Young Hunting

No: 68; variant: 68D

  1. EARL RICHARD has a hunting gone, As fast as he can ride; He’s a hunting-horn about his neck, And a broadsword by his side.
  2. ‘Licht down, licht down, Earl Richard,’ she says, ‘O licht down and come in, And thou’ll get cheer and charcoal clear, And torches for to burn.’
  3. ‘I winna licht, I canna licht, I winna licht at all; A fairer lady then ten of thee Meets me at Richard’s Wall.’
  4. He louted owre his saddle-bow, And for to kiss her sweet, But little thocht o that penknife Wherewith she wound him deep.
  5. ‘Why wounds thou me so deep, lady? Why stabs thou me so sore? There’s not a lord like Earl Richard Could love false woman more.’
  6. She called upon her waiting-maid, Long before it was day: ‘I have a dead man in my bower, I wish he were away.’
  7. ‘Keep ye your bower, my lily-flower, Keep it free of all men’s blood;’ ‘Oh I will keep it een as weel As you or any maid.
  8. ‘But siller will be thy wage,’ she says, ‘And gold will be thy fee, And I mysell will gang alang And bear thee companye.’
  9. They booted him, and spurred him, As he was wont to ride, And they’re awa to Lorn’s Water, To Lorn’s Water so wide.
  10. They turned down his yellow hair, Turnd up his milk-white feet: ‘Lye thou there, Earl Richard,’ she said, ‘Till the blood seep from thy bane; That fairer maid than ten of me Will look lang or thou come hame.’
  11. As they were coming hame again, Upon the road so hie, There they spy’d a small pyet, Was sitting on a tree.
  12. ‘Where has thou been, fair lady?’ it says, ‘Whare has thou been so soon? Or what did thou wi Earl Richard, Was late wi thee yestreen?’
  13. ‘Come down, come down, my wee pyet; An thou’ll come to my knee, I have a cage of beaten gold, And I’ll bestow ‘t on thee.’
  14. ‘Keep thou thy cage of beaten gold, And I will keep my tree; For as thou did wi Earl Richard, So wad thou do wi me; Thou wad thraw the wee head aff my bouk, And drown me in the sea.’
  15. ‘Come down, come down, my wee pyet; An thou’ll come to my hand, I have a cage of beaten gold, And thou’s be put therein.’
  16. ‘Keep thou thy cage o beaten gold, And I will keep my tree; For as thou did wi Earl Richard, So would thou do wi me.’
  17. ‘Oh an I had my bow bendit, And set unto my knee, I wad shoot this wee pyet Sits gabbling on the tree.’
  18. ‘Before thou get thy bow bendit, And set unto thy knee, I’ll be at Earl Richard’s father, Telling ill tales on thee.’
  19. As they were coming hame again, Upon the road so bricht, There they saw Earl Richard’s father, Coming marching in their sicht.
  20. ‘Whare has thou been, fair lady?’ he says, ‘Whare has thou been back sae sune? O what did thou wi my auld son, Was late wi thee yestreen?’
  21. She did swear by stars o licht, And grass-green growing corn, That she had not seen Earl Richard’s face Since Saturday at morn; ‘But in Lorn’s Water, indeed,’ she says, ‘I fear his days are done.’
  22. ‘There was not a ford in Lorn’s Water But he could ride it weel; And what did thou wi my auld son, That went with thee afield?’