From the Percy Society Publications, xvii. 71. The same in Buchan, ii. 206. The ballad is given in Sharpe's _Ballad Book_, under the title of _Dysmal_, and by Aytoun, _Ballads of Scotland_, 2d ed., ii.
173, under that of _Lady Daisy_. All these names are corruptions of Ghismonda, on whose well-known story (_Decamerone_, iv. 1, 9) the present is founded.--This piece and the next might better have been inserted at p. 347, as a part of the Appendix to Book III.
There was a king, an' a curious king, An' a king o' royal fame; He had ae dochter, he had never mair, Ladye Diamond was her name.
She's fa'en into shame, an' lost her gude name, 5 An' wrought her parents 'noy; An' a' for her layen her luve so low, On her father's kitchen boy.
Ae nicht as she lay on her bed, Just thinkin' to get rest, 10 Up it came her old father, Just like a wanderin' ghaist.
"Rise up, rise up, ladye Diamond," he says, "Rise up, put on your goun; Rise up, rise up, ladye Diamond," he says, 15 "For I fear ye gae too roun'."
"Too roun I gae, yet blame me nae; Ye'll cause me na to shame; For better luve I that bonnie boy Than a' your weel-bred men." 20
The king's ca'd up his wa'-wight men, That he paid meat an' fee: "Bring here to me that bonnie boy, An' we'll smore him right quietlie."
Up hae they ta'en that bonnie boy, 25 Put him 'tween twa feather beds; Naethin' was dane, nor naethin' said, Till that bonnie bonnie boy was dead.
The king's ta'en out a braid braid sword, An' streak'd it on a strae; 30 An' thro' an' thro' that bonnie boy's heart He's gart cauld iron gae.
Out has he ta'en his poor bluidie heart, Set it in a tasse o' gowd, And set it before ladye Diamonds face, 35 Said "Fair ladye, behold!"
Up has she ta'en this poor bludie heart, An' holden it in her han'; "Better luved I that bonnie bonnie boy Than a' my father's lan'." 40
Up has she ta'en his poor bludie heart, An' laid it at her head; The tears awa' frae her eyne did flee, An' ere midnicht she was dead.
THE WEST COUNTRY DAMOSELS COMPLAINT.
From Collier's _Book of Roxburghe Ballads_, p. 202.
After a broadside "printed by P. Brooksby, at the Golden Bull in Westsmith-field, neer the Hospitall Gate." The first ten or twelve stanzas seem to be ancient.
"When will you marry me, William, And make me your wedded wife?
Or take you your keen bright sword, And rid me out of my life."
"Say no more then so,[L5] lady, 5 Say you no more then so, For you shall unto the wild forrest, And amongst the buck and doe.
"Where thou shalt eat of the hips and haws, And the roots that are so sweet, 10 And thou shalt drink of the cold water That runs underneath your feet."
Now had she not been in the wild forrest Passing three months and a day, But with hunger and cold she had her fill, 15 Till she was quite worn away.
At last she saw a fair tyl'd house, And there she swore by the rood, That she would to that fair tyl'd house, There for to get her some food. 20
But when she came unto the gates, Aloud, aloud she cry'd, "An alms, an alms, my own sister!
I ask you for no pride."
Her sister call'd up her merry men all, 25 By one, by two, and by three, And bid them hunt away that wild doe, As far as e'er they could see.
They hunted her o're hill and dale, And they hunted her so sore, 30 That they hunted her into the forrest, Where her sorrows grew more and more.
She laid a stone all at her head, And another all at her feet, And down she lay between these two, 35 Till death had lull'd her asleep.
When sweet Will came and stood at her head, And likewise stood at her feet, A thousand times he kiss'd her cold lips, Her body being fast asleep. 40
Yea, seaven times he stood at her feet, And seaven times at her head; A thousand times he shook her hand, Although her body was dead.
"Ah wretched me!" he loudly cry'd, 45 "What is it that I have done?
O wou'd to the powers above I'de dy'd, When thus I left her alone!
"Come, come, you gentle red-breast now, And prepare for us a tomb, 50 Whilst unto cruel Death I bow, And sing like a swan my doom.
"Why could I ever cruel be Unto so fair a creature; Alas! she dy'd for love of me, 55 The loveliest she in nature!
"For me she left her home so fair To wander in this wild grove, And there with sighs and pensive care She ended her life for love. 60
"O constancy, in her thou'rt lost!
Now let women boast no more; She's fled unto the Elizian coast, And with her carry'd the store.
"O break, my heart, with sorrow fill'd, 65 Come, swell, you strong tides of grief!
You that my dear love have kill'd, Come, yield in death to me relief.
"Cruel her sister, was't for me That to her she was unkind? 70 Her husband I will never be, But with this my love be joyn'd.
"Grim Death shall tye the marriage bands, Which jealousie shan't divide; Together shall tye our cold hands, 75 Whilst here we lye side by side.
"Witness, ye groves, and chrystal streams, How faithless I late have been; But do repent with dying leaves Of that my ungrateful sin; 80
"And wish a thousand times that I Had been but to her more kind, And not have let a virgin dye, Whose equal there's none can find.
"Now heaps of sorrow press my soul; 85 Now, now 'tis she takes her way; I come, my love, without controule, Nor from thee will longer stay."
With that he fetch'd a heavy groan, Which rent his tender breast, 90 And then by her he laid him down, When as Death did give him rest.
Whilst mournful birds, with leavy bows, To them a kind burial gave, And warbled out their love-sick vows, 95 Whilst they both slept in their grave.
5, so then.
THE BRAVE EARL BRAND AND THE KING OF ENGLAND'S DAUGHTER. See p. 114.