Bonny Foot Boy O THERE was a ladie, a noble ladie, She was a ladie of birth and fame, But she fell in love wi her father's foot-boy, I wis she was the mair to blame. A word of him she neer could get Till her father was a hunting gone; Then she calld on the bonny foot-boy To speak wi her in her bower alone. Says, Ye ken you are my love, Willie, And that I am a ladie free, And there's naething ye can ask, Willie, But at your bidding I maun be. O the loving looks that ladie gave Soon made the bonny boy grow bold, And the loving words that ladie spake As soon on them he did lay hold. She has taen a ring frae her white finger, And unto him she did it gie; Says, Wear this token for my sake, And keep it till the day you die. `But shoud my father get word of this, I fear we baith will have cause to rue, For to some nunnery I shoud be sent, And I fear, my love, he would ruin you. `But here is a coffer of the good red gowd, I wot my mother left it to me; And wi it you'll buy a bonny ship, And ye maun sail the raging sea; Then like some earl or baron's son You can come back and marrie me. `But stay not lang awa, Willie, O stay not lang across the fame, For fear your ladie shoud lighter be, Or your young son shoud want a name.' He had not been o the sea sailing But till three months were come and gane, Till he has landed his bonny ship; It was upon the coast of Spain. There was a ladie of high degree That saw him walking up and down; She fell in love wi sweet Willie, But she wist no how to make it known. She has calld up her maries a', Says, Hearken well to what I say; There is a young man in yon ship That has been my love this many a day. `Now bear a hand, my maries a', And busk my brave and make me fine, And go wi me to yon shore-side To invite that noble youth to dine.' O they have buskit that ladie gay In velvet pall and jewels rare; A poor man might have been made rich Wi half the pearles they pat in her hair. Her mantle was of gowd sae red, It glaned as far as ane coud see; Sweet Willie thought she had been the queen, And bowd full low and bent his knee. She's gard her maries step aside, And on sweet Willie sae did smile; She thought that man was not on earth But of his heart she could beguile. Says, Ye maun leave your bonny ship And go this day wi me and dine, And you shall eat the baken meat, And you shall drink the Spanish wine. `I canna leave my bonny ship, Nor go this day to dine wi thee, For a' my sails are ready bent To bear me back to my ain countrie.' `O gin you'd forsake your bonny ship And wed a ladie of this countrie, I would make you lord of a' this town, And towns and castles twa or three.' `Should I wed a ladie of this countrie, In sooth I woud be sair to blame, For the fairest ladie in fair Scotland Woud break her heart gin I gaed na hame.' `That ladie may choose another lord, And you another love may choose; There is not a lord in this countrie That such a proffer could refuse.' `O ladie, shoud I your proffer take, You'd soon yoursell have cause to rue, For the man that his first love forsakes Woud to a second neer prove true.' She has taen a ring frae her white finger, It might have been a prince's fee; Says, Wear this token for my sake, And give me that which now I see. `Take back your token, ye ladie fair; This ring you see on my right hand Was gien me by my ain true-love, Before I left my native land. `And tho yours woud buy it nine times oer I far more dearly prize my ain; Nor woud I make the niffer,' he says, `For a' the gowd that is in Spain.' The ladie turnd her head away To dry the sat tears frae her eyne; She naething more to him did say But, I wish your face I neer had seen! He has set his foot on good ship-board, The ladie waved her milk-white hand, The wind sprang up and filld his sails, And he quickly left the Spanish land. He soon came back to his native strand, He langd his ain true-love to see; Her father saw him come to land, And took him some great lord to be. Says, Will ye leave your bonny ship And come with me this day to dine? And you shall eat the baken meat, And you shall drink the claret wine. `O I will leave my bonny ship, And glacly go with you to dine, And I woud gie thrice three thousand pounds That you fair daughter were but mine.' `O gin ye will part wi your bonny ship And wed a ladie of this countrie, I will gie you my ae daughter, Gin she'll consent your bride to be.' O he has blaket his bonny face And closs tuckd up his yellow hair; His true-love met them at the yate, But she little thought her love was there. `O will you marrie this lord, daughter, That I've brought hame to dine wi me? You shall be heir of a' my lands, Gin you'll consent his bride to be.' She looked oer her left shoulder, I wot the tears stood in her eye; Says, The man is on the sea sailling That fair wedding shall get of me. Then Willie has washd his bonny face, And he's kaimd down his yellow hair; He took his true-love in his arms, And kindly has he kissd her there. She's looked in his bonny face, And thro her tears did sweetly smile, Then sayd, Awa, awa, Willie! How could you thus your love beguile? She kept the secret in her breast, Full seven years she's kept the same, Till it fell out at a christning-feast, And then of it she made good game. And her father laughd aboon the rest, And said, My daughter, you'r nae to blame; For you've married for love, and no for land, So a' my gowd is yours to claim. Child #252 Version C from Child LMP
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!