Lamkin

No: 93; variant: 93B

  1. BALANKIN was as gude a mason as eer picked a stane; He built up Prime Castle, but payment gat nane.
  2. The lord said to his lady, when he was going abroad, O beware of Balankin, for he lyes in the wood.
  3. The gates they were bolted, baith outside and in; At the sma peep of a window Blankin crap in.
  4. ‘Good morrow, good morrow,’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘Good morrow to yoursell, sir,’ said the false nurse to him.
  5. ‘O where is your good lord?’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘He’s awa to New England, to meet with his king.’
  6. ‘O where is his auld son?’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘He’s awa to buy pearlings, Gin our lady lye in.’
  7. ‘Then she’ll never wear them,’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘And that is nae pity,’ said the false nurse to him.
  8. ‘O where is your lady?’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘She’s in her bower sleeping,’ said the false nurse to him.
  9. ‘How can we get at her?’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘Stab the babe to the heart, wi a silver bokin.’
  10. ‘That would be a pity,’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘No pity, no pity,’ said the false nurse to him.
  11. Balankin he rocked, and the false nurse she sang, Till all the tores of the cradle wi the red blood down ran.
  12. ‘O still my babe, nurice, O still him wi the knife!’ ‘He’ll no be still, lady, tho I lay doun my life.’
  13. ‘O still my babe, nurice, O still him wi the kame!’ ‘He’ll be no still, lady, till his daddy come hame.’
  14. ‘O still my babe, nurice, O still him wi the bell!’ ‘He’ll no be still, lady, till ye come doun yoursell.’
  15. ‘It’s how can I come down, this cauld winter nicht, Without eer a coal, or a clear candle-licht?’
  16. ‘There’s two smocks in your coffer, as white as a swan; Put one of them about you, it will shew you licht down.’
  17. She took ane o them about her, and came tripping doun; But as soon as she viewed, Balankin was in.
  18. ‘Good morrow, good morrow,’ said Lambert Linkin: ‘Good morrow to yoursell, sir, said the lady to him.
  19. ‘O save my life, Balankin, till my husband come back, And I’ll gie you as much red gold as you’ll hold in your hat.’
  20. ‘I’ll not save your life, lady, till your husband come back, Tho you would give me as much red gold as I could hold in a sack.
  21. ‘Will I kill her?’ quo Balankin, ‘will I kill her, or let her be?’ ‘You may kill her,’ said the false nurse, ‘She was neer good to me; And ye’ll be laird of the castle, and I’ll be ladie.’
  22. Then he cut aff her head fram her lily breast-bane, And he hung’t up in the kitchen, it made a’ the ha shine.
  23. The lord sat in England, a drinking the wine: ‘I wish a’ may be weel with my lady at hame; For the rings of my fingers the’re now burst in twain!’
  24. He saddled his horse, and he came riding doun, But as soon as he viewed, Balankin was in.
  25. He had na weel stepped twa steps up the stair, Till he saw his pretty young son lying dead on the floor.
  26. He had not weel stepped other twa up the stair, Till he saw his pretty lady lying dead in despair.
  27. He hanged Balankin out over the gate, And he burnt the fause nurice, being under the grate.