Child's Ballads/257


AEdit

THERE is a stane in yon water,
It's lang or it grow green;
It's a maid that maks her ain fortune,
It'll never end its leen.
Burd Bell was na full fyfteen
Till to service she did gae;
Burd Bell was na full sixteen
Till big wi bairn was scho.

  • * * * *

'Burd Bell she is a gude woman,
She bides at hame wi me;
She never seeks to gang to church,
But bides at hame wi me.'
It fell ance upon a day
She fell in travail-pain;
He is gane to the stair-head
Some ladies to call in.
'O gin ye hae a lass-bairn, Burd Bell,
A lass-bairn though it be,
Twenty ploughs bot and a mill
Will mak ye lady free.
'But gin ye hae a son, Burd Bell,
Ye'se be my wedded wife,
. . . .
. . . .'
The knichts they knack their white fingers,
The ladies sat and sang,
Twas a' to cheer bonnie Burd Bell,
She was far sunk in pain.

  • * * * *

Earl Patrick is to his mither gane,
As fast as he could hie:
'An askin, an askin, dear mither,
An askin I want frae thee.
'Burd Bell has born to me a son;
What sall I do her wi?'
'Gie her what ye like, Patrick,
Mak na her your ladie.'
He has gane to bonnie Burd Bell,
Hir heart was pressd wi care:
. . . .
. . . .
'My father will dee, bonnie Burd Bell,
My mither will do the same,
And whan ye hear that they are gane
It's then I'll bring ye hame.'
Earl Patrick's bigget to her a bour,
And strawn it round wi sand;
He coverd it wi silver on the outside,
Wi the red gowd within.
It happened ance upon a day
She was kaiming his yellow hiar,
. . . .
. . . .
'Your father is dead, Earl Patrick,
Your mither is the same;
And what is the reason, Earl Patrick,
Ye winna tak me hame?'
'I've bigget to you a bonnie bour,
I've strawn it round wi sand;
I've coverd it wi silver on the outside,
Wi gude red gowd within.
'If eer I marry anither woman,
Or bring anither hame,
I wish a hundred evils may enter me,
And may I fa oure the brim!'
It was na very lang after this
That a duke's dochter he's wed,
Wi a waggon fu of gowd
. . . .
Burd Bell lookit oure her castle-wa,
And spied baith dale and down,
And there she saw Earl Patrick's aunt
Come riding to the town.
'What want ye here, Earl Patrick's aunt?
What want ye here wi me?'
'I want Earl Patrick's bonnie young son;
His bride fain wad him see.'
'I wad like to see that woman or man,
Of high or low degree,
That wad tak the bairn frae my foot
That I ance for bowd my knee.'

  • * * * *

'Burd Bell, she's the bauldest woman
That ever I did see:'
'It's I'll gang to bonnie Burd Bell,
She was never bauld to me.'
Burd Bell lookit oure her castle-wa,
Behauding brave dale and down,
And there she spied him Earl Patrick
Slowly riding to the town.
'What said ye to my great-grand-aunt
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .'
'I said nathing to your great-grand-aunt
But I will say to thee:
I wad like to see the woman or man,
Of high or low degree,
That wad tak the bairn frae my foot
I ance for bowd my knee.
'O dinna ye mind, Earl Patrick,
The vows ye made to me,
That a hundred evils was enter you
If ye provd fause to me?'
He's turnd him richt and round about,
His horse head to the wind,
The hundred evils enterd him,
And he fell oure the brim.

BEdit

TAKE warning, a' ye young women,
Of low station or hie,
Lay never your love upon a man
Above your ain degree.
Thus I speak by Burd Isbel;
She was a maid sae fair,
She laid her love on Sir Patrick,
She'll rue it for evermair.
And likewise, a' ye sprightly youths,
Of low station or hie,
Lay never your love upon a maid
Below your ain degree.
And thus I speak by Sir Patrick,
Who was a knight sae rare;
He's laid his love on Burd Isbel,
He'll rue it for evermair.
Burd Isbel was but ten years auld,
To service she has gane;
And Burd Isbel was but fifeteen
Whan her young son came hame.
It fell ance upon a day
Strong travelling took she;
None there was her bower within
But Sir Patrick and she.
'This is a wark now, Sir Patrick,
That we twa neer will end;
Ye'll do you to the outer court
And call some women in.'
He's done him to the outer court,
And stately there did stand;
Eleven ladies he's calld in,
Wi ae shake o his hand.
'Be favourable to Burd Isbel,
Deal favourable if ye may;
Her kirking and her fair wedding
Shall baith stand on ae day.
'Deal favourable to Burd Isbel,
Whom I love as my life;
Ere this day month be come and gane,
She's be my wedded wife.'
Then he is on to his father,
Fell low down on his knee;
Says, Will I marry Burd Isbel?
She's born a son to me.
'O marry, marry Burd Isbel,
Or use her as you like;
Ye'll gar her wear the silks sae red
And sae may ye the white.
O woud ye marry Burd Isbel,
Make her your heart's delight?
'You want not lands nor rents, Patrick,
You know your fortune's free;
But ere you'd marry Burd Isbel
I'd rather bury thee.
'Ye'll build a bower for Burd Isbel,
And set it round wi sand;
Make as much mirth in Isbel's bower
As ony in a' the land.'
Then he is to his mother gane,
Fell low down on his knee:
'O shall I marry Burd Isbel?
She's born a son to me.'
'O marry, marry Burd Isbel,
Or use her as you like;
Ye'll gar her wear the silks sae red,
And sae may ye the white.
O would ye marry Burd Isbel,
Make her wi me alike?
'You want not lands nor rents, Patrick,
You know your fortune's free;
But ere you marry Burd Isbel
I'd rather bury thee.
'Ye'll build a bower to Burd Isbel,
And set it round wi glass;
Make as much mirth in Isbel's bower
An ony in a' the place.'
He's done him down thro ha, thro ha,
Sae has he in thro bower;
The tears ran frae his twa grey eyes,
And loot them fast down pour.
'My father and my mother baith
To age are coming on;
When they are dead and buried baith,
Burd Isbel I'll bring home.'
The words that passd atween these twa
Ought never to be spoken;
The vows that passd atween these twa
Ought never to be broken.
Says he, If I another court,
Or wed another wife,
May eleven devils me attend
At the end-day o my life.
But his father he soon did die,
His mother nae lang behind;
Sir Patrick of Burd Isbel
He now had little mind.
It fell ance upon a day,
As she went out to walk,
And there she saw him Sir Patrick,
Going wi his hound and hawk.
'Stay stikl, stay still, now Sir Patrick,
O stay a little wee,
And think upon the fair promise
Last year ye made to me.
'Now your father's dead, kind sir,
And your mother the same;
Yet nevertheless now, Sir Patrick,
Ye're nae bringing me hame.'
'If the morn be a pleasant day,
I mean to sail the sea,
To spend my time in fair England,
All for a month or three.'
He hadna been in fair England
A month but barely ane
Till he forgot her Burd Isbel,
The mother of his son.
Some time he spent in fair England,
And when returnd again
He laid his love on a duke's daughter,
And he has brought her hame.
Now he's forgot his first true love
He ance lovd ower them a';
But now the devil did begin
To work between them twa.
When Sir Patrick he was wed,
And all set down to dine,
Upon his first love, Burd Isbel,
A thought ran in his mind.
He calld upon his gude grand-aunt
To come right speedilie;
Says, Ye'll gae on to Burd Isbel,
Bring my young son to me.
She's taen her mantle her about,
Wi gowd gloves on her hand,
And she is on to Burd Isbel,
As fast as she coud gang.
She haild her high, she haild her low,
With stile in great degree:
'O busk, O busk your little young son,
For he maun gang wi me.'
'I woud fain see the one,' she said,
'O low station or hie,
Woud take the bairn frae my foot,
For him I bowed my knee.
'I woud fain see the one,' she said,
'O low station or mean,
Woud take the bairn frae my foot
Whom I own to be mine.'
Then she has done her hame again,
As fast as gang coud she;
'Present,' said he, 'My little young son,
For him I wish to see.'
'Burd Isbel's a bauld woman,' she said,
'As eer I yet spake wi;'
But sighing said him Sir Patrick,
She ne'er was bauld to me.
But he's dressd in his best array,
His gowd rod in his hand,
And he is to Burd Isbel's bower,
As fast as he coud gang.
'O how is this, Burd Isbel,' he said,
'So ill ye've used me?
What gart you anger my gude grand-aunt,
That I did send to thee?'
'If I hae angerd your gude grand-aunt,
O then sae lat it be;
I said naething to your gude grand-aunt
But what I'll say to thee.
'I woud fain see the one, I said,
O low station or hie,
Wha woud take this bairn frae my foot,
For him I bowed the knee.
'I woud fain see the one, I said,
O low station or mean,
Woud take this bairn frae my foot
Whom I own to be mine.'
'O if I had some counsellers here,
And clerks to seal the band,
I woud infeft your son this day
In third part o my land.'
'I hae two couzins, Scottish clerks,
Wi bills into their hand,
An ye'll infeft my son this day
In third part o your land.'
Then he calld in her Scottish clerks,
Wi bills into their hand,
And he's infeft his son that day
The third part o his land.
To ane o these young clerks she spoke,
Clerk John it was his name;
Says, Of my son I gie you charge
Till I return again.
'Ye'll take here my son, clerk John,
Learn him to dance and sing,
And I will to some unco land,
Drive love out of my mind.
'And ye'll take here my son, clerk John,
Learn him to hunt the roe,
And I will to some unco land;
Now lat Sir Patrick go.
'But I'll cause this knight at church-door stand,
For a' his noble train;
For selling o his precious soul
Dare never come farther ben.'

CEdit

ALL young maidens fair and gay,
Whatever your station be,
Never lay your love upon a man
Above your own degree.
I speak it all by Bird Isabel;
She was her father's dear,
She laid her love on Earl Patrick,
Which she rues ever mair.
'Oh, we began a wark, Patrick,
That we two cannot end;
Go you unto the outer stair
And call some women in.'
He's gone unto the outer stair,
And up in it did stand,
And did bring in eleven ladies,
With one sign of his hand.
He did him to the doctor's shop,
As fast as he could gang,
But ere the doctor could get there
Bird Isabel bore a son.
But he has courted a duke's daughter,
Lived far beyont the sea;
Burd Isabel's parents were but mean,
That had not gear to gie.
He has courted a duke's daughter,
Lived far beyond the foam;
Burd Isabel was a mean woman,
And tocher she had none.
Now it fell once upon a day
His wedding day was come;
He's hied him to his great-grand-aunt,
As fast as he could gang.
Says, Will you go this errand, aunt?
Go you this errand for me,
And if I live and bruick my life
I will go as far for thee.
'Go and bring me Bird Isbel's son,
Dressed in silks so fine,
And if he live to be a man
He shall heir all my land.'
Now she went hailing to the door,
And hailing ben the floor,
And Isabel styled her madame,
And she, her Isabel dear.
'I came to take Earl Patrick's son,
To dress in silks so fine;
For if he live to be a man
He is to heir his land.'
'Oh is there ever a woman,' she said,
'Of high station or mean,
Daur take this bairn from my knee?
For he is called mine.
'Oh is there ever a woman,' she said,
'Of mean station or hie,
Daur tak this bairn frae my foot?
For him I bowed my knee.'
His aunt went hailing to his door,
And hailing ben the floor,
And she has styled him, Patrick,
And [he] her, aunty dear.
She says, I have been east and west,
And far beyond the sea,
But Isabel is the boldest woman
That ever my eyes did see.
'You surely dream, my aunty dear,
For that can never be;
Burd Isabel's not a bold woman,
She never was bold to me.'
Now he went hailing to her door,
And hailing ben the floor,
And she has styled him, Patrick,
And he her, Isabel dear.
'O ye have angered my great-grand-aunt;
You know she's a lady free;'
'I said naught to your great-grand-aunt
But what I'll say to thee.
'Oh is there ever a woman, I said,
Of high station or mean,
Daur tak this bairn from my knee?
For he is called mine.
'Oh is there ever a woman, I said,
Of mean station or hie,
Daur tak this bairn from my foot?
For him I bowed my knee.
'But I'll cause you stand at good church-door,
For all your noble train;
For selling of your precious soul,
You shall not get further ben.'