Lady Maisry

No: 65; variant: 65H

  1. THERE stands a stane in wan water, It’s lang ere it grew green; Lady Maisry sits in her bower door, Sewing at her silken seam.
  2. Word’s gane to her mother’s kitchen, And to her father’s ha, That Lady Maisry is big wi bairn– And her true-love’s far awa.
  3. When her brother got word of this, Then fiercely looked he: ‘Betide me life, betide me death, At Maisry’s bower I’se be.
  4. ‘Gae saddle to me the black, the black, Gae saddle to me the brown; Gae saddle to me the swiftest steed, To hae me to the town.’
  5. When he came to Maisry’s bower, He turnd him round about, And at a little shott-window, He saw her peeping out.
  6. ‘Gude morrow, gude morrow, Lady Maisry, God make you safe and free!’ ‘Gude morrow, gude morrow, my brother dear, What are your wills wi me?’
  7. ‘What’s come o a’ your green claithing, Was ance for you too side? And what’s become o your lang stays, Was ance for you too wide?’
  8. ‘O he that made my claithing short, I hope he’ll make them side; And he that made my stays narrow, I hope he’ll make them wide.’
  9. ‘O is it to a lord o might, Or baron o high degree? Or is it to any o your father’s boys, Rides in the chase him wi?’
  10. ‘It’s no to any Scottish lord, Nor baron o high degree; But English James, that little prince, That has beguiled me.’
  11. ‘O was there not a Scots baron That could hae fitted thee, That thus you’ve lovd an Englishman, And has affronted me?’
  12. She turnd her right and round about, The tear blinded her ee: ‘What is the wrang I’ve done, brother, Ye look sae fierce at me?’
  13. ‘Will ye forsake that English blude, When your young babe is born?’ ‘I’ll nae do that, my brother dear, Tho I shoud be forlorn.’
  14. ‘I’se cause a man put up the fire, Anither ca in the stake, And on the head o yon high hill I’ll burn you for his sake.
  15. ‘O where are all my wall-wight men, That I pay meat and fee, For to hew down baith thistle and thorn, To burn that lady wi?’
  16. Then he has taen her, Lady Maisry, And fast he has her bound; And he causd the fiercest o his men Drag her frae town to town.
  17. Then he has causd ane of his men Hew down baith thistle and thorn; She carried the peats in her petticoat-lap, Her ainsell for to burn.
  18. Then ane pat up this big bauld fire, Anither ca’d in the stake; It was to burn her Lady Maisry, All for her true-love’s sake.
  19. But it fell ance upon a day, Prince James he thought full lang; He minded on the lady gay He left in fair Scotland.
  20. ‘O where will I get a little wee boy, Will win gowd to his fee, That will rin on to Adam’s high tower, Bring tidings back to me?’
  21. ‘O here am I, a little wee boy, Will win gowd to my fee, That will rin on to Adam’s high tower, Bring tidings back to thee.’
  22. Then he is on to Adam’s high tower, As fast as gang coud he, And he but only wan in time The fatal sight to see.
  23. He sat his bent bow to his breast, And ran right speedilie, And he is back to his master, As fast as gang coud he.
  24. ‘What news, what news, my little wee boy? What news hae ye to me?’ ‘Bad news, bad news, my master dear, Bad news, as ye will see.’
  25. ‘Are ony o my biggins brunt, my boy? Or ony o my towers won? Or is my lady lighter yet, O dear daughter or son?’
  26. ‘There’s nane o your biggins brunt, master, Nor nane o your towers won, Nor is your lady lighter yet, O dear daughter nor son.
  27. ‘There’s an has been [put up] a big bauld fire, Anither ca’d in the stake, And on the head o yon high hill, They’re to burn her for your sake.’
  28. ‘Gae saddle to me the black, the black, Gae saddle to me the brown; Gae saddle to me the swiftest steed, To hae me to the town.’
  29. Ere he was three miles near the town, She heard his horse-foot patt: ‘Mend up the fire, my fause brother, It scarce comes to my pap.’
  30. Ere he was twa miles near the town, She heard his bridle ring: ‘Mend up the fire, my fause brother, It scarce comes to my chin.
  31. ‘But look about, my fause brother, Ye see not what I see; I see them coming here, or lang Will mend the fire for thee.’
  32. Then up it comes him little Prince James, And fiercely looked he: ‘I’se make my love’s words very true She said concerning me.
  33. ‘O wha has been sae bauld,’ he said, ‘As put this bonfire on? And wha has been sae bauld,’ he said, ‘As put that lady in?’
  34. Then out it spake her brother then, He spoke right furiouslie; Says, I’m the man that put her in: Wha dare hinder me?
  35. ‘If my hands had been loose,’ she said, ‘As they are fastly bound, I woud hae looted me to the ground, Gien you up your bonny young son.’
  36. ‘I will burn, for my love’s sake, Her father and her mother; And I will burn, for my love’s sake, Her sister and her brother.
  37. ‘And I will burn, for my love’s sake, The whole o a’ her kin; And I will burn, for my love’s sake, Thro Linkum and thro Lin.
  38. ‘And mony a bed will I make toom, And bower will I make thin; And mony a babe shall thole the fire, For I may enter in.’
  39. Great meen was made for Lady Maisry, On that hill whare she was slain; But mair was for her ain true-love, On the fields for he ran brain.