Child's Ballads/16

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Sheath and Knife, no. 16
For more information, see Wikipedia: Sheath and Knife.

Sheath and Knife[edit]

IT is talked the warld all over,
      Refrain: The brume blooms bonnie and says it is fair
That the king’s dochter gaes wi child to her brither.
      Refrain: And we’ll never gang doun to the brume onie mair
He’s taen his sister doun to her father’s deer park,
Wi his yew-tree bow and arrows fast slung to his back.
‘Now when that ye hear me gie a loud cry,
Shoot frae thy bow an arrow and there let me lye.
‘And when that ye see I am lying dead,
Then ye’ll put me in a grave, wi a turf at my head.’
Now when he heard her gie a loud cry,
His silver arrow frae his bow he suddenly let fly.
      Refrain: Now they’ll never, etc.
He has made a grave that was lang and was deep,
And he has buried his sister, wi her babe at her feet.
      Refrain: And they’ll never, etc.
And when he came to his father’s court hall,
There was music and minstrels and dancing and all.
      Refrain: But they’ll never, etc.
‘O Willie, O Willie, what makes thee in pain?’
‘I have lost a sheath and knife that I’ll never see again.’
      Refrain: For we’ll never, etc.
‘There is ships o your father’s sailing on the sea
That will bring as good a sheath and a knife unto thee.’
‘There is ships o my father’s sailing on the sea,
But sic a sheath and a knife they can never bring to me.’
Now we’ll never, etc.






AE lady has whispered the other,
      Refrain: The broom grows bonnie, the broom grows fair
Lady Margaret’s wi bairn to Sir Richard, her brother.
      Refrain: And we daur na gae doun to the broom nae mair
* * * * *
‘And when ye hear me loud, loud cry,
O bend your bow, let your arrow fly.
      Refrain: And I daur na, etc.
‘But when ye see me lying still,
O then you may come and greet your fill.’
* * * * *
‘It’s I hae broken my little pen-knife
That I loed dearer than my life.’
      Refrain: And I daur na, etc.
* * * * *
‘It’s no for the knife that my tears doun run,
But it’s a’ for the case that my knife was kept in.’






IT’S whispered in parlour, it’s whispered in ha,
      Refrain: The broom blooms bonie, the broom blooms fair
Lady Marget’s wi child amang our ladies a’.
      Refrain: And she dare na gae down to the broom nae mair
One day whisperd unto another
Lady Marget’s wi child to Sir Richard, her brother.
* * * * *
‘O when that you hear my loud loud cry,
Then bend your bow and let your arrows fly.
      Refrain: For I dare na,’ etc.






AE king’s dochter said to anither,
      Refrain: Broom blooms bonnie an grows sae fair
We’ll gae ride like sister and brither.
      Refrain: But we’ll never gae down to the broom nae mair






One king’s daughter said to anither,
      Refrain: Brume blumes bonnie and grows sae fair
‘We’ll gae ride like sister and brither.’
      Refrain: And we’ll neer gae down to the brume nae mair
‘We’ll ride doun into yonder valley,
Whare the greene green trees are budding sae gaily.
‘Wi hawke and hounde we will hunt sae rarely,
And we’ll come back in the morning early.’
They rade on like sister and brither,
And they hunted and hawket in the valley the-gether.
‘Now, lady, hauld my horse and my hawk,
For I maun na ride, and I downa walk.
‘But set me doun be the rute o this tree,
For there hae I dreamt that my bed sall be.’
The ae king’s dochter did lift doun the ither,
And she was licht in her armis like ony fether.
Bonnie Lady Ann sat doun be the tree,
And a wide grave was houkit whare nane suld be.
The hawk had nae lure, and the horse had nae master,
And the faithless hounds thro the woods ran faster.
The one king’s dochter has ridden awa,
But bonnie Lady Ann lay in the deed-thraw.






‘There is a feast in your father’s house,
      Refrain: The broom blooms bonnie, and so is it fair
It becomes you and me to be very douce.’
      Refrain: And we’ll never gang up to the broom nae mair
‘Will you to to yon hill so hie,
Take your bow and your arrow wi thee.’
He’s tane his lady on his back,
And his auld son in his coat-lap.
‘When ye hear me give a cry,
Ye’ll shoot your bow and let me ly.
‘When ye see me lying still,
Throw awa your bow and come running me till.’
When he heard her gie a cry,
He shot his bow and he let her lye.
When he saw she was lying still,
He threw awa his bow and came running her till.
It was nae wonder his heart was sad,
When he shot his auld son at her head.
He howkit a grave lang, large and wide,
He buried his auld son down by her side.
It was nae wonder his heart was sair,
When he shooled the mools on her yellow hair.
‘Oh,’ said his father, ’Son, but thou’rt sad,
At our braw meeting you micht be glad.’
‘Oh,’ said he, ’Father, I’ve lost my knife,
I loved as dear almost as my own life.
‘But I have lost a far better thing,
I lost the sheathe that the knife was in.’
‘Hold thy tongue and mak nae din,
I’ll buy thee a sheath and a knife therein.’
‘A’ the ships ere sailed the sea
Neer’ll bring such a sheathe and knife to me.
‘A’ the smiths that lives on land
Will neer bring such a sheath and knife to my hand.’