The sets of _Gil Morrice_ in the collections of Herd, Pinkerton, Ritson, &c., are all taken from Percy.
Gil Morrice was an erles son, His name it waxed wide: It was nae for his great riches, Nor zet his mickle pride; Bot it was for a lady gay[L5] 5 That liv'd on Carron side.
"Quhair sall I get a bonny boy, That will win hose and shoen; That will gae to Lord Barnard's ha', And bid his lady cum? 10
"And ze maun rin my errand, Willie, And ze may rin wi' pride; Quhen other boys gae on their foot, On horseback ze sall ride."
"O no! O no! my master dear! 15 I dare nae for my life; I'll no gae to the bauld barons, For to triest furth his wife."
"My bird Willie, my boy Willie, My dear Willie," he sayd: 20 "How can ze strive against the stream?
For I sall be obeyd."
"Bot, O my master dear!" he cry'd, "In grene wod ze're zour lain; Gi owre sic thochts, I walde ze rede, 25 For fear ze should be tain."
"Haste, haste, I say, gae to the ha', Bid hir cum here wi' speid: If ze refuse my heigh command, I'll gar zour body bleid. 30
"Gae bid hir take this gay mantel, 'T is a' gowd bot the hem; Bid hir cum to the gude grene wode, And bring nane hot hir lain:
"And there it is, a silken sarke, 35 Hir ain hand sewd the sleive; And bid hir cum to Gill Morice, Speir nae bauld barons leave."
"Yes, I will gae zour black errand, Though it be to zour cost; 40 Sen ze by me will nae be warn'd, In it ze sall find frost.
"The baron he is a man of might, He neir could bide to taunt; As ze will see, before it's nicht, 45 How sma' ze hae to vaunt.
"And sen I maun zour errand rin Sae sair against my will, I'se mak a vow and keip it trow, It sall be done for ill." 50
And quhen he came to broken brigue,[L51]
He bent his bow and swam; And quhen he came to grass growing, Set down his feet and ran.
And quhen he came to Barnard's ha', 55 Would neither chap nor ca'; Bot set his bent bow to his breist, And lichtly lap the wa'.
He wauld nae tell the man his errand, Though he stude at the gait; 60 Bot straiht into the ha' he cam, Quhair they were set at meit.
"Hail! hail! my gentle sire and dame!
My message winna waite; Dame, ze maun to the gude grene wod, 65 Before that it be late.
"Ze're bidden tak this gay mantel, 'Tis a' gowd bot the hem: Zou maun gae to the gude grene wode, Ev'n by your sel alane. 70
"And there it is, a silken sarke, Your ain hand sewd the sleive: Ze maun gae speik to Gill Morice; Speir nae bauld barons leave."
The lady stamped wi' hir foot, 75 And winked wi' hir ee; But a' that she could say or do, Forbidden he wad nae bee.
"It's surely to my bow'r-woman; It neir could be to me." 80 "I brocht it to Lord Barnard's lady; I trow that ze be she."
Then up and spack the wylie nurse, (The bairn upon hir knee): "If it be cum frae Gill Morice, 85 It's deir welcum to mee."
"Ze leid, ze leid, ze filthy nurse, Sae loud I heird ze lee; I brocht it to Lord Barnard's lady; I trow ze be nae shee." 90
Then up and spack the bauld baron, An angry man was hee; He's tain the table wi' his foot, Sae has he wi' his knee, Till siller cup and ezer[L95] dish 95 In flinders he gard flee.
"Gae bring a robe of zour cliding, That hings upon the pin; And I'll gae to the gude grene wode, And speik wi' zour lemman." 100
"O bide at hame, now, Lord Barnard, I warde ze bide at hame; Neir wyte a man for violence, That neir wate ze wi' nane."
Gil Morice sate in gude grene wode, 105 He whistled and he sang: "O what mean a' the folk coming?
My mother tarries lang."
The baron came to the grene wode,[L109]
Wi' mickle dule and care; 110 And there he first spied Gill Morice Kameing his zellow hair.
"Nae wonder, nae wonder, Gill Morice, My lady loed thee weel; The fairest part of my bodie 115 Is blacker than thy heel.
"Zet neir the less now, Gill Morice, For a' thy great beautie, Ze's rew the day ze eir was born; That head sall gae wi' me." 120
Now he has drawn his trusty brand, And slait it[L122] on the strae; And thro' Gill Morice' fair body He's gar cauld iron gae.
And he has tain Gill Morice' head,[L125] 125 And set it on a speir: The meanest man in a' his train Has gotten that head to bear.
And he has tain Gill Morice up, Laid him across his steid, 130 And brocht him to his painted bowr, And laid him on a bed.
The lady sat on castil wa', Beheld baith dale and doun; And there she saw Gill Morice' head 135 Cum trailing to the toun.
"Far better I loe that bluidy head, Bot and that zellow hair, Than Lord Barnard, and a' his lands, As they lig here and thair." 140
And she has tain her Gill Morice, And kissd baith mouth and chin: "I was once as fow of Gill Morice, As the hip is o' the stean.
"I got ze in my father's house, 145 Wi' mickle sin and shame; I brocht thee up in gude green wode, Under the heavy rain.
"Oft have I by thy cradle sitten, And fondly seen thee sleip; 150 Bot now I gae about thy grave, The saut tears for to weip."
And syne she kissd[L153] his bluidy cheik, And syne his bluidy chin: "O better I loe my Gill Morice 155 Than a' my kith and kin!"
"Away, away, ze il woman,[L157]
And an ill deith mait ze dee: Gin I had ken'd he'd bin zour son, He'd neir bin slain for mee." 160
5. The stall copies of the ballad complete the stanza thus:
_His face was fair, lang was his hair, In the wild woods he staid_; But his fame was for a fair lady That lived on Carronside.
Which is no injudicious interpolation, inasmuch as it is founded upon the traditions current among the vulgar, regarding Gil Morice's comely face and long yellow hair. MOTHERWELL.
51-58. A familiar commonplace in ballad poetry. See _Childe Vyet_, _Lady Maisry_, _Lord Barnaby_, &c.
His hair was like the threeds of gold Drawne frae Minerva's loome; His lipps like roses drapping dew; His breath was a' perfume.