The Earl of Aboyne

No: 235; variant: 235D

  1. THE guid Earl o Boyn’s awa to Lonon gone, An a’ his gallan grooms wie him, But, for a’ the ribbons that hing at her hat, He has left his fair lady behind him.
  2. He had not been in London toun A month but barely one, O, Till the letters an the senes they came to her hand That he was in love with another woman.
  3. ‘O what think ye o this, my bonny boy?’ she says, ‘What think ye o my lord at london? What think ye o this, my bonny boy?’ she says, ‘He’s in love wie another woman.’
  4. That lady lookd out at her closet-window, An saw the gallan grooms coming; ‘What think ye o this, my bonny boy?’ she says, ‘For yonder the gallan grooms coming.’
  5. Stately, stately steppit she doun To welcome the gallan grooms from London: ‘Ye’re welcome, ye’re welcome, gallan grooms a’; Is the guid Earl o Boyn a coming?
  6. ‘What news, what news, my gallan grooms a’? What news have ye from London? What news, what news, my gallan grooms a’? Is the guid Earl o Boyn a-coming?’
  7. ‘No news, no news,’ said they gallan grooms a’, ‘No news hae we from London; No news, no news,’ said the gallan grooms a’, ‘But the guid Earl o Boyn’s a coming, An he’s not two miles from the palace-gates, An he’s fast coming hame from London.’
  8. ‘Ye stable-grooms a’, be ready at the ca, An have a’ your stables in shening, An sprinkle them over wie some costly water, Since the guid Earl o Boyn’s a coming.
  9. ‘Ye pretty cooks a’, be ready at the ca, An have a’ your spits in turning, An see that ye spare neither cost nor pains, Since the guid Earl o Boyn’s a coming.
  10. ‘Ye servant-maids, ye’ll trim up the beds, An wipe a’ the rooms oer wie linnen, An put a double daisy at every stair-head, Since the guid Earl o Boyn’s a coming.
  11. ‘Ye’ll call to me my chambermaid, An Jean, my gentlewoman, An they’ll dress me in some fine array, Since the good Earl o Boyn’s a coming.’
  12. Her stockens were o the good fine silk, An her shirt it was o the camric, An her goun it was a’ giltit oer, An she was a’ hung oer wie rubbies.
  13. That lady lookd out at her closet-window, An she thought she saw him coming: ‘Go fetch to me some fine Spanish wine, That I may drink his health that’s a coming.’
  14. Stately, stately steppit she doun To welcome her lord from london, An as she walked through the close She’s peed him from his horse.
  15. ‘Ye’re welcome, ye’re welcome, my dearest dear, Ye’re three times welcome from London!’ ‘If I be as welcome as ye say, Ye’ll kiss my for my coming; Come kiss me, come kiss me, my dearest dear, Come kiss me, my bonny Peggy Harboun.’
  16. O she threw her arms aroun his neck, To kiss him for his coming: ‘If I had stayed another day, I’d been in love wie another woman.
  17. She turned her about wie a very stingy look, She was as sorry as any woman; She threw a napkin out-oure her face, Says, Gang kiss your whore at London.
  18. ‘Ye’ll mount an go, my gallan grooms a’, Ye’ll mount and back again to London; Had I known this to be the answer my Meggy’s gein me, I had stayed some longer at London.’
  19. ‘Go, Jack, my livery boy,’ she says, ‘Go ask if he’ll take me wie him; An he shall hae nae cumre o me But mysel an my waiting-woman.’
  20. ‘O the laus o London the’re very severe, They are not for a woman; And ye are too low in coach for to ride, I’m your humble servant, madam.
  21. ‘My friends they were a’ angry at me For marrying ane o the house o Harvey; And ye are too low in coach for to ride, I’m your humble servant, lady.
  22. ‘Go saddle for me my steeds,’ he says, ‘Go saddle them soon and softly, For I maun awa to the Bogs o the Geich, An speak wi the Marquess o Huntly.’
  23. The guid Earl o Boyn’s awa to London gone, An a’ his gallan gro[o]ms wie him; But his lady fair he’s left behind Both a sick an a sorry woman.
  24. O many were the letter she after him did send, A’ the way back again to London, An in less than a twelvemonth her heart it did break, For the loss o her lord at London.
  25. He was not won well to the Bogs o the Geich, Nor his horses scarcely batit, Till the letters and the senes they came to his hand That his lady was newly Strickit.
  26. ‘O is she dead? or is she sick? O woe’s me for my coming! I’d rather lost a’ the Bogs o the Geich Or I’d lost my bonny Peggy Harboun.’
  27. He took the table wi his foot, Made a’ the room to tremble: ‘I’d rather a lost a’ the Bogs o the Geich Or I’d lost my bonny Peggy Harboun.
  28. ‘Oh an alas! an O woe’s me! An wo to the Marquess o Huntly, Wha causd the Earl o Boyn prove sae very unkin To a true an a beautiful lady!’
  29. There were fifteen o the bravest gentlemen, An the bravest o the lords o London, They went a’ to attend her burial-day, But the Earl o Boyn could not go wi them.