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Gil Brenton

No: 5; variant: 5A

  1. GIL BRENTON has sent oer the fame, He's woo'd a wife an brought her hame.
  2. Full sevenscore o ships came her wi, The lady by the greenwood tree.
  3. There was twal an twal wi beer an wine, An twal an twal wi muskadine:
  4. An twall an twall wi bouted flowr, An twall an twall wi paramour:
  5. An twall an twall wi baken bread, An twall an twall wi the goud sae red.
  6. Sweet Willy was a widow's son, An at her stirrup-foot he did run.
  7. An she was dressd i the finest pa, But ay she loot the tears down fa.
  8. An she was dickd wi the fairest flowrs, But ay she loot the tears down pour.
  9. 'O is there water i your shee? Or does the win blaw i your glee?
  10. 'Or are you mourning i your meed That eer you left your mither gueede?
  11. 'Or are ye mourning i your tide That ever ye was Gil Brenton's bride?'
  12. 'Th[re] is nae water i my shee, Nor does the win blaw i my glee:
  13. 'Nor am I mourning i my tide That eer I was Gil Brenton's bride:
  14. 'But I am mourning i my meed That ever I left my mither gueede.
  15. 'But, bonny boy, tell to me What is the customs o your country.'
  16. 'The customs o't, my dame,' he says, 'Will ill a gentle lady please.
  17. 'Seven king's daughters has our king wedded, An seven king's daughters has our king bedded.
  18. 'But he's cutted the paps frae their breast-bane, An sent them mourning hame again.
  19. 'But whan you come to the palace yate, His mither a golden chair will set.
  20. 'An be you maid or be you nane, O sit you there till the day be dane.
  21. 'An gin you're sure that you are a maid, Ye may gang safely to his bed.
  22. 'But gin o that you be na sure, Then hire some woman o youre bowr.'
  23. O whan she came to the palace yate, His mither a golden chair did set.
  24. An was she maid or was she nane, She sat in it till the day was dane.
  25. An she's calld on her bowr woman, That waiting was her bowr within.
  26. 'Five hundred pound, maid, I'll gi to the, An sleep this night wi the king for me.'
  27. Whan bells was rung, an mass was sung, An a' man unto bed was gone,
  28. Gil Brenton an the bonny maid Intill ae chamber they were laid.
  29. 'O speak to me, blankets, an speak to me, sheets, An speak to me, cods, that under me sleeps;
  30. 'Is this a maid that I ha wedded? Is this a maid that I ha bedded?'
  31. 'It's nae a maid that you ha wedded, But it's a maid that you ha bedded.
  32. 'Your lady's in her bigly bowr, An for you she drees mony sharp showr.'
  33. O he has taen him thro the ha, And on his mither he did ca.
  34. 'I am the most unhappy man That ever was in christend lan.
  35. 'I woo'd a maiden meek an mild, An I've marryed a woman great wi child.'
  36. 'O stay, my son, intill this ha, An sport you wi your merry men a'.
  37. 'An I'll gang to yon painted bowr, An see how't fares wi yon base whore.'
  38. The auld queen she was stark an strang; She gard the door flee aff the ban.
  39. The auld queen she was stark an steer; She gard the door lye i the fleer.
  40. 'O is your bairn to laird or loon? Or is it to your father's groom?'
  41. 'My bairn's na to laird or loon, Nor is it to my father's groom.
  42. 'But hear me, mither, on my knee, An my hard wierd I'll tell to thee.
  43. 'O we were sisters, sisters seven, We was the fairest under heaven.
  44. 'We had nae mair for our seven years wark But to shape an sue the king's son a sark.
  45. 'O it fell on a Saturday's afternoon, Whan a' our langsome wark was dane,
  46. 'We keist the cavils us amang, To see which shoud to the greenwood gang.
  47. 'Ohone, alas! for I was youngest, An ay my wierd it was the hardest.
  48. 'The cavil it did on me fa, Which was the cause of a' my wae.
  49. 'For to the greenwood I must gae, To pu the nut but an the slae;
  50. 'To pu the red rose an the thyme, To strew my mother's bowr and mine.
  51. 'I had na pu'd a flowr but ane, Till by there came a jelly hind greeme,
  52. 'Wi high-colld hose an laigh-colld shoone, An he 'peard to be some kingis son.
  53. 'An be I maid or be I nane, He kept me there till the day was dane.
  54. 'An be I maid or be I nae, He kept me there till the close of day.
  55. 'He gae me a lock of yallow hair, An bade me keep it for ever mair.
  56. 'He gae me a carket o gude black beads, An bade me keep them against my needs.
  57. 'He gae to me a gay gold ring, An bade me ke[e]p it aboon a' thing.
  58. 'He gae to me a little pen-kniffe, An bade me keep it as my life.'
  59. 'What did you wi these tokens rare That ye got frae that young man there?'
  60. 'O bring that coffer hear to me, And a' the tokens ye sal see.'
  61. An ay she ranked, an ay she flang, Till a' the tokens came till her han.
  62. 'O stay here, daughter, your bowr within, Till I gae parley wi my son.'
  63. O she has taen her thro the ha, An on her son began to ca.
  64. 'What did you wi that gay gold ring I bade you keep aboon a' thing?
  65. 'What did you wi that little pen-kniffe I bade you keep while you had life?
  66. 'What did you wi that yallow hair I bade you keep for ever mair?
  67. 'What did you wi that good black beeds I bade you keep against your needs?'
  68. 'I gae them to a lady gay I met i the greenwood on a day.
  69. 'An I would gi a' my father's lan, I had that lady my yates within.
  70. 'I would gi a' my ha's an towrs, I had that bright burd i my bowrs.'
  71. 'O son, keep still your father's lan; You hae that lady your yates within.
  72. 'An keep you still your ha's an towrs; You hae that bright burd i your bowrs.'
  73. Now or a month was come an gone, This lady bare a bonny young son.
  74. An it was well written on his breast-bane 'Gil brenton is my father's name.'