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Scott's edition of _Mary Hamilton_, (the first ever published,) was made up by him, from various copies. See _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 294.

Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane, Wi' ribbons in her hair; The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton, Than ony that were there.

Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane, 5 Wi' ribbons on her breast; The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton, Than he listen'd to the priest.

Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane, Wi' gloves upon her hands; 10 The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton, Than the Queen and a' her lands.

She hadna been about the King's court A month, but barely one, Till she was beloved by a' the King's court, 15 And the King the only man.

She hadna been about the King's court A month, but barely three, Till frae the King's court Marie Hamilton, Marie Hamilton durstna be. 20

The King is to the Abbey gane, To pu' the Abbey tree, To scale the babe frae Marie's heart; But the thing it wadna be.

O she has row'd it in her apron, 25 And set it on the sea,-- "Gae sink ye, or swim ye, bonny babe, Ye's get nae mair o' me."--

Word is to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha', 30 And word is to the noble room, Amang the ladyes a', That Marie Hamilton's brought to bed, And the bonny babe's mist and awa'.

Scarcely had she lain down again, 35 And scarcely fa'en asleep, When up then started our gude Queen, Just at her bed-feet; Saying--"Marie Hamilton, where's your babe?

For I am sure I heard it greet."-- 40

"O no, O no, my noble Queen!

Think no such thing to be; 'Twas but a stitch into my side, And sair it troubles me."--

"Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton: 45 Get up and follow me; For I am going to Edinburgh town, A rich wedding for to see."--

O slowly, slowly raise she up, And slowly put she on; 50 And slowly rode she out the way, Wi' mony a weary groan.

The Queen was clad in scarlet, Her merry maids all in green; And every town that they cam to, 55 They took Marie for the Queen.

"Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen, Ride hooly now wi' me!

For never, I am sure, a wearier burd Rade in your cumpanie."-- 60

But little wist Marie Hamilton, When she rade on the brown, That she was ga'en to Edinburgh town, And a' to be put down.

"Why weep ye so, ye burgess wives, 65 Why look ye so on me?

O I am going to Edinburgh town, A rich wedding for to see."--

When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs, The corks frae her heels did flee; 70 And lang or e'er she cam down again, She was condemn'd to die.

When she cam to the Netherbow port,[L73]

She laughed loud laughters three; But when she cam to the gallows foot, 75 The tears blinded her ee.

"Yestreen the Queen had four Maries, The night she'll hae but three; There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton, And Marie Carmichael, and me.[L80] 80

"O often have I dress'd my Queen, And put gold upon her hair; But now I've gotten for my reward The gallows to be my share.

"Often have I dress'd my Queen, 85 And often made her bed; But now I've gotten for my reward The gallows tree to tread.

"I charge ye all, ye mariners, When ye sail ower the faem, 90 Let neither my father nor mother get wit, But that I'm coming hame.

"I charge ye all, ye mariners, That sail upon the sea, Let neither my father nor mother get wit 95 This dog's death I'm to die.

"For if my father and mother got wit, And my bold brethren three, O mickle wad be the gude red blude This day wad be spilt for me! 100

"O little did my mother ken, That day she cradled me, The lands I was to travel in, Or the death I was to die!"

73. The Netherbow port was the gate which divided the city of Edinburgh from the suburb, called the Canongate. S.

80. The Queen's Maries were four young ladies of the highest families in Scotland, who were sent to France in her train, and returned with her to Scotland. Keith gives us their names, p. 55. "The young Queen, Mary, embarked at Dunbarton for France, ... and with her went ... and four young virgins, all of the name of Mary, viz. Livingston, Fleming, Seatoun, and Beatoun." Neither Mary Livingston, nor Mary Fleming, are mentioned in the ballad; nor are the Mary Hamilton, and Mary Carmichael, of the ballad, mentioned by Keith. But if this corps continued to consist of young virgins, as when originally raised, it could hardly have subsisted without occasional recruits; especially if we trust our old bard, and John Knox.

The Queen's Maries are mentioned in many ballads, and the name seems to have passed into a general denomination for female attendants.--SCOTT.


From Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. 311.

"In this set of the ballad, from its direct allusion to the use of the Savin-tree, a clue is, perhaps, afforded for tracing how the poor mediciner mentioned by Knox should be implicated in the crime of Mary Hamilton. It may also be noted as a feature in this version of the ballad, which does not occur in any heretofore printed, the unfortunate heroine's proud and indignant spurning at life after her character had been tainted by the infamy of a sentence of condemnation. In another copy of the ballad, also obtained from recitation, this sentiment is, perhaps, still more forcibly expressed; at any rate, it is more appropriate as being addressed to the King. The whole concluding verses of this copy, differing as they somewhat do from the version adopted for a text, it has been thought worth while to preserve.

"But bring to me a cup," she says, "A cup bot and a can, And I will drink to all my friends, And they'll drink to me again.

Here's to you, all travellers, Who travel by land or sea; Let na wit to my father nor mother The death that I must die.

Here's to you, all travellers, That travel on dry land; Let na wit to my father or mother But I am coming hame.

O little did my mother think, First time she cradled me, What land I was to travel on, Or what death I would die.

O little did my mother think, First time she tied my head, What land I was to tread upon, Or whare I would win my bread.

Yestreen Queen Mary had four Maries; This night she'll hae but three; She had Mary Seaton, and Mary Beaton, And Mary Carmichael, and me.

Yestreen I wush Queen Mary's feet, And bore her till her bed; This day she's given me my reward, The gallows tree to tread.

Cast aff, cast aff my gown," she said, "But let my petticoat be; And tye a napkin on my face, For that gallows I downa see."

By and cam the King himsell, Look'd up wi' a pitiful ee: "Come down, come down, Mary Hamilton; This day thou wilt dine with me."

"Hold your tongue, my sovereign liege, And let your folly be; An ye had had a mind to save my life, Ye should na hae shamed me here!"

"The copy of the ballad from which the above extract is given, begins with this verse:

"There were three ladies, they lived in a bower, And O but they were fair; The youngest o' them is to the King's court, To learn some unco lair."

"There is another version in which the heroine is named Mary Myles, or Myle; but Myle is probably a corruption of the epithet 'mild,' which occurs in the fragment given in the _North Countrie Garland_."


There lived a knight into the North, And he had daughters three: The ane of them was a barber's wife, The other a gay ladie;

And the youngest o' them to Scotland is gane 5 The Queen's Mary to be; And for a' that they could say or do, Forbidden she wouldna be.

The prince's bed it was sae saft, The spices they were sae fine, 10 That out of it she could not lye While she was scarce fifteen.

She's gane to the garden gay To pu' of the savin tree; But for a' that she could say or do, 15 The babie it would not die.

She's rowed it in her handkerchief, She threw it in the sea: Says,--"Sink ye, swim ye, my bonnie babe, For ye'll get nae mair of me." 20

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