Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
51. Lord Ingram and Childe Vyet
 
 
I

LORD INGRAM and Childe Vyet
  Were both born in one hall;
Laid both their hearts on one lady;
  The worse did them befall.
 
II

Lord Ingram woo’d Lady Maisry
        5
  From father and from mother;
Lord Ingram woo’d Lady Maisry
  From sister and from brother;
 
III

Lord Ingram woo’d Lady Maisry
  With leave of all her kin;        10
And every one gave full consent,
  But she said ‘no’ to him.
 
IV

Now it fell out, upon a day
  She was dressing of her head,
That in did come her father dear,        15
  Wearing the gold so red.
 
V

‘Get up now, Lady Maisry,
  Put on your wedding-gown;
For Lord Ingram he will be here,
  Your wedding must be done.’—        20
 
VI

‘I’d rather be Childe Vyet’s wife,
  The white fish for to sell,
Before I were Lord Ingram’s wife,
  To wear the silk so well.
 
VII

‘I’d rather be childe Vyet’s wife,
        25
  With him to beg my bread,
Before I were Lord Ingram’s wife,
  To wear the gold so red.…
 
VIII

‘O where will I get a bonny boy,
  Will win gold to his fee,        30
And will run unto Childe Vyet
  With this letter from me?’—
 
IX

‘O here I am, the boy,’ says one,
  ‘Will win gold to my fee,
And carry away any letter        35
  To Childe Vyet from thee.’
 
X

The first line that Childe Vyet read,
  A grievèd man was he;
The next line that Childe Vyet read,
  A tear blinded his e’e.        40
‘I wonder what ails my one brother,
  He’ll not let my love be!
 
XI

‘But I’ll send to my brother’s bridal—
  The gammons o’ the swine—
With four and twenty buck and roe,        45
  And ten tun of the wine;
And bid my love be blithe and glad,
  And I will follow syne.’
 
XII

There was no groom in that castle
  But got a gown of green;        50
And all was blithe, and all was glad,
  But Lady Maisry was neen.
 
XIII

There was no cook in that kitchen
  But got a gown of grey;
And all was blithe, and all was glad,        55
  But Lady Maisry was wae.
 
XIV

O sweetly play’d the merry organs
  Within her mother’s bower;
But dumb stood Lady Maisry,
  And let the tears down pour.        60
 
XV

O sweetly play’d the harp so fine
  Within her father’s hall;
But still stood Lady Maisry,
  And let the tears down fall.
 
XVI

’Tween Mary Kirk and the castle
        65
  Was all spread o’er with garl,
To keep Lady Maisry and her maidens
  From tramping on the marl.
 
XVII

From Mary Kirk to the castle
  Was spread a cloth of gold,        70
To keep Lady Maisry and her maidens
  From treading upon the mould.
 
XVIII

When mass was sung, and bells were rung,
  And all men bound for bed,
Lord Ingram and Lady Maisry        75
  In one bed they were laid.
 
XIX

When they were laid into one bed,
  It was both soft and warm;
He laid his hand over her side,
  Says, ‘I think you are with bairn.’—        80
 
XX

‘I told you once, so did I twice,
  When ye came for my wooer,
That Childe Vyet, your one brother,
  One night lay in my bower.
 
XXI

‘I told you twice, I told you thrice,
        85
  Ere ye came me to wed,
That Childe Vyet, your one brother,
  One night lay in my bed.’—
 
XXII

‘O father your bairn on me, Maisry,
  And on no other man;        90
And I’ll gie him to his dowry
  Full fifty ploughs of land.’—
 
XXIII

‘I will not father my bairn on you,
  Nor on no wrongeous man,
Though ye’d give him to his dowry        95
  Five thousand ploughs of land.’
 
XXIV

He has taken out his trusty sword
  And laid it between them tway;
Says, ‘Lie you there, you ill woman,
  A maid for me till day.’        100
 
XXV

Then in it came him Childe Vyet,
  Shed back his yellow hair,
And gave Lord Ingram to the heart
  A deep wound and a sair.
 
XXVI

Then up did start him Lord Ingram
        105
  Shed back his coal-black hair,
And gave Childe Vyet to the heart
  A deep wound and a sair.
 
XXVII

There was no pity for those two lords,
  In bower where they lay slain;        110
But all was for Lady Maisry,
  In bower where she went brain.
 
XXVIII

Says, ‘If I have been an ill woman,
  Alas, and woe is me!
And if I have been an ill woman,        115
  A good woman I’ll be.
 
XXIX

‘Ye’ll take from me my silk attire,
  Bring me a palmer’s weed;
And for their sakes the world thoro’
  I’ll gang and beg my bread.        120
 
XXX

‘If I gang a step for Childe Vyet,
  For Lord Ingram I’ll gang three;
All for the honour that he paid
  At Mary Kirk to me.’
 
GLOSS:  neen] none, not.  garl]? gravel.  brain] mad.
 

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