Out and spak the brisk young bride, In bride-bed where she lay,-- "I think I hear my sister Annie, And I wish weel it may; For a Scotish lord staw her awa, 105 And an ill death may he die."
"Wha was your father, my girl," she says, "Or wha was your mother?
Or had you ever a sister dear, Or had you ever a brother?" 110
"King Henry was my father dear, Queen Esther was my mother, Prince Henry was my brother dear, And Fanny Flower my sister."
"If King Henry was your father dear, 115 And Queen Esther was your mother, If Prince Henry was your brother dear, Then surely I'm your sister.
"Come to your bed, my sister dear, It ne'er was wrang'd for me, 120 Bot an ae kiss of his merry mouth, As we cam owre the sea."
"Awa, awa, ye forenoon bride, Awa, awa frae me; I wudna hear my Annie greet, 125 For a' the gold I got wi' thee."
"There were five ships of gay red gold Cam owre the seas with me; It's twa o' them will tak me hame, And three I'll leave wi' thee. 130
"Seven ships o' white monie Came owre the seas wi' me; Five o' them I'll leave wi' thee, And twa will take me hame; And my mother will make my portion up, 135 When I return again."
First published by Percy from his folio MS., _Reliques_, iii. 94.
Several traditionary versions have since been printed, of which we give _Burd Ellen_ from Jamieson's, and in the Appendix, _Lady Margaret_ from Kinloch's collection. Jamieson also furnishes a fragment, and Buchan, (_Ballads of the North of Scotland_, ii. 30,) a complete copy of another version of _Burd Ellen_, and Chambers (_Scottish Ballads_, 193,) makes up an edition from all the copies, which we mention here because he has taken some lines from a manuscript supplied by Mr. Kinloch.
Childe Waters in his stable stoode And stroakt his milke-white steede; To him a fayre yonge ladye came As ever ware womans weede.
Sayes, "Christ you save, good Childe Waters," 5 Sayes, "Christ you save and see; My girdle of gold that was too longe, Is now too short for mee.
"And all is with one childe of yours I feele sturre at my side; 10 My gowne of greene it is too straighte; Before, it was too wide."
"If the child be mine, faire Ellen," he sayd,[L13]
"Be mine, as you tell mee, Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire both, 15 Take them your owne to bee.
"If the childe be mine, faire Ellen," he sayd, "Be mine, as you doe sweare, Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire both, And make that child your heyre." 20
Shee sayes, "I had rather have one kisse, Childe Waters, of thy mouth, Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both, That lye by north and southe.
"And I had rather have one twinkling, 25 Childe Waters, of thine ee, Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both, To take them mine owne to bee."
"To morrowe, Ellen, I must forth ryde Farr into the north countree; 30 The fayrest lady that I can finde, Ellen, must goe with mee."
"Thoughe I am not that ladye fayre,[L33]
Yet let me go with thee: And ever I pray you, Childe Waters, 35 Your foot-page let me bee."
"If you will my foot-page bee, Ellen, As you doe tell to mee, Then you must cut your gowne of greene An inch above your knee: 40
"Soe must you doe your yellowe lockes, An inch above your ee; You must tell no man what is my name; My foot-page then you shall bee."
Shee, all the long daye Childe Waters rode, 45 Ran barefoote by his syde, Yet was he never soe courteous a knighte, To say, "Ellen, will you ryde?"
Shee, all the long daye Childe Waters rode, Ran barefoote thorow the broome, 50 Yett was hee never soe courteous a knighte, To say, "put on your shoone."
"Ride softlye," shee sayd, "O Childe Waters: Why doe you ryde so fast?
The childe, which is no mans but thine, 55 My bodye itt will brast."
Hee sayth, "seest thou yond water, Ellen, That flows from banke to brimme?"
"I trust to God, O Childe Waters, You never will see me swimme." 60
But when shee came to the water side, She sayled to the chinne: "Now the Lord of heaven be my speede, For I must learne to swimme."
The salt waters bare up her clothes, 65 Our Ladye bare up her chinne; Childe Waters was a woe man, good Lord, To see faire Ellen swimme!
And when shee over the water was, Shee then came to his knee: 70 Hee sayd, "Come hither, thou fayre Ellen, Loe yonder what I see.
"Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
Of redd gold shines the yate: Of twenty foure faire ladyes there, 75 The fairest is my mate.
"Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
Of redd golde shines the towre: There are twenty four fayre ladyes there, The fayrest is my paramoure." 80
"I see the hall now, Childe Waters, Of redd golde shines the yate: God give you good now of yourselfe, And of your worldlye mate.
"I see the hall now, Childe Waters, 85 Of redd golde shines the towre: God give you good now of yourselfe, And of your paramoure."
There twenty four fayre ladyes were A playing at the ball, 90 And Ellen, the fayrest ladye there, Must bring his steed to the stall.
There twenty four fayre ladyes were A playinge at the chesse, And Ellen, the fayrest ladye there, 95 Must bring his horse to gresse.
And then bespake Childe Waters sister, These were the wordes sayd shee: "You have the prettyest page, brother, That ever I did see; 100
"But that his bellye it is soe bigge, His girdle stands soe hye; And ever, I pray you, Childe Waters, Let him in my chamber lye."
"It is not fit for a little foot-page, 105 That has run throughe mosse and myre, To lye in the chamber of any ladye, That weares soe riche attyre.
"It is more meete for a little foot-page, That has run throughe mosse and myre, 110 To take his supper upon his knee, And lye by the kitchen fyre."
Now when they had supped every one, To bedd they tooke theyr waye: He sayd, "Come hither, my little foot-page, 115 And hearken what I saye.
"Goe thee downe into yonder towne, And lowe into the streete; The fayrest ladye that thou canst finde, Hyre in mine armes to sleepe; 120 And take her up in thine armes twaine, For filing of her feete."
Ellen is gone into the towne, And lowe into the streete; The fayrest ladye that shee colde finde, 125 She hyred in his armes to sleepe; And tooke her up in her armes twayne, For filing of her feete.
"I praye you nowe, good Childe Waters, Let mee lye at your feete; For there is noe place about this house, 130 Where I may saye a sleepe."
He gave her leave, and faire Ellen[L133]
Down at his beds feet laye; This done the nighte drove on apace, 135 And when it was neare the daye,
Hee sayd, "Rise up, my little foot-page, Give my steede corne and haye; And give him nowe the good black oats, To carry mee better awaye." 140