Young Beichan

No: 53; variant: 53C

  1. YOUNG Bekie was as brave a knight As ever saild the sea; An he’s doen him to the court of France, To serve for meat and fee.
  2. He had nae been i the court of France A twelvemonth nor sae long, Til he fell in love with the king’s daughter, An was thrown in prison strong.
  3. The king he had but ae daughter, Burd Isbel was her name; An she has to the prison-house gane, To hear the prisoner’s mane.
  4. ‘O gin a lady woud borrow me, At her stirrup-foot I wood rin; Or gin a widow wad borrow me, I woud swear to be her son.
  5. ‘Or gin a virgin woud borrow me, I woud wed her wi a ring; I’d gi her ha’s, I’d gie her bowers, The bonny towrs o Linne.’
  6. O barefoot, barefoot gaed she but, An barefoot came she ben; It was no for want o hose an shoone, Nor time to put them on.
  7. But a’ for fear that her father dear Had heard her making din: She’s stown the keys o the prison-house dor An latten the prisoner gang.
  8. O whan she saw him, Young Bekie, Her heart was wondrous sair! For the mice but an the bold rottons Had eaten his yallow hair.
  9. She’s gien him a shaver for his beard, A comber till his hair, Five hunder pound in his pocket, To spen, an nae to spair.
  10. She’s gien him a steed was good in need, An a saddle o royal bone, A leash o hounds o ae litter, An Hector called one.
  11. Atween this twa a vow was made, ‘Twas made full solemnly, That or three years was come an gane, Well married they should be.
  12. He had nae been in’s ain country A twelvemonth till an end, Till he’s forcd to marry a duke’s daughter, Or than lose a’ his land.
  13. ‘Ohon, alas!’ says Young Beckie, ‘I know not what to dee; For I canno win to Burd Isbel, And she kensnae to come to me.’
  14. O it fell once upon a day Burd Isbel fell asleep, An up it starts the Belly Blin, An stood at her bed-feet.
  15. ‘O waken, waken, Burd Isbel, How [can] you sleep so soun, Whan this is Bekie’s wedding day, An the marriage gain on?
  16. ‘Ye do ye to your mither’s bowr, Think neither sin nor shame; An ye tak twa o your mither’s marys, To keep ye frae thinking lang.
  17. ‘Ye dress yoursel in the red scarlet, An your marys in dainty green, An ye pit girdles about your middles Woud buy an earldome.
  18. ‘O ye gang down by yon sea-side, An down by yon sea-stran; Sae bonny will the Hollans boats Come rowin till your han.
  19. ‘Ye set your milk-white foot abord, Cry, Hail ye, Domine! An I shal be the steerer o’t, To row you oer the sea.’
  20. She’s tane her till her mither’s bowr, Thought neither sin nor shame, An she took twa o her mither’s marys, To keep her frae thinking lang.
  21. She dressd hersel i the red scarlet, Her marys i dainty green, And they pat girdles about their middles Woud buy an earldome.
  22. An they gid down by yon sea-side, An down by yon sea-stran; Sae bonny did the Hollan boats Come rowin to their han.
  23. She set her milk-white foot on board, Cried, Hail ye, Domine! An the Belly Blin was the steerer o’t, To row her oer the sea.
  24. Whan she came to Young Bekie’s gate, She heard the music play; Sae well she kent frae a’ she heard, It was his wedding day.
  25. She’s pitten her han in her pocket, Gin the porter guineas three; ‘Hae, tak ye that, ye proud porter, Bid the bride-groom speake to me.’
  26. O whan that he cam up the stair, He fell low down on his knee: He haild the king, an he haild the queen, An he haild him, Young Bekie.
  27. ‘O I’ve been porter at your gates This thirty years an three; But there’s three ladies at them now, Their like I never did see.
  28. ‘There’s ane o them dressd in red scarlet, And twa in dainty green, An they hae girdles about their middles Woud buy an earldome.’
  29. Then out it spake the bierly bride, Was a’ goud to the chin; ‘Gin she be braw without,’ she says, ‘We’s be as braw within.’
  30. Then up it starts him, Young Bekie, An the tears was in his ee: ‘I’ll lay my life it’s Burd Isbel, Come oer the sea to me.’
  31. O quickly ran he down the stair, An whan he saw ‘twas shee, He kindly took her in his arms, And kissd her tenderly.
  32. ‘O hae ye forgotten, Young Bekie, The vow ye made to me, Whan I took you out o the prison strong, Whan ye was condemnd to die?
  33. ‘I gae you a steed was good in need, An a saddle o royal bone, A leash o hounds o ae litter, An Hector called one.’
  34. It was well kent what the lady said, That it wasnae a lee, For at ilka word the lady spake, The hound fell at her knee.
  35. ‘Tak hame, tak hame your daughter dear, A blessing gae her wi, For I maun marry my Burd Isbel, That’s come oer the sea to me.’
  36. ‘Is this the custom o your house, Or the fashion o your lan, To marry a maid in a May mornin, An send her back at even?’