The Kitchie-Boy

No: 252; variant: 252B

  1. EARL RICHARD had but ae daughter, A maid o birth and fame; She loved her father’s kitchen-boy, The greater was her shame.
  2. But she could neer her true-love see, Nor with him could she talk, In towns where she had wont to go, Nor fields where she could walk.
  3. But it fell ance upon a day Her father went from home; She’s calld upon the kitchen boy To come and clean her room.
  4. ‘Come ye sit down by me, Willie, Come sit ye down by me; There’s nae a lord in a’ the north That I can love but thee.’
  5. ‘Let never the like be heard, lady, Nor let it ever be; For if your father get word o this He will gar hang me hie.’
  6. ‘O ye shall neer be hangd, Willie, Your blude shall neer be drawn; I’ll lay my life in pledge o thine Your body’s neer get wrang.’
  7. ‘Excuse me now, my comely dame, No langer here I’ll stay; You know my time is near expir’d, And now I must away.
  8. ‘The master-cook will on me call, And answered he must be; If I am found in bower with thee, Great anger will there be.’
  9. ‘The master-cook will on you call, But shall not answerd be; I’ll put you in a higher place Than any cook’s degree.
  10. ‘I have a coffer full of gold, Another of white monie, And I will build a bonny ship, And set my love to sea.
  11. ‘Silk shall be your sailing-clothes, Gold yellow is your hair, As white like milk are your twa hands, Your body neat and fair.’
  12. This lady, with her fair speeches, She made the boy grow bold, And he began to kiss and clap, And on his love lay hold.
  13. And she has built a bonny ship, Set her love to the sea, Seven score o brisk young men To bear him companie.
  14. Then she’s taen out a gay gold ring, To him she did it gie: ‘This will mind you on the ladie, Willie, That’s laid her love on thee.’
  15. Then he’s taen out a piece of gold, And he brake it in two: ‘All I have in the world, my dame, For love I give to you.’
  16. Now he is to his bonny ship, And merrily taen the sea; The lady lay oer castle-wa, The tear blinded her ee.
  17. They had not saild upon the sea A week but barely three When came a prosperous gale of wind, On Spain’s coast landed he.
  18. A lady lay oer castle-wa, Beholding dale and down, And she beheld the bonny ship Come sailing to the town.
  19. ‘Come here, come here, my maries a’, Ye see not what I see; For here I see the bonniest ship That ever saild the sea.
  20. ‘In her there is the bravest squire That eer my eyes did see; All clad in silk and rich attire, And comely, comely ‘s he.
  21. ‘O busk, O busk, my maries all, O busk and make ye fine; And we will on to yon shore-side, Invite yon squire to dine.
  22. ‘Will ye come up to my castle Wi me and take your dine? And ye shall eat the gude white bread, And drink the claret wine.’
  23. ‘I thank you for your bread, lady, I thank you for your wine; I thank you for your kind offer, But now I have not time.’
  24. ‘I would gie all my land,’ she says, ‘Your gay bride were I she; And then to live on a small portion Contented I would be.’
  25. ‘She’s far awa frae me, lady, She’s far awa frae me That has my heart a-keeping fast, And my love still she’ll be.’
  26. ‘But ladies they are unconstant, When their loves go to sea, And she’ll be wed ere ye gae back; My love, pray stay wi me.’
  27. ‘If she be wed ere I go back, And prove sae false to me, I shall live single all my life; I’ll neer wed one but she.’
  28. Then she’s taen out a gay gold ring, And gae him presentlie: ‘‘Twill mind you on the lady, young man, That laid her love on thee.’
  29. ‘The ring that’s on my mid-finger Is far dearer to me, Tho yours were o the gude red gold, And mine the metal free.’
  30. He viewd them all, baith neat and small, As they stood on the shore, Then hoist the mainsail to the wind, Adieu, for evermore!
  31. He had not saild upon the sea A week but barely three Until there came a prosperous gale, In scotland landed he.
  32. But he put paint upon his face, And oil upon his hair, Likewise a mask above his brow, Which did disguise him sair.
  33. Earl Richard lay oer castle-wa, Beholding dale and down, And he beheld the bonny ship Come sailing to the town.
  34. ‘Come here, come here, my daughter dear, Ye see not what I see; For her I see the bonniest ship That ever saild the sea.
  35. ‘In her there is the bravest squire That eer my eyes did see; O busk, O busk, my daughter dear, Come here, come here, to me.
  36. ‘O busk, O busk, my daughter dear, O busk, and make ye fine, And we will on to the shore-side, Invite yon squire to dine.’
  37. ‘He’s far awa frae me, father, He’s far awa frae me Who has the keeping o my heart, And I’ll wed nane but he.’
  38. ‘Whoever has your heart in hand, Yon lad’s the match for thee, And he shall come to my castle This day and dine wi me.
  39. ‘Will ye come up to my castle With me and take your dine? And ye shall eat the gude white bread, And drink the claret wine.’
  40. ‘Yes, I’ll come up to your castle With you and take my dine, For I would give my bonny ship Were your fair daughter mine.’
  41. ‘I would give all my lands,’ he said, ‘That your bride she would be; Then to live on a small portion Contented would I be.’
  42. As they gaed up from yon sea-strand And down the bowling-green, He drew the mask out-oer his face, For fear he should be seen.
  43. He’s done him down from bower to bower, Likewise from bower to ha, And there he saw that lady gay, The flower out-oer them a’.
  44. He’s taen her in his arms twa, And haild her courteouslie: ‘Excuse me, sir, there’s no strange man Such freedom use with me.’
  45. Her father turnd him round about, A light laugh then gave he: ‘Stay, I’ll retire a little while, Perhaps you may agree.’
  46. Now Willie’s taen a gay gold ring, And gave her presentlie; Says, Take ye that, ye lady fair, A love-token from me.
  47. O got ye ‘t on the sea sailing? Or got ye ‘t on the sand? Or got ye ‘t on the coast of Spain, Upon a dead man’s hand?’
  48. ‘Fine silk it was his sailing-clothes, Gold yellow was his hair; It would hae made a hale heart bleed To see him lying there.
  49. ‘He was not dead as I passd by, But no remeid could be; He gave me this token to bear Unto a fair ladie.
  50. ‘And by the marks he has descryvd I’m sure that you are she; So take this token of free will, For him you’ll never see.’
  51. In sorrow she tore her mantle, With care she tore her hair: ‘Now since I’ve lost my own true-love, I’ll neer love young men mair.’
  52. He drew the mask from off his face, The lady sweetly smiled: ‘Awa, awa, ye fause Willie! How have you me beguiled?’
  53. Earl Richard he went thro the ha, The wine-glass in his hand, But little thought his kitchen-boy Was heir oer a’ his land.
  54. But this she kept within her heart, And never told to one Until nine months they were expir’d, That her young son came home.
  55. She told it to her father dear; He said, Daughter, well won; You’ve married for love, not for gold, Your joys will neer be done.