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The Knight’s Ghost

No: 265; variant: 265A

  1. 'THERE is a fashion in this land, And even come to this country, That every lady should meet her lord When he is newly come frae sea:
  2. 'Some wi hawks, and some wi hounds, And other some wi gay monie; Bit I will gae myself alone, And set his young son on his knee.'
  3. She's taen her young son in her arms, And nimbly walkd by yon sea-strand, And there she spy'd her father's ship, As she was sailing to dry land.
  4. 'Where hae ye put my ain gude lord, This day he stays sae far frae me?' 'If ye be wanting your ain gude lord, A sight o him ye'll never see.'
  5. 'Was he brunt? or was he shot? Or was he drowned in the sea? Or what's become o my ain gude lord, That he will neer appear to me?'
  6. 'He wasna brunt, nor was he shot, Nor was he drowned in the sea; He was slain in Dunfermling, A fatal day to you and me.'
  7. 'Come in, come in, my merry young men, Come in and drink the wine wi me; And a' the better ye shall fare For this gude news ye tell to me.'
  8. She's brought them down to yon cellar, She brought them fifty steps and three; She birled wi them the beer and wine, Till they were as drunk as drunk could be.
  9. Then she has lockd her cellar-door, For there were fifty steps and three: 'Lie there, wi my sad malison, For this bad news ye've tauld to me.'
  10. She's taen the keys intill her hand And threw them deep, deep in the sea: 'Lie there, wi my sad malison, Till my gude lord return to me.'
  11. Then she sat down in her own room, And sorrow lulld her fast asleep, And up it starts her own gude lord, And even at that lady's feet.
  12. 'Take here the keys, Janet,' he says, 'That ye threw deep, deep in the sea; And ye'll relieve my merry young men, For they've nane o the swick o me.
  13. 'They shot the shot, and drew the stroke, And wad in red bluid to the knee; Nae sailors mair for their lord coud do Nor my young men they did for me.'
  14. 'I hae a question at you to ask, Before that ye depart frae me; You'll tell to me what day I'll die, And what day will my burial be?'
  15. 'I hae nae mair o God's power Than he has granted unto me; But come to heaven when ye will, There porter to you I will be.
  16. 'But ye'll be wed to a finer knight Than ever was in my degree; Unto him ye'll hae children nine, And six o them will be ladies free.
  17. 'The other three will be bold young men, To fight for king and countrie; The ane a duke, the second a knight, And third a laird o lands sae free.'