Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
164. The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman
A Broadside Version of ‘Young Beichan’

LORD BATEMAN was a noble lord,
  A noble lord of high degree;
He shipp’d himself all aboard of a ship,
  Some foreign country for to see.

He sailèd east, he sailèd west,
  Until he came to famed Turkey,
Where he was taken and put to prison,
  Until his life was quite weary.

All in this prison there grew a tree,
  O there it grew so stout and strong!        10
Where he was chain’d all by the middle,
  Until his life was almost gone.

This Turk he had one only daughter,
  The fairest my two eyes e’er see;
She stole the keys of her father’s prison,        15
  And swore Lord Bateman she would let go free.

O she took him to her father’s cellar,
  And gave to him the best of wine;
And every health she drank unto him
  Was, ‘I wish, Lord Bateman, as you was mine.’        20

‘O have you got houses, have you got land,
  And does Northumberland belong to thee?
And what would you give to the fair young lady
  As out of prison would let you go free?’—

‘O I’ve got houses and I’ve got land,
  And half Northumberland belongs to me;
And I will give it all to the fair young lady
  As out of prison would let me go free.’—

‘O in seven long years, I’ll make a vow
  For seven long years, and keep it strong,        30
That if you’ll wed no other woman,
  O I will wed no other man.’

O she took him to her father’s harbour,
  And gave to him a ship of fame,
Saying, ‘Farewell, farewell to you, Lord Bateman,        35
  I fear I never shall see you again!’

Now seven long years is gone and past,
  And fourteen days, well known to me;
She packèd up all her gay clothing,
  And swore Lord Bateman she would go see.        40

O when she arrived at Lord Bateman’s castle,
  How boldly then she rang the bell!
‘Who’s there? who’s there?’ cries the proud young porter,
  ‘O come unto me pray quickly tell.’—

‘O is this here Lord Bateman’s castle,
  And is his lordship here within?—
‘O yes, O yes,’ cries the proud young porter
  ‘He’s just now taking his young bride in.’—

‘O bid him to send me a slice of bread,
  And a bottle of the very best wine,        50
And not forgetting the fair young lady
  As did release him when close confine.’

O away and away went this proud young porter,
  O away and away and away went he,
Until he come to Lord Bateman’s chamber,        55
  When he went down on his bended knee.

‘What news, what news, my proud young porter?
  What news, what news? Come tell to me.’—
‘O there is the fairest young lady
  As ever my two eyes did see.        60

‘She has got rings on every finger,
  And on one finger she has got three;
With as much gay gold about her middle
  As would buy half Northumberlee.

‘O she bids you to send her a slice of bread,
  And a bottle of the very best wine,
And not forgetting the fair young lady
  As did release you when close confine.’

Lord Bateman then in passion flew,
  And broke his sword in splinters three,        70
Saying, ‘I will give half of my father’s land,
  If so be as Sophia has crossed the sea.’

Then up and spoke this young bride’s mother,
  Who never was heard to speak so free;
Saying, ‘You’ll not forget my only daughter,        75
  If so be as Sophia has crossed the sea.’—

‘O it’s true I made a bride of your daughter,
  But she’s neither the better nor the worse for me;
She came to me with a horse and saddle,
  But she may go home in a coach and three.’        80

Lord Bateman then prepared another marriage,
  With both their hearts so full of glee,
Saying, ‘I’ll roam no more to foreign countries,
  Now that Sophia has crossed the sea.’


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