Gil Brenton

Gil Brenton has sent o'er the fame,
He's woo'd a wife an' brought her hame.

Full sevenscore o' ships came her wi',
The lady by the greenwood tree.

There was twal' an' twal' wi' beer an' wine,
An' twal' an' twal' wi' muskadine;

An' twall an' twall wi' bouted flowr
An' twall an' twall wi' paramour;

An' twall an' twall wi' baken bread,
An' twall an' twall wi' the goud sae red.

Sweet Willy was a widow's son,
An' at her stirrup-foot he did run.

An' she was dress'd i' the finest pa',
But ay she loot the tears down fa'.

An' she was deck'd wi' the fairest flow'rs,
But ay she loot the tears down pour.

O is there water i' your shee?
Or does the win' blaw i' your glee?

Or are you mourning i' your meed
That e'er you left your mither gueede?

Or are ye mourning i' your tide
That ever ye was Gil Brenton's bride?

The[re] is nae water i' my shee,
Nor does the win' blaw i' my glee:

Nor am I mourning i' my tide
That e'er I was Gil Brenton's bride:

But I am mourning i' my meed
That ever I left my mither gueede.

But, bonny boy, tell to me
What is the customs o' your country.

The customs o 't, my dame, he says,
Will ill a gentle lady please.

Seven king's daughters has our king wedded,
An' seven king's daughters has our king bedded.

But he's cutted the paps frae their breastbane
An' sent them mourning hame again.

But whan you come to the palace yate,
His mither a golden chair will set.

An' be you maid or be you nane,
O sit you there till the day be dane.

An' gin you're sure that you are a maid
Ye may gang safely to his bed.

But gin o' that you be na sure,
Then hire some woman o' youre bow'r.

O whan she came to the palace yate,
His mither a golden chair did set.

An' was she maid or was she nane,
She sat in it till the day was dane.

An' she's call'd on her bow'r woman
That waiting was her bow'r within:

Five hundred pound, maid, I'll gi' to the[e],
An' sleep this night wi' the king for me.

Whan bells was rung an' mass was sung
An' a' man unto bed was gone,

Gil Brenton an' the bonny maid,
Intill ae chamber they were laid.

O speak to me, blankets, an' speak to me, sheets,
An' speak to me, cods, that under me sleeps:

Is this a maid that I ha' wedded?
Is this a maid that I ha' bedded?

It's nae a maid that you ha' wedded,
But it's a maid that you ha' bedded.

Your lady's in her bigly bow'r,
An' for you she drees mony sharp show'r.

O he has ta'en him thro' the ha',
And on his mither he did ca'.

I am the most unhappy man
That ever was in christen'd lan'.

I woo'd a maiden meek an' mild,
An' I've marryed a woman great wi' child.

O stay, my son, intill this ha'
An' sport you wi' your merry men a';

An' I'll gang to yon painted bow'r
An' see how 't fares wi' yon base whore.

The auld queen she was stark an' strang,
She gar'd the door flee aff the ban';

The auld queen she was stark an' steer,
She gar'd the door lye i' the fleer.

O is your bairn to laird or loon,
Or is it to your father's groom?

My bairn 's na to laird or loon,
Nor is it to my father's groom;

But hear me, mither, on my knee,
An' my hard wierd I'll tell to thee.

O we were sisters, sisters seven,
We was the fairest under heaven;

We had nae mair for our seven years wark
But to shape an' sue the king's son a sark.

O it fell on a Saturday's afternoon,
Whan a' our langsome wark was done,

We keist the cavils us amang,
To see which shou'd to the green wood gang.

Ohone, alas, for I was youngest,
An' ay my wierd it was the hardest.

The cavil it did on me fa',
Which was the cause of a' my wae.

For to the green wood I must gae
To pu' the nut but an' the slae,

To pu' the red rose an' the thyme
To strew my mother's bow'r and mine.

I had na pu'd a flow'r but ane
Till by there came a jelly hind graeme

Wi' high-coll'd hose and laigh-coll'd shoone,
An' he 'peard to be some kingis son.

An' be I maid or be I nane,
He kept me there till the day was dane;

An' be I maid or be I nae,
He kept me there till the close of day.

He gae me a lock of yallow hair
An' bade me keep it for ever mair.

He gae me a carket o' gude black beads
An' bade me keep them against my needs.

He gae to me a gay gold ring
An' bade me ke[e]p it aboon a' thing.

He gae to me a little penknife
An' bade me keep it as my life.

What did you wi' these tokens rare
That ye got frae that young man there?

O bring that coffer hear to me
And a' the tokens ye sal see.

An' ay she ranked, an' ay she flang,
Till a' the tokens came till her han'.

O stay here, daughter, your bow'r within,
Till I gae parley wi' my son.

O she has ta'en her thro' the ha'
An' on her son began to ca':

What did you wi' that gay gold ring
I bade you keep aboon a' thing?

What did you wi' that little penknife
I bade you keep while you had life?

What did you wi' that yallow hair
I bade you keep for ever mair?

What did you wi' that good black beeds
I bade you keep against your needs?

I gae them to a lady gay
I met i' the green wood on a day.

An' I would gi' a' my father's lan'
I had that lady my yates within.

I would gi' a' my ha's an' tow'rs
I had that bright burd i' my bow'rs.

O son, keep still your father's lan';
You hae that lady your yates within.

An' keep you still your ha's an' tow'rs;
You hae that bright burd i' your bow'rs.

Now or a month was come an' gone
This lady bare a bonny young son;

An' it was well written on his breastbane,
Gil Brenton is my father's name.
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