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Tragic Ballads

Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet
Traditional

In order to preserve the historical integrity of the ballads in this section they are presented in their original dialects, which span a broad range. These ballads have been passed down through the centuries from many different regions of Great Britain before appearing in print. A synopsis of each ballad, in modern American English, is provided to aid in ease of comprehension of the dialects.

Read a synopsis of Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet in modern American English.

Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet
Was baith born in one bower;
Laid baith their hearts on one lady,
The less was their honour.

Chiel Wyet and Lord Ingram
Was baith born in one hall;
Laid baith their hearts on one lady,
The worse did them befall.

Lord Ingram wood her Lady Maisery
With leave of a' her kin;
And every one gave full consent,
But she said no to him.

Lord Ingram wood her Lady Maisery
into her father's ha;
Chiel Wyet wood her Lady Maisery
Amang the sheets so sma.

Now it fell out upon a day,
She was dressing her head,
That ben did come her father dear,
Wearing the gold so red.

He said, "Get up now, Lady Maisery,
Put on your wedding gown;
For Lord Ingram he will be here,
Your wedding must be done."

"I'd rather be Chiel Wyet's wife,
The white fish for to sell,
Before I were Lord Ingram's wife,
To wear the silk so well.

"I'd rather be Chiel Wyet's wife,
With him to beg my bread,
Before I were Lord Ingram's wife,
To wear the gold so red.

"Where will I get a bonny boy,
Will win gold to his fee,
And will run unto Chiel Wyet's
With this letter from me?"

"O here I am," the boy says,
"Will win gold to my fee,
And carry away any letter
To Chiel Wyet from thee."

And when he found the bridges broke,
He bent his bow and swam;
And when he found the grass growing,
He hastened and he ran.

And when he came to Chiel Wyet's castle,
He did not knock nor call,
But set his bent bow to his breast,
And lightly leaped the wall;
And ere the porter opend the gate,
The boy was in the hall.

The first line that he looked on,
A grieved man was he;
The next line that he looked on,
A tear blinded his ee:
Says, "I wonder what ails my one brother
He'll not let my love be!

"But I'll send to my brother's bridal -
The bacon shall be mine -
Full four and twenty buck and roe,
And ten tun of the wine;
And bid my love be blythe and glad,
And I will follow syne."

There was not a groom about that castle
But got a gown of green,
And all was blythe, and all was glad,
But Lady Maisery she was neen.

There was no cook about that kitchen
But got a gown of gray,
And all was blythe, and all was glad,
But Lady Maisery was wae.

Between Mary Kirk and that castle
Was all spread ower with garl,
To keep Lady Maisery and her maidens
From tramping on the marl.

From Mary Kirk to that castle
Was spread a cloth of gold,
To keep Lady Maisery and her maidens
From treading on the mold.

When mass was sung, and bells was rung,
And all men bound for bed,
Then Lord Ingram and Lady Maisery
In one bed they were laid.

When they were laid into their bed -
It was baith saft and warm -
He laid his hand over her side,
Says, "I think you are with bairn."

"I told you once, so did I twice,
When ye came me to woo,
That Chiel Wyet, your only brother,
One night lay in my bower.

"I told you twice, so did I thrice,
Ere ye came me to wed,
That Chiel Wyet, your one brother,
One night lay in my bed."

"O will you father your bairn on me,
And on no other man?
And I'll give him to his dowry
Full fifty ploughs of land."

"I will not father my bairn on you,
Nor on no wrongeous man,
Though ye would give him to his dowry
Five thousand ploughs of land."

Then up did start him Chiel Wyet,
Shed by his yellow hair,
And gave Lord Ingram to the heart
A deep wound and a sair.

Then up did start him Lord Ingram,
Shed by his yellow hair,
And gave Chiel Wyet to the heart
A deep wound and a sair.

There was no pity for that two lords,
Where they were lying slain;
But all was for Lady Maisery,
In that bower she gaed brain.

There was no pity for that two lords,
When they were lying dead;
But all was for her Lady Maisery,
In that bower she went mad.

Said, "Get to me a cloak of cloth,
A staff of good hard tree;
If I have been an evil woman,
I shall beg till I dee.

"For a bit I'll beg for Chiel Wyet,
For Lord Ingram I'll beg three;
All for the good and honorable marriage
At Mary Kirk he gave me."


The ballad Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet appears in Volume II of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, edited by Francis James Child. These volumes are in the public domain.