Mary Hamilton

Mary Hamilton

Word is to the kitchen gone and word is to the hall
and word is up to madam the Queen And that's the worst of all
that Mary Hamiltons's born a babe to the highest Stuart of all.

"Arise, arise, Mary Hamilton, arise and tell to me
what thou hast done with thy wee babe I saw and heard weep by thee?"

"I put him in a tiny boat and cast him out to sea
that he might sink or he might swim but he'd never come back to me."

"Arise, arise, Mary Hamilton, arise and come with me
there is a wedding in Glasgow town this night we'll go and see."

She put not on her robes of black nor her robes of brown
but she put on her robes of white to ride into Glasgow town

And as she rode into Glasgow town the city for to see
the bailiff's wife and the provost's wife cried "Ach, and alas for thee."

"Ah, you need not weep for me," she cried, "you need not weep for me
for had I not slain my own wee babe this death I would not dee."

"Ah, little did my mother think when first she cradled me
the lands I was to travel in and the death I was to dee."

"Last night I washed the Queen's feet and put the gold in her hair
and the only reward I find for this the gallows to be my share."

"Cast off, cast off my gown," she cried, "but let my petticoat be
and tie a napkin 'round my face the gallows I would not see."

Then by and come the King himself, looked up with a pitiful eye
"Come down, come down, Mary Hamilton tonight, you'll dine with me."

"Ah, hold your tongue, my sovereign liege, and let your folly be
for if you'd a mind to save my life you'd never have shamed me here."

"Last night there were four Marys, tonight there'll be but three
there was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seton and Mary Carmichael and me."