Earl Mar's Daughter

It was intill a pleasant time,
Upon a simmer's day,
The noble Earl Mar's daughter
Went forth to sport and play.

And while she play'd and sported
Below a green aik tree,
There she saw a sprightly doo        [dove
Set on a tower sae hie.

'O Coo-me-doo, my love sae true,
If ye'll come doun to me,
Ye'se hae a cage o' gude red gowd
Instead o' simple tree.

'I'll put gowd hingers roun' your cage,        [hangings
And siller roun' your wa';
I'll gar ye shine as fair a bird
As ony o' them a'.'

But she had nae these words well spoke,
Nor yet these words well said,
Till Coo-me-doo flew frae the tower
And lichted on her head.

Then she has brought this pretty bird
Hame to her bowers and ha',
And made him shine as fair a bird
As ony o' them a'.

When day was gone, and night was come,
About the evening-tide,
This lady spied a gallant youth
Stand straight up by her side.

'From whence cam' ye, young man?' she said;
'That does surprise me sair ;
My door was bolted right secure,
What way hae ye come here?'

'O haud your tongue, ye lady fair,
Lat a' your folly be;
Mind ye not o' your turtle-doo
Ye wiled from aff the tree ?'

'What country come ye frae?' she said,
'An' what's your pedigree?' --
'O it was but this verra day
That I cam' ower the sea.

'My mither lives on foreign isles,
A queen o' high degree ;
And by her spells I am a doo
With you to live an' dee.'

'O Coo-me-doo, my love sae true,
Nae mair frae me ye'se gae.' --
'That 's never my intent, my love ;
As ye said, it shall be sae.'

Then he has stay'd in bower wi' her
For six lang years and ane,
Till six young sons to him she bare,
And the seventh she 's brought hame.

But aye, as ever a child was born,
He carried them away,
And brought them to his mither's care
As fast as he could fly.

When he had stay'd in bower wi' her
For seven lang years an' mair,
There cam' a lord o' high renown
To court this lady fair.

But still his proffer she refused
And a' his presents too;
Says, 'I'm content to live alane
Wi' my bird Coo-me-doo.'

Her father swore a michty oath
Amang the nobles all,
'The morn, or ere I eat or drink.
This bird I will gar kill.'

The bird was sitting in his cage
And heard what they did say;
Says, 'Wae is me, and you forlorn,
If I do langer stay!'

Then Coo-me-doo took flight and flew
And afar beyond the sea,
And lichted near his mither's castle
On a tower o' gowd sae hie.

His mither she was walking out
To see what she could see,
And there she saw her one young son
Set on the tower sae hie.

'Get dancers here to dance,' she said,
'And minstrels for to play;
For here 's my young son Florentine
Come hame wi' me to stay.'

'Get nae dancers to dance, mither,
Nor minstrels for to play;
For the mither o' my seven sons,
The morn's her wedding-day.'

'O tell me, tell me, Florentine,
Tell me, an' tell me true;
Tell me this day without a flaw
What I will do for you?'

'Instead of dancers to dance, mither,
Or minstrels for to play,
Turn four-and-twenty well-wight men        [strong
Like storks in feathers gray:

'My seven sons in seven swans
Aboon their heads to flee;
And I mysell a gay goshawk,
A bird o' high degree.'

Then siching said the Queen hersel',        [sighing
'That thing 's too high for me!'
But she applied to an auld woman
Wha had mair skill than she.

Instead o' dancers to dance a dance,
Or minstrels for to play,
Four-and-twenty well-wight men
Turn'd birds o' feathers gray.

Her seven sons in seven swans,
Aboon their heads to flee;
And he himsel' a gay goshawk,
A bird o' high degree.

This flock o' birds took flight and flew
Beyond the raging sea,
And landed near the Earl Mar's castle,
Took shelter in every tree.

They were a flock o' pretty birds
Right comely to be seen;
The people view'd them wi' surprise
As they danced on the green.

These birds flew out frae every tree
And lichted on the ha'.
And frae the roof with force did flee
Amang the nobles a'.

The storks there seized ilk wedding-guest,
They could not fight nor flee;
The swans they bound the bridegroom fast
Below a green aik tree.

They lichted next on the bride- maidens,
Then on the bride's own head;
And wi' the twinkling o' an e'e
The bride an' them were fled.

There's ancient men at weddings been
For sixty years or more,
But siccan a curious wedding-day
They never saw before.

For naething could the companie do,
Nor naething could they say;
But they saw a flock o' pretty birds
That took their bride away.

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