Jellon Grame

No: 90; variant: 90B

  1. WORD has come to May Margerie, In her bower where she sat: ‘You are bid come to good green-wood, To make your love a shirt.’
  2. ‘I wonder much,’ said May Margerie, ‘At this message to me; There is not a month gone of this year But I have made him three.’
  3. Then out did speak her mother dear, A wise woman was she; Said, Stay at home, my daughter May, They seek to murder thee.
  4. ‘O I’ll cast off my gloves, mother, And hang them up, I say; If I come never back again, They will mind you on May.
  5. ‘Go saddle my horseback,’ she said, ‘It’s quick as ever you may, And we will ride to good green-wood; It is a pleasant day.’
  6. And when she came to good green-wood, It’s through it they did ride; Then up did start him Hind Henry, Just at the lady’s side.
  7. Says, Stop, O stop, you May Margerie, Just stop I say to thee; The boy that leads your bridle reins Shall see you red and blue.
  8. It’s out he drew a long, long brand, And stroked it ower a strae, And through and through that lady’s sides He made the cauld weapon gae.
  9. Says, Take you that now, May Margerie, Just take you that from me, Because you love Brown Robin, And never would love me.
  10. There was less pity for that lady, When she was lying dead, As was for her bony infant boy, Lay swathed amang her bleed.
  11. The boy fled home with all his might, The tear into his ee: ‘They have slain my lady in the wood, With fear I’m like to die.’
  12. Her sister’s ran into the wood, With greater grief and care, Sighing and sobbing all the way, Tearing her cloaths and hair.
  13. Says, I’ll take up that fair infant, And lull him on my sleeve; Altho his father should wish me woe, His mother to me was leeve.
  14. Now she has taken the infant up, And she has brought him hame, And she has called him Brown Robin, That was his father’s name.
  15. And when he did grow up a bit, She put him to the lair, And of all the youths was at that school None could with him compare.
  16. And it fell once upon a day A playtime it was come, And when the rest went from the school, Each one to their own home,
  17. He hied him unto good green-wood, And leapt from tree to tree; It was to pull a hollin wand, To play his ownself wi.
  18. And when he thus had passed his time, To go home he was fain, He chanced to meet him Hind Henry, Where his mother was slain.
  19. ‘O how is this,’ the youth cried out, ‘If it to you is known, How all this wood is growing grass, And on that small spot grows none?’
  20. ‘Since you do wonder, bonnie boy, I shall tell you anon; That is indeed the very spot I killed your mother in.’
  21. He catched hold of Henry’s brand, And stroked it ower a strae, And thro and thro Hind Henry’s sides He made the cauld metal gae.
  22. Says, Take you that, O Hind Henry, O take you that from me, For killing of my mother dear, And her not hurting thee.