“No help, no help, O false Sir John,
No help, nor pity thee;
Tho’ seven kings’ daughters you have drownd,
But the eighth shall not be me.”
So she went on her father’s steed,
As swift as she could flee,
And she came home to her father’s bower
Before it was break of day.
Up then and spoke the pretty parrot:
“May Colven, where have you been?
What has become of false Sir John,
That woo’d you so late the streen?
“He woo’d you butt, he woo’d you
He woo’d you in the ha,
Until he got your own consent
For to mount and gang awa.”
“O hold your tongue, my pretty parrot,
Lay not the blame upon me;
Your cup shall be of the flowered gold,
Your cage of the root of the tree.”
Up then spake the king himself,
In the bed-chamber where he lay:
“What ails the pretty parrot,
That prattles so long or day?”
“There came a cat to my cage door,
It almost a worried me,
And I was calling on May Colven
To take the cat from me.”
Ballad: Johnie Faa
(Child, vol. iv. Early Edition.)
The gypsies came to our good lord’s gate
And wow but they sang sweetly!
They sang sae sweet and sae very complete
That down came the fair lady.
And she came tripping doun the stair,
And a’ her maids before her;
As soon as they saw her weel-far’d face,
They coost the glamer o’er her.
“O come with me,” says Johnie Faw,
“O come with me, my dearie;
For I vow and I swear by the hilt of my sword,
That your lord shall nae mair come near ye.”
Then she gied them the beer and the wine,
And they gied her the ginger;
But she gied them a far better thing,
The goud ring aff her finger.
“Gae take frae me this yay mantle,
And bring to me a plaidie;
For if kith and kin, and a’ had sworn,
I’ll follow the gypsy laddie.
“Yestreen I lay in a weel-made bed,
Wi’ my good lord beside me;
But this night I’ll lye in a tenant’s barn,
Whatever shall betide me!”
“Come to your bed,” says Johnie Faw,
“Oh, come to your bed, my dearie:
For I vow and swear by the hilt of my sword,
Your lord shall nae mair come near ye.”
“I’ll go to bed to my Johnie Faw,
I’ll go to bed to my dearie;
For I vow and I swear by the fan in my hand,
My lord shall nae mair come near me.
“I’ll mak a hap to my Johnie Faw,
I’ll mak a hap to my dearie;
And he’s get a’ the coat gaes round,
And my lord shall nae mair come near me.”
And when our lord came hame at e’en,
And spier’d for his fair lady,
The tane she cry’d, and the other reply’d,
“She’s awa’ wi’ the gypsy laddie!”
“Gae saddle to me the black black steed,
Gae saddle and make him ready;
Before that I either eat or sleep,
I’ll gae seek my fair lady.”