A Collection of Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about A Collection of Ballads.

(Child, vol. iii.  Early Edition.)

Down by yon garden green,
Sae merrily as she gaes;
She has twa weel-made feet,
And she trips upon her taes.

She has twa weel-made feet;
Far better is her hand;
She’s as jimp in the middle
As ony willow wand.

“Gif ye will do my bidding,
At my bidding for to be,
It’s I will make you lady
Of a’ the lands you see.”

* * * * *

He spak a word in jest;
Her answer was na good;
He threw a plate at her face,
Made it a’ gush out o’ blood.

She wasna frae her chamber
A step but barely three,
When up and at her richt hand
There stood Man’s Enemy.

“Gif ye will do my bidding,
At my bidding for to be,
I’ll learn you a wile,
Avenged for to be.”

The foul thief knotted the tether;
She lifted his head on hie;
The nourice drew the knot
That gar’d lord Waristoun die.

Then word is gane to Leith,
Also to Edinburgh town
That the lady had kill’d the laird,
The laird o’ Waristoun.

* * * * *

Tak aff, tak aff my hood
But lat my petticoat be;
Pat my mantle o’er my head;
For the fire I downa see.

Now, a’ ye gentle maids,
Tak warning now by me,
And never marry ane
But wha pleases your e’e.

“For he married me for love,
But I married him for fee;
And sae brak out the feud
That gar’d my dearie die.”

Ballad:  May Colven

(Child, Part I., p. 56.)

False Sir John a wooing came
To a maid of beauty fair;
May Colven was this lady’s name,
Her father’s only heir.

He wood her butt, he wood her ben,
He wood her in the ha,
Until he got this lady’s consent
To mount and ride awa.

He went down to her father’s bower,
Where all the steeds did stand,
And he’s taken one of the best steeds
That was in her father’s land.

He’s got on and she’s got on,
As fast as they could flee,
Until they came to a lonesome part,
A rock by the side of the sea.

“Loup off the steed,” says false Sir John,
“Your bridal bed you see;
For I have drowned seven young ladies,
The eighth one you shall be.

“Cast off, cast off, my May Colven,
All and your silken gown,
For it’s oer good and oer costly
To rot in the salt sea foam.

“Cast off, cast off, my May Colven. 
All and your embroiderd shoen,
For oer good and oer costly
To rot in the salt sea foam.”

“O turn you about, O false Sir John,
And look to the leaf of the tree,
For it never became a gentleman
A naked woman to see.”

He turned himself straight round about,
To look to the leaf of the tree,
So swift as May Colven was
To throw him in the sea.

“O help, O help, my May Colven,
O help, or else I’ll drown;
I’ll take you home to your father’s bower,
And set you down safe and sound.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
A Collection of Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.