Proud Lady Margaret

No: 47; variant: 47C

  1. ONCE there was a jolly hind squire Appeard in a lady’s ha, And aye she walked up and down, Looking oer her castle wa.
  2. ‘What is your wills wi me, kind sir? What is your wills wi me?’ ‘My wills are [not] sma wi thee, lady, My wills are [not] sma wi thee.
  3. ‘For here I stand a courtier, And a courtier come to thee, And if ye will not grant me your love, For your sake I will die.’
  4. ‘If you die for my sake,’ she says, ‘Few for you will make moan; Many better’s died for my sake, Their graves are growing green.
  5. ‘You appear to be some false young man, You wear your hat so wide; You appear to be some false young man, You wear your boots so side.
  6. ‘An asking, asking, sir,’ she said, ‘An asking ye’ll grant me:’ ‘Ask on, ask on, lady,’ he said, ‘What may your asking be?’
  7. ‘What’s the first thing in flower,’ she said, ‘That springs in mire or dale? What’s the next bird that sings,’ she says, ‘Unto the nightingale? Or what is the finest thing,’ she says, ‘That king or queen can wile?’
  8. ‘The primrose is the first in flower That springs in mire or dale; The thristle-throat is the next that sings Unto the nightingale; And yellow gold is the finest thing That king or queen can wile.
  9. ‘You have asked many questions, lady, I’ve you as many told;’ ‘But how many pennies round Make a hundred pounds in gold?
  10. ‘How many small fishes Do swim the salt seas round? Or what’s the seemliest sight you’ll see Into a May morning?
  11. ‘There’s ale into the birken scale, Wine in the horn green; There’s gold in the king’s banner When he is fighting keen.’
  12. ‘You may be my match, kind sir,’ she said, ‘You may be my match and more; There neer was one came such a length With my father’s heir before.
  13. ‘My father’s lord of nine castles, No body heir but me.’ ‘Your father’s lord of nine castles, Your mother’s lady of three;
  14. ‘Your father’s heir of nine castles, And you are heir to three; For I am William, thy ae brother, That died beyond the sea.’
  15. ‘If ye be William, my ae brother, This night, O well is me! If ye be William, my ae brother, This night I’ll go with thee.’
  16. ‘For no, for no, jelly Janet,’ he says, ‘For no, that cannot be; You’ve oer foul feet and ill washen hands To be in my company.
  17. ‘For the wee wee worms are my bedfellows, And the cold clay is my sheet, And the higher that the winds do blow, The sounder I do sleep.
  18. ‘Leave off your pride, jelly Janet,’ he says, ‘Use it not any more; Or when you come where I have been You will repent it sore.
  19. ‘When you go in at yon church door, The red gold on your hair, More will look at your yellow locks Than look on the Lord’s prayer.
  20. ‘When you go in at yon church door, The red gold on your crown; When you come where I have been, You’ll wear it laigher down.’
  21. The jolly hind squire, he went away In the twinkling of an eye, Left the lady sorrowful behind, With many bitter cry.