The Bonny Hind

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From Child, Vol. II

O May she comes, and may she goes,
Down by yon gardens green,
And there she spied a gallant squire
As squire had ever been.

2. And May she comes, and May she goes,
Down by yon hollin tree,
And there she spied a brisk young squire,
And a brisk young squire was he.

3. "Give me your green manteel, fair maid,
Give me your maidenhead;
Gif ye winna gie me your green manteel,
Gi me your maidenhead."

4. He has taen her by the milk-white hand,
And softly laid her down,
And when he's lifted her up again
Given her a silver kaim.

5. "Perhaps there may be bairns, kind sir,
Perhaps there may be nane;
But if you be a courtier,
You'll tell to me your name."

6. "I am na courtier, fair maid,
But new come frae the sea;
I am nae courtier, fair maid,
But when I court'ith thee.

7. "They call me Jack when I'm abroad,
Sometimes they call me John;
But when I'm in my father's bower
Jock Randal is my name."

8. "Ye lee, ye lee, ye bonny lad,
Sae loud's I hear ye lee!
For I'm Lord Randal's yae daughter,
He has nae mair nor me."

9. "Ye lee, ye lee, ye bonny may,
Sae loud's I hear ye lee!
For I'm Lord Randal's yae yae son,
Just now come oer the sea."

10. She's putten her hand down by her spare
And out she's taen a knife,
And she has putn't in her heart's bluid,
And taen away her life.

11. And he's taen up his bonny sister,
With the big tear in his een,
And he has buried his bonny sister
Amang the hollins green.

12. And syne he's hyed him oer the dale,
His father dear to see:
"Sing O and O for my bonny hind,
Beneath yon hollin tree!"

13. "What needs you care for your bonny hyn?
For it you needna care;
There's aught score hyns in yonder park,
And five score hyns to spare.

14. "Fourscore of them are siller-shod,
Of thae ye may get three;"
"But O and O for my bonny hyn,
Beneath yon hollin tree!"

15. "What needs you care for your bonny hyn?
For it you needna care;
Take you the best, gi me the warst,
Since plenty is to spare."

16. "I care na for your hyns, my lord,
I care na for your fee;
But O and O for my bonny hyn,
Beneath the hollin tree!"

17. "O were ye at your sister's bower,
Your sister fair to see,
Ye'll think na mair o your bonny hyn
Beneath the hollin tree."


Herd got this tragic ballad from a milkmaid, in 1771. Mr. Child quotes a verse parallel, preserved in Faroe, and in the Icelandic. There is a similar incident in the cycle of Kullervo, in the Finnish KALEVALA. Scott says that similar tragedies are common in Scotch popular poetry; such cases are "Lizzie Wan," and "The King's Dochter, Lady Jean."

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