Brown Robin

No: 97; variant: 97A

  1. THE king but an his nobles a’ Sat birling at the wine; He would ha nane but his ae daughter To wait on them at dine.
  2. She’s servd them butt, she’s servd them ben, Intill a gown of green, But her ee was ay on Brown Robin, That stood low under the rain.
  3. She’s doen her to her bigly bowr, As fast as she coud gang, An there she’s drawn her shot-window, An she’s harped an she sang.
  4. ‘There sits a bird i my father’s garden, An O but she sings sweet! I hope to live an see the day Whan wi my love I’ll meet.’
  5. ‘O gin that ye like me as well As your tongue tells to me, What hour o the night, my lady bright, At your bowr sal I be?’
  6. ‘Whan my father an gay Gilbert Are baith set at the wine, O ready, ready I will be To lat my true-love in.’
  7. O she has birld her father’s porter Wi strong beer an wi wine, Until he was as beastly drunk As ony wild-wood swine: She’s stown the keys o her father’s yates An latten her true-love in.
  8. Whan night was gane, an day was come, An the sun shone on their feet, Then out it spake him Brown Robin, I’ll be discoverd yet.
  9. Then out it spake that gay lady: My love, ye need na doubt; For wi ae wile I’ve got you in, Wi anither I’ll bring you out.
  10. She’s taen her to her father’s cellar, As fast as she can fare; She’s drawn a cup o the gude red wine, Hung ‘t low down by her gare; An she met wi her father dear Just coming down the stair.
  11. ‘I woud na gi that cup, daughter, That ye hold i your han For a’ the wines in my cellar, An gantrees whare the stan.’
  12. ‘O wae be to your wine, father, That ever’t came oer the sea; ‘T’ is pitten my head in sick a steer I my bowr I canna be.’
  13. ‘Gang out, gang out, my daughter dear, Gang out an tack the air; Gang out an walk i the good green wood, An a’ your marys fair.’
  14. Then out it spake the proud porter– Our lady wishd him shame– ‘We’ll send the marys to the wood, But we’ll keep our lady at hame.’
  15. ‘There’s thirty marys i my bowr, There’s thirty o them an three; But there’s nae ane amo them a’ Kens what flowr gain for me.’
  16. She’s doen her to her bigly bowr, As fast as she could gang, An she has dresst him Brown Robin Like ony bowr-woman.
  17. The gown she pat upon her love Was o the dainty green, His hose was o the saft, saft silk, His shoon o the cordwain fine.
  18. She’s pitten his bow in her bosom, His arrow in her sleeve, His sturdy bran her body next, Because he was her love.
  19. Then she is unto her bowr-door, As fast as she coud gang; But out it spake the proud porter– Our lady wishd him shame– ‘We’ll cout our marys to the wood, An we’ll cout them back again.’
  20. The firsten mary she sent out Was Brown Robin by name; Then out it spake the king himsel, ‘This is a sturdy dame.’
  21. O she went out in a May morning, In a May morning so gay, But she came never back again, Her auld father to see.