Brown Adam

No: 98; variant: 98C

  1. O WHA woud wish the win to blaw, The green leaves fa therewith? O wha would wish a leeler luve Than Brown Adam the Smith?
  2. O he forsook the royal court, And knights and lords sae gude, And he is to the black smithy, To learn to shoe a steed.
  3. His hammer-shaft o gude red gowd, His studdy o the steel, His fingers whyte, and maids’ delight, And blaws his bellows weel.
  4. He being a favourite with the king Caused him get mony a fae, And sae their plots they did contrive To work him grief and wae.
  5. Of treason then he was accused By his fause enemie, Which caused the king to make a vow That banishd he shoud be.
  6. Then banishd hae they Brown Adam, Frae father and frae mither, And banished hae they him Brown Adam Frae sister and frae brither.
  7. And they hae banishd him Brown Adam, The flower o a’ his kin; He built a bower in gude green wood, For his true love and him.
  8. But it fell ance upon a day The king’s young son thought lang, And minded him on Brown Adam, Oft rade on his right han.
  9. Then he sent for him Brown Adam, To shoe his milk-white steed, That he might see him ance in court, Mang knights o noble bleed.
  10. When Brown Adam he read these lines, A light laugh then gae hee: ‘What’s this that’s made their hearts to fa, They lang sae sair for mee?’
  11. Then out it speaks his gay ladye: Brown Adam, bide wi mee; For if ye gang to court, I fear Your face I’ll never see.
  12. ‘Cheer up your heart, my ain true-love, Let naething cause your grief; Though I be absent for some days, Ye seen will get relief.’
  13. Then he has kissd his gay ladye, And rade alang the lay, And hunted a’ the wild birds there, As he rade on the way.
  14. He shot the bunting o the bush, The linnet o the brier, And sent them on to gude green wood, His ladye’s heart to cheer.
  15. He shot the bunting o the bush, The linnet o the wand, And sent them on to his ladye, Forbade her to think lang.
  16. He shot the bunting o the bush, The linnet o the thorn, And sent them on to his ladye, Said he’d be hame the morn.
  17. A thought then came into his mind, As he rade on the way, Some evil in his absence might Befa his ladye gay.
  18. Now when he had the prince’ steed shod, And bound again to ryde, He turned his horse to Ringlewood; Some days he meant to byde.
  19. But when he turned to Ringlewood; Ae foot’s horse woudna ryde; Whan he turned to his luver’s bower, He flew like ony glyde.
  20. When he drew near to his luve’s bower, There he alighted down, For the hearing o his great horse tramp Ere he wan to the town.
  21. Whan he came to his luver’s bower, He heard a dolefu din; He wasna aware o a fu fause knight, His true-love’s bower within.
  22. He bound his steed to his ain stall, And gae him corn and hay, And listened at a shott-window, To hear what he would say.
  23. The first and thing the knight drew out, It was a coffer fine; It was as fu o gude black silk, Make ladyes for to shine.
  24. ‘Ye are too lack o luve, ladye, And that’s a hatefu thing; Luve me, and lat Brown Adam be, And a’ this shall be thine.’
  25. ‘O well I like Brown Adam,’ she said, ‘I wyte hee hates nae mee; I winna forsake him Brown Adam For a’ your gifts an thee.’
  26. The next and thing the knight drew out, It was a coffer small; It was as fou o shambo gluves, Woud had her hands frae caul.
  27. ‘Ye are too lack o luve, ladye, An that’s a hatefu thing; Luve me, an lat Brown Adam be, An a’ this shall be thine.’
  28. ‘O well like I Brown Adam,’ she said, ‘I’m sure he hates nae me; I winna forsake him Brown Adam For a’ your gifts an thee.’
  29. The next and thing the knight drew out It was a coffer fine; It was as fu of gude red gowd As a guinnea coud get in.
  30. ‘You are too lack o luve, ladye, And that’s a hatefu thing; Luve me, and lat Brown Adam be, And a’ this shall be thine.’
  31. ‘O well I like Brown Adam,’ she said, ‘I’m sure hee hates nae mee; I winna forsake him Brown Adam For a’ the gowd ye’ll gie.’
  32. Then his mild mood did quickly change, And grew mair fierce and cruel, And then drew out a trusty brand, Which made her heart to pruel.
  33. ‘Since I by you am slighted sae, Since I frae you maun part, I swear a vow before I gae, That this shall pierce your heart.’
  34. ‘But still I like Brown Adam,’ she said, ‘I wat hee hates nae mee; And if he knew my troubles now At my call woud hee be.
  35. ‘Although he were sax miles awa, He’d seen be at my han; But wae is me, sae may I say, Brown Adam tarries lang!’
  36. He hit the door then wi his foot, Made a’ the bands to flee: ‘Cheer up your heart, my luve Janet, Your love’s nae far frae thee.’
  37. Then he drew out a trusty brand, And chassd him thro the ha; The knight jumpd to a shott-window, And woud hae been awa.
  38. ‘Stay still, stay still,’ Brown Adam said, ‘Make nae sic haste frae mee’ You or I maun rue the race That I came ower the lee.’
  39. Then frae the knight he’s taen a wad, His mantle and his brand; Likewise he’s taen anither wad, His sword and his sword-hand.
  40. He threw him ower the shott-window, Bade him lie there wi care, And never come back to gude green wood To marr fair ladies mair.
  41. ‘O I am brown,’ said Brown Adam, ‘And I was never whyte; But my love has robes o different hues, To wear at her delyght.
  42. ‘Her kirchies be o cambricks fine, Wi gowd pinnd to the chin; Her robes shall be o the scarlet hue She shall gang daily in.’