by Walter Scott, Sir (1771 - 1832)
Translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)

My love he built me a bonny bower
Language: English 
My love [he built me a bonny]1 bower,
And clad it a' wi' lilye flower;
A brawer bower ye ne'er did see,
Than my true love he built for me.

There came a man, by middle day,
He spied his sport, and went away;
And brought the [king that very night]2,
Who brake my bower, and slew my knight.
 
He slew my knight, to me so dear;
He slew my knight, and poined his gear;
My servants all for life did flee,
And left me in extremitie.

I sewed his sheet, making my mane;
I watched the corpse, myself alane;
I watched his body, night and day;
No living creature came that way.

I took his body on my back,
And whiles I gaed, and whiles I sat;
I digged a grave, and laid him in,
And happed him with the sod sae green.
 
But think na ye my heart was sair,
When I laid the moul' on his yellow hair;
Think na ye my heart was wae,
When I turned about, away to gae?

Nae living man I'll love again,
Since that my lovely knight is slain;
Wi' ae lock of his yellow hair,
I'll chain my heart for evermair.

J. Haydn sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5, 7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Thomson noted: "This affecting Fragment, obtained by Mr Scott from recitation, is said to relate to the execution of Cockburne of Henderland, a Border freebooter, hanged over the gate of his own tower by James V.., in the course of that memorable expedition in 1529, which was fatal to Johnie Armstrong, Adam Scott of Tushielaw, and many other marauders."
Glossary:
Brawer = finer, more handsome
Happed = wrapped, covered

1 Haydn: "built me a bonnie"
2 Haydn: "king, at dead of night"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:


Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

Text added to the website: 2009-07-05 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:17
Line count: 28
Word count: 201

Klage der Grenzerwittwe
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Mein Liebster baut' eine Laube mir,
Rundum bepflanzt mit Lilien schier;
Eine schön're habt ihr nie geschaut,
Als die mein Liebster mir gebaut.

Um Mittag war's, da kam ein Mann,
Späht' aus sein Wild, und ging sodann;
Führt' her den König drauf zu Nacht,
Der meinen Ritter umgebracht.

Er bracht' ihn um, ich sah sein Blut;
Er bracht' ihn um, und nahm sein Gut;
Meine Diener flohn, mein Herr war todt,
Ich blieb allein in meiner Roth.

Ich flocht mein Haar, und hüllt' ihn ein;
Hielt Leichenwacht, ich selbst allein;
Hielt Leichenwacht, o Wacht voll Gram;
Keine Seel' war, die des Weges kam.

Ich nahm seine Leich', und trug sie fort
Zuschritt ich hier, ausruht' ich dort;
Ich grub ein Grab, drin legt' ich ihn,
Und deckt' ihn zu mit Rasen grün.

O, denkt ihr nicht, mein Herz war voll,
Als auf sein Haar ich warf die Scholl';
O, denkt ihr nicht, mein Herz war schwer,
Als ich mich wandte, fortzugehn?

Nun lieb' ich Keinen mehr fortan,
Seit todt mein süßer Rittersmann;
Mit einer Lock' von seinem Haar
Bind' ich mein Herz für immerdar. 

Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

  • by Adolf Jensen (1837 - 1879), "Klage der Grenzerwittwe", op. 52 (Sechs Gesänge von Walter Scott für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte) no. 6, published 1875 [voice and piano], Breslau, Hainauer [
     text not verified 
    ]

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2011-07-18 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:28
Line count: 28
Word count: 184