Burd Isabel and Earl Patrick

No: 257; variant: 257A

  1. THERE is a stane in yon water, It’s lang or it grow green; It’s a maid that maks her ain fortune, It’ll never end its leen.
  2. Burd Bell was na full fyfteen Till to service she did gae; Burd Bell was na full sixteen Till big wi bairn was scho.
  3. ‘Burd Bell she is a gude woman, She bides at hame wi me; She never seeks to gang to church, But bides at hame wi me.’
  4. It fell ance upon a day She fell in travail-pain; He is gane to the stair-head Some ladies to call in.
  5. ‘O gin ye hae a lass-bairn, Burd Bell, A lass-bairn though it be, Twenty ploughs bot and a mill Will mak ye lady free.
  6. ‘But gin ye hae a son, Burd Bell, Ye’se be my wedded wife, . . . . . . . .’
  7. The knichts they knack their white fingers, The ladies sat and sang, Twas a’ to cheer bonnie Burd Bell, She was far sunk in pain.
  8. Earl Patrick is to his mither gane, As fast as he could hie: ‘An askin, an askin, dear mither, An askin I want frae thee.
  9. ‘Burd Bell has born to me a son; What sall I do her wi?’ ‘Gie her what ye like, Patrick, Mak na her your ladie.’
  10. He has gane to bonnie Burd Bell, Hir heart was pressd wi care: . . . . . . . .
  11. ‘My father will dee, bonnie Burd Bell, My mither will do the same, And whan ye hear that they are gane It’s then I’ll bring ye hame.’
  12. Earl Patrick’s bigget to her a bour, And strawn it round wi sand; He coverd it wi silver on the outside, Wi the red gowd within.
  13. It happened ance upon a day She was kaiming his yellow hiar, . . . . . . . .
  14. ‘Your father is dead, Earl Patrick, Your mither is the same; And what is the reason, Earl Patrick, Ye winna tak me hame?’
  15. ‘I’ve bigget to you a bonnie bour, I’ve strawn it round wi sand; I’ve coverd it wi silver on the outside, Wi gude red gowd within.
  16. ‘If eer I marry anither woman, Or bring anither hame, I wish a hundred evils may enter me, And may I fa oure the brim!’
  17. It was na very lang after this That a duke’s dochter he’s wed, Wi a waggon fu of gowd . . . .
  18. Burd Bell lookit oure her castle-wa, And spied baith dale and down, And there she saw Earl Patrick’s aunt Come riding to the town.
  19. ‘What want ye here, Earl Patrick’s aunt? What want ye here wi me?’ ‘I want Earl Patrick’s bonnie young son; His bride fain wad him see.’
  20. ‘I wad like to see that woman or man, Of high or low degree, That wad tak the bairn frae my foot That I ance for bowd my knee.’
  21. ‘Burd Bell, she’s the bauldest woman That ever I did see:’ ‘It’s I’ll gang to bonnie Burd Bell, She was never bauld to me.’
  22. Burd Bell lookit oure her castle-wa, Behauding brave dale and down, And there she spied him Earl Patrick Slowly riding to the town.
  23. ‘What said ye to my great-grand-aunt . . . . . . . . . . . .’
  24. ‘I said nathing to your great-grand-aunt But I will say to thee: I wad like to see the woman or man, Of high or low degree, That wad tak the bairn frae my foot I ance for bowd my knee.
  25. ‘O dinna ye mind, Earl Patrick, The vows ye made to me, That a hundred evils was enter you If ye provd fause to me?’
  26. He’s turnd him richt and round about, His horse head to the wind, The hundred evils enterd him, And he fell oure the brim.