Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 229 pages of information about Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Volume 2.

  Some do call me Jack, sweetheart. 
  And some do call me Jille.

Witton Gilbert, a village four miles west of Durham, is, throughout the bishopric, pronounced Witton Jilbert.  We have also the common name of Giles, always in Scotland pronounced Jill.  For Gille, or Julianna, as a female name, we have Fair Gillian of Croyden, and a thousand authorities.  Such being the case, the editor must enter his protest against the conversion of Gil Morrice, into child Maurice, an epithet of chivalry.  All the circumstances in that ballad argue, that the unfortunate hero was an obscure and very young man, who had never received the honour of knighthood.  At any rate, there can be no reason, even were internal evidence totally wanting, for altering a well known proper name, which, till of late years, has been the uniform title of the ballad.

JELLON GRAME.

  O JELLON GRAME sat in Silverwood,[A]
   He sharped his broad sword lang;
  And he has call’d his little foot page
   An errand for to gang.

  “Win up, my bonny boy,” he says,
   “As quickly as ye may;
  “For ye maun gang for Lillie Flower
   “Before the break of day.”

  The boy has buckled his belt about,
   And thro’ the green-wood ran;
  And he cam to the ladye’s bower
   Before the day did dawn.

  “O sleep ye, wake ye, Lillie Flower? 
   “The red sun’s on the rain: 
  “Ye’re bidden come to Silverwood,
   “But I doubt ye’ll never win hame.”

  She hadna ridden a mile, a mile,
   A mile but barely three,
  Ere she cam to a new made grave,
   Beneath a green aik tree.

  O then up started Jellon Grame,
   Out of a bush thereby;
  “Light down, light down, now, Lillie Flower,
   “For its here that ye maun lye.”

  She lighted aff her milk-white steed,
   And kneel’d upon her knee;
  “O mercy, mercy, Jellon Grame,
   “For I’m no prepared to die!

  “Your bairn, that stirs between my sides,
   “Maun shortly see the light;
  “But to see it weltering in my blood,
   “Would be a piteous sight.”

  “O should I spare your life,” he says,
   “Until that bairn were born,
  “Full weel I ken your auld father
   “Would hang me on the morn.”

  “O spare my life, now, Jellon Grame! 
   “My father ye need na dread: 
  “I’ll keep my babe in gude green-wood,
   “Or wi’ it I’ll beg my bread.”

  He took no pity on Lillie Flower,
   Tho’ she for life did pray;
  But pierced her thro’ the fair body
   As at his feet she lay.

  He felt nae pity for Lillie Flower,
   Where she was lying dead;
  But he felt some for the bonny bairn,
   That lay weltering in her bluid.

  Up has he ta’en that bonny boy,
   Given him to nurses nine;
  Three to sleep, and three to wake,
   And three to go between.

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Project Gutenberg
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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