Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

No: 4; variant: 4[G]

  1. ‘Now steal me some of your father’s gold, And some of your mother’s fee, And steal the best steed in your father’s stable, Where there lie thirty three.’
  2. She stole him some of her father’s gold, And some of her mother’s fee, And she stole the best steed from her father’s stable, Where there lay thirty three.
  3. And she rode on the milk-white steed, And he on the barb so grey, Until they came to the green, green wood, Three hours before it was day.
  4. ‘Alight, alight, my pretty colleen, Alight immediately, For six knight’s daughters I drowned here, And thou the seventh shall be.’
  5. ‘Oh hold your tongue, you false knight villain, Oh hold your tongue,’ said she; ‘‘Twas you that promised to marry me, For some of my father’s fee.’
  6. ‘Strip off, strip off your jewels so rare, And give them all to me; I think them too rich and too costly by far To rot in the sand with thee.’
  7. ‘Oh turn away, thou false knight villain, Oh turn away from me; Oh turn away, with your back to the cliff, And your face to the willow-tree.’
  8. He turned about, with his back to the cliff, And his face to the willow-tree; So sudden she took him up in her arms, And threw him into the sea.
  9. ‘Lie there, lie there, thou false knight villain, Lie there instead of me; ‘Twas you that promised to marry me, For some of my father’s fee.’
  10. ‘Oh take me by the arm, my dear, And hold me by the hand, And you shall be my gay lady, And the queen of all Scotland.’
  11. ‘I’ll not take you by the arm, my dear, Nor hold you by the hand; And I won’t be your gay lady, And the queen of all Scotland.’
  12. And she rode on the milk-white steed, And led the barb so grey, Until she came back to her father’s castle, One hour before it was day.
  13. And out then spoke her parrot so green, From the cage wherein she lay: Where have you now been, my pretty colleen, This long, long summer’s day?
  14. ‘Oh hold your tongue, my favourite bird, And tell no tales on me; Your cage I will make of the beaten gold, And hang in the willow-tree.’
  15. Out then spoke her father dear, From the chamber where he lay: Oh what hath befallen my favourite bird, That she calls so loud for day?
  16. '’Tis nothing at all, good lord,’ she said, ‘‘Tis nothing at all indeed; It was only the cat came to my cage-door, And Icalled my pretty colleen.’