Broomfield Wager (2)
There was a knight and a lady bright
Set trysts amang the broom,
The ane to come at morning ear,
The other at afternoon.
I'll wager, I'll wager, I'll wager wi' you
Five hundred merks and ten
That a maid shall gae to the merry broom fields
And a maid return again.
The maid she sat at her mother's bower door
And aye she made her moan:
'O, whether should I gang to the Broomfield Hill
Or should I stay at home?'
Up then spake an auld witch-wife
Sat in the bower abune,
'O, ye may gang to the Broomfield Hill
And safe return again.
'For when ye gang to the Broomfield Hill
Ye'll find your love asleep,
Wi' a silver belt above his head
And a broom branch at his feet.
'Tak' ye the bloom frae aff the broom,
Strew't at his head and feet,
And aye the thicker that ye do strew,
The sounder he will sleep.
'Tak' ye the rings aff your fingers
And put them on his own
To let him know when he does wake
His love had been and gone.'
Lord John has ta'en his milk-white steed
And his hawk wi' his bells sae bright,
And he's ridden swift to the Broomfield Hill
Was never a bolder knight.
She kilted up her petticoats,
Likewise her silken gown,
Until she came to the merry broom fields
She never let them down.
When she came to the Broomfield Hill,
She found her true love asleep
With his gay goshawk and his silk-string bows
And a green broom under his feet.
She's pu'ed the blossom off the broom,
Saying, 'O, but it smells sweet,'
She put the broom in under his head
She's ta'en from under his feet.
When she did what the auld witch-wife had
She cunningly stole away,
And derned herself behind the broom
To hear what her true love would say.
'My curse light on you, gay goshawk,
And an ill death may you dee,
That wadna watch and waken
When my true love was with me.'
I clapped wi' my wings, master,
And aye my bells I rang,
And aye cried, 'Waken, waken, master,
Before the ladye gang.'
But haste, but haste, my gude white steed
To come the maiden till,
Or a' the birds of the gude greenwood
O your flesh shall have their fill.
Ye needna burst your gude white steed
Wi' racing o'er the howm.'
Nae bird flies faster thro' the wood
Than she fled frae the broom.
From Sam Henry, Songs of the People