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Child Maurice

No: 83; variant: 83E

  1. CHIELD MORRICE was an earl’s son, His name it waxed wide; It was nae for his parentage, Nor yet his meikle pride, But it was for a lady gay, That lived on Carron side.
  2. ‘O Willie, my man, my errand gang, And you maun rin wi speed; When other boys run on their feet, On horseback ye shall ride.
  3. ‘O master dear, I love you weel, And I love you as my life, But I will not go to Lord Barnard’s ha, For to tryst forth his wife.
  4. ‘For the baron he’s a man of might, He neer could bide a taunt, And ye shall see or it be late How meikle ye’ll hae to vaunt.’
  5. ‘O you must rin my errand, Willie, And you must rin wi speed, And if you don’t obey my high command I’ll gar your body bleed.
  6. ‘And here it is a gay manteel, It’s a’ gowd but the hem; Bid her come speak to Chield Morice, Bring naebody but her lane.
  7. ‘And here it is a holland smock, her own hand sewed the sleeve; Bid her come speak to Chield Morice, Ask not the baron’s leave.’
  8. ‘Since I must run this errand for you, So sore against my will, I’ve made a vow, and I’ll keep it true, It shall be done for ill.’
  9. For he did not ask the porter’s leave, Tho he stood at the gate, But straight he ran to the big hall, Where great folk sat at meat.
  10. ‘Good hallow, gentle sir and dame, My errand canno wait; Dame, ye must go speak to Chield Morice, Before it be too late.
  11. ‘And here it is a gay manteel, It’s a’ goud but the hem; Ye must come speak to Child Morice, Bring nae body but your lane.
  12. ‘And here it is a holland smock, Your ain hand sewed the sleeve; You must come speak to Chield Morice, Ask not the baron’s leave.’
  13. O aye she stamped wi her foot, And winked wi her ee, But a’ that she could say or do, Forbidden he wad na be.
  14. ‘It’s surely to my bouir-woman, It canna be to me:’ ‘I brocht it to Lord Barnard’s lady, And I trow that thou art she.’
  15. Out then spak the wylie nurse, Wi the bairn just on her knee: ‘If this be come fra Chield Morice, It’s dear welcome to me.’
  16. ‘Thou lies, thou lies, thou wylie nurse, Sae loud’s I hear thee lie; I brought it to Lord Barnard’s lady, And I trow thou binna she.’ I brought it to Lord Barnard’s lady, And I trow thou binna she.’
  17. Then up and rose him the bold baron, And an angry man was he; He took the table wi his foot, And keppd it wi his knee, Till silver cup and ezar dish In flinders they did flee.
  18. ‘Go gring me one of thy cleeding, That hings upon the pin, And I’ll awa to the good green-wood, And crack wi your leman.’
  19. ‘I would have you stay at home, Lord Barnard, I would have you stay at home; Never wyte a man for violence douce That never thought you wrong.’
  20. And when he to the green-wood went, No body saw he there But Chield Morice, on a milk-white steed, Combing down his yellow hair.
  21. Chield Morice sat in the gay green-wood, He whistled and he sang: ‘O what means a’ thir folks coming? My mother tarries lang.’
  22. ‘No wonder, no wonder, Chield Morice,’ he said, ‘My lady loved thee weel; For the whitest bit of my body Is blacker than thy heel.
  23. ‘But nevertheless now, Chield Morice, For a’ thy gay beautie, O nevertheless, Chield Morice, Thy head shall go with me.’
  24. He had a rapier by his side, Hung low down by his knee; He struck Chield Morrice on the neck, Till aff his head did flee.
  25. Then he’s taen up that bloody head, And stuck it on a spear, And the meanest man in a’ his train Gat Chield Morice head to bear.
  26. The lady looked owre the castle-wa, Wi meikle dool and down, And there she saw Chield Morice head, Coming trailing to the town.
  27. But he’s taen up this bluidy head, And dashed it gainst the wa: But he’s taen up this bluidy head, And dashed it gainst the wa: ‘Come down, come down, you ladies fair, And play at this foot-ba.’
  28. Then she’s taen up this bluidy head, And an ill deid may thou die! And she kissed it both cheek and chin: ‘I would rather hae a kiss o that bluidy head Than a’ thy earldom. ‘I would rather hae a kiss o that bluidy head Than a’ thy earldom. ‘I would rather hae a kiss o that bluidy head Than a’ thy earldom.
  29. ‘I got him in my father’s bouir, Wi meikle sin and shame, And I brought him up in gay green-wood, Beneath the heavy rain.
  30. ‘Many a day have I rockd thy cradle, And fondly seen thee sleep, But now I’ll go about thy grave, And sore, sore will I weep.’
  31. ‘O woe be to thee, thou wild woman, And an ill deid may thou die! For if ye had tauld me he was your son, He should hae ridden and gane wi me.’
  32. ‘O hold your tongue, you bold baron, And an ill death may ye die! He had lands and rents enew of his ain, He needed nane fra thee.’
  33. ‘Then I’ll curse the hand that did the deed, The heart that thought him ill, The feet that carried me speedilie This comely youth to kill.’
  34. This lady she died gin ten o’clock, Lord Barnard died gin twall, And bonnie boy now, Sweet Willie, What’s come o him I canna tell.