"Come to my arms, my dear Willie, You're welcome hame to me; 10 To best o' cheer and charcoal red,[L11]
And candle burning free."--
"I winna light, I darena light, Nor come to your arms at a'; A fairer maid than ten o' you 15 I'll meet at Castle-law."--
"A fairer maid than me, Willie!
A fairer maid than me!
A fairer maid than ten o' me Your eyes did never see."-- 20
He louted ower his saddle lap, To kiss her ere they part, And wi' a little keen bodkin, She pierced him to the heart.
"Ride on, ride on, Lord William now, 25 As fast as ye can dree!
Your bonny lass at Castle-law Will weary you to see."--
Out up then spake a bonny bird, Sat high upon a tree,-- 30 "How could you kill that noble lord?
He came to marry thee."--
"Come down, come down, my bonny bird, And eat bread aff my hand!
Your cage shall be of wiry goud, 35 Whar now it's but the wand."--
"Keep ye your cage o' goud, lady, And I will keep my tree; As ye hae done to Lord William, Sae wad ye do to me."-- 40
She set her foot on her door step, A bonny marble stane, And carried him to her chamber, O'er him to make her mane.
And she has kept that good lord's corpse 45 Three quarters of a year, Until that word began to spread; Then she began to fear.
Then she cried on her waiting maid, Aye ready at her ca'; 50 "There is a knight into my bower, 'Tis time he were awa."--
The ane has ta'en him by the head, The ither by the feet, And thrown him in the wan water, 55 That ran baith wide and deep.
"Look back, look back, now, lady fair, On him that lo'ed ye weel!
A better man than that blue corpse Ne'er drew a sword of steel."-- 60
11. _Charcoal red._ This circumstance marks the antiquity of the poem.
While wood was plenty in Scotland, charcoal was the usual fuel in the chambers of the wealthy. SCOTT.
Was first published in the _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii.
269, and was obtained from the recitation of Miss Christian Rutherford.
Another copy, also from recitation, is subjoined.
Prince Robert has wedded a gay ladye, He has wedded her with a ring: Prince Robert has wedded a gay ladye, But he darna bring her hame.
"Your blessing, your blessing, my mother dear! 5 Your blessing now grant to me!"-- "Instead of a blessing ye sall have my curse, And you'll get nae blessing frae me."--
She has call'd upon her waiting-maid, To fill a glass of wine; 10 She has call'd upon her fause steward, To put rank poison in.
She has put it to her roudes lip, And to her roudes chin; She has put it to her fause, fause mouth, 15 But the never a drap gaed in.
He has put it to his bonny mouth, And to his bonny chin, He's put it to his cherry lip, And sae fast the rank poison ran in. 20
"O ye hae poison'd your ae son, mother, Your ae son and your heir; O ye hae poison'd your ae son, mother, And sons you'll never hae mair.
"O where will I get a little boy, 25 That will win hose and shoon, To rin sae fast to Darlinton, And bid fair Eleanor come?"--
Then up and spake a little boy, That wad win hose and shoon,-- 30 "O I'll away to Darlinton, And bid fair Eleanor come."--
O he has run to Darlinton, And tirled at the pin; And wha was sae ready as Eleanor's sell 35 To let the bonny boy in.
"Your gude-mother has made ye a rare dinour, She's made it baith gude and fine; Your gude-mother has made ye a gay dinour, And ye maun cum till her and dine."-- 40
It's twenty lang miles to Sillertoun town, The langest that ever were gane: But the steed it was wight, and the ladye was light, And she cam linkin' in.
But when she came to Sillertoun town, 45 And into Sillertoun ha', The torches were burning, the ladies were mourning, And they were weeping a'.
"O where is now my wedded lord, And where now can he be? 50 O where is now my wedded lord?
For him I canna see."--
"Your wedded lord is dead," she says, "And just gane to be laid in the clay: Your wedded lord is dead," she says, 55 "And just gane to be buried the day.
"Ye'se get nane o' his gowd, ye'se get nane o' his gear, Ye'se get nae thing frae me; Ye'se no get an inch o' his gude braid land, Though your heart suld burst in three."-- 60
"I want nane o' his gowd, I want nane o' his gear, I want nae land frae thee: But I'll hae the rings that's on his finger, For them he did promise to me."--
"Ye'se no get the rings that's on his finger, 65 Ye'se no get them frae me; Ye'se no get the rings that's on his finger, An your heart suld burst in three."--
She's turn'd her back unto the wa', And her face unto a rock; 70 And there, before the mother's face, Her very heart it broke.
The tane was buried in Marie's kirk, The tother in Marie's quair; And out o' the tane there sprang a birk, 75 And out o' the tother a brier.
And thae twa met, and thae twa plat, The birk but and the brier; And by that ye may very weel ken They were twa lovers dear. 80
"Given," says Motherwell, "from the recitation of an old woman, a native of Bonhill, in Dumbartonshire; and it is one of the earliest songs she remembers of having heard chanted on the classic banks of the Water of Leaven."--_Minstrelsy_, p. 200.
Another copy is noted by the same editor as containing the following stanzas:--
Lord Robert and Mary Florence, They wer twa children ying; They were scarce seven years of age Till luve began to spring.
Lord Robert loved Mary Florence, And she lov'd him above power; But he durst not for his cruel mither Bring her intill his bower.