The Broom of Cowdenknows
No: 217; variant: 217G
- O THE broom, and the bonny, bonny broom,
And the broom of the Cowdenknows!
And aye sae sweet as the lassie sang,
I the bought, milking the ewes.
- The hills were high on ilka side,
An the bought i the lirk o the hill,
And aye, as she sang, her voice it rang
Out-oer the head o yon hill.
- There was a troop o gentlemen
Came riding merrilie by,
And one o them has rode out o the way,
To the bought to the bonny may.
- ‘Well may ye save an see, bonny lass,
An weel may ye save an see!’
‘An sae wi you, ye weel-bred knight,
And what’s your will wi me?’
- ‘The night is misty and mirk, fair may,
And I have ridden astray,
And will ye be so kind, fair may,
As come out and point my way?’
- ‘Ride out, ride out, ye ramp rider!
Your steed’s baith stout and strang;
For out of the bought I dare na come,
For fear at ye do me wrang.’
- ‘O winna ye pity me, bonny lass?
O winna ye pity me?
An winna ye pity my poor steed,
Stands trembling at yon tree?’
- ‘I wadna pity your poor steed,
Tho it were tied to a thorn;
For if ye wad gain my love the night
Ye wad slight me ere the morn.
- ‘For I ken you by your weel-busked hat,
And your merrie twinkling ee,
That ye’re the laird o the Oakland hills,
An ye may weel seem for to be.’
- ‘But I am not the laird o the Oakland hills,
Ye’re far mistaen o me;
But I’m ane o the men about his house,
An right aft in his companie.’
- He’s taen her by the middle jimp,
And by the grass-green sleeve,
He’s lifted her over the fauld-dyke,
And speerd at her sma leave.
- O he’s taen out a purse o gowd,
And streekd her yellow hair:
‘Now take ye that, my bonnie may,
Of me till you hear mair.’
- O he’s leapt on his berry-brown steed,
An soon he’s oertaen his men;
And ane and a’ cried out to him,
O master, ye’ve tarryd lang!
- ‘O I hae been east, and I hae been west,
An I hae been far oer the knows,
But the bonniest lass that ever I saw
Is i the bought, milkin the ewes.’
- She set the cog upon her head,
An she’s gane singing hame:
‘O where hae ye been, my ae daughter?
Ye hae na been your lane.’
- ‘O nae body was wi me, father,
O nae body has been wi me;
The night is misty and mirk, father,
Ye may gang to the door and see.
- ‘But wae be to your ewe-herd, father,
And an ill deed may he die!
He bug the bought at the back o the know
And a tod has frighted me.
- ‘There came a tod to the bought-door,
The like I never saw;
And ere he had taken the lamb he did
I had lourd he had taen them a’.’
- O whan fifteen weeks was come and gane,
Fifteen weeks and three,
That lassie began to look thin and pale,
An to long for his merry-twinkling ee.
- It fell on a day, on a het simmer day,
She was ca’ing out her father’s kye,
By came a troop o gentlemen,
A’ merrilie riding bye.
- ‘Weel may ye save an see, bonny may!
Weel may ye save and see!
Weel I wat ye be a very bonny may,
But whae’s aught that babe ye are wi?’
- Never a word could that lassie say,
For never a ane could she blame,
An never a word could the lassie say,
But, I have a good man at hame.
- ‘Ye lied, ye lied, my very bonny may,
Sae loud as I hear you lie!
For dinna ye mind that misty night
I was i the bought wi thee?
- ‘I ken you by your middle sae jimp,
An your merry-twinkling ee,
That ye’re the bonny lass i the Cowdenknow,
An ye may weel seem for to be.’
- Than he’s leapd off his berry-brown steed,
An he’s set that fair may on:
‘Caw out your kye, gude father, yoursel,
For she’s never caw them out again.
- I am the laird of the Oakland hills,
I hae thirty plows and three,
An I hae gotten the bonniest lass
That’s in a’ the south country.’