Page images

But swear me now upon the rude,

That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend; For when all the world doth frown on thee,

Thou there shalt find a faithful friend.

The heir of Linne is full of gold :

And come with me, my friends, sayd he, Let's drink, and rant, and merry make,

And he that spares, ne'er mote he be.-They ranted, drank, and merry made,

Till all his gold it waxed thin;
And then his friends they slunk away;

They left the unthrifty heir of Linne.
He hadna a penny left in his purse,

Never a penny left but three,
The tane was brass, and tother was lead,

The third it was of white monie.

Now well-a-day, sayd the heir of Linne,

Now well-a-day, and woe is me, For when I was the lord of Linne,

I never wanted gold or fee. But mony a trustie friend have I,

And why should I feel dole or care? I'll borrow of them all by turns,

Sae need I not be ever bare.

But ane, I wis, was not at hame,

Another had payd his gold away; Another call’d him thriftless loon,

And bad him sharpely wend his way. Now well-a-day, says the heir of Linne,

Now well-a-day, and woe is me! For when I had my lands so broad,

On me they liv'd right merrilie.

To beg my bread from door to door

I wis, it were a brenning shame: To rob and steal it were a sin:

To work my limbs I cannot frame. Now I'll away to lonesome lodge,

For there my father bade me wend; When all the world should frown on me,

I there should find a trusty friend.


Away then hyed the heir of Linne

O'er hill and holt, and moor and fen, Until he came to lonsome lodge,

That stood so low in a lonely glen. He looked up, he looked down,

In hope some comfort for to win, But bare and lothly were the walls :

Here's sorry chear, quo' the heir of Linne. The little window dim and dark

Was hung with ivy, brere and yew; No shimmering sun here ever shone;

No halesome breeze here ever blew.

No chair, no table he mote spye,

No chearful hearth, no welcome bed, Nought save a rope with renning noose,

That dangling hung up o'er his head. And over it in broad letters,

These words were written so plain to see: “ Ah! graceless wretch, hast spent thine all,

u And brought thyself to penurie ?

* All this my boding mind misgave,

“ I therefore left this trusty friend : “ Let it dow shield thy foule disgrace,

“ And all thy shame and sorrows end.” Sorely shent wi' this rebuke,

Sorely shent was the heir of Linne, His heart, I wis, was near to brast

With guilt and sorrow, shame and sin. Never a word spake the heir of Linne,

Never a word he spake but three, “ This is a trusty friend indeed,

“ And is right welcome unto me." Then round his neck the cord he drew,

And sprung aloft with his bodie: When lo! the ceiling burst in twain,

And to the ground came tumbling he. Astonyed lay the heir of Linne,

Nor knew if he were live or dead, At length he looked, and saw a bill,

And in it a key of gold so red. He took the bill, and lookt it on,

Strait good comfort found he there: It told him of a hole in the wall,

In which there stood three chests in fere.

Two were full of the beaten gold,

The third was full of white monie, And over them in broad letters

These words were written so plain to see. “ Once more, my son, I set thee clear;

“ Amend thy life and follies past; “ For but thou amend thee of thy life,

“ That rope must be thy end at last."

And let it be, sayd the heir of Linne;

And let it be, but if I amend ;* For here I will make mine avow,

This redet shall guide me to the end. Away then went the heir of Linne;

Away he went with a merry chear : I wis, he neither stint nor stay,

Till John o' the Scales house he came near. And when he came to John o' the Scales,

Up at the speer then looked he; There sat three lords at the boards end,

Were drinking of the wine so free. And then bespake the heir of Linne

To John o' the Scales then louted he: I

pray thee now, good John o' the Scales,

One forty-pence for to lend me.
Away, away, thou thriftless loon,

Away, away, this may not be:
For Christ's curse on my head, he sayd,

If ever I trust thee one pennie.
Then bespake the heir of Linne,

To John o’the Scales wife ther. spake he: Madam, some alms on me bestow,

I pray for sweet saint charitie. Away, away, thou thriftless loon,

I swear thou gettest no alms of me; For if we shold hang any losel here,

The first we wold begin with thee. Then bespake a good fellow,

Which sat at John o' the Scales his board; Sayd, turn again, thou heir of Linne,

Some time thou wast a well good lord:

* Unlces l ameud.

+ Advice, counsel.

Some time a good fellow thou hast been,

And sparedst not thy gold and fee, Therefore I'll lend thee forty pence,

And other forty if need be. And ever, I pray thee, John o' the Scales,

To let him sit in thy companie: For well I wot thou hadst his land,

And a good bargain it was to thee.
Up then spake him John o' the Scales,

All wood he answer'd bim again:
Now Christ's curse on my head, he sayd,

But I did lose by that bargain.
And here I proffer thee, heir of Linne,

Before these lords so fair and free,
Thou shalt have it back again better cheap,

By a hundred marks, than I had it of thee. I draw you to record, lords, he said,

With that he gave him a gods-pennie: Now by my fay, sayd the heir of Linne,

And here, good John, is thy monie. And he pull'd forth three baggs of gold,

And layd them down upon the board: All woe begone was John o’the Scales,

So shent he cold say never a word. He told him forth the good red gold,

He told it forth with little din. The gold is thine, the land is mine,

And now I'm again the lord of Linne. Says, have thou here, thou good fellow,

Forty-pence thou didst lend ne: Now I am again the lord of Linne,

And forty pounds I will give thee.

« PreviousContinue »