The Earl of Aboyne

No: 235; variant: 235B

  1. THE Earl o Aboyne to old England’s gone, An a his nobles wi him; Sair was the heart his fair lady had Because she wanna wi him.
  2. As she was a walking in her garden green, Amang her gentlewomen, Sad was rhe letter that came to her, Her lord was wed in Lunan.
  3. ‘Is this true, my Jean,’ she says, ‘My lord is wed in Lunan?’ ‘O no, O no, my lady gay, For the Lord o Aboyne is comin.’
  4. When she was looking oer her castell-wa, She spied twa boys comin: ‘What news, what news, my bonny boys? What news hae ye frae Lunan?’
  5. ‘Good news, good news, my lady gay, The Lord o Aboyne is comin; He’s scarcely twa miles frae the place, Ye’ll hear his bridles ringin.’
  6. ‘O my grooms all, be well on call, An hae your stables shinin; Of corn an hay spare nane this day, Sin the Lord o Aboyne is comin.
  7. ‘My minstrels all, be well on call, And set your harps a tunin, Wi the finest springs, spare not the strings, Sin the Lord o Aboyne is comin.
  8. ‘My cooks all, be well on call, An had your spits a runnin, Wi the best o roast, an spare nae cost, Sin the Lord o Aboyne is comin.
  9. ‘My maids all, be well on call, An hae your flours a shinin; Cover oer the stair wi herbs sweet an fair, Cover the fours wi linen, An dress my bodie in the finest array, Sin the Lord o Aboyne is comin.’
  10. Her gown was o the guid green silk, Fastned wi red silk trimmin; Her apron was o the guid black gaze, Her hood o the finest linen.
  11. Sae stately she stept down the stair, To look gin he was comin; She called on Kate, her chamer-maid, An Jean, her gentlewoman, To bring her a bottle of the best wine, To drink his health that’s comin.
  12. She’s gaen to the close, taen him from frae’s horse, Says, You’r thrice welcome fra Lunan! ‘If I be as welcome hauf as ye say, Come kiss me for my comin, For tomorrow should been my wedding-day Gin I’d staid on langer in Lunan.’
  13. She turned about wi a disdainful look To Jean, her gentlewoman: ‘If tomorrow should been your wedding-day, Go kiss your whores in Lunan.’
  14. ‘O my nobles all, now turn your steeds, I’m sorry for my comin; For the night we’ll alight at the bonny Bog o Gight, Tomorrow tak horse for Lunan.’
  15. ‘O Thomas, my man, gae after him, An spier gin I’ll win wi him;’ ‘Yes, madam, I hae pleaded for thee, But a mile ye winna win wi him.’
  16. Here and there she ran in care, An doctors wi her dealin; But in a crak her bonny heart brak, And letters gaed to Lunan.
  17. When he saw the letter sealed wi black, He fell on ‘s horse weeping: ‘If she be dead that I love best, She has my heart a keepin.
  18. ‘My nobles all, ye’ll turn your steeds, That comely face [I] may see then; Frae the horse to the hat, a’ must be black, And mourn for bonny Peggy Irvine.’
  19. When they came near to the place, They heard the dead-bell knellin, And aye the turnin o the bell Said, Come bury bonny Peggy Irvine.