- Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II (The Broomfield Hill) by Sir Walter Scott
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Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II
The Broomfield Hill

by Sir Walter Scott

The concluding verses of this ballad were inserted in the copy of Tamlane, given to the public in the first edition of this work. They are now restored to their proper place. Considering how very apt the most accurate reciters are to patch up one ballad with verses from another, the utmost caution cannot always avoid such errors.

A more sanguine antiquary than the editor might perhaps endeavour to identify this poem, which is of undoubted antiquity, with the "Broom Broom on Hill," mentioned by Lane, in his Progress of Queen Elizabeth into Warwickshire, as forming part of Captain's Cox's collection, so much envied by the black-letter antiquaries of the present day.—Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 166. The same ballad is quoted by one of the personages, in a "very mery and pythie comedie," called "The longer thou livest, the more fool thou art." See Ritson's Dissertation, prefixed to Ancient Songs, p. lx. "Brume brume on hill," is also mentioned in the Complayat of Scotland. See Leyden's edition, p. 100.


There was a knight and a lady bright,
Had a true tryste at the broom;
The ane ga'ed early in the morning,
The other in the afternoon.

And ay she sat in her mother's bower door,
And ay she made her mane,
"Oh whether should I gang to the Broomfield hill,
"Or should I stay at hame?

"For if I gang to the Broomfield hill,
"My maidenhead is gone;
"And if I chance to stay at hame,
"My love will ca' me mansworn."

Up then spake a witch woman,
Ay from the room aboon;
"O, ye may gang to the Broomfield hill,
"And yet come maiden hame.

"For, when ye gang to the Broomfield hill,
"Ye'll find your love asleep,
"With a silver-belt about his head,
"And a broom-cow at his feet.

"Take ye the blossom of the broom,
"The blossom it smells sweet,
"And strew it at your true love's head,
"And likewise at his feet.

"Take ye the rings off your fingers,
"Put them on his right hand,
"To let him know, when he doth awake,
"His love was at his command."

She pu'd the broom flower on Hive-hill,
And strew'd on's white hals bane,
And that was to be wittering true,
That maiden she had gane.

"O where were ye, my milk-white steed,
"That I hae coft sae dear,
"That wadna watch and waken me,
"When there was maiden here?"

"I stamped wi' my foot, master,
"And gar'd my bridle ring;
"But na kin' thing wald waken ye,
"Till she was past and gane."

"And wae betide ye, my gay goss hawk,
"That I did love sae dear,
"That wadna watch and waken me,
"When there was maiden here."

"I clapped wi' my wings, master,
"And aye my bells I rang,
"And aye cry'd, waken, waken, master,
"Before the ladye gang."

"But haste and haste, my good white steed,
"To come the maiden till,
"Or a' the birds, of gude green wood,
"Of your flesh shall have their fill."

"Ye need na burst your good white steed,
"Wi' racing o'er the howm;
"Nae bird flies faster through the wood,
"Than she fled through the broom."

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