Gil Brenton

No: 5; variant: 5F

  1. THERE were three sisters in a bouir, Eh down and Oh down And the youngest o them was the fairest flour. Eh down and O down
  2. And we began our seven years wark, To sew our brither John a sark.
  3. When seven years was come and gane, There was nae a sleeve in it but ane.
  4. But we coost kevils us amang Wha wud to the green-wood gang.
  5. But tho we had coosten neer sae lang, The lot it fell on me aye to gang.
  6. I was the youngest, and I was the fairest, And alace! my wierd it was aye the sairest.
  7. . . . Till I had to the woods to gae.
  8. To pull the cherrie and the slae, And to seek our ae brither, we had nae mae.
  9. But as I was walking the leas o Lyne, I met a youth gallant and fine;
  10. Wi milk white stockings and coal black shoon; He seemed to be some gay lord’s son.
  11. But he keepit me there sae lang, sae lang, Till the maids in the morning were singing their sang.
  12. Would I wee or would I way, He keepit me the lang simmer day.
  13. Would I way or would I wight, He keepit me the simmer night.
  14. But guess what was at our parting? A pair o grass green gloves and a gay gold ring. ring.
  15. He gave me three plaits o his yellow hair, In token that we might meet mair.
  16. But when nine months were come and gane, This gallant lord cam back again.
  17. He’s wed this lady, and taen her wi him; But as they were riding the leas o Lyne,
  18. This lady was not able to ride, . . .
  19. ‘O does thy saddle set thee aside? Or does thy steed ony wrang way ride?
  20. ‘Or thinkst thou me too low a groom? . . .
  21. ‘Or hast thou musing in thy mind For the leaving of thy mother kind?’
  22. ‘My saddle it sets not me aside, Nor does my steed ony wrang way ride.
  23. ‘Nor think I thee too low a groom . . .
  24. ‘But I hae musing in my mind For the leaving of my mother kind.’
  25. ‘I’ll bring thee to a mother of mine, As good a mother as eer was thine.’
  26. ‘A better mother she may be, But an unco woman she’ll prove to me.’
  27. But when lords and ladies at supper sat, Her pains they struck her in the back.
  28. When lords and ladies were laid in bed, Her pains they struck her in the side.
  29. ‘Rise up, rise up, now, Lord Brangwill, For I’m wi child and you do not know’t.’
  30. He took up his foot and gave her sic a bang Till owre the bed the red blood sprang.
  31. He is up to his mother’s ha, Calling her as hard as he could ca.
  32. ‘I went through moss and I went through mure, Thinking to get some lily flouir.
  33. . . . ‘But to my house I have brocht a hure.
  34. ‘I thocht to have got a lady baith meek and mild, But I’ve got a woman that’s big wi child.’
  35. ‘O rest you here, Lord Brangwill,’ she said, ‘Till I relieve your lady that lyes so low.’
  36. ‘O daughter dear, will you tell to me Who is the father of your babie?’
  37. ‘Yes, mother dear, I will tell thee Who is the father of my babie.
  38. ‘As I was walking the leas o Lyne, I met a youth gallant and fine;
  39. ‘With milk-white stockings and coal-black shoon; He seemed to be sum gay lord’s son.
  40. ‘He keepit me sae lang, sae lang, Till the maids in the morning were singing their sang.
  41. ‘Would I wee or would I way, He keepit me the lang simmer day.
  42. ‘Would I way or would I wight, He keepit me the simmer night.
  43. ‘But guess ye what was at our parting? A pair of grass green gloves and a gay gold ring.
  44. ‘He gave me three plaits o his yellow hair, In token that we might meet mair.’
  45. ‘O dochter dear, will ye show me These tokens that he gave to thee?’
  46. ‘Altho my back should break in three, Unto my coffer I must be.’
  47. ‘Thy back it shall not break in three, For I’ll bring thy coffer to thy knee.’
  48. Aye she coost, and aye she flang, Till these three tokens came to her hand.
  49. Then she is up to her sons’s ha, Calling him hard as she could ca.
  50. ‘O son, O son, will you tell me . . .
  51. ‘What ye did wi the grass green gloves and gay gold ring That ye gat at your own birth-een?’
  52. ‘I gave them to as pretty a may As ever I saw in a simmer day.
  53. ‘I wud rather than a’ my lands sae broad That I had her as sure as eer I had.
  54. ‘I would rather than a’ my lands sae free I had her here this night wi me.’
  55. ‘I wish you good o your lands sae broad, For ye have her as sure as eer ye had.
  56. ‘I wish ye good o your lands sae free, For ye have her here this night wi thee.’
  57. ‘Gar wash my auld son in the milk, Gar deck my lady’s bed wi silk.’
  58. He gave his auld son kisses three, But he doubled them a’ to his gay ladye.