Sir Hugh, or the Jew’s Daughter

No: 155; variant: 155E

  1. YESTERDAY was brave Hallowday, And, above all days of the year, The schoolboys all got leave to play, And little Sir Hugh was there.
  2. He kicked the ball with his foot, And kepped it with his knee, And even in at the Jew’s window He gart the bonnie ba flee.
  3. Out then came the Jew’s daughter: ‘Will ye come in and dine?’ ‘I winna come in, and I canna come in, Till I get that ball of mine.
  4. ‘Throw down that ball to me, maiden, Throw down the ball to me!’ ‘I winna throw down your ball, Sir Hugh, Till ye come up to me.’
  5. She pu’d the apple frae the tree, It was baith red and green; She gave it unto little Sir Hugh, With that his heart did win.
  6. She wiled him into ae chamber, She wiled him into twa, She wiled him into the third chamber, And that was warst o’t a’.
  7. She took out a little penknife, Hung low down by her spare, She twined this young thing o his life, And a word he neer spak mair.
  8. And first came out the thick, thick blood, And syne came out the thin, And syne came out the bonnie heart’s blood, There was nae mair within.
  9. She laid him on a dressing-table, She dressd him like a swine; Says, Lie ye there, my bonnie Sir Hugh, Wi yere apples red and green!
  10. She put him in a case of lead, Says, Lie ye there and sleep! She threw him into the deep draw-well, Was fifty fathom deep.
  11. A schoolboy walking in the garden Did grievously hear him moan; He ran away to the deep draw-well, And fell down on his knee.
  12. Says, Bonnie Sir Hugh, and pretty Sir Hugh, I pray you speak to me! If you speak to any body in this world, I pray you speak to me.
  13. When bells were rung, and mass was sung, And every body went hame, Then every lady had her son, But Lady Helen had nane.
  14. She rolled her mantle her about, And sore, sore did she weep; She ran away to the Jew’s castle, When all were fast asleep.
  15. She cries, Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir Hugh, I pray you speak to me! If you speak to any body in this world, I pray you speak to me.
  16. ‘Lady Helen, if ye want your son, I’ll tell ye where to seek; Lady Helen, if ye want your son, He’s in the well sae deep.’
  17. She ran away to the deep draw-well, And she fell down on her knee, Saying, Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir Hugh, I pray ye speak to me! If ye speak to any body in the world, I pray ye speak to me.
  18. ‘Oh the lead it is wondrous heavy, mother, The well it is wondrous deep; The little penknife sticks in my throat, And I downa to ye speak.
  19. ‘But lift me out o this deep draw-well, And bury me in yon churchyard; . . . . . . . .
  20. ‘Put a Bible at my head,’ he says, ‘And a Testament at my feet, And pen and ink at every side, And I’ll lie still and sleep.
  21. ‘And go to the back of Maitland town, Bring me my winding sheet; For it’s at the back of Maitland town That you and I shall meet.’
  22. O the broom, the bonny, bonny broom, The broom that makes full sore, A woman’s mercy is very little, But a man’s mercy is more.