The English and Scottish Popular Ballads/Part 7/Chapter 219

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For works with similar titles, see The Gardener.


THE gardener stands in his bower-door,
With a primrose in his hand,
And by there came a leal maiden,
As jimp's a willow wand.
And by, etc.
'O lady, can you fancy me,
For to be my bride,
You'll get a' the flowers in my garden,
To be to you a weed.
'The lily white shall be your smock;
Becomes your body neat;
And your head shall be deckd with jelly-flower,
And the primrose in your breast.
'Your gown shall be o the sweet-william,
Your coat o camovine,
And your apron o the salads neat,
That taste baith sweet and fine.
'Your stockings shall be o the broad kail-blade,
That is baith broad and long;
And narrow, narrow at the coot,
And broad, broad at the brawn.
'Your gloves shall be the marygold,
All glittering to your hand,
Well spread oer wi the blue blaewort,
That grows in corn-land.'
'O fare you well, young man,' she says,
'Farewell, and I bid adieu;
Since you've provided a weed for me,
Among the summer flowers,
Then I'll provide another for you,
Among the winter showers.
'The new-fallen snow to be your smock;
Becomes your body neat;
And your head shall be deckd with the eastern wind,
And the cold rain on your breast.'


ALL ye young men, I pray draw near,
I'll let you hear my mind
Concerning those who fickle are,
And inconstant as the wind.
A pretty maid who late livd here,
And sweetheatrs many had,
The gardener-lad he viewd them all,
Just as they came and gaed.
The gardener-lad he viewd them all,
But swore he had no skill:
'If I were to go as oft to her,
Ye surely would me kill.
'I'm sure she's not a proper maid,
I'm sure she is not tall;'
Another young man standing by,
he said, Slight none at all.
'For we're all come of woman,' he said,
'If ye woud call to mind,
And to all women for her sake
Ye surely should be kind.'
'The summer hours and warm showers
Make the the trees yield in the ground,
And kindly words will woman win,
And this maid I'll surround.'
The maid then stood in her bower-door,
As straight as ony wand,
When by it came the gardener-lad,
With his hat in his hand.
'Will ye live on fruit,' he said?
'Or will ye marry me?
And amongst the flowers in my garden
I'll shape a weed for thee.'
'I will live on fruit,' she says,
'But I'll never marry thee;
For I can live without mankind,
And without mankind I'll die.'
'Ye shall not live without mankind,
If ye'll accept of me;
For among the flowers in my garden
I'll shape a weed for thee.
'The lily white to be your smock;
Becomes your body best;
And the jelly-flower to be your quill,
And the red rose in your breast.
'Your gown shall be o the pingo white,
Your petticoat cammovine,
Your apron o the seel o downs;
Come smile, sweet heart o mine!
'Your shoes shall be o the gude rue red-+--+-
Never did I garden ill-+--+-
Your stockings o the mary mild;
Come smile, sweet heart, your fill!
'Your gloves shall be o the green clover,
Comes lockerin to your hand,
Well dropped oer wi blue blavers,
That grow among white land.'
'Young man, ye've shap'd a weed for me,
In summer among your flowers;
Now I will shape another for you,
Among the winter showers.
'The snow so white shall be your shirt;
It becomes your body best;
The cold bleak wind to be your coat,
And the cold wind in your breast.
'The steed that you shall ride upon
Shall be o the weather snell,
Well bridled wi the northern wind,
And cold sharp showers o hail.
'The hat you on your head shall wear
Shall be o the weather gray,
And aye when you come into my sight
I'll wish you were away.'


BURD ELLEN stands in her bower-door,
As straucht 's a hollan wand,
And by it comes the gairdner-lad,
Wi a red rose in his hand.
Says, I have shapen a weed for thee
Amang my simmer flowers;
. . . .
. . .

  • * * * *

'Gin ye hae shapen a weed for me,
Amang your simmer flowers,
It's I'll repay ye back again,
Amang the winter showers.
'The steed that ye sall ride upon
Sall be o the frost sae snell,
And I'll saddle him wi the norlan winds,
And some sharp showers o hail.'

  • * * * *