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Wilt thou be usher of my hall,
To wait upon my nobles ail?..
Or wilt be taster of my wine;.
To 'tend on me when I shall dině s


Or wilt thou be my chamberlaine,
About my person to remaine?
Or wilt thou be one of my guard,
And I will give thee great reward?
Chuse, gentle youth, said he, thy place.
Then I reply'd, If it please your grace
To shew such favour unto mee,
Your chamberlaine I faine would bee




The king then smiling gave consent,
And straitwaye to his court I went;
Where I behavde so faithfullie,
That hee great favour showd to mee.
Now marke what fortune did provide;
The king he would a hunting ride
With all his lords and noble traine,
Sweet William must at home remaine.
Thus being left alone behind,
My former state came in my

I wept to see my mans array:
No longer now a ladye gay.
And meeting with a ladyes vest,
Within the same myself I drest;
With silken robes, and jewels rare,
I deckt me, as a ladye faire:
And taking up a lute straitwaye,
Upon the same I strove to play;
And sweetly to the same did sing,
As made both hall and chamber ring.


80 85



“My father was as drave. Iord,
As ever Europe might afford;
My mother was a lady bright;
My husband was a valiant knight:
* And I myself a ladye gay,
Bedeckt with gorgeous rich array;
The happiest lady in the land
Had not more pleasure at command.
"I had


musicke every day
Harmonious lessons for to play;
I had my virgins fair and free
Continually to wait on mee.
“But now, alas! my husband's dead,
And all my friends are from me fled,
My former days are past and gone,
And I am now a serving-man.'
And fetching many a tender sigh,
As thinking no one then was nigh,
In pensive mood I laid me lowe,
My heart was full, the tears did flowe.
The king, who had a huntinge gone,
Grewe weary of his sport anone,
And leaving all his gallant traine,
Turn'd on the sudden home againe:
And when he reach'd his statelye tower,
Hearing one sing within his bower,
He stopt to listen, and to see
Who sung there so melodiouslie.
Thus heard he everye word I sed,
And saw the pearlye teares I shed,
And found to his amazement there,
Sweete William was a ladye faire.



110 115

Then stepping in, Faire ladye, rise,
And dry, said he, those lovelye eyes,
For I have heard thy mournful tale,
The which shall turne to thy availe.
A crimson dye my face orespred,
I blusht for shame, and hung my head,
To find my sex and story knowne,
When as I thought I was alone.
But to be briefe, his royall grace
Grewe so enamour'd of my face,
The richest gifts he proffered mee,
His mistress if that I would bee.



Ah! no, my liege, I firmlye sayd,
I'll rather in my grave be layd,
And though your grace hath won my heart,
I ne'er will act soe base a part.
Faire ladye, pardon me, sayd hee,
Thy virtue shall rewarded bee,
And since it is soe fairly tryde
Thou shalt become my royal bride.


Then strait to end his amorous strife,
He tooke sweet William to his wife.
The like before was never seene,
A serving-man became a queene.



Gil Worrice.


The following piece hath run through two editions in Scotland: the second was printed at Glasgow in 1755, 8vo. Prefixed to them both is an advertisement, setting forth that the preservation of this poem was owing to "a lady, who favoured the printers with a copy, as it was carefully collected from the mouths of old women and nurses;' and "any reader that can render it more correct or complete," is desired to oblige the public with such improvements. In consequence of this advertisement, sixteen additional verses have been produced and handed about in manuscript, which are here inserted in their proper places: (these are from ver. 109 to ver. 121, and from ver. 124 to ver. 129, but are, perhaps, after all, only an ingenious interpolation).

As this poem lays claim to a pretty high antiquity, we have assigned it a place among our early pieces: though, after all, there is reason to believe it has received very considerable modern improvements : for in the Editor's ancient MS. collection is a very old imperfect copy of the same ballad: wherein, though the leading features of the story are the same, yet the colouring here is so much improved and heightened, and so many additional strokes are thrown in, that it is evident the whole has undergone a revisal.

N. B. The Editor's MS. instead of lord Barnard, has John Stewart; and instead of Gil Morrice, Child Maurice, which last is probably the original title. See above, p. 75.


GIL MORRICE was an erlès son,

His name it waxed wide;
It was nae for his great richés,

Nor zet his mickle pride;
Bot it was for a lady gay,

That livd on Carron side.
Quhair sall I get a bonny boy,

That will win hose and shoen;
That will gae to lord Barnard's ha';

And bid his lady cum?
And ze maun rin my errand, Willie;

And ze may rin wi' pride;
Ver. 11, something seems wanting here.


Quhen other boys gae on their foot,

On horse-back ze sall ride.


O no! Oh no! my master dear!

I dare nae for my life;
I'll no gae to the bauld baróns,

For to triest furth his wife.
My bird Willie, my boy Willie;

My dear Willie, he sayd:
How can ze strive against the stream?

For I sall be obeyd.




Bot, O my master dear! he cryd,

In grene wod ze're zour lain;
Gi owre sic thochts, I walde ze rede,

For fear ze should be tain.
Haste, haste, I say, gae to the ha',

Bid hir cum here wi speid:
If ze refuse my heigh command,

Ill gar zour body bleid.
Gae bid hir take this gay mantèl,

'Tis a' gowd bot the hem;
Bid hir cum to the gude grene wode,

And bring nane bot hir lain: And there it is, a silken sarke,

Hir ain hand sewd the sleive; And bid hir cum to Gill Morice,

Speir nae bauld barons leave.
Yes, I will gae zour black errand,

Though it be to zour cost;
Sen ze by me well nae be warn'd,

In it ze sall find frost.
The baron he is a man of might,

He neir could bide to taunt,



V. 32 and 68, perhaps, 'bout the hem.

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