Young Hunting

No: 68; variant: 68E

  1. LORD WILLIAM was the bravest knight That dwalt in fair Scotland, And, though renowned in France and Spain, Fell by a ladie’s hand.
  2. As she was walking maid alone, Down by yon shady wood, She heard a smit o bridle reins, She wishd might be for good.
  3. ‘Come to my arms, my dear Willie, You’re welcome hame to me; To best o chear and charcoal red, And candle burnin free.’
  4. ‘I winna light, I darena light, Nor come to your arms at a’; A fairer maid than ten o you I’ll meet at Castle-law.’
  5. ‘A fairer maid than me, Willie? A fairer maid than me? A fairer maid than ten o me Your eyes did never see.’
  6. He louted owr his saddle-lap To kiss here ere they part, And wi a little keen bodkin, She pierced him to the heart.
  7. ‘Ride on, ride on, Lord William now, As fast as ye can dree; Your bonny lass at Castle-law Will weary you to see.’
  8. Out up then spake a bonny bird, Sat high upon a tree: ‘How could you kill that noble lord? He came to marry thee.’
  9. ‘Come down, come down, my bonny bird, And eat bread aff my hand; Your cage shall be of wiry goud, Whar now it’s but the wand.’
  10. ‘Keep ye your cage o goud, lady, And I will keep my tree; As ye hae done to Lord William, Sae wad ye do to me.’
  11. She set her foot on her door-step, A bonny marble stane, And carried him to her chamber, Oer him to make her mane.
  12. And she has kept that good lord’s corpse Three quarters of a year, Until that word began to spread; Then she began to fear.
  13. Then she cryed on her waiting-maid, Ay ready at her ca: ‘There is a knight into my bower, ‘Tis time he were awa.’
  14. The ane has taen him by the head, The ither by the feet, And thrown him in the wan water, That ran baith wide and deep.
  15. ‘Look back, look back, now, lady fair, On him that loed ye weel; A better man than that blue corpse Neer drew a sword of steel.’