Earl Crawford

No: 229; variant: 229B

  1. O WE were seven bonny sisters, As fair women as fair could be, And some got lairds, and some got lords, And some got knights o high degree: When I was married to Earl Crawford, This was the fate befell to me.
  2. When we had been married for some time, We walked in our garden green, And aye he clappd his young son’s head, And aye he made sae much o him.
  3. I turnd me right and round about, And aye the blythe blink in my ee: ‘Ye think as much o your young son As ye do o my fair body.
  4. ‘What need ye clap your young son’s head? What need ye make so much o him? What need ye clap your young son’s head? I’m sure ye gotna him your lane.’
  5. ‘O if I gotna him my lane, Show here the man that helpe:d me; And for these words your ain mouth spoke Heir o my land he neer shall be.’
  6. He calld upon his stable-groom To come to him right speedilie: ‘Gae saddle a steed to Lady Crawford, Be sure ye do it hastilie.
  7. ‘His bridle gilt wi gude red gowd, That it may glitter in her ee; And send her on to bonny Stobha, All her relations for to see.’
  8. Her mother lay oer the castle wa, And she beheld baith dale and down, And she beheld her Lady Crawford, As she came riding to the town.
  9. ‘Come here, come here, my husband dear, This day ye see not what I see; For here there comes her Lady Crawford, Riding alane upon the lee.’
  10. When she came to her father’s yates, She tirled gently at the pin: ‘If ye sleep, awake, my mother dear, Ye’ll rise lat Lady Crawford in.’
  11. ‘What news, what news, ye Lady Crawford, That ye come here so hastilie?’ ‘Bad news, bad news, my mother dear, For my gude lord’s forsaken me.’
  12. ‘O wae’s me for you, Lady Crawford, This is a dowie tale to me; Alas! you were too young married To thole sic cross and misery.’
  13. ‘O had your tongue, my mother dear, And ye’ll lat a’ your folly be; It was a word my merry mouth spake That sinderd my gude lord and me.’
  14. Out it spake her brither then, Aye as he stept ben the floor: ‘My sister Lillie was but eighteen years When Earl Crawford ca’ed her a whore.
  15. ‘But had your tongue, my sister dear, And ye’ll lat a’ your mourning bee; I’ll wed you to as fine a knight, That is nine times as rich as hee.’
  16. ‘O had your tongue, my brither dear, And ye’ll lat a’ your folly bee; I’d rather yae kiss o Crawford’s mouth Than a’ his gowd and white monie.
  17. ‘But saddle to me my riding-steed, And see him saddled speedilie, And I will on to Earl Crawford’s, And see if he will pity me.’
  18. Earl Crawford lay o’er castle wa, And he beheld baith dale and down, And he beheld her lady Crawford, As she came riding to the town.
  19. He called ane o his livery men To come to him right speedilie: ‘Gae shut my yates, gae steek my doors, Keep Lady Crawford out frae me.’
  20. When she came to Earl Crawford’s yates, She tirled gently at the pin: ‘O sleep ye, wake ye, Earl Crawford, Ye’ll open, lat Lady Crawford in.
  21. ‘Come down, come down, O Earl Crawford, And speak some comfort unto me; And if ye winna come yoursell, Ye’ll send your gentleman to me.’
  22. ‘Indeed I winna come mysell, Nor send my gentleman to thee; For I tauld you when we did part Nae mair my spouse ye’d ever bee.’
  23. She laid her mouth then to the yates, And aye the tears drapt frae her ee; Says, Fare ye well, Earl Crawford’s yates, You again I’ll nae mair see.
  24. Earl Crawford calld on his stable-groom To come to him right speedilie, And sae did he his waiting-man, That did attend his fair bodie.
  25. ‘Ye will gae saddle for me my steed, And see and saddle him speedilie, And I’ll gang to the Lady Crawford, And see if she will pity me.’
  26. Lady Crawford lay oer castle-wa, And she beheld baith dale and down, And she beheld him Earl Crawford, As he came riding to the town.
  27. Then she has calld ane o her maids To come to her right speedilie: ‘Gae shut my yates, gae steek my doors, Keep Earl Crawford out frae me.’
  28. When he came to Lady Crawford’s yates, He tirled gently at the pin: ‘Sleep ye, wake ye, Lady Crawford, Ye’ll rise and lat Earl Crawford in.
  29. ‘Come down, come down, O Lady Crawford, Come down, come down, and speak wi me; And gin ye winna come yoursell, Ye’ll send your waiting-maid to me.’
  30. ‘Indeed I winna come mysell, Nor send my waiting-maid to thee; Sae take your ain words hame again At Crawford castle ye tauld me.
  31. ‘O mother dear, gae make my bed, And ye will make it saft and soun, And turn my face unto the west, That I nae mair may see the sun.’
  32. Her mother she did make her bed, And she did make it saft and soun; True were the words fair Lillie spake, Her lovely eyes neer saw the sun.
  33. The Earl Crawford mounted his steed, Wi sorrows great he did ride hame; But ere the morning sun appeard This fine lord was dead and gane.
  34. Then on ae night this couple died, And baith were buried in ae tomb: Let this a warning be to all, Their pride may not bring them low down.