Child's Ballads/41

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Hind Etin, no. 41
For more information, see Wikipedia: Hind Etin.

Hind Etin[edit]

LADY MARGARET sits in her bower door,
Sewing at her silken seam;
She heard a note in Elmond’s wood,
And wishd she there had been.
She loot the seam fa frae her side,
And the needle to her tae,
And she is on to Elmond’s wood
As fast as she coud gae.
She hadna pu’d a nut, a nut,
Nor broken a branch but ane,
Till by it came a young hind chiel,
Says, Lady, lat alane.
O why pu ye the nut, the nut,
Or why brake ye the tree?
For I am forester o this wood:
Ye shoud spier leave at me.
‘I’ll ask leave at no living man,
Nor yet will I at thee;
My father is king oer a’ this realm,
This wood belongs to me.’
She hadna pu’d a nut, a nut,
Nor broken a branch but three,
Till by it came him Young Akin,
And gard her lat them be.
The highest tree in Elmond’s wood,
He’s pu’d it by the reet,
And he has built for her a bower,
Near by a hallow seat.
He’s built a bower, made it secure
We carbuncle and stane;
Tho travellers were never sae nigh,
Appearance it had nane.
He’s kept her there in Elmond’s wood,
For six lang years and one,
Till six pretty sons to him she bear,
And the seventh she’s brought home.
It fell ance upon a day,
This guid lord went from home,
And he is to the hunting gane,
Took wi him his eldest son.
And when they were on a guid way,
Wi slowly pace did walk,
The boy’s heart being something wae,
He thus began to talk:
‘A question I woud ask, father,
Gin ye woudna angry be:’
‘Say on, say on, my bonny boy,
Ye’se nae be quarrelld by me.’
‘I see my mither’s cheeks aye weet,
I never can see them dry;
And I wonder what aileth my mither,
To mourn continually.’
‘Your mither was a king’s daughter,
Sprung frae a high degree,
And she might hae wed some worthy prince,
Had she nae been stown by me.
‘I was her father’s cup-bearer,
Just at that fatal time;
I catchd her on a misty night,
Whan summer was in prime.
‘My luve to her was most sincere,
Her luve was great for me,
But when she hardships doth endure,
Her folly she does see.’
‘I’ll shoot the buntin o the bush,
The linnet o the tree,
And bring them to my dear mither,
See if she’ll merrier be.’
It fell upo another day,
This guid lord he thought lang,
And he is to the hunting gane,
Took wi him his dog and gun.
Wi bow and arrow by his side,
He’s aff, single, alane,
And left his seven children to stay
Wi their mither at hame.
‘O I will tell to you, mither,
Gin ye wadna angry be:’
‘Speak on, speak on, my little wee boy,
Ye’se nae be quarrelld by me.’
‘As we came frae the hynd-hunting,
We heard fine music ring:’
‘My blessings on you, my bonny boy,
I wish I’d been there my lane.’
He’s taen his mither by the hand,
His six brithers also,
And they are on thro Elmond’s wood,
As fast as they coud go.
They wistna weel where they were gaen,
Wi the stratlins o their feet;
They wistna weel where they were gaen,
Till at her father’s yate.
‘I hae nae money in my pocket,
But royal rings hae three;
I’ll gie them you, my little young son,
And ye’ll walk there for me.
‘Ye’ll gie the first to the proud porter,
And he will lat you in;
Ye’ll gie the next to the butler-boy,
And he will show you ben;
‘Ye’ll gie the third to the minstrel
That plays before the king;
He’ll play success to the bonny boy
Came thro the wood him lane.’
He gae the first to the proud porter,
And he opend an let him in;
He gae the next to the butler-boy,
And he has shown him ben;
He gae the third to the minstrel
That playd before the king;
And he playd success to the bonny boy
Came thro the wood him lane.
Now when he came before the king,
Fell low down on his knee;
The king he turned round about,
And the saut tear blinded his ee.
‘Win up, win up, my bonny boy,
Gang frae my companie;
Ye look sae like my dear daughter,
My heart will birst in three.’
‘If I look like your dear daughter,
A wonder it is none;
If I look like your dear daughter,
I am her eldest son.’
‘Will ye tell me, ye little wee boy,
Where may my Margaret be?’
‘She’s just now standing at your yates,
And my six brithers her wi.’
‘O where are all my porter-boys
That I pay meat and fee,
To open my yates baith wide and braid?
Let her come in to me.’
When she came in before the king,
Fell low down on her knee;
‘Win up, win up, my daughter dear,
This day ye’ll dine wi me.’
‘Ae bit I canno eat, father,
Nor ae drop can I drink,
Till I see my mither and sister dear,
For lang for them I think.’
When she came before the queen,
Fell low down on her knee;
‘Win up, win up, my daughter dear
This day ye’se dine wi me.’
‘Ae bit I canno eat, mither,
Nor ae drop can I drink,
Until I see my dear sister,
For lang for her I think.’
When that these two sisters met,
She haild her courteouslie;
‘Come ben, come ben, my sister dear,
This day ye’se dine wi me.’
‘Ae bit I canno eat, sister,
Nor ae drop can I drink,
Until I see my dear husband,
For lang for him I think.’
‘O where are all my rangers bold
That I pay meat and fee,
To search the forest far an wide,
And bring Akin to me?’
Out it speaks the little wee boy:
Na, na, this maunna be;
Without ye grant a free pardon,
I hope ye’ll nae him see.
‘O here I grant a free pardon,
Well seald by my own han;
Ye may make search for Young Akin,
As soon as ever you can.’
They searchd the country wide and braid,
The forests far and near,
And found him into Elmond’s wood,
Tearing his yellow hair.
‘Win up, win up now, Young Akin,
Win up, and boun wi me;
We’re messengers come from the court,
The king wants you to see.’
‘O lat him take frae me my head,
Or hang me on a tree;
For since I’ve lost my dear lady,
Life’s no pleasure to me.’
‘Your head will nae be touchd, Akin,
Nor hangd upon a tree;
Your lady’s in her father’s court,
And all he wants is thee.’
When he came in before the king,
Fell low down on his knee;
‘Win up, win up now, Young Akin,
This day ye’se dine wi me.’
But as they were at dinner set,
The boy asked a boun:
‘I wish we were in the good church,
For to get christendoun.
‘We hae lived in guid green wood
This seven years and ane;
But a’ this time, since eer I mind,
Was never a church within.’
‘Your asking’s nae sae great, my boy,
But granted it shall be;
This day to guid church ye shall gang,
And your mither shall gang you wi.’
When unto the guid church she came,
She at the door did stan;
She was sae sair sunk down wi shame,
She coudna come farer ben.
Then out it speaks the parish priest,
And a sweet smile gae he:
‘Come ben, come ben, my lily flower,
Present your babes to me.’
Charles, Vincent, Sam and Dick,
And likewise James and John;
They calld the eldest Young Akin,
Which was his father’s name.
Then they staid in the royal court,
And livd wi mirth and glee,
And when her father was deceasd,
Heir of the crown was she.






MAY MARGRET stood in her bouer door,
Kaiming doun her yellow hair;
She spied some nuts growin in the wud,
And wishd that she was there.
She has plaited her yellow locks
A little abune her bree,
And she has kilted her petticoats
A little below her knee,
And she’s aff to Mulberry wud,
As fast as she could gae.
She had na pu’d a nut, a nut,
A nut but barely ane,
Till up started the Hynde Etin,
Says, Lady, let thae alane!
‘Mulberry wuds are a’ my ain;
My father gied them me,
To sport and play when I thought lang;
And they sall na be tane by thee.’
And ae she pu’d the tither berrie,
Na thinking o’ the skaith,
And said, To wrang ye, Hynde Etin,
I wad be unco laith.
But he has tane her by the yellow locks,
And tied her till a tree,
And said, For slichting my commands,
An ill death sall ye dree.
He pu’d a tree out o the wud,
The biggest that was there,
And he howkit a cave monie fathoms deep,
And put May Margret there.
‘Now rest ye there, ye saucie may;
My wuds are free for thee;
And gif I tak ye to mysell,
The better ye’ll like me.’
Na rest, na rest May Margret took,
Sleep she got never nane;
Her back lay on the cauld, cauld floor,
Her head upon a stane.
‘O tak me out,’ May Margret cried,
‘O tak me hame to thee,
And I sall be your bounden page
Until the day I dee.’
He took her out o the dungeon deep,
And awa wi him she’s gane;
But sad was the day an earl’s dochter
Gaed hame wi Hynde Etin.
* * * * *
It fell out ance upon a day
Hynde Etin’s to the hunting gane,
And he has tane wi him his eldest son,
For to carry his game.
‘O I wad ask ye something, father,
An ye wadna angry be;’
‘Ask on, ask on, my eldest son,
Ask onie thing at me.’
‘My mother’s cheeks are aft times weet,
Alas! they are seldom dry;’
‘Na wonder, na wonder, my eldest son,
Tho she should brast and die.
‘For your mother was an earl’s dochter,
Of noble birth and fame,
And now she’s wife o Hynde Etin,
Wha neer got christendame.
‘But we’ll shoot the laverock in the lift,
The buntlin on the tree,
And ye’ll tak them hame to your mother,
And see if she’ll comforted be.’
* * * * *
‘I wad ask ye something, mother,
An ye wadna angry be;’
‘Ask on, ask on, my eldest son,
Ask onie thing at me.’
‘Your cheeks they are aft times weet,
Alas! they’re seldom dry;’
‘Na wonder, na wonder, my eldest son,
Tho I whould brast and die.
‘For I was ance an earl’s dochter,
Of noble birth and fame,
And now I am the wife of Hynde Etin,
Wha neer got christendame.’
* * * * *






‘O WELL like I to ride in a mist,
And shoot in a northern win,
And far better a lady to steal,
That’s come of a noble kin.’
Four an twenty fair ladies
Put on this lady’s sheen,
And as mony young gentlemen
Did lead her ower the green.
Yet she preferred before them all
Him, young Hastings the Groom;
He’s coosten a mist before them all,
And away this lady has taen.
He’s taken the lady on him behind,
Spared neither grass nor corn,
Till they came to the wood o Amonshaw,
Where again their loves were sworn.
And they hae lived in that wood
Full mony a year and day,
And were supported from time to time
By what he made of prey.
And seven bairns, fair and fine,
There she has born to him,
And never was in gude church-door,
Nor ever got gude kirking.
Ance she took harp into her hand,
And harped them a’ asleep,
Then she sat down at their couch-side,
And bitterly did weep.
Said, Seven bairns hae I born now
To my lord in the ha;
I wish they were seven greedy rats,
To run upon the wa,
And I mysel a great grey cat,
To eat them ane and a’.
For ten lang years now I hae lived
Within this cave of stane,
And never was at gude church-door,
Nor got no gude churching.
O then out spake her eldest child,
And a fine boy was he:
O hold your tongue, my mother dear;
I’ll tell you what to dee.
Take you the youngest in your lap,
The next youngest by the hand,
Put all the rest of us you before,
As you learnt us to gang.
And go with us unto some kirk-+-
You say they are built of stane-+-
And let us all be christened,
And you get gude kirking.
She took the youngest in her lap,
The next youngest by the hand,
Set all the rest of them her before,
As she learnt them to gang.
And she has left the wood with them,
And to the kirk has gane,
Where the gude priest them christened,
And gave her gude kirking.