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Brown Adam

No: 98; variant: 98A

  1. O WHA woud wish the win to blaw, Or the green leaves fa therewith? Or wha wad wish a leeler love Than Brown Adam the Smith?
  2. His hammer’s o the beaten gold, His study’s o the steel, His fingers white are my delite, He blows his bellows well.
  3. But they ha banishd him Brown Adam Frae father and frae mither, An they ha banishd him Brown Adam Frae sister and frae brither.
  4. And they ha banishd Brown Adam Frae the flowr o a’ his kin; An he’s biggit a bowr i the good green wood Betwen his lady an him.
  5. O it fell once upon a day Brown Adam he thought lang, An he woud to the green wood gang, To hunt some venison.
  6. He’s ta’en his bow his arm oer, His bran intill his han, And he is to the good green wood, As fast as he coud gang.
  7. O he’s shot up, an he’s shot down, The bird upo the briar, And he’s sent it hame to his lady, Bade her be of good cheer.
  8. O he’s shot up, an he’s shot down, The bird upo the thorn, And sent it hame to his lady, And hee’d be hame the morn.
  9. Whan he came till his lady’s bowr-door He stood a little foreby, And there he heard a fu fa’se knight Temptin his gay lady.
  10. O he’s taen out a gay gold ring, Had cost him mony a poun: ‘O grant me love for love, lady, An this sal be your own.’
  11. ‘I loo Brown Adam well,’ she says, ‘I wot sae does he me; An I woud na gi Brown Adam’s love For nae fa’se knight I see.’
  12. Out has he ta’en a purse of gold, Was a’ fu to the string: ‘Grant me but love for love, lady, An a’ this sal be thine.’
  13. ‘I loo Brown Adam well,’ she says, ‘An I ken sae does he me; An I woudna be your light leman For mair nor ye coud gie.’
  14. Then out has he drawn his lang, lang bran, And he’s flashd it in her een: ‘Now grant me love for love, lady, Or thro you this sal gang!’
  15. ‘O,’ sighing said that gay lady, ‘Brown Adam tarrys lang!’ Then up it starts Brown Adam, Says, I’m just at your han.
  16. He’s gard him leave his bow, his bow, He’s gard him leave his bran; He’s gard him leave a better pledge, Four fingers o his right han.