The Heir of Linne

No: 267; variant: 267A

  1. Off all the lords in faire Scottland A song I will begin; Amongst them all there dweld a lord Which was the vnthrifty lord of Linne.
  2. His father and mother were dead him froe, And soe was the head of all his kinne; To the cards and dice that he did run He did neither cease no bl[i]nne.
  3. To drinke the wine that was soe cleere, With euery man he wold make merry; And then bespake him Iohn of the Scales, Vnto the heire of Linne sayd hee.
  4. Sayes, How dost thou, Lord of Linne? Doest either want gold or fee? Wilt thou not sell they lands soe brode To such a good fellow as me?
  5. ‘Ffor . . I . ‘.’ he said, ‘My land, take it vnto thee;’ ‘I draw you to record, my lord[e:]s all;’ With that he cast him a god’s peny.
  6. He told him the gold vpon the bord, It wanted neuer a bare penny: ‘That gold is thine, the land is mine, The heire of Linne I wilbee.’
  7. ‘Heere’s gold inoughe,’ saithe the heire of Linne, ‘Both for me and my company:’ He drunke the wine that was soe cleere, And with euery man he made merry.
  8. With-in three quarters of a yeere His gold and fee it waxed thinne, His merry men were from him gone, And left him himselfe all alone.
  9. He had neuer a penny left in his pursse, Neuer a penny [left] but three, And one was brasse, and another was lead, And another was white mony.
  10. ‘Now well-aday!’ said the heire of Linne, ‘Now welladay, and woe is mee! For when I was the lord of Linne, I neither wanted gold nor fee.
  11. ‘For I haue sold my lands soe broad, And haue not left me one penny; I must goe now and take some read Vnto Edenborrow, and begg my bread.’
  12. He had not beene in Edenborrow Not three qwarters of a yeere, But some did giue him, and some said nay, And some bid ‘To the deele gang yee!
  13. ‘For if we shold hang any landles feer, The first we wold begin with thee.’ ‘Now welladay!’ said the heire of Linne, ‘No[w] welladay, and woe is mee!
  14. ‘For now I have sold my lands soe broad, That mery man is irke with mee; But when that I was the lord of Linne, Then on my land I liued merrily.
  15. ‘And now I have sold my land soe broade That I haue not left me one pennye! God be with my father!’ he said, ‘On his land he liued merrily.’
  16. Still in a study there as he stood, He vnbethought him of [a] bill; He vnbethought him of [a] bill Which his father had left with him.
  17. Bade him he shold neuer on it looke Till he was in extreame neede, ‘And by my faith,’ said the heire of Linne, ‘Then now I had neuer more neede.’
  18. He tooke the bill, and looked it on, Good comfort that he found there; Itt told him of a castle wall Where there stood three chests in feare.
  19. Two were full of the beaten gold, The third was full of white mony; He turned then downe his baggs of bread, And filled them full of gold soe red.
  20. Then he did neuer cease nor blinne Till Ihon of the Scales house he did winne. When that he came to Iohn of the Scales, Vpp at the speere he looked then.
  21. There sate three lords vpon a rowe, And Iohn o the Scales sate at the bord’s head, And Iohn o the Scales sate at the bord’s head, Because he was the lord of Linne.
  22. And then bespake the heire of Linne, To Iohn o the Scales’ wiffe thus sayd hee: Sayd, Dame, wilt thou not trust me one shott That I may sitt downe in this company?
  23. ‘Now, Christ’s curse on my head,’ shee said, ‘If I doe trust thee one pennye; Then be-spake a good fellowe, Which sate by Iohn o the Scales his knee.
  24. Said, Haue thou here, thou heire of Linne, Forty pence I will lend thee; Some time a good fellow thou hast beene; And other forty if neede bee.
  25. The: dru[n]ken wine that was soe cleere, And euery man the: made merry; And then bespake him Iohn o the Scales, Vnto the lord of Linne said hee.
  26. Said, How doest thou, heire of Linne, Since I did buy thy lands of thee? I will sell it to thee twenty pound better cheepe Nor euer I did buy it of thee.
  27. ‘I draw you to recorde, lord[e:]s all,’ With that he cast him [a] god’s penny; Then he tooke to his baggs of bread, And they were full of the gold soe redd.
  28. He told him the gold then over the borde, It wanted neuer a broad pennye: ‘that gold is thine, the land is mine, And the heire of Linne againe I wilbee.’
  29. ‘Now welladay!’ said Iohn o the Scales’ wife, ‘Welladay, and woe is me! Yesterday I was the lady of Linne, And now I am but Iohn o the Scales’ wiffe!’
  30. Saies, Haue thou heere, thou good fellow, Forty pence thou did lend me, Forty pence thou did lend me, And forty pound I will giue thee.
  31. ‘Ile make thee keeper of my forrest Both of the wild deere and the tame,’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  32. But then bespake the heire of Linne, These were the words, and thus said hee, Christs curse light vpon my crowne If ere my land stand in any ieopardye!