Erlinton

No: 8; variant: 8A

  1. ERLINTON had a fair daughter; I wat he weird her in a great sin; For he has built a bigly bower, An a’ to put that lady in.
  2. An he has warnd her sisters six, An sae has he her brethren se’en, Outher to watch her a’ the night, Or else to seek her morn an een.
  3. She hadna been i that bigly bower Na not a night but barely ane, Till there was Willie, her ain true love, Chappd at the door, cryin ‘Peace within!’
  4. ‘O whae is this at my bower door, That chaps sae late, nor kens the gin?’ ‘O it is Willie, your ain true love, I pray you rise an let me in!’
  5. ‘But in my bower there is a wake, An at the wake there is a wane; But I’ll come to the green-wood the morn, Whar blooms the brier, by mornin dawn.’
  6. Then she’s gane to her bed again, Where she has layen till the cock crew thrice, Then she said to her sisters a’, ‘Maidens, ‘tis time for us to rise.’
  7. She pat on her back her silken gown, An on her breast a siller pin, An she’s tane a sister in ilka hand, An to the green-wood she is gane.
  8. She hadna walkd in the green-wood Na not a mile but barely ane, Till there was Willie, her ain true love, Whae frae her sister has her taen.
  9. He took her sisters by the hand, He kissd them baith, an sent them hame, An he’s taen his true love him behind, And through the green-wood they are gane.
  10. They hadna ridden in the bonnie green-wood Na not a mile but barely ane, When there came fifteen o the boldest knights That ever bare flesh, blood, or bane.
  11. The foremost was an aged knight, He wore the grey hair on his chin: Says, ‘Yield to me thy lady bright, An thou shalt walk the woods within.’
  12. ‘For me to yield my lady bright To such an aged knight as thee, People wad think I war gane mad, Or a’ the courage flown frae me.’
  13. But up then spake the second knight, I wat he spake right boustouslie: ‘Yield me thy life, or thy lady bright, Or here the tane of us shall die.’
  14. ‘My lady is my warld’s meed; My life I winna yield to nane; But if ye be men of your manhead, Ye’ll only fight me ane by ane.’
  15. He lighted aff his milk-white steed, An gae his lady him by the head, Sayn, ‘See ye dinna change your cheer, Untill ye see my body bleed.’
  16. He set his back unto an aik, He set his feet against a stane, An he has fought these fifteen men, An killd them a’ but barely ane.
  17. . . . . . . . . . For he has left that aged knight, An a’ to carry the tidings hame.
  18. When he gaed to his lady fair, I wat he kissd her tenderlie: ‘Thou art mine ain love, I have thee bought; Now we shall walk the green-wood free.’