Bonny Bee Ho'M And The Lowlands Of Holland

A poem by Frank Sidgwick

The Texts are taken respectively from Alexander Fraser Tytler's Brown MS., and from Herd's MSS., vol. i. fol. 49, where it is stated that a verse is wanting.

The Story of Bonny Bee Ho'm is of the slightest. The gift of the ring and chain occurs in many ballads and folk-tales. For the ring, see Hind Horn, 4-6 (First Series, p. 187).

For the lady's vow to put no comb in her hair, occurring in both ballads, compare Clerk Sanders, 21.4

The Lowlands of Holland is merely a lyrical version of the same theme.


By Arthur's Dale as late I went
I heard a heavy moan;
I heard a ladie lammenting sair,
And ay she cried 'Ohone!

'Ohon, alas! what shall I do,
Tormented night and day!
I never loved a love but ane,

The Lowlands Of Holland

'My love has built a bony ship, and set her on the sea,
With seven score good mariners to bear her company;
There's three score is sunk, and three score dead at sea,
And the Lowlands of Holland has twin'd my love and me.

'My love he built another ship, and set her on the main,
And nane but twenty mariners for to bring her hame;
But the weary wind began to rise, and the sea began to rout,
My love then and his bonny ship turn'd withershins about.

'There shall neither coif come on my head nor comb come in my hair;
There shall neither coal nor candle-light shine in my bower mair;
Nor will I love another one until the day I die,
For I never lov'd a love but one, and he's drowned in the sea.'

'O had your tongue, my daughter dear, be still and be content,
There are mair lads in Galloway, ye neen nae sair lament:'
'O there is none in Gallow, there's none at a' for me,
For I never lov'd a love but one, and he's drowned in the sea.'
And now he's gone away.

'But I will do for my true-love
What ladies woud think sair;
For seven year shall come and go
Ere a kaim gang in my hair.

'There shall neither a shoe gang on my foot,
Nor a kaim gang in my hair,
Nor e'er a coal nor candle-light
Shine in my bower nae mair.'

She thought her love had been on the sea,
Fast sailling to Bee Ho'm;
But he was in a quiet chamer,
Hearing his ladie's moan.

'Be husht, be husht, my ladie dear,
I pray thee mourn not so;
For I am deep sworn on a book
To Bee Ho'm for to go.'

She has gi'en him a chain of the beaten gowd,
And a ring with a ruby stone:
'As lang as this chain your body binds,
Your blude can never be drawn.

'But gin this ring shoud fade or fail,
Or the stone shoud change its hue,
Be sure your love is dead and gone,
Or she has proved untrue.'

He had no been at Bonny Bee Ho'm
A twelve mouth and a day,
Till, looking on his gay gowd ring,
The stone grew dark and gray.

'O ye take my riches to Bee Ho'm,
And deal them presentlie,
To the young that canna, the auld that maunna,
And the blind that does not see.'

Now death has come into his bower,
And split his heart in twain;
So their twa souls flew up to heaven,
And there shall ever remain.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Bonny Bee Ho'M And The Lowlands Of Holland' by Frank Sidgwick

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy