Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard

No: 81; variant: 81D

  1. THERE were four and twenty gentlemen A playing at the ba, And lusty Lady Livingstone Cuist her ee out oure them a’.
  2. She cuist her ee on Lord Barnard, He was baith black and broun; She cuist her ee on Little Musgrave, As bricht as the morning sun.
  3. . . . . . . . . . . . ‘What’ll I gie ye, my Little Musgrave, Ae nicht wi me to sleep?’
  4. ‘Ae nicht wi you to sleep,’ he says, ‘O that wad breed meikle strife; For the ring on your white finger Shows you Lord Barnard’s wife.’
  5. ‘O Lord Barnard he is gane frae hame, He’ll na return the day; He has tane wi him a purse o goud, For he’s gane hind away.’
  6. Up startit then the wylie foot-page, . . . . . ‘What will ye gie to me,’ he said, ‘Your council for to keep?’
  7. ‘O goud sall be my little boy’s fee, And silver sall be his hire; But an I hear a word mair o this, He sall burn in charcoal fire.’
  8. But the wylie foot-page to the stable went, Took out a milk-white steed, And away, away, and away he rade, Away wi meikle speed.
  9. It’s whan he cam to the water-side, He smoothd his breist and swam, And whan he cam to gerss growing, He set down his feet and ran.
  10. ‘Whan he cam to Lord Barnard’s towr Lord Barnard was at meat; He said, ‘If ye kend as meikle as me, It’s little wad ye eat.’
  11. ‘Are onie o my castles brunt?’ he says, ‘Or onie my towrs won? Or is my gay ladie broucht to bed, Of a dochter or a son?’
  12. ‘There is nane o your castles brunt, Nor nane o your towrs won; Nor is your gay ladie broucht to bed, Of a dochter or a son.
  13. ‘But Little Musgrave, that gay young man, Is in bed wi your ladie, . . . . . . . . . .
  14. ‘If this be true ye tell to me, It’s goud sall be your fee; But if it be fause ye tell to me, I’se hang ye on a tree.’
  15. Whan they cam to yon water-side, They smoothd their breists and swam; And whan they cam to gerss growing, They sat doun their feet and ran.
  16. ‘How do ye like my sheets?’ he said, ‘How do ye like my bed? And how do ye like my gay ladie, Wha’s lying at your side?’
  17. ‘O I do like your sheets,’ he said, ‘Sae do I like your bed; But mair do I like your gay ladie, Wha’s lying at my side.’
  18. ‘Get up, get up, young man,’ he said, ‘Get up as swith’s ye can; Let it never be said that Lord Barnard Slew in bed a nakit man.’
  19. ‘How do ye like his bluidy cheeks? Or how do ye like me?’ ‘It’s weill do I like his bluidy cheeks, Mair than your haill bodie.’
  20. Then she has kissd his bluidy cheeks, It’s oure and oure again,’ . . . . . . . . . . .