"O well is me, my gay gos-hawk,
That you can speak and flee;
For you can carry a love-letter
To my true love frae me."
"O how can I carry a letter to her,
Or how should I her know?
I bear a tongue ne'er wi' her spak',
And eyes that ne'er her saw."
"The white o' my love's skin is white
As down o' dove or maw;
The red o' my love's cheek is red
As blood that's spilt on snaw.
"When ye come to the castle,
Light on the tree of ash,
And sit ye there, and sing our loves
As she comes frae the mass.
"Four and twenty fair ladies
Will to the mass repair;
And weel may ye my lady ken,
The fairest lady there."
When the gos-hawk flew to that castle,
He lighted on the ash;
And there he sat and sang their loves
As she came frae the mass.
"Stay where ye be, my maidens a',
And sip red wine anon,
Till I go to my west window
And hear a birdie's moan."
She's gane unto her west window,
The bolt she fairly drew;
And unto that lady's white, white neck
The bird a letter threw.
"Ye're bidden to send your love a send,
For he has sent you twa;
And tell him where he may see you soon,
Or he cannot live ava."
"I send him the ring from my finger,
The garland off my hair,
I send him the heart that's in my breast;
What would my love have mair?
And at the fourth kirk in fair Scotland,
Ye'll bid him wait for me there."
She hied her to her father dear
As fast as gang could she:
"I'm sick at the heart, my father dear;
An asking grant you me!"
"Ask ye na for that Scottish lord,
For him ye'll never see!"
"An asking, an asking, dear father!" she says,
"An asking grant you me;
That if I die in fair England,
In Scotland ye'll bury me.
"At the first kirk o' fair Scotland,
Ye cause the bells be rung;
At the second kirk o' fair Scotland,
Ye cause the mass be sung;
"At the third kirk o' fair Scotland,
Ye deal gold for my sake;
At the fourth kirk o' fair Scotland,
O there ye'll bury me at!
"This is all my asking, father,
I pray ye grant it me!"
"Your asking is but small," he said;
"Weel granted it shall be.
But why do ye talk o' suchlike things?
For ye arena going to dee."
The lady's gane to her chamber,
And a moanfu' woman was she,
As gin she had ta'en a sudden brash,
And were about to dee.
The lady's gane to her chamber
As fast as she could fare;
And she has drunk a sleepy draught,
She mixed wi' mickle care.
She's fallen into a heavy trance,
And pale and cold was she;
She seemed to be as surely dead
As any corpse could be.
Out and spak' an auld witch-wife,
At the fireside sat she:
"Gin she has killed herself for love,
I wot it weel may be:
"But drap the het lead on her cheek,
And drap it on her chin.
And drap it on her bosom white,
And she'll maybe speak again.
'Tis much that a young lady will do
To her true love to win."
They drapped the het lead on her cheek,
They drapped it on her chin,
They drapped it on her bosom white,
But she spake none again.
Her brothers they went to a room,
To make to her a bier;
The boards were a' o' cedar wood,
The edges o' silver clear.
Her sisters they went to a room,
To make to her a sark;
The cloth was a' o' the satin fine,
And the stitching silken-wark.
"Now well is me, my gay gos-hawk,
That ye can speak and flee!
Come show me any love-tokens
That ye have brought to me."
"She sends ye her ring frae her finger white,
The garland frae her hair;
She sends ye the heart within her breast;
And what would ye have mair?
And at the fourth kirk o' fair Scotland,
She bids ye wait for her there."
"Come hither, all my merry young men!
And drink the good red wine;
For we must on towards fair England
To free my love frae pine."
The funeral came into fair Scotland,
And they gart the bells be rung;
And when it came to the second kirk,
They gart the mass be sung.
And when it came to the third kirk,
They dealt gold for her sake;
And when it came to the fourth kirk,
Her love was waiting thereat.
At the fourth kirk in fair Scotland
Stood spearmen in a row;
And up and started her ain true love,
The chieftain over them a'.
"Set down, set down the bier," he says,
"Till I look upon the dead;
The last time that I saw her face,
Its color was warm and red."
He stripped the sheet from off her face
A little below the chin;
The lady then she opened her eyes,
And looked full on him.
"O give me a shive o' your bread, love,
O give me a cup o' your wine!
Long have I fasted for your sake,
And now I fain would dine.
"Gae hame, gae hame, my seven brothers,
Gae hame and blow the horn!
And ye may say that ye sought my skaith,
And that I hae gi'en ye the scorn.
"I cam' na here to bonny Scotland
To lie down in the clay;
But I cam' here to bonny Scotland,
To wear the silks sae gay!
"I cam' na here to bonny Scotland,
Amang the dead to rest;
But I cam' here to bonny Scotland
To the man that I lo'e best!"