Brown Robin

No: 97; variant: 97B

  1. A FEATHERD fowl’s in your orchard, father, O dear, but it sings sweet! What would I give, my father dear, That bonnie bird to meet!’ What would I give, etc.
  2. ‘O hold your tongue, my daughter Mary, Let a’ your folly be; There’s six Scots lords tomorrow, child, That will a’ dine wi me, And ye maun serve tham a’, Mary, As ‘twere for meat and fee.’
  3. She served them up, sae has she down, The footmen a’ the same, But her mind was aye on Love Robbie, Stood out below the rain.
  4. A hundred pun o pennies roun, Tied in a towel so sma, She has gien to him Love Robbie, Out oer the castle-wa; Says, Tak ye that, my love Robbie And mysel ye may hae.
  5. A hundred pun o pennies roun, Tied in a napkin white, She has gien to him Love Robbie, Out oer the garden-dyke; Says, Tak ye that, my Love Robbie, And mysel gin ye like.
  6. ‘If this be true ye tell to me, As your tongue woudna lee, I shall be in your bigly bower Before the clock strike three; I shall be in your bigly bower, Dressd like a gay ladye.’
  7. When bells were rung, and mass was sung, And all men bound for bed, Love Robbie came to Mary’s bower, Dressd like a comely maid.
  8. They had not kissd nor love clappe:d, As lovers when they meet, Till sighing said he Love Robbie, My life, my life I doubt.
  9. ‘Your life, your life, you Love Robbie, Your life you needna doubt; For it was wiles brought in Robbie, And wiles will lat him out.’
  10. Then in it came her father dear, And stood upon the floor, And she filld the cup of good red wine, Said, Father, will ye drink more?
  11. ‘O better I love the cup, Mary, The cup that’s in your hand, Than all my barrels full of wine, On the gantrees where they stand.’
  12. ‘O woe be to your wine, father, It eer came oer the sea! If I getna the air o good greenwood O I will surely dee.’
  13. ‘There’s seven maries in your bower, There’s seven o them and three, And I’ll send them to good greenwood, For flowers to shortsome thee.’
  14. ‘There’s seven maries in my bower, There’s seven o them and three, But there’s nae a mary mang them a’ Can pu flowers to shortsome me:’ ‘Then by my sooth,’ said her father dear, ‘Let yoursel gang them wi.’
  15. She dressd hersel in the royal red, Love Robbie was in dainty green; Love Robbie’s brand was about his middle, And he shone like ony queen.
  16. The firsten ane that took the floor, Love Robbie was that ane: ‘Now by my sooth,’ said the proud porter, ‘She is a sonsie dame; I would not care now very much To turn her in again.’
  17. ‘I’d fain see any woman or man, Of high or low degree, Would turn a mary in again That once came out with me.’
  18. They had not been in good greenwood, Pu’d a flower but only three, Till the porter stood behind a bush, And shot him Love Robbie.
  19. Now word has come to her father dear, In the chamber where he lay, Lady Mary’s sick in good greenwood, And cannot come away.
  20. He’s taen his mantle him about, His cane into his han, And he is on to good greenwood, As fast as he could gang.
  21. ‘O want you fish out o the fleed, Or whale out o the sea? Or is there any one alive This day has angerd thee?’
  22. ‘I want not fish out o the fleed, Nor whale out o the sea; But woe be to your proud porter, Sae sair’s he’s angerd me! He’s shot the fairest flower this day, That would hae comfort me.’
  23. ‘O hold your tongue, my daughter Mary, Let a’ your folly be; Tomorrow ere I eat or drink High hange:d shall he be.’