Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
59. Young Andrew

AS I was cast in my first sleepe,
  A dreadfull draught in my mind I drew,
For I was dreamèd of a young man,
  Some men calleèd him Yonge Andrew.

The moone shone bright, and it cast a fayre light:
  ‘Welcome,’ says she, ‘my honey, my sweete!
For I have loved thee this seven long yeare,
  And our chance it was we co’ld never meete.’

Then he tooke her in his armès two
  And kissèd her both cheeke and chin,        10
And twise or thrise he kissèd this may
  Before they two did part in twin.

‘Faire maid I cannot do as I wo’ld;
  [Yet what I can will I pleasure thee]
Goe home and fett thy father’s red gold,        15
  And I’le goe to the church and marry thee.

This ladye is gone to her father’s hall,
  And well she knew where his red gold [lain],
And counted forth five hundred pound,
  Besides all other jewels and chaines        20

And brought it all to Younge Andrew,
  It was well counted upon his knee:
Then he tooke her by the lilye-white hand
  And led her up to an hill sae hie.

She had on a gowne of blacke velvett,
  (A pityfull sight after ye shall see)
‘Put off thy clothes, bonny wenche,’ he sayes,
  ‘For no foot further thou’st gang with mee.

But then she put off her gowne of velvett,
  With many a salt teare from her e’e,        30
And in a kirtle of fine breaden silke
  She stood before Yonge Andrew’s e’e.

Sayes, ‘O put off thy kirtle of silke,
  For some and all shall goe with mee;
Unto my owne lady I must it beare,        35
  Whom I must needs love better than thee!’

Then she put off her kirtle of silke,
  With many a salt teare still from her e’e;
In a petticoate of scarlett redd
  She stood before Yonge Andrew’s e’e.        40

Sayes, ‘O put off thy petticoate,
  For some and all shall goe with mee;
Unto my owne ladye I will it beare,
  That dwells soe far in a strange countrye.’

But then she put off her petticoate,
  With many a salt teare still from her e’e,
And in a smocke of brave white silk
  She stood before Yonge Andrew’s e’e.

Sayes, ‘O put off thy smocke of silke,
  For some and all shall goe with me;        50
Unto my owne ladye I will it beare,
  That dwells soe far in a strange countrye.’—

Sayes, ‘O remember, Yonge Andrew,
  Once of a woman you were borne;
And for the birth that Marye bore        55
  I pray you let my smocke be upon!’—

Sayes, ‘Yes, fayre ladye I know it well,
  Once of a woman I was borne;
Yet for noe birth that Marye bore
  Thy smocke shall not be left upon.’        60

But then she put off her headgeare fine—
  She had billaments worth a hundred pound—
The hayre was upon that bonny wench’ head
  Cover’d her bodye downe to the ground.

Then he pull’d forth a Scottish brand,
  And held it there in his owne right hand;
Sayes, ‘Whether wilt dye upon my sword’s point,
  Or thou wilt goe naked home againe?’—

‘Life is sweet,’ then, ‘Sir,’ said she,
  ‘Therefore I pray you leave me with mine;        70
Before I wo’ld dye on your sword’s point
  I had rather goe naked home againe.

‘My father,’ she sayes, ‘is a right guod earle
  As any remaines in his owne countrye;
Gif ever he doe your bodye take,        75
  You are sure to flower a gallow-tree.

‘And I have seven brethren,’ she sayes,
  ‘And they are all hardy men and bold;,
Gif ever they doe your bodye take
  You’ll never again gang quicke over molde.’—        80

‘If your father be a right good earle
  As any remaines in his owne countrye,
Tush! he shall never my bodye take,
  I’ll gang soe fast and over the sea.

‘If you have seven brethren,’ he sayes,
  ‘If they be never soe hardy and bold,
Tush! they shall never my bodye take,
  I’ll gang soe fast over Scottish molde.’

This ladye is gone to her father’s hall,
  Where every body their rest did take;        90
For but the Earle which was her father
  Lay wakin’ for his deere daughter’s sake.

‘But who is that,’ her father can say—
  ‘Who is ’t soe privily knows the pinn?’
‘It’s Helen, your owne deere daughter, father,        95
  I pray you rise and lett me in!

[‘I pray you, pray you, lett me in!’—]
  ‘Noe, by my hood!’ quoth her father then;
‘My house thou’st never come within,
  Without I had my red gold againe.’        100

‘Nay, nay, your gold is gone, father,
  [Yet I pray you rise and let me in!’]
‘Then naked thou came into this world,
  And naked thou shalt return againe.’

‘Nay, God forgave His death, father,
  And soe I hope you will doe mee.’
‘Away, away, thou cursèd woman!
  Pray God an ill death thou may dee!’

I’ the morning, when her father got upp,
  A pittyful sight there he might see;        110
His owne deere daughter was dead, without clothes,—
  And this was the end of that bonny ladye.

But let us leave talking of this ladye
  And talke some more of Yonge Andrew:
For false he was to this bonny ladye—        115
  More pitty that he had not beene true!

He was not gone in the forest a mile,
  Or half a mile into the heart of Wales,
But a shee-wolfe caught him by such a wyle
  That hee must come to tell noe more tales.        120

And now Yonge Andrew he is dead,
  But he never was buryèd under molde;
And there as the wolfe devourèd him
  There lyès all this great Earle’s gold.
GLOSS:  draught] picture.  may] maid.  fett] fetch.  breaden] braided.  billaments] habiliments.


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