James Hatley

No: 244; variant: 244A

  1. IT happened once upon a time, When the king he was from home, Sir Fenwick he has stolen his jewels, And laid the blame on James Hatley.
  2. James Hatley was in prison strong, A wait he was condemned to die; There was not one in all the court To speak one word for James Hatley.
  3. No one but the king’s daughter, A wait she loved him tenderlie; She’s stolen the keys from her father’s head, And gaed and conversed wi James Hatley.
  4. ‘Come, tell to me noe, James,’ she said, ‘Come, tell to me if thou hast them stolen, And I’ll make a vow, and I’ll keep it true, Ye shall never be the worse of me.’
  5. ‘I have not stolen them, lady,’ he said, ‘Nor as little it was intended by me; Sir Fenwick he has stolen them himself; A wait he has laid the blame on me.’
  6. ‘One asking, one asking, father dear, One asking, one asking grant to me, For I never asked one in my life; I am sure you cannot but grant it to me.’
  7. ‘Weel ask it, weel ask it, daughter dear, Ask it, and it granted shall be; If it should be my hole estate, Naesaid, naesaid, it shall not be.’
  8. ‘I want none of your gold, father, And I want none of your fee; All that I ask, father dear, It is the life of James Hatley.’
  9. ‘Weel ask it, weel ask it, daughter dear, Weel ask it, and it answere:d shall be; For I’ll make a vow, and I’ll keep it true, James Hatley shall never hange:d be.’
  10. ‘Another asking, father dear, Another asking grant to me; Let Fenwick and Hatley go [to] the sword, And let them try their verity.’
  11. ‘Tis weel asked, daughter dear, ‘Tis weel asked, and it granted shall be; For eer the morn or twelve o’clock They both at the point of the sword shall be.’
  12. James Hatley was fifteen years old, Sir Fenwick he was thirty three; But James lap about, and he struck about, Till he’s gaen Sir Fenwick wounds three.
  13. ‘Hold up, hold, James Hatley,’ he cry’d, ‘And let my breath go out an; For I have stolen them myself, More shame and disgrace it is to me.’
  14. Up and spake an English lord, And O but he spake haughtily! ‘I would reather given my whole estates Before ye had not hanged James Hatley.’
  15. But up and spake a Scottish lord, And O but he spake boldly! ‘I would reather hae foughten among blood to the knees Before ye had hanged James Hatley.’
  16. Up and spake the king’s eldest son, ‘Come hame, James Hatley, and dine wi me; For I’ve made a vow, I’ll keep it true, Ye’s be my captain by land and by sea.’
  17. Up and spake the king’s daughter, ‘Come home, James Hatley, and dine wi me; For I’ve made a vow, I’ll keep it true, I’ll never marry a man but thee.’