Child Maurice

No: 83; variant: 83B

  1. CHILD NORYCE is a clever young man, He wavers wi the wind; His horse was silver-shod before, With the beaten gold behind.
  2. He called to his little man John, Saying, You don’t see what I see; For O yonder I see the very first woman That ever loved me.
  3. ‘Here is a glove, a glove,’ he said, ‘Lined with the silver grey; You may tell her to come to the merry greenwood, To speak to Child Nory.
  4. ‘Here is a ring, a ring,’ he says, ‘It’s all gold but the stane; You may tell her to come to the merry greenwood, And ask the leave o nane.’
  5. ‘So well do I love your errand, my master, But far better do I love my life; O would ye have me go to Lord Barnard’s castle, To betray away his wife?’
  6. ‘O don’t I give you meat,’ he says, ‘And don’t I pay you fee? ‘O don’t I give you meat,’ he says, ‘And don’t I pay you fee? How dare you stop my errand?’ he says; ‘My orders you must obey.’
  7. O when he came to Lord Bernard’s castle, He tinkled at the ring; Who was as ready as Lord Barnard himself To let this little boy in?
  8. ‘Here is a glove, a glove,’ he says, ‘Lined with the silver grey; You are bidden to come to the merry greenwood, To speak to Child Nory.
  9. ‘Here is a ring, a ring,’ he says, ‘It’s all gold but the stane; You are bidden to come to the merry greenwood, And ask the leave o nane.’
  10. Lord Barnard he was standing by, And an angry man was he: ‘O little did I think there was a lord in the world My lady loved but me!’
  11. O he dressed himself in the holland smock, And garments that was gay, And he is away to the merry green-wood, To speak to Child Nory.
  12. Child Noryce sits on yonder tree, He whistles and he sings: ‘O wae be to me,’ says Child Noryce, ‘Yonder my mother comes!’
  13. Child Noryce he came off the tree, His mother to take off the horse: ‘Och alace, alace,’ says Child Noryce, ‘My mother was neer so gross!’
  14. Lord Barnard he had a little small sword, That hung low down by his knee; Lord Barnard he had a little small sword, That hung low down by his knee; Lord Barnard he had a little small sword, That hung low down by his knee; He cut the head off Child Noryce, And put the body on a tree.
  15. And when he came home to his castell, And to his ladie’s hall, He threw the head into her lap, Saying, Lady, there’s a ball!
  16. She turned up the bloody head, She kissed it frae cheek to chin: ‘Far better do I love this bloody head Than all my royal kin.
  17. ‘When I was in my father’s castel, In my virginity, There came a lord into the North, Gat Child Noryce with me.’
  18. ‘O wae be to thee, Lady Margaret,’ he sayd, ‘And an ill death may you die; For if you had told me he was your son, He had neer been slain by me.’