Jellon Grame

No: 90; variant: 90C

  1. WHEN spring appeard in all its bloom, And flowers grew fresh and green, As May-a-Roe she set her down, To lay gowd on her seam.
  2. But word has come to that lady, At evening when ‘twas dark, To meet her love in gude greenwood, And bring to him a sark.
  3. ‘That’s strange to me,’ said May-a-Roe, ‘For how can a’ this be? A month or twa is scarcely past Sin I sent my lovie three.’
  4. Then May-a-Roe lap on her steed, And quickly rade away; She hadna ridden but hauf a mile, Till she heard a voice to say:
  5. ‘Turn back, turn back, ye ventrous maid, Nae farther must ye go; For the boy that leads your bridle rein Leads you to your overthrow.’
  6. But a’ these words she neer did mind, But fast awa did ride; And up it starts him Hynde Henry, Just fair by her right side.
  7. ‘Ye’ll tarry here, perfidious maid, For by my hand ye’se dee; Ye married my brother, Brown Robin, Whan ye shoud hae married me.’
  8. ‘O mercy, mercy, Hynde Henry, O mercy have on me! For I am eight months gane wi child, Therefore ye’ll lat me be.’
  9. ‘Nae mercy is for thee, fair maid, Nae mercy is for thee; You married my brother, Brown Robin, Whan ye shoud hae married me.’
  10. ‘Ye will bring here the bread, Henry, And I will bring the wine, And ye will drink to your ain love, And I will drink to mine.’
  11. ‘I winna bring here the bread, fair maid, Nor yet shall ye the wine, Nor will I drink to my ain love, Nor yet shall ye to thine.’
  12. ‘O mercy, mercy, Hynde Henry, Until I lighter be! Hae mercy on your brother’s bairn, Tho ye hae nane for me.’
  13. ‘Nae mercy is for thee, fair maid, Nae mercy is for thee; Such mercy unto you I’ll gie As what ye gae to me.’
  14. Then he’s taen out a trusty brand, And stroakd it ower a strae, And thro and thro her fair body He’s gart cauld iron gae.
  15. Nae meen was made for that lady, For she was lying dead; But a’ was for her bonny bairn, Lay spartling by her side.
  16. Then he’s taen up the bonny bairn, Handled him tenderlie, And said, Ye are o my ain kin, Tho your mother ill used me.
  17. He’s washen him at the crystal stream, And rowd him in a weed, And namd him after a bold robber Who was calld Robin Hood.
  18. Then brought to the next borough’s town, And gae him nurses three; He grew as big in ae year auld As some boys woud in three.
  19. Then he was sent to guid squeel-house, To learn how to thrive; He learnd as muckle in ae year’s time As some Boys would in five.
  20. ‘But I wonder, I wonder,’ said little Robin, ‘Gin eer a woman bare me; For mony a lady spiers for the rest, But nae ane spiers for me.
  21. ‘I wonder, I wonder,’ said little Robin, ‘Were I of woman born; Whan ladies my comrades do caress, They look at me wi scorn.’
  22. It fell upon an evening-tide, Was ae night by it lane, Whan a’ the boys frae guid squeel-house Were merrily coming hame,
  23. Robin parted frae the rest, He wishd to be alane; And when his comrades he dismist, To guid greenwood he’s gane.
  24. When he came to guid greenwood, He clamb frae tree to tree, To pou some o the finest leaves, Ffor to divert him wi.
  25. He hadna pu’d a leaf, a leaf, Nor brake a branch but ane, Till by it came him Hynde Henry, And bade him lat alane.
  26. ‘You are too bauld a boy,’ he said, ‘Sae impudent you be, As pu the leaves that’s nae your ain, Or yet to touch the tree.’
  27. ‘O mercy, mercy, gentleman, O mercy hae on me! For if that I offence hae done, It was unknown to me.’
  28. ‘Nae boy comes here to guid greenwood But pays a fine to me; Your velvet coat, or shooting-bow, Which o them will ye gie?’
  29. ‘My shooting-bow arches sae well, Wi it I canno part; Lest wer’t to send a sharp arrow To pierce you to the heart.’
  30. He turnd him right and round about, His countenance did change: ‘Ye seem to be a boy right bauld; Why can ye talk sae strange?
  31. ‘I’m sure ye are the bauldest boy That ever I talkd wi; As for your mother, May-a-Roe, She was neer sae bauld to me.’
  32. ‘O, if ye knew my mother,’ he said, ‘That’s very strange to me; And if that ye my mother knew, It’s mair than I coud dee.’
  33. ‘Sae well as I your mother knew, Ance my sweet-heart was she; Because to me she broke her vow, This maid was slain by me.’
  34. ‘O, if ye slew my mother dear, As I trust ye make nae lie, I wyte ye never did the deed That better paid shall be.’
  35. ‘O mercy, mercy, little Robin, O mercy hae on me!’ ‘Sic mercy as ye pae my mother, Sic mercy I’ll gie thee.
  36. ‘Prepare yourself, perfidious man, For by my hand ye’se dee; Now come’s that bluidy butcher’s end Took my mother frae me.’
  37. Then he hae chosen a sharp arrow, That was baith keen and smart, And let it fly at Hynde Henry, And piercd him to the heart.
  38. These news hae gaen thro Stirling town, Likewise thro Hunting-ha; At last it reachd the king’s own court, Amang the nobles a’.
  39. When the king got word o that, A light laugh then gae he, And he’s sent for him little Robin, To come right speedilie.
  40. He’s putten on little Robin’s head A ribbon and gowden crown, And made him ane o’s finest knights, For the valour he had done.