Prince Robert

No: 87; variant: 87C

  1. LORD ROBERT and Mary Florence, They were twa children young; They were scarse seven years of age Till love began to spring.
  2. Lord Robert loved Mary Florence, And she lovd him above power; But he durst not for his cruel mother Bring her unto his bower.
  3. It was nineteen miles to Strawberry Castle, As good as ever was rode or gane, But the lord being light, and the steed being swift, Lord Robert was hame gin noon.
  4. ‘A blessing, a blessing, dear mother,’ he cries, ‘A blessing I do crave!’ ‘A blessing, a blessing, my son Lord Robert, And a blessing thou shalt have.’
  5. She called on her chamber-maid To fill up a glass of wine, And so clever was her cursed fingers To put the rank poison in.
  6. ‘O wae be to you, mother dear,’ he cries, ‘For working such a wae; For poisoning of your son Lord Robert, And children you have nae mae.
  7. ‘O where will I get a pretty little boy That’ll rin him my errands sune? That will rin unto Strawberry Castle, And tell Mary Florence to cum?’
  8. ‘Here am I, a pretty little boy, Your eldest sister’s son, That will rin unto Strawberry Castle, And tell Mary Florence to come.’
  9. When he came unto Strawberry Castle He tirled at the pin, And so ready was Mary Florence hersell To open and let him in.
  10. ‘What news, what news, my pretty little boy? What news hast thou brocht here?’ With sichin and sabbin and wringing his hands, No message he could refer.
  11. ‘The news that I have gotten,’ he says, ‘I cannot weel declair; But my grandmother has prepard a feast, And fain she would hae thee thair.’
  12. She called on her stable-groom To dress her swiftest steed; For she knew very weel by this pretty little boy That Lord Robert was dead.
  13. And when she came to Knotingale Castle She tirled at the pin, And so ready was Lord Robert’s mother To open and let her in.
  14. ‘What news, what news, Mary Florence?’ she says, ‘What news has thou to me?’ ‘I came to see your son Lord Robert, And fain would I him see.
  15. ‘I came not for his gude red gold, Nor for his white monie, But for the ring on his wee finger, And fain would I it see.’
  16. ‘That ring thou cannot see, Mary Florence, That ring thou’ll never see; For death was so strong in Lord Robert’s breast That the gold ring burst in three.’
  17. She has set her foot unto a stone, Her back unto a tree; Before she left Knotingale Castle Her heart it brak in three.