Young Beichan

No: 53; variant: 53M

  1. YOUNG BONWELL was a squire’s ae son, And a squire’s ae son was he; He went abroad to a foreign land, To serve for meat and fee.
  2. He hadna been in that country A twalmonth and a day, Till he was cast in prison strong, For the sake of a lovely may.
  3. ‘O if my father get word of this, At hame in his ain country, He’ll send red gowd for my relief, And a bag o white money.
  4. ‘O gin an earl woud borrow me, At his bridle I woud rin; Or gin a widow woud borrow me, I’d swear to be her son.
  5. ‘Or gin a may woud borrow me, I’d wed her wi a ring, Infeft her wi the ha’s and bowers O the bonny towers o Linne.’
  6. But it fell ance upon a day Dame Essels she thought lang, And she is to the jail-house door, To hear Young Bondwell’s sang.
  7. ‘Sing on, sing on, my bonny Bondwell, The sang ye sang just now:’ ‘I never sang the sang, lady, But I woud war’t on you.
  8. ‘O gin my father get word o this, At hame in his ain country, He’ll send red gowd for my relief, And a bag o white money.
  9. ‘O gin an earl woud borrow me, At his bridle I woud rin; Or gin a widow would borrow me, I’d swear to be her son.
  10. ‘O gin a may woud borrow me, I woud wed her wi a ring, Infeft her wi the ha’s and bowers O the bonny towers o Linne.’
  11. She’s stole the keys o the jail-house door, Where under the bed they lay; She’s opend to him the jail-house door, And set Young Bondwell free.
  12. She gae’m a steed was swift in need, A saddle o royal ben, A hunder pund o pennies round, Bade him gae roav an spend.
  13. A couple o hounds o ae litter, And Cain they ca’d the one; Twa gay gos-hawks she gae likeways, To keep him onthought lang.
  14. When mony days were past and gane, Dame Essels thought fell lang, And she is to her lonely bower, To shorten her wi a sang.
  15. The sang has such a melody, It lulld her fast asleep; Up starts a woman, clad in green, And stood at her bed-feet.
  16. ‘Win up, win up, Dame Essels,’ she says, ‘This day ye sleep ower lang; The morn is the squire’s wedding day, In the bonny towers o Linne.
  17. ‘Ye’ll dress yoursell in the robes o green, Your maids in robes sae fair, And ye’ll put girdles about their middles, Sae costly, rich and rare.
  18. ‘Ye’ll take your maries alang wi you, Till ye come to yon strand; There ye’ll see a ship, wi sails all up, Come sailing to dry land.
  19. ‘Ye’ll take a wand into your hand, Ye’ll stroke her round about, And ye’ll take God your pilot to be, To drown ye’ll take nae doubt.’
  20. Then up it raise her Dame Essels, Sought water to wash her hands, But aye the faster that she washd, The tears they trickling ran.
  21. Then in it came her father dear, And in the floor steps he: ‘What ails Dame Essels, my daughter dear, Ye weep sae bitterlie?
  22. ‘Want ye a small fish frae the flood, Or turtle frae the sea? Or is there man in a’ my realm This day has offended thee?’
  23. ‘I want nae small fish frae the flood, Nor turtle frae the sea; But Young Bondwell, your ain prisoner, This day has offended me.’
  24. Her father turnd him round about, A solemn oath sware he: ‘If this be true ye tell me now High hanged he shall be.
  25. ‘To-morrow morning he shall be Hung high upon a tree:’ Dame Essels whisperd to hersel, ‘Father, ye’ve made a lie.’
  26. She dressd hersel in robes o green, Her maids in robes sae fair, Wi gowden girdles round their middles, Sae costly, rich and rare.
  27. She’s taen her mantle her about, A maiden in every hand; They saw a ship, wi sails a’ up, Come sailing to dry land.
  28. She’s taen a wand intill her hand, And stroked her round about, And she’s taen God her pilot to be, To drown she took nae doubt.
  29. So they saild on, and further on, Till to the water o Tay; There they spied a bonny little boy, Was watering his steeds sae gay.
  30. ‘What news, what news, my little boy, What news hae ye to me? Are there any weddings in this place, Or any gaun to be?’
  31. ‘There is a wedding in this place, A wedding very soon; The morn’s the young squire’s wedding day, In the bonny towers of Linne.’
  32. O then she walked alang the way To see what coud be seen, And there she saw the proud porter, Drest in a mantle green.
  33. ‘What news, what news, porter?’ she said, ‘What news hae ye to me? Are there any weddings in this place, Or any gaun to be?’
  34. ‘There is a wedding in this place, A wedding very soon; The morn is Young Bondwell’s wedding day, The bonny squire o Linne.’
  35. ‘Gae to your master, porter,’ she said, ‘Gae ye right speedilie; Bid him come and speak wi a maid That wishes his face to see.’
  36. The porter’s up to his master gane, Fell low down on his knee; ‘Win up, win up, my porter,’ he said, ‘Why bow ye low to me?’
  37. ‘I hae been porter at your yetts These thirty years and three, But fairer maids than’s at them now My eyes did never see.
  38. ‘The foremost she is drest in green, The rest in fine attire, Wi gowden girdles round their middles, Well worth a sheriff’s hire.’
  39. Then out it speaks Bondwell’s own bride, Was a’ gowd to the chin; ‘They canno be fairer thereout,’ she says, ‘Than we that are therein.’
  40. ‘There is a difference, my dame,’ he said, ‘‘Tween that ladye’s colour and yours; As much difference as you were a stock, She o the lily flowers.’
  41. Then out it speaks him Young Bondwell, An angry man was he: ‘Cast up the yetts baith wide an braid, These ladies I may see.’
  42. Quickly up stairs Dame Essel’s gane, Her maidens next her wi; Then said the bride, This lady’s face Shows the porter’s tauld nae lie.
  43. The lady unto Bondwell spake, These words pronounced she: O hearken, hearken, fause Bondwell, These words that I tell thee.
  44. Is this the way ye keep your vows That ye did make to me, When your feet were in iron fetters, Ae foot ye coudna flee?
  45. I stole the keys o the jail-house door Frae under the bed they lay, And opend up the jail-house door, Set you at liberty.
  46. Gae you a steed was swift in need, A saddle o royal ben, A hunder pund o pennies round, Bade you gae rove an spend.
  47. A couple o hounds o ae litter, Cain they ca’ed the ane, Twa gay gos-hawks as swift’s eer flew, To keep you onthought lang.
  48. But since this day ye’ve broke your vow, For which ye’re sair to blame, And since nae mair I’ll get o you, O Cain, will ye gae hame?
  49. ‘O Cain! O Cain!’ the lady cried, And Cain did her ken; They baith flappd round the lady’s knee, Like a couple o armed men.
  50. He’s to his bride wi hat in hand, And haild her courteouslie: ‘Sit down by me, my bonny Bondwell, What makes this courtesie?’
  51. ‘An asking, asking, fair lady, An asking ye’ll grant me;’ ‘Ask on, ask on, my bonny Bondwell, What may your askings be?’
  52. ‘Five hundred pounds to you I’ll gie, Of gowd an white monie, If ye’ll wed John, my ain cousin; He looks as fair as me.’
  53. ‘Keep well your monie, Bondwell,’ she said, ‘Nae monie I ask o thee; Your cousin John was my first love, My husband now he’s be.’
  54. Bondwell was married at morning ear, John in the afternoon; Dame Essels is lady ower a’ the bowers And the high towers o Linne.