Leesom Brand

No: 15; variant: 15A

  1. MY boy was scarcely ten years auld, Whan he went to an unco land, Where wind never blew, nor cocks ever crew, Ohon for my son, Leesome Brand!
  2. Awa to that king’s court he went, It was to serve for meat an fee; Gude red gowd it was his hire, And lang in that king’s court stayd he.
  3. He hadna been in that unco land But only twallmonths twa or three, Till by the glancing o his ee, He gaind the love o a gay ladye.
  4. This ladye was scarce eleven years auld, When on her love she was right bauld; She was scarce up to my right knee, When oft in bed wi men I’m tauld.
  5. But when nine months were come and gane, This ladye’s face turnd pale and wane.
  6. To Leesome Brand she then did say, ‘In this place I can nae mair stay.
  7. ‘Ye do you to my father’s stable, Where steeds do stand baith wight and able.
  8. ‘Strike ane o them upo the back, The swiftest will gie his head a wap.
  9. ‘Ye take him out upo the green, And get him saddled and bridled seen.
  10. ‘Get ane for you, anither for me, And lat us ride out ower the lee.
  11. ‘Ye do you to my mother’s coffer, And out of it ye’ll take my tocher.
  12. ‘Therein are sixty thousand pounds, Which all to me by right belongs.’
  13. He’s done him to her father’s stable, Where steeds stood baith wicht and able.
  14. Then he strake ane upon the back, The swiftest gae his head a wap.
  15. He’s taen him out upo the green, And got him saddled and bridled seen.
  16. Ane for him, and another for her, To carry them baith wi might and virr.
  17. He’s done him to her mother’s coffer, And there he’s taen his love’s tocher;
  18. Wherein were sixty thousand pound, Which all to her by right belongd.
  19. When they had ridden about six mile, His true love then began to fail.
  20. ‘O wae’s me,’ said that gay ladye, ‘I fear my back will gang in three!
  21. ‘O gin I had but a gude midwife, Here this day to save my life,
  22. ‘And ease me o my misery, O dear, how happy I would be!’
  23. ‘My love, we’re far frae ony town, There is nae midwife to be foun.
  24. ‘But if ye’ll be content wi me, I’ll do for you what man can dee.’
  25. ‘For no, for no, this maunna be,’ Wi a sigh, replied this gay ladye.
  26. ‘When I endure my grief and pain, My companie ye maun refrain.
  27. ‘Ye’ll take your arrow and your bow, And ye will hunt the deer and roe.
  28. ‘Be sure ye touch not the white hynde, For she is o the woman kind.’
  29. He took sic pleasure in deer and roe, Till he forgot his gay ladye.
  30. Till by it came that milk-white hynde, And then he mind on his ladye syne.
  31. He hasted him to yon greenwood tree, For to relieve his gay ladye;
  32. But found his ladye lying dead, Likeways her young son at her head.
  33. His mother lay ower her castle wa, And she beheld baith dale and down; And she beheld young Leesome Brand, As he came riding to the town.
  34. ‘Get minstrels for to play,’ she said, ‘And dancers to dance in my room; For here comes my son, Leesome Brand, And he comes merrilie to the town.’
  35. ‘Seek nae minstrels to play, mother, Nor dancers to dance in your room; But tho your son comes, Leesome Brand, Yet he comes sorry to the town.
  36. ‘O I hae lost my gowden knife; I rather had lost my ain sweet life!
  37. ‘And I hae lost a better thing, The gilded sheath that it was in.’
  38. ‘Are there nae gowdsmiths here in Fife, Can make to you anither knife?
  39. ‘Are there nae sheath-makers in the land, Can make a sheath to Leesome Brand?’
  40. ‘There are nae gowdsmiths here in Fife, Can make me sic a gowden knife;
  41. ‘Nor nae sheath-makers in the land, Can make to me a sheath again.
  42. ‘There ne’er was man in Scotland born, Ordaind to be so much forlorn.
  43. ‘I’ve lost my ladye I lovd sae dear, Likeways the son she did me bear.’
  44. ‘Put in your hand at my bed head, There ye’ll find a gude grey horn; In it three draps o’ Saint Paul’s ain blude, That hae been there sin he was born.
  45. ‘Drap twa o them o your ladye, And ane upo your little young son; Then as lively they will be As the first night ye brought them hame.’
  46. He put his hand at her bed head, And there he found a gude grey horn, Wi three draps o’ Saint Paul’s ain blude, That had been there sin he was born.
  47. Then he drappd twa on his ladye, And ane o them on his young son, And now they do as lively be, As the first day he brought them hame.