No: 208; variant: 208A
- OUR king has wrote a lang letter,
And sealed it owre with gold;
He sent to my lord Dunwaters,
To read it if he could.
- He has not sent it with a boy, with a boy,
Nor with anie Scotch lord;
But he’s sent it with the noblest knight
Eer Scotland could afford.
- The very first line that my lord did read,
He gave a smirkling smile;
Before he had the half o’t read,
The tears from his eyes did fall.
- ‘Come saddle to me my horse,’ he said,
‘Come saddle to me with speed;
For I must away to fair London town,
For me was neer more need.’
- Out and spoke his lady gay,
In child-bed where she lay:
‘I would have you make your will, my lord Dunwaters,
Before you go away.’
- ‘I leave to you, my eldest son,
My houses and my land;
I leave to you, my second son,
Ten thousand pounds in hand.
- ‘I leave to you, my lady gay—-
You are my wedded wife—-
I leave to you, the third of my estate;
That’ll keep you in a lady’s life.’
- They had not rode a mile but one,
Till his horse fell owre a stane:
‘It’s warning gude eneuch,’ my lord Dunwaters said,
‘Alive I’ll neer come hame.’
- When they came into fair London town,
Into the courtiers’ hall,
The lords and knichts in fair London town
Did him a traitor call.
- ‘A traitor! a traitor!’ says my lord,
‘A traitor! how can that be,
An it was na for the keeping of five thousand men
To fight for King Jamie?
- ‘O all you lords and knichts in fair London town,
Come out and see me die;
O all you lords and knichts into fair London town,
Be kind to my ladie.
- ‘There’s fifty pounds in my richt pocket,
Divide it to the poor;
There’s other fifty pounds in my left pocket,
Divide it from door to door.’