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Jellon Grame

No: 90; variant: 90A

  1. O JELLON GRAME sat in Silver Wood, He whistled and he sang, And he has calld his little foot-page, His errand for to gang.
  2. ‘Win up, my bonny boy,’ he says, ‘As quick as eer you may; For ye maun gang for Lillie Flower, Before the break of day.’
  3. The boy he’s buckled his belt about, And thro the green-wood ran, And he came to the ladie’s bower-door, Before the day did dawn.
  4. ‘O sleep ye, or wake ye, Lillie Flower? The red run’s i the rain:’ ‘I sleep not aft, I wake right aft; Wha’s that that kens my name?’
  5. ‘Ye are bidden come to Silver Wood, But I fear you’ll never win hame; Ye are bidden come to Silver Wood, And speak wi Jellon Grame.’
  6. ‘O I will gang to Silver Wood, Though I shoud never win hame; For the thing I most desire on earth Is to speak wi Jellon Grame.’
  7. She had no ridden a mile, a mile, A mile but barely three, Ere she came to a new made grave, Beneath a green oak tree.
  8. O then up started Jellon Grame, Out of a bush hard bye: ‘Light down, light down now, Lillie Flower, For it’s here that ye maun ly.’
  9. She lighted aff her milk-white steed, And knelt upon her knee: ‘O mercy, mercy, Jellon Grame! For I’m nae prepar’d to die.
  10. ‘Your bairn, that stirs between my sides, Maun shortly see the light; But to see it weltring in my blude Woud be a piteous sight.’
  11. ‘O shoud I spare your life,’ he says, ‘Until that bairn be born, I ken fu well your stern father Woud hang me on the morn.’
  12. ‘O spare my life now, Jellon Grame! My father ye neer need dread; I’ll keep my bairn i the good green wood, Or wi it I’ll beg my bread.’
  13. He took nae pity on that ladie, Tho she for life did pray; But pierced her thro the fair body, As at his feet she lay.
  14. He felt nae pity for that ladie, Tho she was lying dead; But he felt some for the bonny boy, Lay weltring in her blude.
  15. Up has he taen that bonny boy, Gien him to nurices nine, Three to wake, and three to sleep, And three to go between.
  16. And he’s brought up that bonny boy, Calld him his sister’s son; He thought nae man would eer find out The deed that he had done.
  17. But it sae fell out upon a time, As a hunting they did gay, That they rested them in Silver Wood, Upon a summer-day.
  18. Then out it spake that bonny boy, While the tear stood in his eye, ‘O tell me this now, Jellon Grame, And I pray you dinna lie.
  19. ‘The reason that my mother dear Does never take me hame? To keep me still in banishment Is baith a sin and shame.’
  20. ‘You wonder that your mother dear Does never send for thee; Lo, there’s the place I slew thy mother, Beneath that green oak tree.’
  21. Wi that the boy has bent his bow, It was baith stout and lang, And through and thro him Jellon Grame He’s gard an arrow gang.
  22. Says, Lye you thare now, Jellon Grame, My mellison you wi; The place my mother lies buried in Is far too good for thee.