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.
 
74. Bonny Bee Ho’m
 
 
I

BY Arthur’s Dale as late I went
  I heard a heavy moan;
I heard a ladie lamenting sair,
  And ay she cried ‘Ohone!
 
II

‘Ohone, alas! what shall I do,
        5
  Tormented night and day!
I never loved a love but ane,
  And now he ’s gone away.
 
III

‘But I will do for my true-love
  What ladies wou’d think sair;        10
For seven year shall come and go
  Ere a kaim gang in my hair.
 
IV

‘There shall neither a shoe gang on my foot,
  Nor a kaim gang in my hair,
Nor e’er a coal nor candle-light        15
  Shine in my bower nae mair.’
 
V

She thought her love had been on the sea,
  Fast sailing to Bee Ho’m;
But he was in a quiet cham’er,
  Hearing his ladie’s moan.        20
 
VI

‘Be husht, be husht, my ladie dear,
  I pray thee mourn not so;
For I am deep sworn on a book
  To Bee Ho’m for to go.’
 
VII

She has gien him a chain of the beaten gowd,
        25
  And a ring with a ruby stone:
‘As lang as this chain your body binds,
  Your blude can never be drawn.
 
VIII

‘But gin this ring shou’d fade or fail,
  Or the stone shou’d change its hue,        30
Be sure your love is dead and gone,
  Or she has proved untrue.’
 
IX

He had no been at Bonny Bee Ho’m
  A twelve month and a day,
Till, looking on his gay gowd ring,        35
  The stone grew dark and gray.
 
X

‘O ye take my riches to Bee Ho’m,
  And deal them presentlie,
To the young that canna, the auld that maunna,
  And the blind that does not see.        40
 
XI

‘Fight on, fight on, my merry men all!
  With you I’ll fight no more;
But I will gang to some holy place
  And pray to the King of Glore.’
 
GLOSS:  kaim] comb.  cham’er] chamber.  Glore] Glory.
 

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