James Hatley

No: 244; variant: 244C

  1. THERE was a fause knicht in the court, And he was fu o treacherie, And he staw the queen’s jewels in the nicht, And left the wyte on Jamie O’Lee.
  2. The king he wrate a braid letter, And sealed it richt tenderlie, And he sent it to his only son, To come and speak to him speedilie.
  3. When he cam afore the king, He kneeled low down on his knee: ‘What is your will, my sovereign leige? What is your will? cum tell to me.’
  4. ‘Jamie O’Lee has my jewels stown, As the English lord tells unto me, And out o Scotland he shall be sent, And sent awa to Germanie.’
  5. ‘O no, O no,’ then said the prince, ‘Sic things as that can never be; But get me a man that will take on hand The morn to fecht young Jamie O’Lee.’
  6. Syne out and spak the fause Phenix, And oh, he spak richt spitefullie; ‘I am the man will tak on han To fecht and conquer Jamie O’Lee.’
  7. ‘Oh no, oh no,’ syne said the prince, ‘Sic things as that can never bee, For Jamie O’Lee’s no fifteen years auld, And ye, fause Phenix, are thretty three.’
  8. The prince he mounted then wi speed, He’s aff wi tidings to Jamie O’Lee, Saying, The morn’s morning ye maun fecht, Or out o England banisht bee.
  9. When Jamie O’Lee the tidings heard, Fast the saut tear blindit his ee; ‘I’m saikless o thae jewels,’ he said, ‘As the bairn that sits on the nourice knee.’
  10. Then Phenix munted a scaffold hie, A’ for to shaw his veritie; Whilk gart the nobles a’ to cry ‘A dead man are ye, Jamie O’Lee!’
  11. The first straik the fause Phenix gied, He gart the blude rin speedilie; It gart the prince’s heart to ache, And cry, Oh, alace for my Jamie O’Lee!
  12. Jamie O’Lee he stepped back, Waiting for opportunitie, And wi his sword baith lang and sharp He ran it thro Phenix fause bodie.
  13. ‘O haud your hand, Jamie O’Lee,’ he said, ‘And let the breath remain in me, And skail nae mair o my noble blude, ‘Tis a great disgrace to my loyaltie.’
  14. ‘Confess, confess, ye fause Phenix, Confess your faults this day to me; Were there nae mair men in a’ England, My ain twa hands your death suld be.’
  15. ‘Ye were sae great wi king and queen, I thocht I wuld hae banisht thee, And I staw the queen’s jewels in the nicht, And left the wyte on Jamie O’Lee.’
  16. Syne out and spak the king himsell, Saying, Jamie O’Lee, come hame wi me, And there’s no a knicht in a’ my court But what at your command sall be.
  17. Syne out and spak the queen hersell, Saying, Jamie O’Lee, come hame wi me, And there’s no a month in a’ the year But changed a brothered ye sall be.
  18. Syne out and spak the prince himsell, Saying, Jamie O’Lee, come hame wi me, I hae free lands in a’ Scotland, And at your command they a’ sall be.
  19. ‘I thank ye, king, and I thank ye, queen, I thank ye a’ nobilitie, But a prince’s page I was a’ my life, And a prince’s page I yet will be.’
  20. The king gied him a silk waistcoat, And it was lined wi the taffetie, Wi a band o gowd around his neck, And a prince’s page he seems to be.