The Lord of Lorn
It was the worthy Lord of Lorn,
He was a lord of high degree ;
And he has set his one young son
To school, to learn civility.
He learn'd more learning in one day
Than other children did in three;
And then bespake the schoolmaster,
Unto the heir of Lorn said he:
'In faith thou are the honestest boy
That ere I blinkt on with mine ee;
I think thou be some easterling born,
The Holy Ghost it is with thee.'
He said he was no easterling born,
The child thus answer'd courteouslye:
'My father he is the Lord of Lorn,
And I his one young son, perdie.' [by God
The schoolmaster tum'd round about,
His angry mind he could not 'swage;
He marvell'd the child could speak so wise,
He being of so tender age.
He girt the saddle to the steed,
A golden bridle done him upon;
He took his leave of his schoolfellows,
And home this Child of Lorn has gone.
And when he came to his father dear
He kneelèd down upon his knee:
'God's blessing, father, I would ask,
If Christ would grant you to give it me.' --
'Now God thee bless, my son, my heir,
His servant in heaven that thou may be!'
'What tidings hast thou brought me, child?
Thou art comen home so hastilye.' --
'Good tidings, father, I have you brought,
Good tidings I hope it is to thee;
There's never a book in all Scotland
But I can read it truelye.'
A joyèd man his father was
All in the place where he did stand:
'My son, thou shalt go into France,
To learn the speeches of ilka land.'
'Who shall go with him?' said his lady;
'Husband, we have no more but he. --
Madam,' he saith, 'my hend steward, [courteous
For he hath been true to you and me.'
She call'd the steward to an account,
A thousand pound she gave him anon;
Says, ' Steward, I'll give thee as mickle more
If thou be as good to my one son.' --
'If I be false unto my young lord,
Then God be the like to me indeed!' --
So now to France they both are gone,
And the God of Heaven be their good speed!
Over the sea into France land
They had not been three weeks to an end,
But meat and drink the child got none,
Nor penny of money in purse to spend.
The child ran to a river's side;
He was fain to drink the water thin;
And after follow'd the false steward
To drown the bonny boy therein.
'But nay, by Mary!' said the child,
He askèd mercy pitifullye;
'Good Steward, let me have my life,
And all I have I will give to thee!'
Mercy to him the steward did take,
And pull'd the child out o'er the brim
But, ever alack, the more pitye!
He took his clothing even from him.
Says, 'Do thou me off that velvet gown,
The crimson hose beneath thy knee,
And do me off thy cordinant shoon [Cordovan
That are buckled with the gold so free.
'Do thou me off thy satin doublet,
Thy shirtband wrought wi' glisterin' gold,
And do me off thy golden chain
About thy neck with many a fold.
'And do me off thy velvet hat,
With feather in it that is so fine;
And all unto thy silken shirt,
That's work'd with many a golden seam.'
But when the child was naked stript,
With skin as white as the lily flow'r,
He might, for his body and his bewtie,
Have been a princess' paramour.
He put him in an old kelter coat, [undyed wool
And hose of the same above the knee,
And he bade him go to a shepherd's house,
To tend sheep on a lonely lee.
The child said, I What shall be my name?
Prithee, good Steward, tell to me.' --
'Thy name shall be Poor Disaware,
To tend sheep on a lonely lee.'
The child came to the shepherd's house -
O Lord! he weepèd pitifullye --
Says, 'Do you not want a servant-boy,
To tend your sheep on a lonely lee?'
'I have no child,' the shepherd said,
'My boy, thou'st tarry and dwell with me;
My living, my house, but and my goods,
I'll make thee heir of them all, perdie.'
And then bespake the shepherd's wife
Unto the child so tenderlye:
'Thou must take the sheep and go to the field,
And tend them upon the lonely lee.'
Now let us leave talk of the child
That is tending sheep on the lonely lee,
And we'll talk more of the false steward,
Of him and of his treacherye.
He bought himself a suit of apparel
That any lord might a' seem'd to worn;
He went a-wooing to the Duke's daughter,
And call'd himself the Lord of Lorn.
The Duke he welcomed the brisk young lord
With three baked stags and the Rhenish wine:
If he had wist him the false steward,
With the devil he'd have bade him dine.
But when they were at supper set
With dainty delicates that was there,
The Duke said, 'If thou'lt wed my daughter
I'll give thee a thousand pound a year.'
Then hand in hand the steward her took,
And plight that lady his troth alone,
That she should be his married wife,
And he would make her the Lady of Lorn.
The lady would see the roebuck run
Up hills and dales and the forest free,
When she was 'ware of a shepherd's boy
Was tending sheep on a lonely lee.
And ever he sigh'd and made his moan
Unto himself most pitifullye,
'My father is the Lord of Lorn,
And knows not what's become of me!'
O then bespake the lady gay
And to her maid she spake anon,
'Go fetch me hither yon shepherd's boy
I'll know why he doth make his moan.'
But when he came to that lady fair
He fell down low upon his knee;
He was of birth and so brought up
He needed not to learn courtesye.
'What is thy name ? Where wast thou born?
For whose sake makest thou this moan?' --
'I am Poor Disaware, in Scotland born,
And I mourn one dead these years agone.' --
'Tell me of Scotland, thou bonny child,
Tell me the truth and do not lee:
Knowest thou there the young Lord of Lorn ?
He is come into France a-wooing of me.' --
'Yes, that I do, madam,' he said,
'I know that lord, yea, verilye;
The Lord of Lorn is a worthy lord,
lf he were at home in his own countrye.' --
Wilt leave thy sheep, thou bonny child,
And come in service unto me?' --
'I thank you, madam; yea, forsooth,
And at your bidding I will be.'
When the steward look'd upon the child
He 'gan bewrail him villainouslye: [rail at
'Where wast thou born, thou vagabone?
Thou art a thief, I will prove thee.'
'Ha' done! ha' done!' said the lady gay,
'Peace, Lord of Lorn, I do pray thee!
'Without you bear him more good will,
No favour will you get of me.'
O then bespake the false steward,
'Believe me or no, I tell to thee,
At Aberdonie, beyond the seas,
His father robbèd thousands three.'
But then bespake the Duke of France
(The child was pleasant to his e'e),
Says, 'Boy, if thou love horses well,
My groom of stables thou shalt be.'
The child applied his office so well
Till that twelve months drew to an end;
He was so courteous and so true
That every man became his friend.
He led a gelding forth one morning,
To water him at the water so free --
The gelding up, and with his head
He hit the child above the e'e.
'Woe worth thee, gelding,' said the child,
'Woe worth the mare that foalèd thee!
Thou little knowest the Lord of Lorn :
Thou'st stricken a lord of high degree.'
The lady was in her garden green,
And heard the child that made this moan:
All weeping straight she ran to him
And left her maidens all alone.
'Sing on thy song, thou stable groom,
I will release thee of thy pain.' --
'Nay, lady, I have made an oath ;
I dare not tell my tale again.' --
'Sing on thy song, then, to thy gelding,
And so thy oath shall savèd be.' --
But when he told his horse the tale,
O the lady wept full tenderlye.
She sent in for her father the Duke:
'O sick I am, and like to dee!
Put off my wedding, father,' she said,
'For the love of God, these monthès three.'
The lady she did write a letter
Full speedily with her own hand;
She has sent it to the Lord of Lorn,
Wheras he dwelt in fair Scotland.
When the Lord of Lorn had read the letter
His lady wept, Lord! bitterlye;
'Peace, Lady of Lorn, for Christ his love
And wroken upon him I will be.' [revenged
The old lord call'd up his merry men,
And all that he gave cloth and fee,
With seven lords to ride beside him,
And into the land of France rides he.
The wind was good, and they did sail
Five hundred men into France land,
Till they were 'ware of the Heir of Lorn,
Stood with a porter's staff in 's hand.
The lords then cast their hats into air,
The serving-men fell on their knee.
'What fools be yonder,' said the steward,
'That makes the porter courtesye?'
'Thou 'rt a false thief,' said the Lord of Lorn,
'This child, thy master, to betray!'
And they set the castle round about,
A swallow could not have flown away.
And when they had taken the false steward,
By the law of France all hastilye
A quest of lords there chosen was
That judged this traitor he must dee.
First they took him and hang'd him half,
And then they lat him down anon,
And quarter'd and put him in boiling lead,
And there he was sodden, breast and bone.
O then bespake the Lord of Lorn,
With many other lordès mo',
'Sir Duke, if you be as willing as we,
We'll have a marriage before we go.'
But then bespake the Duke of France,
Unto the Child of Lorn right there:
Says, 'Heir of Lorn, if thou'lt marry my daugbter,
I'll mend thy living a thousand a year.'
But then bespake that Child of Lorn,
And answer'd the Duke right merrliye:
'I had rather have her with a ring of gold
Than all the gold you can proffer to me.'
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