Prince Heathen

No: 104; variant: 104B

  1. LADY MARGARET sat in her bower-door, Sewing at her silken seem, When by it came Prince Heathen then, An gae to her a gay gold ring. ‘O bonny may, what do you now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, dying for you. ‘O bonny may, ye do greet now:’‘Ye heathenish dog, but nae for you.
  2. He turnd about, an gied a bow; She said, Begone, I love na you; When he sware by his yellow hair That he woud gar her greet fu sair.
  3. But she sware by her milk-white skin Prince Heathen shoud gar her greet nane: But she sware by her milk-white skin Prince Heathen shoud gar her greet nane: ‘O bonny may, winna ye greet now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, nae yet for you.
  4. He’s taen her in his arms twa, Laid her between him an the wa, An ere he let her free again, Her maidenhead frae her he’s taen. ‘O bonny may, winna ye greet now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, nae yet for you.’
  5. ‘I killd your father in his bed, And your gay mother by his side, And your seven brothers, ane by ane, And they were seven pretty men. O bonny may, winna ye greet now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, nae yet for you.’
  6. ‘I’ll put you in a vault o stone, Where five an thirty locks hing on; Naebody there then shall you see, For I will keep the keys wi me. O bonny may, winna ye greet now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, nae yet for you.’
  7. ‘He’s put her in a vault o stone, Where five an thirty locks hing on; Naebody there coud eer her see, Prince Heathen kept the keys him wi. But ae she cried, What shall I do!The heathenish dog has gart me rue.
  8. Prince heathen from the mountains came, Attended by his armed men, And he’s gane to the bonny may, And to the prison where she lay: ‘O bonny may, what do you now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, dying for you.’
  9. ‘I’ll take you out upon the green, Where women ye shall neer see ane, But only me and my young men, Till ye bring daughter hame or son. O bonny may, what do you now?’‘Ye heathenish dog, dying for you.’
  10. He’s taen her out upon the green, Where she saw women never ane, But only him and ‘s merry young men, Till she brought hame a bonny young son.
  11. ‘A drink, a drink, frae Prince Heathen’s hand, Though it were frae yon cauld well strong!’ ‘O neer a drap, Prince Heathen,’ said one, ‘Till ye row up your bonny young son.’ ‘How can I row up my bonny young son.’ When I hae naething to row him in?’
  12. ‘I will lend you my horse’s sheet, That will row him baith head and feet.’ As soon’s she took it in her han, Tears oer her cheeks down rapping ran.
  13. ‘But a’ is for my bonny young son; Your sheets are rough to row him in; Ohon, alas, sair may I rue That eer I saw such rogues as you!’
  14. ‘Ye’ll row my young son in the silk, An ye will wash him wi the milk, An lay my lady very saft, That I may see her very aft.’ When hearts are broken, bands will bow; Sae well’s he loved his lady now!