Child Maurice

No: 83; variant: 83D

  1. GILL MORICE stood in stable-door, With red gold shined his weed; A bonnie boy him behind, Dressing a milk-white steed.
  2. ‘Woe’s me for you, maister, Your name it waxes wide; It is not for your rich, rich robes, Nor for your meikle pride, But all is for yon lord’s ladie, She lives on Ithan side.’
  3. ‘Here’s to thee, my bonnie wee boy, That I pay meat and fee; You will run on to Ithan side An errand unto me.’
  4. ‘If ye gar me that errand run, Sae sair against my will, I’ll make a vow, and keep it true, I’ll do your errand ill.’
  5. ‘I fear nae ill of thee, boy, I fear nae ill of thee; I fearna ill of my bonnie boy, My sister’s son are ye.
  6. ‘Ye’ll tak here this green manteel, It’s lined with the frieze; Ye’ll bid her come to gude green-wood, To talk with Gill Morice.
  7. ‘Ye’ll tak here this sark o silk, Her ain hand sewed the sleeve; Ye’ll bid her come to gude green-wood, And ask not Burnard’s leave.’
  8. When he gade to Ithan side They were hailing at the ba, And four and twenty gay ladyes They lookd ower castle wa. And four and twenty gay ladyes They lookd ower castle wa.
  9. ‘God mak you safe, you ladies all, God mak you safe and sure; But Burnard’s lady amang you all, My errand is to her.
  10. ‘Ye’ll tak here this green manteel, It’s a’ lined wi the frieze; Ye’re bidden come to gude green-wood And speak to Gill Morice.
  11. ‘Ye’ll tak here this sark of silk, Your ain hand sewed the sleeve; Ye’re bidden come to gude green-wood, And ask not Burnard’s leave.’
  12. Up it stood the little nurice, She winked with her ee: ‘Welcome, welcome, bonnie boy, With luve-tidings to me.
  13. ‘Ye lie, ye lie, ye false nurice, Sae loud’s I hear ye lie; It’s to the lady of the house, I’m sure ye are not shee.’
  14. Then out and spoke him bold Burnard, Behind the door stood he: ‘I’ll go unto gude green-wood, And see what he may be.
  15. ‘Come, bring to me the gowns of silk, Your petticoats so small, And I’ll go on to gude green-wood, I’ll try with him a fall.’
  16. Gill Morice stood in gude green-wood, He whistled and he sang: ‘I think I see the woman come That I have loved lang.’
  17. ‘What now, what now, ye Gill Morice, What now, and how do ye? ‘What now, what now, ye Gill Morice, What now, and how do ye? How lang hae ye my lady luved? This day come tell to me.’
  18. ‘First when I your lady loved, In green-wood amang the thyme, I wot she was my first fair love Or ever she was thine.
  19. ‘First when I your lady loved, In green-wood amang the flouirs, I wot she was my first fair love Or ever she was yours.’
  20. He’s taen out a lang, lang brand That he was used to wear, And he’s taen aff Gill Morice head, And put it on a spear: The soberest boy in a’ the court Gill Morice head did bear.
  21. He’s put it in a braid basin, And brocht it in the ha, And laid it in his lady’s lap; Said, Lady, tak a ba!
  22. ‘Play ye, play ye, my lady,’ he said, ‘Play ye frae ha to bower; Play ye wi Gill Morice head, He was your paramour!
  23. ‘He was not my paramour, He was my son indeed; I got him in my mother’s bower, And in my maiden -weed.
  24. ‘I got him in my mother’s bower, Wi meikle sin and shame; I brocht him up in good green-wood, Got mony a shower o rain.
  25. ‘But I will kiss his bluidy head, And I will clap his chin; I’ll make a vow, and keep it true, I’ll never kiss man again.
  26. ‘Oftimes I by his cradle sat, And fond to see him sleep; But I may walk about his grave, And fond to see him sleep; But I may walk about his grave, The saut tears for to weep.’
  27. ‘Bring cods, bring cods to my ladye, Her heart is full of wae;’ ‘None of your cods, Burnet,’ she says, ‘But lay me on the strae.’
  28. ‘Pox on you, my lady fair, That wudna telled it me; If I had known he was your son, He had not been slain by me; And for ae penny ye wud hae gien I wud hae gien him three.’ And for ae penny ye wud hae gien I wud hae gien him three.’
  29. ‘Keep weel your land, Burnet,’ she said, ‘Your land and white monie; There’s land eneuch in Norroway Lies heirless I wot the day.’
  30. The one was killed in the mornin air, His mother died at een, And or the mornin bells was rung The threesome were a’ gane.