Child's Ballads/82

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
"The Bonny Birdy", no. 082

THERE was a knight, in a summer's night,
Was riding oer the lee, diddle
An there he saw a bonny birdy,
Was singing upon a tree. diddle
bO wow for day! diddle
An dear gin it were day! diddle
Gin it were day, an gin I were away!
For I ha na lang time to stay. diddle
'Make hast, make hast, ye gentle knight,
What keeps you here so late?
Gin ye kent what was doing at hame,
I fear you woud look blate.'
'O what needs I toil day an night,
My fair body to kill,
Whan I hae knights at my comman,
An ladys at my will?'
'Ye lee, ye lee, ye gentle knight,
Sa loud's I hear you lee;
Your lady's a knight in her arms twa
That she lees far better nor the.'
'Ye lee, you lee, you bonny birdy,
How you lee upo my sweet!
I will tak out my bonny bow,
An in troth I will you sheet.'
'But afore ye hae your bow well bent,
An a' your arrows yare,
I will flee till another tree,
Whare I can better fare.'
'O whare was you gotten, and whare was ye clecked?
My bonny birdy, tell me:'
'O I was clecked in good green wood,
My bonny birdy, tell me:'
'O I was clecked in good green wood,
Intill a holly tree;
A gentleman my nest herryed,
An ga me to his lady.
'Wi good white bread an farrow-cow milk
He bade her feed me aft,
An ga her a little wee simmer-dale wanny,
To ding me sindle and saft.
'Wi good white bread an farrow-cow milk
I wot she fed me nought,
But wi a little wee simmer-dale wanny
She dang me sair an aft:
Gin she had deen as ye her bade,
I woudna tell how she has wrought.'
The knight he rade, and the birdy flew,
The live-lang simmer's night,
Till he came till his lady's bowr-door,
Then even down he did light:
The birdy sat on the crap of a tree,
An I wot it sang fu dight.
b'O wow for day! diddle
An dear gin it were day! diddle
Gin it were day, an gin I were away!
For I ha na lang time to stay.' diddle
'What needs ye lang for day, diddle.
An wish that you were away? diddle
Is no your hounds i my cellar,
Eating white meal an gray?' diddle
bO wow, etc.
'Is nae your steed in my stable,
Eating good corn an hay?
An is nae your hawk i my perch-tree,
Just perching for his prey?
An is nae yoursel i my arms twa?
Then how can ye lang for day?'
b'O wow for day! diddle
An dear gin it were day! diddle
??'O wow for day! diddle
An dear gin it were day! diddle
??'O wow for day! diddle
An dear gin it were day! diddle
For he that's in bed wi anither man's wife
Has never lang time to stay.' diddle
Then out the knight has drawn his sword,
An straiked it oer a strae,
An thro and thro the fa'se knight's waste
He gard cauld iron gae:
An I hope ilk ane sal sae be servd
That treats ane honest man sae.