word is to the kitchen gone and word is to the hall,
and word is up to madam the queen and that is the worst of all.
that mary hamilton’s born a child, to the highest stuart of all.
“arise,arise mary hamilton, arise and tell to me,
what hast thou done with thy wee baby i heard and i saw weep by thee ?”
“i put him in a tiny boat, and cast him out to sea,
that he might sink or he might swim, but he’d never come back to me.”
“arise, arise mary hamilton, arise and come with me;
there is a wedding in glasgow town, this night we’ll go and see.”
she put not on her robes of black nor her robes of brown.
but she put on her robes of white,to ride into glasgow town.
and as she rode into glasgow town the city for to see,
the baliff’s wife and the provosts wife cried “ach and alas for thee.”
“ah you need not weep for me,” she cried,”you need not weep for me.
for had i not slain my own wee babe this night i would not die.”
“ah little did my mother think when first she cradled me,
the lands i was to travel to and the death i was to die.”
“last night i washed the queen’s feet and put the gold in her hair,
and the only reward i find for this is the gallows to be my share.”
“cast off,cast off my gown,” she cried,”but let my petticoat be,
and tie a napkin ’round my face;the gallows i would not see.”
then by and by came the king himself, looked up with a pitiful eye,
“come down, come down mary hamilton, tonight, you’ll dine with me.”
“ah hold your tongue, my soverign leige, and let your folly be;
for if you’d a mind to save my life, you’d never have shamed me here.”
“last night there were four marys,tonight there’ll be but three.
there was mary beaton and mary seaton and mary carmichael and me.”
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