The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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192A: The Lochmaben Harper


192A.1	 HEARD ye eer of the silly blind harper,
	 That long livd in Lochmaben town,
	 How he wad gang to fair England,
	 To steal King Henry's Wanton Brown?
	 Sing, Faden dilly and faden dilly
	 Sing, Faden dilly and deedle dan
192A.2	 But first he gaed to his gude wife,
	 Wi a' the speed that he coud thole;
	 'This wark,' quo he, 'will never work
	 Without a mare that has a foal.'
192A.3	 Quo she, Thou has a gude gray mare,
	 That'al rin oer hills baith law and hie;
	 Gae tak the gray mare in thy hand,
	 And leave the foal at hame wi me.
192A.4	 'And tak a halter in thy hose,
	 And o thy purpose dinna fail;
	 But wap it oer the Wanton's nose,
	 And tie her to the gray mare's tail.
192A.5	 'Syne ca her out at yon back geate,
	 Oer moss and muir and ilka dale;
	 For she'll neer let the Wanton bite
	 Till she come hame to her ain foal.'
192A.6	 So he is up to England gane,
	 Even as fast as he can hie,
	 Till he came to King Henry's geate;
	 And wha was there but King Henry?
192A.7	 'Come in,' quo he, 'Thou silly blind harper,
	 And of thy harping let me hear;'
	 'O, by my sooth,' quo the silly blind harper,
	 'I'd rather hae stabling for my mare.'
192A.8	 The king he looks oer his left shoulder,
	 And says unto his stable-groom,
	 Gae tak the silly poor harper's mare,
	 And tie her side my Wanton Brown.
192A.9	 And ay he harpit, and ay he carpit,
	 Till a' the lords had fitted the floor;
	 They thought the music was sae sweet,
	 And they forgot the stable-door.
192A.10	 And ay he harpit, and ay he carpit,
	 Till a' the nobles were sound asleep;
	 Than quietly he took aff his shoon,
	 And safly down the stair did creep.
192A.11	 Syne to the stable-door he hies,
	 Wi tread as light as light coud be,
	 And when he opned and gaed in,
	 There he fand thirty gude steads and three.
192A.12	 He took the halter frae his hose,
	 And of his purpose did na fail;
	 He slipt it oer the Wanton's nose,
	 And tied it to his gray mare's tail.
192A.13	 He ca'd her out at yon back geate,
	 Oer moss and muir and ilka dale,
	 And she loot neer the Wanton bite,
	 But held her still gaun at her tail.
192A.14	 The gray mare was right swift o fit,
	 And did na fail to find the way,
	 For she was at Lochmaben geate
	 Fu lang three hours ere 'twas day.
192A.15	 When she came to the harper's door,
	 There she gave mony a nicher and sneer;
	 'Rise,' quo the wife, 'Thou lazey lass,
	 Let in thy master and his mare.'
192A.16	 Then up she rose, pat on her claes,
	 And lookit out through the lock-hole;
	 'O, by my sooth,' then quoth the lass,
	 'Our mare has gotten a braw big foal!'
192A.17	 'Come had thy peace, thou foolish lass,
	 The moon's but glancing in thy eye;
	 I'll wad my hail fee against a groat,
	 It's bigger than eer our foal will be.'
192A.18	 The neighbours too that heard the noise
	 Cried to the wife to put hir in;
	 'By my sooth,' then quo the wife,
	 'She's better than ever he rade on.'
192A.19	 But on the morn, at fair day light,
	 When they had ended a' thier chear,
	 King Henry's Wanton Brown was stawn,
	 And eke the poor old harper's mare.
192A.20	 'Allace! allace!' says the silly blind harper,
	 'Allace, allace, that I came here!
	 In Scotland I've tint a braw cowte-foal,
	 In England they've stawn my gude gray mare.'
192A.21	 'Come had thy tongue, thou silly blind harper,
	 And of thy allacing let me be;
	 For thou shalt get a better mare,
	 And weel paid shall thy cowte-foal be.'

192B: The Lochmaben Harper


192B.1	 HARD ye tell of the silly blind harper?
	 Long he lived in Lochmaben town;
	 He's away to fair Carlisle,
	 To steal King Henry's Wanton Brown.
	 Sing, Fadle didle dodle didle
	 Sing, Fadle didle fadle doo
192B.2	 He has mounted his auld gray mare,
	 And ridden oer both hills and mire,
	 Till he came to fair Carlisle town,
	 And askd for stabling to his mare.
192B.3	 'Harp on, harp on, thou silly blind harper,
	 'Some of thy harping let us hear;'
	 'By my sooth,' says the silly blind harper,
	 'I would rather hae stabling to my mare.'
192B.4	 The king looked oer his left shoulder
	 And called to his stable-groom:
	 'Gae stable up the harper's mare,
	 And just beyond the Wanton Brown.'
192B.5	 Ay he carped, and ay he harped,
	 Till a' the lords gaed thro the floor;
	 But and the musick was sae sweet
	 The groom forgot the key o the stable-door.
192B.6	 Ay he harped, and ay he carped,
	 Till a' the lords fell fast asleep,
	 And, like a fause deceiver as he was,
	 He quickly down the stair did creep.
192B.7	 He pulld a colt-halter out o his hoe,
	 On purpose as I shall to you tell;
	 He sliped it oer the Wanton's nose,
	 And tyed it to his gray mare's tail.
192B.8	 'My blessing light upon my wife!
	 I think she be a daily flower;
	 She told me to ken my ain gray mare
	 When eer I felt her by the ewer.'
192B.9	 'Harp on, harp on, thou silly blind harper,
	 Some of thy harping let us hear:'
	 'Oh and alas!' says the silly blind harper,
	 'Oh and alas that eer I came here!
192B.10	 'For in Scotland I lost a good brown foal,
	 And in England a good gray mare,
	 . . . . .
	 . . . . .
192B.11	 'Harp on, harp on, thou silly blind harper,
	 Some of thy harping let us hear,
	 And thy brown foal shall be well payed,
	 And thou's hae a far better gray mare.'
192B.12	 Ay he harped, and ay he carped,
	 And some of his harping he let them hear,
	 And his brown foal it was well payed,
	 And he got a better gray mare.
192B.13	 His mare's away to Lochmaben,
	 Wi mony a nicker and mony a sneer;
	 His wife cry's, Rise up, you lazy lass,
	 Let in your master and his mare.
192B.14	 The lazy lass was loth to rise;
	 She looked through a little hole;
	 'By my troth,' crys the lazy lass,
	 'Our mare has brought a bonie foal.'
192B.15	 'Rise up, rise up, thou lazy lass,
	 And, een as the sun it shines sae clear,
	 I'll wager my life against a groat
	 The foal was better than ever the mare.'

192C: The Lochmaben Harper


192C.1	 ITRR'rrS hae ye heard tell o the auld harper
	 That lang lived in Lochmaben town,
	 How he maun awa to England fair,
	 To steal King Henry's Wanton Brown?
	 Faw aiden diden an diden an diden
	 Faw aiden diden faw aiden dee
192C.2	 Out then bespak his gude auld wife,
	 I wat she spak out very wiselie;
	 'Ye'll ride the mear to England fair,
	 But the foal ye'll leave at hame wi me.
192C.3	 'Ye'll hide your  halter in o your hose,
	 And o your purpose ye'll no fail;
	 Ye'll cast a hook on the Wanton's nose,
	 And tie him to the gray mear's tail.
192C.4	 'Ye'll lead them awa by a back yett,
	 And hound them out at a wee hole;
	 The mear she'll neer [let] the Wanton bait
	 Till hame at Lochmaben town wi her foal.'
192C.5	 Awa then rade the auld harper,
	 I wat he rade right merrilie,
	 Until he cam to England fair,
	 Where wonned the gude King Henerie.
192C.6	 'Light down, light down, ye auld harper,
	 And some o your harping let me hear;
	 'O williwa!' quo the auld harper,
	 Will I get stabling for my mear?'
	 * * * * *
192C.7	 And aye he harped and he carped,
	 Till a' the lordlings fell asleep;
	 Syne bundled his fiddles upon his back,
	 And down the stairs fu fast did creep.
192C.8	 He's taen the halter out o his hose,
	 And o his purpose he didna fail;
	 He's cast a hook on the Wanton's nose,
	 And tied him to the gray mear's tale.
192C.9	 He's led them awa by the back yett,
	 And hounded them out at a wee hole;
	 The mear she neer let the Wanton bait
	 Till hame at Lochmaben town wi her foal.
192C.10	 And when they cam to the house-end,
	 Wi mony a nicker but an a neigh,
	 They waukend the auld wife out o her sleep;
	 She was a-dreaming she was fouie.
192C.11	 'Rise up, rise up, my servant-lass,
	 Let in your master and his mear;'
	 'It's by my sooth,' the wee lassie goud say,
	 'I'm in a sleeping drowsy air.'
192C.12	 Wi mony a graunt she turned her round,
	 And keekit through at a wee hole;
	 'It's by my sooth!' the wee lassie goud say,
	 'Our mear has gotten a braw brown foal!'
192C.13	 Lie still, lie still, ye lazy lass,
	 It's but the moon shines in your ee;'
	 'Na, by my sooth,' the lassie goud say,
	 'And he's bigger than ony o his degree.'
192C.14	 Then lightly rose the gude auld wife,
	 I wat the first up in a' the town;
	 She took the grit  oats intil her lap
	 And fodderd King Henry's Wanton Brown.
192C.15	 King Henry's groom rase in the morn,
	 And he was of a sorry cheer:
	 'King Henry's Wanton Brown's awa,
	 And sae is the silly auld harper's mear!'
192C.16	 Up then rase the auld harper,
	 And loudly he did curse and swear:
	 'In Scotland they but steald my foal,
	 In England ye hae steald my mear!'
192C.17	 'It's haud your tongue,"] King Henry did say,
	 'Ye'll hae nae cause to curse or swear;
	 Here's thirty guineas for your foal,
	 And three times thirty for your mear.'

192D: The Lochmaben Harper


192D.1	 THERE was a poor silly harper-man,
	 And he lived in Lochmaben toon,
	 And he has wagered wi lairds and lords,
	 And mony a guinea against a croon.
	 Tum tid iddly
	 Dodaly diddely
	 Tidaly diddaly
	 Dodaly dan
192D.2	 And he has wagered wi lairds and lords,
	 And mony a guinea against a croon,
	 That into England he would go.
	 And steal King Henerie's Wanton Broun.
192D.3	 Out spak the silly poor harper's wife,
	 And O but she spak wililie:
	 'If into England you do go,
	 Leave the wee-wee foal wi me.'
192D.4	 The harper he got on to ride,
	 And O but he rode richt highlie!
	 The very first man that he did meet,
	 They said it was King Henerie.
192D.5	 'Licht doon, licht doon, ye silly poor harper,
	 And o your harping let me hear;'
	 'And by my sooth,' quoth the silly poor harper,
	 'I'd rather hae stabling for my mear.'
192D.6	 O he lookit ower his left shoulder,
	 And saw ane of the stable-grooms:
	 'Go take the sillie poor harper's mear,
	 And stable her by my Wanton Brown.'
192D.7	 And aye he harpit, and aye he carpit,
	 Till a' the nobles fell on the floor,
	 And aye he harpit, and aye he carpit,
	 Till they forgot the key of the stabel-door.
192D.8	 And aye he harpit, and aye he carpit,
	 Till a' the nobles fell fast asleep;
	 He has taen his harp upon his back,
	 And doon the stair did softly creep.
192D.9	 He has taen a halter frae his hose,
	 And o his purpose did not fail;
	 He coost a wap on Wanton's nose,
	 And tyed her to his ain mear's tail.
192D.10	 He ca'd her through at the bye-yett,
	 Through mony a syre and mony a hole;
	 She never loot Wanton licht till she
	 Was at Lochmaben, at her foal.
192D.11	 And she came oer Lochmaben heights,
	 Wi mony a nicker and mony a sneeze,
	 And waukend the silly poor harper's wife,
	 As she was a sleeping at her ease.
192D.12	 'Rise up, rise up, ye servant-lass,
	 Let in the maister and the mear;'
	 'By my sooth,' quoth the servant-lass,
	 'I think my maister be na here.'
192D.13	 Up then rose the servant-lass,
	 And lookit through a wee, wee hole;
	 'By my sooth,' quoth the servant-lass,
	 'Our mear has gotten a waly foal.'
192D.14	 'Ye clatter, ye clatter, ye servant-lass,
	 It is the moon shines in your ee;'
	 'By my sooth,' quoth the servant-lass,
	 'It's mair than ever her ain will be.'
192D.15	 It's whan the stable-groom awoke,
	 Put a' the nobles in a fear;
	 King Henerie's Wanton Brown was stown,
	 And Oh! the silly poor harper's mear.
192D.16	 Out then spak the silly poor harper,
	 Says, Oh, this loos I douna thole!
	 In England fair a guid grey mear,
	 In fair Scotland a guid cout-foal.
192D.17	 'Haud your tongue, ye sillie poor harper,
	 And wi your carping let me be;
	 Here's ten pounds for your auld gray mear,
	 And a weel paid foal it's be to thee!'
192D.18	 And O the silly poor harper's wife,
	 She's aye first up in Lochmaben toun;
	 She's stealing the corn and stealing the hay,
	 And wappin it oer to Wanton Broun.

192E: The Lochmaben Harper


192E.1	 THERE was a jolly harper-man,
	 That harped aye frae toun to toun;
	 A wager he made, with two knights he laid
	 To steal King Henry's Wanton Brown.
192E.2	 Sir Roger he wagered five ploughs o land,
	 Sir Charles wagered five thousand pound,
	 And John he's taen the deed in hand,
	 To steal King Henry's Wanton Brown.
192E.3	 He's taen his harp into his hand,
	 And he gaed harping thro the toun,
	 And as the king in his palace sat,
	 His ear was touched wi the soun.
192E.4	 'Come in, come in, ye harper-man,
	 Some o your harping let me hear;'
	 'Indeed, my liege, and by your grace,
	 I'd rather hae stabling to my mare.'
192E.5	 'Ye'll gang to yon outer court,
	 That stands a little below the toun;
	 Ye'll find a stable snug and neat,
	 Where stands my stately Wanton Brown.'
192E.6	 He's down him to the outer court,
	 That stood a little below the toun;
	 There found a stable snug and neat,
	 For stately stood the Wanton Brown.
192E.7	 Then he has fixd a good strong cord
	 Unto his grey mare's bridle-rein,
	 And tied it unto that steed's tail,
	 Syne shut the stable-door behin.
192E.8	 Then he harped on, and he carped on,
	 Till all were fast asleep;
	 Then down thro bower and ha he's gone,
	 Even on his hands and feet.
192E.9	 He's to yon stable snug and neat,
	 That lay a little below the toun;
	 For there he placed his ain grey mare,
	 Alang wi Henry's Wanton Brown.
192E.10	 'Ye'll do you down thro mire and moss,
	 Thro mony bog and lairy hole;
	 But never miss your Wanton slack;
	 Ye'll gang to Mayblane, to your foal.'
192E.11	 As soon's the door he had unshut,
	 The mare gaed prancing frae the town,
	 An at her bridle-rein was tied
	 Henry's statey Wanton Brown.
192E.12	 Then she did rin thro mire an moss,
	 Thro mony bog an miery hole;
	 But never missed her Wanton slack
	 Till she reachd Mayblane, to her foal.
192E.13	 When the king awaked from sleep
	 He to the harper-man did say,
	 O waken ye, waken ye, jolly John,
	 We've fairly slept till it is day.
192E.14	 'Win up, win up, ye harper-man,
	 Some mair o harping ye'll gie me:'
	 He said, My liege, wi a' my heart,
	 But first my gude grey mare maun see.
192E.15	 Then forth he ran, and in he came,
	 Dropping mony a feigned tear:
	 'Some rogue[s] hae broke the outer court,
	 An stown awa my gude grey mare.'
192E.16	 'Then by my sooth,' the king replied,
	 'If there's been rogues into the toun,
	 I fear, as well as your grey mare,
	 Awa is my stately Wanton Brown.'
192E.17	 'My loss is great,' the harper said,
	 'My loss is twice as great, I fear;
	 In Scotland I lost a gude grey steed,
	 An here I've lost a gude grey mare.'
192E.18	 'Come on, come on, ye harper-man,
	 Some o your music lat me hear;
	 Well paid ye'se be, John, for the same,
	 An likewise for your gude grey mare.'
192E.19	 When that John his money received,
	 Then he went harping frae the toun,
	 But little did King Henry ken
	 He'd stown awa his Wanton Brown.
192E.20	 The knights then lay ower castle-wa,
	 An they beheld baith dale an down,
	 An saw the jolly harper-man
	 Come harping on to Striveling toun.
192E.21	 Then, 'By my sooth,' Sir Roger said,
	 'Are ye returned back to toun?
	 Idoubt my lad ye hae ill sped
	 Of stealing o the Wanton Brown.'
192E.22	 'I hae been into fair England,
	 An even into Lunan toun,
	 An in King Henry's outer court,
	 An stown awa the Wanton Brown.'
192E.23	 'Ye lie, ye lie,' Sir Charles he said,
	 'An aye sae loud's I hear ye lie;
	 Twall armed men, in armour bright,
	 They guard the stable night and day.'
192E.24	 'But I did harp them all asleep,
	 An managed my business cunninglie;
	 If ye make light o what I say,
	 Come to my stable an ye'll see.
192E.25	 'My music pleasd the king sae well
	 Mair o my harping he wishd to hear;
	 An for the same he paid me well,
	 And also for my gude grey mare.'
192E.26	 Then he drew out a gude lang purse,
	 Well stored wi gowd an white monie,
	 An in a short time after this
	 The Wanton Brown he lat them see.
192E.27	 Sir Roger produced his ploughs o land,
	 Sir Charles produced his thousand pounds,
	 Then back to Henry, the English king,
	 Restored the stately Wanton Brown.

Next: 193. The Death of Parcy Reed






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