou the best, I’ll tak the warst,
We’ll try the battle here.’
- The first stroke that Mossgrey got,
It was baith sharp and sore;
And the next stroke his lady got,
One word she neer spak more.
- ‘Ye’ll mak a coffin large and wide,
And lay this couple in;
And lay her head on his right hand,
She’s come o the highest kin.’