Kinloch's _Ancient Scottish Ballads_, p. 131.
The Provost's dochter went out a walking, _A may's love whiles is easie won_; She heard a puir prisoner making his meane, And she was the fair flow'r o' Northumberland.
"Gif onie ladie wad borrow me 5 Out into this prison strang, I wad make her a ladie o' hie degree, For I am a gret lard in fair Scotland."
She has dune her to her father's bed-stock, _A may's love whiles is easie won_! 10 She has stown the keys o' monie braw lock, And she has lows'd him out o' prison strang.
She has dune her to her father's stable, _A may's love whiles is easie won_!
She has tane out a steed, baith swift and able, 15 To carry them baith to fair Scotland.
Whan they cam to the Scottish corss, _A may's love whiles is easie won_!
"Ye brazen-faced hure, licht aff o' my horse, And go, get ye back to Northumberland." 20
Whan they cam to the Scottish muir, _A may's love whiles is easie won_!
"Get aff o' my horse, ye brazen-fac'd hure, So, go, get ye back to Northumberland."
"O pity on me! O pity!" said she, 25 "O that my love was so easie won!
Have pity on me, as I had upon thee, Whan I lows'd ye out o' prison strang."
"O how can I hae pity on thee?
O why was your love sae easie won? 30 Whan I hae a wife and children three, Mair worthy than a' in Northumberland."
"Cook in your kitchen I will be,-- O that my love was sae easie won!
And serve your lady maist reverentlie, 35 For I darna gang back to Northumberland."
"Cook in my kitchen, ye sall not be,-- Why was your love so easie won?
For I will hae na sic servants as thee, So, get ye back to Northumberland. 40
But laith was he the lassie to tyne, _A may's love whiles is easie won_!
He hired an auld horse, and fee'd an auld man, To carry her back to Northumberland.
Whan she cam her father afore, 45 _A may's love whiles is easie won_!
She fell at his feet on her knees sae low,-- She was the fair flow'r o' Northumberland.
"O dochter, dochter, why was ye bauld, O why was your love sae easie won! 50 To be a Scot's hure in your fifteen year auld, And ye the fair flow'r o' Northumberland!"
Her mother on her sae gentlie smil'd,-- "O that her love was sae easie won!
She's na the first that the Scots hae beguil'd, 55 And she's still the fair flow'r o' Northumberland.
"She shanna want gowd, she shanna want fee, Although her love was easie won; She shanna want gowd to gain a man wi', And she'll still be the fair flow'r o' Northumberland." 60
BLANCHEFLOUR, AND JELLYFLORICE.
From Buchan's _Ballads of the North of Scotland_, i. 125.
A fragment of the ancient English romance of _Florice and Blancheflour_ is printed in Hartshorne's _Metrical Tales_, p. 81. For the complete story (hardly a trace of which is retained in the following ballad) see Ellis's _Early English Metrical Romances_.
There was a maid, richly array'd, In robes were rare to see; For seven years and something mair, She serv'd a gay ladie.
But being fond o' a higher place, 5 In service she thought lang; She took her mantle her about, Her coffer by the band.
And as she walk'd by the shore side, As blythe's a bird on tree, 10 Yet still she gaz'd her round about, To see what she could see.
At last she spied a little castle, That stood near by the sea; She spied it far, and drew it near, 15 To that castle went she.
And when she came to that castle, She tirled at the pin; And ready stood a little wee boy To lat this fair maid in. 20
"O who's the owner of this place, O porter boy, tell me?"
"This place belongs unto a queen O' birth and high degree."
She put her hand in her pocket, 25 And ga'e him shillings three; "O porter bear my message well, Unto the queen frae me."
The porter's gane before the queen, Fell low down on his knee; 30 "Win up, win up, my porter boy, What makes this courtesie?"
"I ha'e been porter at your yetts, My dame, these years full three, But see a ladie at your yetts, 35 The fairest my eyes did see."
"Cast up my yetts baith wide and braid, Lat her come in to me; And I'll know by her courtesie, Lord's daughter if she be." 40
When she came in before the queen, Fell low down on her knee; "Service frae you, my dame, the queen, I pray you grant it me."
"If that service ye now do want, 45 What station will ye be?
Can ye card wool, or spin, fair maid, Or milk the cows to me?"
"No, I can neither card nor spin, Nor cows I canno' milk; 50 But sit into a lady's bower, And sew the seams o' silk."
"What is your name, ye comely dame?
Pray tell this unto me: "O Blancheflour, that is my name, 55 Born in a strange countrie."
"O keep ye well frae Jellyflorice; My ain dear son is he; When other ladies get a gift, O' that ye shall get three." 60
It wasna tald into the bower, Till it went thro' the ha', That Jellyflorice and Blancheflour Were grown ower great witha'.
When the queen's maids their visits paid, 65 Upo' the gude Yule day, When other ladies got horse to ride, She boud take foot and gae.
The queen she call'd her stable groom, To come to her right seen; 70 Says, "Ye'll take out yon wild waith steed, And bring him to the green.
"Ye'll take the bridle frae his head, The lighters frae his e'en; Ere she ride three times roun' the cross, 75 Her weel days will be dune."
Jellyflorice his true love spy'd, As she rade roun' the cross; And thrice he kiss'd her lovely lips, And took her frae her horse. 80
"Gang to your bower, my lily flower, For a' my mother's spite; There's nae other amang her maids, In whom I take delight.
"Ye are my jewel, and only ane, 85 Nane's do you injury; For ere this-day-month come and gang, My wedded wife ye'se be."