Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173I

  1. MARIE HAMILTON’s to the kirk gane, Wi ribbons in her hair; The king thought mair o Marie Hamilton Than ony that were there.
  2. Marie Hamilton’s to the kirk gane, Wi ribbons on her breast; The king thought mair o Marie Hamilton Then he listend to the priest.
  3. Marie Hamilton’s to the kirk gane, Wi gloves upon her hands; The king thought mair o Marie Hamilton, Than the queen and a’ her lands.
  4. She hadna been about the king’s court A month, but barely one, Till she was beloved by a’ the king’s court, And the king the only man.
  5. She hadna been about the king’s court A month, but barely three, Till frae the king’s court Marie Hamilton, Marie Hamilton durstna be.
  6. The king is to the Abbey gane, To pu the Abbey-tree, To scale the babe frae Marie’s heart, But the thing it wadna be.
  7. O she has rowd it in her apron, And set it on the sea: ‘Gae sink ye, or swim ye, bonny babe! Ye’s get nae mair o me.’
  8. Word is to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha, And word is to the noble room, Amang the ladyes a’, That Marie Hamilton’s brought to bed, And the bonny babe’s mist and awa.
  9. Scarcely had she lain down again, And scarcely fa’en asleep, When up then started our gude queen, Just at her bed-feet, Saying, Marie Hamilton, where’s your babe? For I am sure I heard it greet.
  10. ‘O no, O no, my noble queen, Think no such thing to be! ‘Twas but a stitch into my side, And sair it troubles me.’
  11. ‘Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton, Get up and follow me; For I am going to Edinburgh town, A rich wedding for to see.’
  12. O slowly, slowly raise she up, And slowly put she on, And slowly rode she out the way, Wi mony a weary groan.
  13. The queen was clad in scarlet, Her merry maids all in green, And every town that they cam to, They took Marie for the queen.
  14. ‘Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen, Ride hooly now wi me! For never, I am sure, a wearier burd Rade in your cumpanie.’
  15. But little wist Marie Hamilton, When she rade on the brown, That she was gaen to Edinburgh town, And a’ to be put down.
  16. ‘Why weep ye so, ye burgess-wives, Why look ye so on me? O I am going to Edinburgh town A rich wedding for to see!’
  17. When she gaed up the Tolbooth stairs, The corks frae her heels did flee; And lang or eer she cam down again She was condemnd to die.
  18. When she cam to the Netherbow Port, She laughed loud laughters three; But when she cam to the gallows-foot, The tears blinded her ee.
  19. ‘Yestreen the queen had four Maries, The night she’ll hae but three; There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton, And Marie Carmichael, and me.
  20. ‘O often have I dressed my queen, And put gold upon her hair; But now I’ve gotten for my reward The gallows to be my share.
  21. ‘Often have I dressd my queen, And often made her bed; But now I’ve gotten for my reward The gallows-tree to tread.
  22. ‘I charge ye all, ye mariners, When ye sail ower the faem, Let neither my father nor mother get wit But that I’m coming hame!
  23. ‘I charge ye all, ye mariners, That sail upon the sea, Let neither my father nor mother get wit This dog’s death I’m to die!
  24. For if my father and mother got wit, And my bold brethren three, O mickle wad be the gude red blude This day wad be spilt for me!
  25. ‘O little did my mother ken, That day she cradled me, The lands I was to travel in, Or the death I was to die!’