"How she would stap you in her poke, I wot at that she wadna fail; 170 And boil ye in her auld brass pan, And of ye mak right gude kail.
"And she would meal you with millering That she gathers at the mill, And mak you thick as any daigh; 175 And when the pan was brimful,
"Would mess you up in scuttle dishes, Syne bid us sup till we were fou; Lay down her head upon a poke, Then sleep and snore like any sow." 180
"Away! away! you bad woman, For all your vile words grieveth me; When ye heed so little for yourself, I'm sure ye'll heed far less for me.
"I wish I had drunk your water, sister, 185 When that I did drink of your wine; Since for a carle's fair daughter, It aye gars me dree all this pine."
"May be I am a carle's daughter, And may be never nane; 190 When ye met me in the good green wood, Why did you not let me alane?
"Gude e'en, gude e'en, ye heather berries, As ye're growing on yon hill; If the auld carle and his bags were here, 195 I wot he would get meat his fill.
"Late, late at night I knit our pokes, With even four-and-twenty knots; And in the morn at breakfast time, I'll carry the keys of an earl's locks. 200
"Late, late at night I knit our pokes, With even four-and-twenty strings; And if you look to my white fingers, They have as many gay gold rings."
"Away! away! ye ill woman, 205 And sore your vile words grieveth me; When you heed so little for yourself, I'm sure ye'll heed far less for me.
"But if you are a carle's daughter, As I take you to be, 210 How did you get the gay clothing, In green wood ye had on thee?"
"My mother she's a poor woman, She nursed earl's children three; And I got them from a foster sister, 215 For to beguile such sparks as thee."
"But if you be a carle's daughter, As I believe you be, How did ye learn the good Latin, In green wood ye spoke to me?" 220
"My mother she's a mean woman, She nursed earl's children three; I learned it from their chapelain, To beguile such sparks as ye."
When mass was sung, and bells were rung, 225 And all men boune for bed, Then Earl Richard and this ladye In ane bed they were laid.
He turned his face to the stock, And she hers to the stane; 230 And cauld and dreary was the luve That was thir twa between.
Great was the mirth in the kitchen, Likewise intill the ha'; But in his bed lay Earl Richard, 235 Wiping the tears awa'.
He wept till he fell fast asleep, Then slept till licht was come; Then he did hear the gentlemen That talked in the room: 240
Said,--"Saw ye ever a fitter match, Betwixt the ane and ither; The King o' Scotland's fair dochter, And the Queen of England's brither?"
"And is she the King o' Scotland's fair dochter? 245 This day, oh, weel is me!
For seven times has my steed been saddled, To come to court with thee; And with this witty lady fair, How happy must I be!" 250
75 et seq. This passage has something in common with _Child Waters_ and _Burd Ellen_.
THE GAY GOSS-HAWK.
From _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 151.
"This Ballad is published, partly from one under this title, in Mrs.
Brown's collection, and partly from a MS. of some antiquity, _penes_ Edit. The stanzas appearing to possess most merit have been selected from each copy."--SCOTT.
Annexed is another version from Motherwell's collection. A third, longer than either, is furnished by Buchan, _Ballads of the North of Scotland_, ii. 245, _The Scottish Squire_.
"O waly, waly, my gay goss-hawk, Gin your feathering be sheen!"
"And waly, waly, my master dear, Gin ye look pale and lean!
"O have ye tint, at tournament, 5 Your sword, or yet your spear?
Or mourn ye for the southern lass, Whom ye may not win near?"
"I have not tint, at tournament, My sword nor yet my spear; 10 But sair I mourn for my true love, Wi' mony a bitter tear.
"But weel's me on ye, my gay goss-hawk, Ye can baith speak and flee; Ye sall carry a letter to my love, 15 Bring an answer back to me."
"But how sall I your true love find, Or how suld I her know?
I bear a tongue ne'er wi' her spake, An eye that ne'er her saw." 20
"O weel sall ye my true love ken, Sae sune as ye her see; For, of a' the flowers of fair England, The fairest flower is she.
"The red, that's on my true love's cheek, 25 Is like blood-drops on the snaw; The white, that is on her breast bare, Like the down o' the white sea-maw
"And even at my love's bouer-door There grows a flowering birk; 30 And ye maun sit and sing thereon As she gangs to the kirk.
"And four-and-twenty fair ladyes Will to the mass repair; But weel may ye my ladye ken, 35 The fairest ladye there."
Lord William has written a love-letter, Put it under his pinion gray; And he is awa to southern land As fast as wings can gae. 40
And even at the ladye's bour There grew a flowering birk; And he sat down and sung thereon As she gaed to the kirk.
And weel he kent that ladye fair 45 Amang her maidens free; For the flower that springs in May morning Was not sae sweet as she.
He lighted at the ladye's yate, And sat him on a pin; 50 And sang fu' sweet the notes o' love, Till a' was cosh within.
And first he sang a low, low note, And syne he sang a clear; And aye the o'erword o' the sang 55 Was--"Your love can no win here."--
"Feast on, feast on, my maidens a', The wine flows you amang, While I gang to my shot-window, And hear yon bonny bird's sang. 60
"Sing on, sing on, my bonny bird, The sang ye sung yestreen; For weel I ken, by your sweet singing, Ye are frae my true love sen."
O first he sang a merry sang, 65 And syne he sang a grave; And syne he pick'd his feathers gray, To her the letter gave.
"Have there a letter from Lord William; He says he's sent ye three; 70 He canna wait your love langer, But for your sake he'll die."--
"Gae bid him bake his bridal bread, And brew his bridal ale; And I shall meet him at Mary's kirk, 75 Lang, lang ere it be stale."
The lady's gane to her chamber, And a moanfu' woman was she; As gin she had ta'en a sudden brash, And were about to die. 80
"A boon, a boon, my father deir, A boon I beg of thee!"-- "Ask not that paughty Scottish lord, For him you ne'er shall see: