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Sir James the Rose

No: 213; variant: 213A

  1. O HEARD ye of Sir James the Rose, The young heir of Buleighen? For he has killd a gallant squire, An 's friends are out to take him.
  2. Now he's gone to the house of Marr, Where the nourrice was his leman; To see his dear he did repair, Thinking she would befriend him.
  3. 'Where are you going, Sir James?' she says, 'Or where now are you riding?' 'O I am bound to a foreign land, For now I'm under hiding.
  4. 'Where shall I go? Where shall I run? Where shall I go to hide me? For I have killd a gallant squire, And they're seeking to slay me.'
  5. 'O go ye down to yon ale-house, And I'll pay there your lawing; And, if I be a woman true, I'll meet you in the dawing.'
  6. 'I'll not go down to yon ale-house, For you to pay my lawing; There's forty shillings for one supper, I'll stay in 't till the dawing.'
  7. He's turnd him right and round about And rowd him in his brechan, And he has gone to take a sleep, In the lowlands of Buleighen.
  8. He was not well gone out of sight, Nor was he past Milstrethen, Till four and twenty belted knights Came riding oer the Leathen.
  9. 'O have you seen Sir James the Rose, The young heir of Buleighen? For he has killd a gallant squire, And we're sent out to take him.'
  10. 'O I have seen Sir James,' she says, 'For he past here on Monday; If the steed be swift that he rides on, He's past the gates of London.'
  11. But as they were going away, Then she calld out behind them; 'If you do seek Sir James,' she says, 'I'll tell you where you'll find him.
  12. 'You'll seek the bank above the mill, In the lowlands of Buleighen, And there you'll find Sir James the Rose, Lying sleeping in his brechan.
  13. 'You must not wake him out of sleep, Nor yet must you affright him, Till you run a dart quite thro his heart, And thro the body pierce him.'
  14. They sought the bank above the mill, In the lowlands of Buleighan, And there they found Sir James the Rose, A sleeping in his brechan.
  15. Then out bespoke Sir John the Graeme, Who had the charge a keeping; 'It's neer be said, dear gentlemen, We'll kill him when he's sleeping.'
  16. They seizd his broadsword and his targe, And closely him surrounded; But when he wak'd out of his sleep, His senses were confounded.
  17. 'O pardon, pardon, gentlemen! Have mercy now upon me!' 'Such as you gave, such you shall have, And so we'll fall upon thee.'
  18. 'Donald my man, wait me upon, And I'll give you my brechan, And, if you stay here till I die, You'll get my trews of tartan.
  19. 'There is fifty pounds in my pocket, Besides my trews and brechan; You'll get my watch and diamond ring; And take me to Loch Largon.'
  20. Now they have taken out his heart And stuck it on a spear, Then took it to the House of Marr, And gave it to his dear.
  21. But when she saw his bleeding heart She was like one distracted; She smote her breaxt, and wrung her hands, Crying, 'What now have I acted!
  22. 'Sir James the Rose, now for thy sake O but my heart's a breaking! Curst be the day I did thee betray, Thou brave knight of Buleighen.'
  23. Then up she rose, and forth she goes, All in that fatal hour, And bodily was born away, And never was seen more.
  24. But where she went was never kend, And so, to end the matter, A traitor's end, you may depend, Can be expect'd no better.