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Young Johnstone

No: 88; variant: 88A

  1. THE knight stands in the stable-door, As he was for to ryde, When out then came his fair lady, Desiring him to byde.
  2. ‘How can I byde? how dare I byde? How can I byde with thee? Have I not killd thy ae brother? Thou hadst nae mair but he.’
  3. ‘If you have killd my ae brother, Alas, and woe is me! But if I save your fair body, The better you’ll like me.’
  4. She’s tane him to her secret bower, Pinnd with a siller pin, And she’s up to her highest tower, To watch that none come in.
  5. She had na well gane up the stair, And entered in her tower, When four and twenty armed knights Came riding to the door.
  6. ‘Now God you save, my fair lady, I pray you tell to me, Saw you not a wounded knight Come riding by this way?’
  7. ‘Yes, bloody, bloody was his sword, And bloody were his hands; But if the steed he rides be good, He’s past fair Scotland’s strands.
  8. ‘Light down, light down then, gentlemen, And take some bread and wine; The better you will him pursue When you shall lightly dine.’
  9. ‘We thank you for your bread, lady, We thank you for your wine; I would gie thrice three thousand pounds Your fair body was mine.’
  10. Then she’s gane to her secret bower, Her husband dear to meet; But he drew out his bloody sword, And wounded her sae deep.
  11. ‘What aileth thee now, good my lord? What aileth thee at me? Have you not got my father’s gold, But and my mother’s fee?’
  12. ‘Now live, now live, my fair lady, O live but half an hour, There’s neer a leech in fair Scotland But shall be at thy bower.’
  13. ‘How can I live? how shall I live? How can I live for thee? See you not where my red heart’s blood Runs trickling down my knee?’