The Cruel Brother

No: 11; variant: 11B

  1. A GENTLEMAN cam oure the sea, Fine flowers in the valley And he has courted ladies three. With the light green and the yellow
  2. One o them was clad in red: He asked if she wad be his bride.
  3. One o them was clad in green: He asked if she wad be his queen.
  4. The last o them was clad in white: He asked if she wad be his heart’s delight.
  5. ‘Ye may ga ask my father, the king: Sae maun ye ask my mither, the queen.
  6. ‘Sae maun ye ask my sister Anne: And dinna forget my brither John.’
  7. He has asked her father, the king: And sae did he her mither, the queen.
  8. And he has asked her sister Anne: But he has forgot her brother John.
  9. Her father led her through the ha, Her mither danced afore them a’.
  10. Her sister Anne led her through the closs, Her brither John set her on her horse.
  11. It’s then he drew a little penknife, And he reft the fair maid o her life.
  12. ‘Ride up, ride up,’ said the foremost man; ‘I think our bride comes hooly on.’
  13. ‘Ride up, ride up,’ said the second man; ‘I think our bride looks pale and wan.’
  14. Up than cam the gay bridegroom, And straucht unto the bride he cam.
  15. ‘Does your side-saddle sit awry? Or does your steed . . .
  16. ‘Or does the rain run in your glove? Or wad ye chuse anither love?’
  17. ‘The rain runs not in my glove, Nor will I e’er chuse anither love.
  18. ‘But O an I war at Saint Evron’s well, There I wad licht, and drink my fill!
  19. ‘Oh an I war at Saint Evron’s closs, There I wad licht, and bait my horse!’
  20. Whan she cam to Saint Evron’s well, She dought na licht to drink her fill.
  21. Whan she cam to Saint Evron’s closs, The bonny bride fell aff her horse.
  22. ‘What will ye leave to your father, the king?’ ‘The milk-white steed that I ride on.’
  23. ‘What will ye leave to your mother, the queen?’ ‘The bluidy robes that I have on.’
  24. ‘What will ye leave to your sister Anne?’ ‘My gude lord, to be wedded on.’
  25. ‘What will ye leave to your brither John?’ ‘The gallows pin to hang him on.’
  26. ‘What will ye leave to your brither’s wife?’ ‘Grief and sorrow a’ the days o her life.’
  27. ‘What will ye leave to your brither’s bairns?’ ‘The meal-pock to hang oure the arms.’
  28. Now does she neither sigh nor groan: She lies aneath yon marble stone.