Hind Horn

Original Text: 
George Ritchie Kinloch, Ancient Scottish Ballads: recovered from tradition ... (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, and Green, 1827). PR 1.1 K622a Robins FL VURF
2    Lill lal, etc.
4    With a fal lal, etc.
5  He sent a letter to our king
6That he was in love with his daughter Jean.
7  He's gien to her a silver wand,
8With seven living lavrocks sitting thereon.
9  She's gien to him a diamond ring,
10With seven bright diamonds set therein.
11  "When this ring grows pale and wan,
12You may know by it my love is gane."
13  One day as he looked his ring upon,
15  He left the sea and came to land,
16And the first that he met was an old beggar man.
17  "What news, what news?" said young Hind Horn;
18"No news, no news," said the old beggar man.
19  "No news," said the beggar, "no news at a',
20But there is a wedding in the king's ha.
21  "But there is a wedding in the king's ha,
22That has halden these forty days and twa."
23  "Will ye lend me your begging coat?
24And I'll lend you my scarlet cloak.
26And I'll gie you my steed to ride upon.
27  "Will you lend me your wig o hair,
28To cover mine, because it is fair?"
29  The auld beggar man was bound for the mill,
30But young Hind Horn for the king's hall.
31  The auld beggar man was bound for to ride,
32But young Hind Horn was bound for the bride.
33  When he came to the king's gate,
34He sought a drink for Hind Horn's sake.
35  The bride came down with a glass of wine,
36When he drank out the glass, and dropt in the ring.
37  "O got ye this by sea or land?
38Or got ye it off a dead man's hand?"
39  "I got not it by sea, I got it by land,
40And I got it, madam, out of your own hand."
41  "O I'll cast off my gowns of brown,
42And beg wi you frae town to town.
43  "O I'll cast off my gowns of red,
44And I'll beg wi you to win my bread."
45  "Ye needna cast off your gowns of brown,
46For I'll make you lady o many a town.
47  "Ye needna cast off your gowns of red,
48It's only a sham, the begging o my bread."
49  The bridegroom he had wedded the bride,
50But young Hind Horn he took her to bed.


1] Hind Horn exists in nine versions, of which the one here given was recorded in 1825. The first version to be printed appeared in Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, 1827. This ballad is derived either from the fourteenth century romance of Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild or from the traditions on which it was based. There are earlier Horn-romances in French and English. The ballad guves merely the most dramatic moments of a long exile-and-return story. 1. In the romance Horn Childe is son of the king of Northumbria. 2. Another version gives a refrain in full:
With a hey lilloo and a how lo lan
And the birk and the brume blooms bonny.
Back to Line
3] Hind: either "young" or "courteous." Back to Line
14] The change of colour indicates danger to their love, not disloyalty in the heroine, who is being wedded against her will. Back to Line
25] rung: Staff. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.73; RPO 1996-2000.