Child Maurice

No: 83; variant: 83C

  1. BOB NORICE is to the grein-wud gane, He is awa wi the wind; His horse is siller-shod afore, In the shynand gowd ahind.
  2. He said unto his wee boy John, I sie what ye dinna sie; I see the [first] woman that I eer luvit, Or ever luvit me.
  3. ‘Gae tak to hir this pair o gluvis, They’re o the siller-gray, And tell her to cum to the merrie grein-wud An speik to Bob Norice.
  4. ‘Gae tak to her this gay gowd ring, And it’s aw gowd but the stane, ‘Gae tak to her this gay gowd ring, And it’s aw gowd but the stane, And tell her to cum to the merrie grein-wud, And ask the leive o nane.
  5. ‘Gae tak to her this braw manteil, It’s a’ silk but the sleive, And tell her to cum to the merrie green-wud, And ax nae bauld Barnet’s leive.’
  6. ‘I daurna gang to Lord Barnet’s castel, I daurna gang for my lyfe; I daurna gang to Lord Barnet’s castell, To twyne him o his wife.’
  7. ‘Do I nae pay you gowd?’ he said, ‘Do I nae pay you fee? How daur you stand my bidding, Sir, Whan I bid you to flee?’
  8. ‘Gif I maun gang to Lord Barnet’s castel, Sae sair agane my will, I vow a vow, and I do protest, It sall be dune for ill.’
  9. But whan he came to Lord Barnet’s castel He tinklet at the ring; Tha war nane sae ready as Lord Barnet himsell To let the wee calland in.
  10. ‘What news, what news, my bonnie wee boy? What news hae ye to me?’ ‘What news, what news, my bonnie wee boy? What news hae ye to me?’ ‘Nae news, nae news, Lord Barnet,’ he said, ‘But you ladie I fain would see.
  11. ‘Here is a pair o gluves to her, Thay’r o the silver gray; And tell her to cum to the merrie green-wud, And speik to Bob Norice.
  12. ‘Here is a gay gowd ring to her, It’s aw gowd but the stane; And she maun cum to the merrie green-wud, And speir the leive o nane.
  13. ‘Here is a gay manteil to her, It’s aw silk but the sleive; And she maun cum to the merrie grein-wud, And ask not bauld Barnet’s leive.’
  14. Then out bespack the yellow nurse, Wi the babie on her knee, Sayand, Gif thay be cum frae Bob Norice, They are welcum to me.
  15. ‘O haud your tung, ye yellow nurse, Aloud an I heir ye lie; For they’re to Lord Barnet’s lady, I trew that this be she.’
  16. Lord Barnet’s to a dressing-room, And buskt him in woman’s array, And he’s awa to the merrie green-wud, To speik to Bob Norrice.
  17. Bob Norrice he sits on a tree, He is whissland and singand; Says, Merrie, merrie may my hert be, I see my mither cumand.
  18. Bob Norice he cam doun frae the trie, To help his mother to licht fra her horss; ‘Och alace, alace,’ says Bob Norice, ‘My mither was neer sae gross!’
  19. Lord Barnet had a not-brown sword, That hung down by his knee, And he has cut Bob Norice heid Aff frae his fair bodie.
  20. He tuke the bluidy head in his hand, And he brocht it to the ha, And flang it into his lady’s lap, Sayand, Lady, there is a ba!
  21. She took the bluidy heid in her hand, And kisst it frae cheik to chin, Sayand, Better I lyke that weil faurit face Nor aw my royal kin.
  22. ‘Whan I was in my father’s bour, A’ in my dignity, An Englis lord a visit came, Gat Bob Norice wi me.’
  23. Then out bespak Lord Barnet syne, And a wae, wae man was he, Sayand, Gif I had kent he was your son, He wuld neer been killit be me.