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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonny Lass of Branksome'


The Bonny Lass of Branksome.

As I came in by Tiviot side
and by the braes of Branksome
There met I with a pretty Lass,
that was both neat and handsome:
If that her mother say me nay
then with the Daughter will I play,
Weather that she will or nay   
have at the bonny Lassie
Dame gar fill to us more Beer
for lo here is more Money
And for our reckoning do not fear
so long as we have any.
Gar fill the Cup gar fill the Can
Here is a Health to our Good-Man,
We shall be merry e'er we gang
have at the bonny Lassie.

I dream'd before it came to pass
that I would find her willing,
But yet I knew not what she was,
though she and I were Wooing,
My Thought any Mind and mine Intent
To seek that Lass was ready bent:
At last by order we were sent;
to quarter up at Branksome.
Her hastily I did espy,
though I was but a stranger,
A Ribband about her Arm I did ty
and told her of her Danger.
Sweet Heart I have sought many place
Yet never could I see thy Face,
Take pity and relieve my Case,
my pretty bonny Lassie.

I need not to conceal my Name
I'm Born within this Nation:
Bred in great Honour Wealth & Fame
and of high Estimation.
Great Nobles were my Cousins near,
And I a Noble Man of weir
Therfore be Merry & make good Chear
my pretty bonny Lassie.
Then did she say my only joy,
I will give you Contentment,
If you will be my Venus Boy:
and give me no Affrontment.
Twill credit me and all my Kin,
If I your Love and Favour win,
My happiness shall then begin
when you my Fancy pleasure.

My Father and Mother will be glad,
to you they have Relation;
Because you are a boony Lad,
and well Born in this Nation
You shall dispose of half their Gear,
And Money get to spend by Year,
Both Meal and Malt Corn and Bear,
for your sweet bonny Lassie.
He says I court you not for Wealth
for I have Gold and Money,
But I had rather have thy self,
for thou art neat and bonny:
Sweet Heart I'le be content of you,
if that they give me but a Cow,
And I to you do make a Vow,
to be thy Venus servant.

It is not for thy Fathers Gear,
nor for thy worldly Riches,
That I am come a suiter here,
that we Two may be matches.
For I may have Lady fair,   
Whose Friends would gladly give me Gear
She hath Five Hundred Merks a Year
beside my just Proportion.
The Lass with smileing Lips then said
this is a true Narration,
That many a gallant lusty Lad,
to me bears such Relation:
Yea many an able pretty Man
Would gladly give to me their Hand,
And bow and be at my Command,
but fortune now doth cross them.

Now well's me of my pretty Lass,
that has so soon consented,
I was but short while in that place,
while she grew loving hearted.
My gallant proper handsom Dove,
That was not strange and ill to Woo,
But presently did yield and bow,
and granted me my asking:
Sweet Sir I could not say you hay,
you are so well accounted,
My Maidenhead bad me give way,
when I saw you so mounted,
With Horse and harness, Spear & Shield
And venus caused me to yeild,
'Mongst all my Woers I you weild,
because you were so Gentle.

There's many Suiters came to me
before your Love began Sir,
And bore me frequent Company,
but they no Favour wan Sir,
Now are they almost gone a stray,
With many shout and well away,
That ever they should have seen this Day
and what you do unto them.
I do Disdain no Gentleman
that's Born within this Nation,
For I'm a Woman of the same,
and of high Estimation,
My Mother says I am right sib
To the House of Branksome being Rib
You will be gallant Weft to Weft.
i'justly put together.

At length into the North I went
to visit Friends and Father:   
When I came back, some Days being spent
her Mother thought me braver.
She to her Daughter says Go Down,
Thy Lover now is come to Town,
Be kind to him, and I a Gown,
will give thee for thy Pains Jo,
To go with him I will be glad
or do him any pleasure.
Let us first Wed then go to Bed,
where it will wait his leasure
Ye do me Wrong to bid me Hast,
For I will Run as he me chast:
When Shirt is clean and Cloaths unlac'd
from Cold I'le strive to keep him.

Her Mothers bidding she obey'd,
and went into the Chamber;
Where he discours'd with her and plaid
without Noise or Clamour,
He said, my Dove thou hast some Skill
And bearest Company with Goodwill
I wish I might remain here still,
it's neither Cold nor Frosty:
This in the Place which I do love:
and is well kept in Order:
And no Man this will disapprove,
that lives in Southern border
Where nothing is of Iron or Brass,
Then freely will I let you pass,
And hold you for a pretty Lass,
for keeping all so cleanly.

Your Uncle is no Friend to me,
I have him at Envy:
He said I laid my Love too high,
before some Company.
But what ado had he think ye;
To meddle with my Love and me
For Love is laid in each Degree
have at the bonny Lassie.
Sweet Sir I was once sore afraid
you had delay'd your coming,
Your tarrying made me sore afraid,
I weary was with mourning.
But now I neither tire nor irk,
To bear you Compn'y in the Mirk,
Then gar proclaim us in the Kirk,
and we shall wed together.

Each one said you would not return
nor come into this Nation:
Which daily made me for to mourn
with grievous lamentation,
But seeing you'r come back again
Of your coming I'm right sain,
And altogether free of Pain
ye shall ly in my Bosom
When ye into the Country came
o then but ye were bonny,
My Mother took you in her Arms,
and said you were her honey,
Then unto Hawick did we gang
And of the Way we thought not Long,
Of us composed was the Song
My pretty bonny Lassie.


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Probable date of publication: 1701   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(063)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonny Lass of Branksome'
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