The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24962   Message #288792
Posted By: Thomas the Rhymer
31-Aug-00 - 06:19 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye

In London city was Beichan born,
He longed strange countries for to see,
But he was ta'en by a savage moor,
Who handled him right cruelly.

For through his shoulder he put a bore,
And through this bore has pitten a tree
And he's gard him draw the carts o wine
Where horse and oxen had wont to be.

He's casten him in a dungeon deep,
Where he could neither hear nor see
He's shut him up in a prison strong
And he's handled him right cruelly

O this moor he had but ae daughter
I wot her name was Susie Pye
She's doen her to the prison house,
And she's called young Beichan one word by

"O hae ye any lands or rents
Or cities in your ain country,
Could free you out of prison strong,
And could maintain a lady free?"

"O London city is my own,
And other cities twa or three
Could loose me out o'prison strong
And could maintain a lady free.

O she has bribed her father's men
Wi' mickle gold and white money,
She's gotten the key o' the prison doors,
And she has set young Beichan free.

She's gi'n him a loaf o' the good white bread,
But an a flask o' Spanish wine,
And she bade him mind on the lady's love
That kindly freed him out o' pine.

"Go set your foot on good ship board,
And haste you back to your ain country,
And before that seven years has an end,
Come back again, love, and marry me."

It was long or seven years had an end
She longed full sair her love to see
She's set her foot on good ship board,
And turned her back on her ain country.

She's sailed up, so has she down,
Till she came to the other side;
She's landed at young Beichan's gates,
And I hope this day she shall be his bride.

"Is this Young Beichan's gates?" says she,
"Or is that noble prince within?"
"He's up the stairs wi' his bonny bride.
And many a lord and lady wi' him."

"O has he te'an a bonny bride,
And has he clean forgotten me?"
And sighing said that gay lady
"I wish I were in my ain country!"

But she's pitten her hand in her pocket,
And gi'n the porter guinaes three;
Says, "Take ye that, ye proud porter,
And bid the bridegroom speak to me."

O when the porter came up the stair,
He's fa'n low down upon his knee:
"Won up, won up, ye proud porter,
And what makes all this courtesy?"

"O, I've been porter at your gates
This mair nor seven years and three,
But there is a lady at them now
the like of which I never did see.

"For on every finger she has a ring,
And on the mid-finger she has three,
And there's as mickle goud aboon her brow
As would buy an earldom o' land to me."

Then up it started Young Beichan,
And sware so loud by Our Lady,
"It can be none but Susie Pye,
That has come o'er the sea to me."

O quickly ran he down the stair,
O' fifteen steps he has made but three;
He's ta'en his bonny love in his arms
And I wot he kissed her tenderly.

"O hae you ta'en a bonny bride?
And Hae you quite forsaken me?
And hae you Quite forsaken her
That give you life and liberty?"

She's lookit o'er her left shoulder
To hide the tears stood in her ee;
"Now fare thee well, Young Beichan," she says,
"I'll strive to think nae mair on thee."

"take back your daughter, madam," he says,
"And a double dowry I'll gi' her wi';
For I maun marry my first truelove,
That's done and suffered so much for me."

He's ta'en his bonny love by the hand,
And led her to yon fountain stane;
He's changed her name frae Susie Pye,
And he's called her his bonny love, Lady Jane.

"English Literature", American Book Company, 1935
The assignment that follows contains these Questions:
There are at least fifteen versions of this ballad extant. Why do you suppose it was so popular? Do you think Lord Beichan was influenced by the porter's description of Susie's jewelry? Would he have been so hospitable if she had appeared in rags?