The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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63A: Child Waters


Percy MS., p. 274; Hales and Furnivall, II, 269.

63A.1	CHILDE Watters in his stable stoode,
	And stroaket his milke-white steede;
	To him came a ffaire young ladye
	As ere did weare womans wee<de].
63A.2	Saies, Christ you saue, good Chyld Waters!
	Sayes, Christ you saue and see!
	My girdle of gold, which was too longe,
	Is now to short ffor mee.
63A.3	'And all is with one chyld of yours,
	I ffeele sturre att my side;
	My gowne of greene, it is to strayght;
	Before it was to wide.'
63A.4	'If the child be mine, Faire Ellen,' he sayd,
	'Be mine, as you tell mee,
	Take you Cheshire and Lancashire both,
	Take them your owne to bee.
63A.5	'If the child be mine, Ffaire Ellen,' he said,
	'Be mine, as you doe sweare,
	Take you Cheshire and Lancashire both,
	And make that child your heyre.'
63A.6	Shee saies, I had rather haue one kisse,
	Child Waters, of thy mouth,
	Then I wold haue Cheshire and Lancashire both,
	that lyes by north and south.
63A.7	'And I had rather haue a twinkling,
	Child Waters, of your eye,
	Then I wold haue Cheshire and Lancashire both,
	To take them mine oune to bee.'
63A.8	'To-morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde
	Soe ffarr into the north countrye;
	The ffairest lady that I can ffind,
	Ellen, must goe with mee.'
	'And euer I pray you, Child Watters,
	Your ffootpage let me bee!'
63A.9	'If you will my ffootpage be, Ellen,
	As you doe tell itt mee,
	Then you must cutt your gownne of greene
	An inche aboue your knee.
63A.10	'Soe must you doe your yellow lockes,
	Another inch aboue your eye;
	You must tell noe man what is my name;
	My ffootpage then you shall bee.'
63A.11	All this long day Child Waters rode,
	Shee ran bare ffoote by his side;
	Yett was he neuer soe curteous a knight
	To say, Ellen, will you ryde?
63A.12	But all this day Child Waters rode,
	Shee ran barffoote thorow the broome;
	Yett he was neuer soe curteous a knight
	As to say, Put on your shoone.
63A.13	'Ride softlye,' shee said, 'Child Watters;
	Why doe you ryde soe ffast?
	The child which is no mans but yours
	My bodye itt will burst.'
63A.14	He sayes, Sees thou yonder water, Ellen,
	that fflowes from banke to brim?
	'I trust to god, Child Waters,' shee said,
	'You will neuer see mee swime.'
63A.15	But when shee came to the waters side,
	Shee sayled to the chinne:
	'Except the lord of heauen be my speed,
	Now must I learne to swime.'
63A.16	The salt waters bare vp Ellens clothes,
	Our Ladye bare vpp he<r] chinne,
	And Child Waters was a woe man, good Lord,
	To ssee Faire Ellen swime.
63A.17	And when shee ouer the water was,
	Shee then came to his knee:
	He said, Come hither, Ffaire Ellen,
	Loe yonder what I see!
63A.18	'Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
	Of redd gold shine the yates;
	There's four and twenty ffayre ladyes,
	The ffairest is my wordlye make.
63A.19	'Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
	Of redd gold shineth the tower;
	There is four and twenty ffaire ladyes,
	The fairest is my paramoure.'
63A.20	'I doe see the hall now, Child Waters,
	that of redd gold shineth the yates;
	God giue good then of your selfe,
	And of your wordlye make!
63A.21	'I doe see the hall now, Child Waters,
	that of redd gold shineth the yates;
	God giue good then of your selfe,
	And of your paramoure!'
63A.22	There were four and twenty ladyes,
	Were playing att the ball,
	And Ellen, was the ffairest ladye,
	Must bring his steed to the stall.
63A.23	There were four and twenty faire ladyes
	Was playing att the chesse;
	And Ellen, shee was the ffairest ladye,
	Must bring his horsse to grasse.
63A.24	And then bespake Child Waters sister,
	And these were the words said shee:
	You haue the prettyest ffootpage, brother,
	that euer I saw with mine eye;
	That euer I saw with mine eye;
63A.25	'But that his belly it is soe bigg,
	His girdle goes wonderous hye;
	And euer I pray you, Child Waters,
	Let him goe into the chamber with mee.'
63A.26	'It is more meete for a little ffootpage,
	that has run through mosse and mire,
	To take his supper vpon his knee
	And sitt downe by the kitchin fyer,
	Then to goe into the chamber with any ladye
	That weares soe [rich] attyre.'
63A.27	But when th?e had supped euery one,
	To bedd they took the way;
	He sayd, Come hither, my little footpage,
	Harken what I doe say.
63A.28	And goe thee downe into yonder towne,
	And low into the street;
	The ffairest ladye that thou can find,
	Hyer her in mine armes to sleepe,
	And take her vp in thine armes two,
	For filinge of her ffeete.
63A.29	Ellen is gone into the towne,
	And low into the streete;
	The fairest ladye that shee cold find
	Shee hyred in his armes to sleepe,
	And tooke her in her armes two,
	For filing of her ffeete.
63A.30	'I pray you now, good Child Waters,
	that I may creepe in att your bedds feete;
	For there is noe place about this house
	Where I may say a sleepe.'
63A.31	This [night] and itt droue on affterward
	Till itt was neere the day:
	He sayd, Rise vp, my litle ffoote-page,
	And giue my steed corne and hay;
	And soe doe thou the good blacke oates,
	that he may carry me the better away.
63A.32	And vp then rose Ffaire Ellen,
	And gaue his steed corne and hay,
	And soe shee did and the good blacke oates,
	that he might carry him the better away.
63A.33	Shee layned her backe to the manger side,
	And greiuouslye did groane;
	And that beheard his mother deere,
	And heard her make her moane.
63A.34	Shee said, Rise vp, thou Child Waters,
	I thinke thou art a cursed man;
	For yonder is a ghost in thy stable,
	that greiuouslye doth groane,
	Or else some woman laboures of child,
	Shee is soe woe begone.
63A.35	But vp then rose Child Waters,
	And did on his shirt of silke;
	Then he put on his other clothes
	On his body as white as milke.
63A.36	And when he came to the stable-dore,
	Full still that hee did stand,
	that hee might heare now Faire Ellen,
	That hee might heare now Faire Ellen,
	How shee made her monand.
63A.37	Shee said, Lullabye, my owne deere child!
	Lullabye, deere child, deere!
	I wold thy father were a king,
	Thy mother layd on a beere!
63A.38	'Peace now,' he said, 'good Faire Ellen,
	And be of good cheere, I thee pray,
	And the bridall and the churching both,
	They shall bee vpon one day.'

63B: Child Waters


a. Jamieson's Brown MS., fol. 22, taken down from Mrs Brown's recitation before 1783.  b. A. Fraser Tytler's Brown MS., No 9, as recited by Mrs Brown in 1800.

63B.1	'I WARN ye all, ye gay ladies,
	That wear scarlet an brown,
	That ye dinna leave your father's house,
	To follow young men frae town.'
63B.2	'O here am I, a lady gay,
	That wears scarlet an brown,
	Yet I will leave my father's house,
	An follow Lord John frae the town.'
63B.3	Lord John stood in his stable-door,
	Said he was bound to ride;
	Burd Ellen stood in her bowr-door,
	Said she'd rin by his side.
63B.4	He's pitten on his cork-heeld shoone,
	An fast awa rade he;
	She's clade hersel in page array,
	An after him ran she.
63B.5	Till they came till a wan water,
	An folks do ca it clyde;
	Then he's lookit oer his left shoulder,
	Says, Lady, can ye wide?
63B.6	'O I learnt it i my father house,
	An I learnt it for my weal,
	Wenneer I came to a wan water,
	To swim like ony eel.'
63B.7	But the firstin stap the lady stappit,
	The water came til her knee;
	'Ohon, alas!' said the lady,
	'This water's oer deep for me.'
63B.8	The nextin stap the lady stappit,
	The water came till her middle;
	An sighin says that gay lady,
	I've wat my gouden girdle
63B.9	The nextin stap the lady stappit,
	The water came till her pap;
	An the bairn that was in her twa sides
	For caul begane to quake.
63B.10	'Lye still, lye still, my ain dear babe,
	Ye work your mither wae;
	Your father rides on high horse-back,
	Cares little for us twae.'
63B.11	O about the midst o Clyden water
	There was a yeard-fast stane;
	He lightly turnd his horse about,
	An tooke her on him behin.
63B.12	'O tell me this now, good Lord John,
	An a word ye dinna lee,
	How far it is to your lodgin,
	Whare we this night maun be?'
63B.13	'O see you nae yon castle, Ellen,
	That shines sae fair to see?
	There is a lady in it, Ellen,
	Will sunder you an me.
63B.14	'There is a lady in that castle
	Will sunder you and I:'
	'Betide me well, betide me wae,
	I sal go there an try.'
63B.15	'O my dogs sal eat the good white bread,
	An ye sal eat the bran;
	Then will ye sigh, an say, alas!
	That ever I was a man!'
63B.16	'O I sal eat the good white bread,
	An your dogs sal eat the bran;
	An I hope to live an bless the day,
	That ever ye was a man.'
63B.17	'O my horse sal eat the good white meal,
	An ye sal eat the corn;
	Then will ye curse the heavy hour
	That ever your love was born.'
63B.18	'O I sal eat the good white meal,
	An your horse sal eat the corn;
	An I ay sall bless the happy hour
	That ever my love was born.'
63B.19	O four an twenty gay ladies
	Welcomd Lord John to the ha,
	But a fairer lady than them a'
	Led his horse to the stable sta.
63B.20	An four an twenty gay ladies
	Welcomd Lord John to the green,
	But a fairer lady than them a'
	At the manger stood alane.
63B.21	Whan bells were rung, an mass was sung,
	Ar a' men boun to meat,
	Burd Ellen at a bye-table
	Amo the foot-men was set.
63B.22	'O eat an drink, my bonny boy,
	The white bread an the beer:'
	'The never a bit can I eat or drink,
	My heart's sae full of fear.'
63B.23	'O eat an drink, my bonny boy,
	The white bread an the wine:'
	'O I canna eat nor drink, master,
	My heart's sae full of pine.'
63B.24	But out it spake Lord John's mother,
	An a wise woman was she:
	'Whare met ye wi that bonny boy,
	That looks sae sad on thee?
63B.25	'Sometimes his cheek is rosy red,
	An sometimes deadly wan;
	He's liker a woman big wi bairn,
	Than a young lord's serving man.'
63B.26	'O it makes me laugh, my mother dear,
	Sic words to hear frae thee;
	He is a squire's ae dearest son,
	That for love has followd me.
63B.27	'Rise up, rise up, my bonny boy,
	Gi my horse corn an hay:'
	'O that I will, my master dear,
	As quickly as I may.'
63B.28	She's taen the hay under her arm,
	The corn intill her han,
	An she's gane to the great stable,
	As fast as eer she can.
63B.29	'O room ye roun, my bonny broun steeds,
	O room ye near the wa;
	For the pain that strikes me thro my sides
	Full soon will gar me fa.'
63B.30	She's leand her back against the wa;
	Strong travail seizd her on;
	An even amo the great horse feet
	Burd Ellen brought forth her son.
63B.31	Lord John'[s] mither intill her bowr
	Was sitting all alone,
	Whan, i the silence o the night,
	She heard fair Ellen's moan.
63B.32	'Won up, won up, my son,' she says,
	'Go se how a' does fare;
	For I think I hear a woman's groans,
	An a bairn greeting sair.'
63B.33	O hastily he gat him up,
	Stayd neither for hose nor shoone,
	An he's doen him to the stable-door,
	Wi the clear light o the moon.
63B.34	He strack the door hard wi his foot,
	An sae has he wi his knee,
	An iron locks an iron bars
	Into the floor flung he:
	'Be not afraid, Burd Ellen,' he says,
	'Ther's nane come in but me.'
63B.35	Up he has taen his bonny young son,
	An gard wash him wi the milk;
	An up has he taen his fair lady,
	Gard row her in the silk.
63B.36	'Cheer up your heart, Burd Ellen,' he says,
	'Look nae mair sad nor wae;
	For your marriage an your kirkin too
	Sal baith be in ae day.'

 
		       Child 63C: Child Waters
	
Kinloch's annotated copy of his Ancient Scottish Ballads, Kinloch MSS, IV, 180.

63C.1	'THE corn is turning ripe, Lord John,
	The nuts are growing fu,
	And ye are bound for your ain countrie,
	Fain wad I go wi you.'
63C.2	'Wi me, Margret, wi me, Margret,
	What wad ye do wi me?
	I've mair need o a pretty little boy,
	To wait upon my steed.'
63C.3	'It's I will be your pretty little boy,
	To wait upon your steed;
	And ilka town that we come to,
	A pack of hounds I'll lead.'
63C.4	'My hounds will eat o the bread o wheat,
	And ye of the bread of bran;
	And then you will sit and sigh,
	That eer ye loed a man.'
63C.5	The first water that they cam to,
	I think they call it Clyde,
	He saftly unto her did say,
	Lady Margret, will ye ride?
63C.6	The first step that she steppit in,
	She steppit to the knee;
	Says, Wae be to ye, waefu water,
	For through ye I maun be.
63C.7	The second step that she steppit in,
	She steppit to the middle,
	And sighd, and said, Lady Margret,
	'I've staind my gowden girdle.'
63C.8	The third step that she steppit in,
	She steppit to the neck;
	The pretty babe within her sides,
	The cauld it garrd it squake.
63C.9	'Lie still my babe, lie still my babe,
	Lie still as lang's ye may,
	For your father rides on horseback high,
	Cares little for us twae.'
63C.10	It's whan she cam to the other side,
	She sat doun on a stane;
	Says, Them that made me, help me now,
	For I am far frae hame.
63C.11	'How far is it frae your mither's bouer,
	Gude Lord John tell to me?'
	'It's therty miles, Lady Margaret,
	It's therty miles and three:
	And yese be wed to ane o her serving men,
	For yese get na mair o me.'
63C.12	Then up bespak the wylie parrot,
	As it sat on the tree,
	'Ye lee, ye lee, Lord John,' it said,
	'Sae loud as I hear ye lee.
63C.13	'Ye say it's therty miles frae your mither's bouer,
	Whan it's but barely three;
	And she'll neer be wed to a serving man,
	For she'll be your ain ladie.'
63C.14	['O dinna ye see yon bonnie castle,
	Lies on yon sunny lea?
	And yese get ane o my mither's men,
	For yese get na mair o me.']
63C.15	['We'll see I yon bonnie castle,
	Lies on yon sunny lea,
	But Ise neer hae nane o your mither's men,
	Tho I never gat mair o thee.']
63C.16	[Whan he cam to the porter's yett
	He tirled at the pin,
	And wha sae ready as the bauld porter
	To open and lat him in.]
63C.17	Monie a lord and fair ladie
	Met Lord John in the closs,
	But the bonniest face amang them a'
	Was hauding Lord John's horse.
63C.18	[Monie a lord and lady bricht
	Met Lord John on the green,
	But the bonniest boy amang them a'
	Was standing by, him leen.]
63C.19	Monie a lord and gay ladie
	Sat dining in the ha,
	But the bonniest face that was there
	Was waiting on them a'.
63C.20	O up bespak Lord John's sister,
	A sweet young maid was she:
	'My brither has brought a bonnie young page,
	His like I neer did see;
	But the red flits fast frae his cheek,
	And the tear stands in his ee.'
63C.21	But up bespak Lord John's mither,
	She spak wi meikle scorn:
	'He's liker a woman gret wi bairn,
	Than onie waiting-man.'
63C.22	'It's ye'll rise up, my bonnie boy,
	And gie my steed the hay:'
	'O that I will, my dear master,
	As fast as I can gae.'
63C.23	She took the hay aneath her arm,
	The corn intil her hand,
	But atween the stable-door and the staw,
	Lady Margret made a stand.
63C.24	[Whan bells were rung, and mass was sung,
	And a' men boun for bed,
	Lord John, mither, and sister gay
	In ae bour they were laid.]
63C.25	[Lord John had na weel gat aff his claise,
	Nor was he weel laid doun,
	Till his mither heard a bairn greet,
	And a woman's heavy moan.]
63C.26	['Win up, win up, Lord John,' she said,
	'Seek neither hose nor shoon;
	For I've heard a bairn loud greet,
	And a woman's heavy moan.']
63C.27	[Lord John raise, put on his claise,
	Sought neither hose nor shoon,
	Atween the ha and the stable-door
	He made na a step but ane.]
63C.28	'O open the door, Lady Margaret,
	O open and let me in;
	I want to see if my steed be fed,
	Or my grey-hounds fit to rin.'
63C.29	'I'll na open the door, Lord John,' she said,
	'I'll na open it to thee,
	Till ye grant to me my ae request,
	And a puir ane it's to me.
63C.30	'Ye'll gie to me a bed in an outhouse,
	For my young son and me,
	And the meanest servant in a' the place,
	To wait on him and me.'
63C.31	[He's tane the door wi his fit,
	And he keppd it wi his knee,
	He made the door o double deals
	In splinders soon to flee.]
63C.32	['An askin, an askin, grant me, Lord John,
	An askin ye'll grant me;
	The meanest maid about the place
	To bring a glass o water to me.']
63C.33	'I grant, I grant, Lady Margret,' he said,
	'A' that, and mair frae me,
	The very best bed in a' the place
	To your young son and thee,
	And my mither, and my sister dear,
	To wait on him and thee.
63C.34	'And a' thae lands, and a' thae rents,
	They shall be his and thine;
	Our wedding and our kirking day,
	They sall be all in ane.'
63C.35	And he has tane Lady Margaret,
	And rowd her in the silk,
	And he has tane his ain young son,
	And washd him in the milk.

63D: Child Waters


63D.24.	* * * *
	Lord John rose, put on his clothes,
	Sought neither stockens nor shoon,
	An between the ha and the stable
	He made not a step but one.
63D.25	'O open, open, to me, Burd Ellen,
	O open an let me in:'
	'O yes, O yes, will I, Lord John,
	But not till I can win;
	O yes, will I, Lord John,' she says,
	'But I'm lyin wi your young son.'
63D.26	He's taen the door wi his foot,
	An he kepped it wi his knee;
	He made the door of double deals
	In splinders soon to flee.
63D.27	'An askin ye'll grant me, Lord John,
	An askin ye'll grant me;
	May the meanest maid about the place
	Bring a glass o water to me?'
63D.28	'O hold your tongue, Burd Ellen,' he said,
	'Lat a' your askins be;
	For the best maid about the house
	Shall bring a glass o wine to thee.
63D.29	'An the best bed about it a',
	For my young son an thee;
	My mother and my ae sister
	Sal bear you company.
63D.30	'Your marriage an your kirkin day
	They sal be both in ane,
	An a' these ha's an bowers, Burd Ellen,
	They sal be yours an mine.'

63E: Child Waters


63E.1	'I BEG you bide at hame, Margaret,
	An sew your silken seam;
	If ye waur in the wide Hielands,
	Ye wald be owre far frae hame.'
63E.2	'I winna bide a hame,' she said,
	'Nor sew my silken seam;
	For if I waur in the wide Hielands,
	I wald no be owre far frae hame.'
63E.3	'My steed sall drink the blude-red wine,
	An you the water wan;
	I'll mak you sigh, an say, alace,
	That ever I loed a man!'
63E.4	'Though your steed does drink the blude-red wine,
	An me the water wan,
	Yet will I sing, an merry be,
	That ever I loed a man.'
63E.5	'My hounds shall eat the bread o wheat,
	An you the bread o bran;
	I'll mak you sigh, an say, alace,
	That ever you loed Lord John!'
63E.6	'Though your hounds do eat the bread o wheat,
	An me the bread o bran,
	Yet will I sing, an merrie be,
	That ever I loed Lord John.'
63E.7	He turned aboot his high horse head,
	An awa he was boun to ride;
	She kilted up her green clieden,
	An after him she gaed.
63E.8	Whan they cam to that water
	Whilk a' man ca the Clyde,
	He turned aboot his high horse head,
	Said, Ladie, will you ride?
63E.9	'I learnt it in my mother's bour,
	I wish I had learnt it weel,
	That I could swim this wan water
	As weel as fish or eel.'
63E.10	Whan at the middle o that water,
	She sat doon on a stone;
	He turned aboot his high horse head,
	Says, Ladie, will ye loup on?
63E.11	'I learnt in my mother's bour,
	I wish I had learnt it better,
	That I culd swim this wan water
	As weel as eel or otter.'
63E.12	He has taen the narrow ford,
	An she has taen the wide;
	Lang, lang ere he was at the middle,
	She was sittin at the ither side.
63E.13	. . . . .
	. . . . .
	Wi sighen said that Fair Margaret,
	Alace, I'm far frae hame!
63E.14	'Hoo mony miles is't to your castle?
	Noo Lord John, tell to me;'
	'Hoo mony miles is't to my castle?
	It's thirty miles an three:'
	Wi sighen said that Fair Margaret,
	It'll never be gane by me!
63E.15	But up it spak the wily bird,
	As it sat on the tree,
	'Rin on, rin on noo, Fair Margaret,
	It scarcely miles is three.'
63E.16	Whan they cam to the wide Hielands,
	An lichted on the green,
	Every an spak Erse to anither,
	But Margaret she spak nane.
63E.17	Whan they waur at table set,
	An birlin at the best,
	Margaret set at a bye-table,
	An fain she wald hain rest.
63E.18	'Oh mither, mither, mak my bed
	Wi clean blankets an sheets,
	An lay my futeboy at my feet,
	The sounder I may sleep.'
63E.19	She has made Lord John his bed,
	Wi clean blankets an sheets,
	An laid his futeboy at his feet,
	But neer a wink culd he sleep.
63E.20	'Win up, win up noo, Fair Margaret,
	An see that my steed has meat;
	See that his corn is in his travisse,
	Nor lyin amang his feet.'
63E.21	Slowly, slowly rase she up,
	An slowly put she on,
	An slowly gaed she doon the stair,
	Aye makin a heavy moan.
	* * * * *
63E.22	'An asken, an asken, gude Lord John,
	I pray you grant it me;
	For the warst bed in a' your hoose,
	To your young son an me.'
63E.23	'Your asken is but sma, Margaret,
	Sune grantet it shall be;
	For the best bed in a' my hoose
	Is owre little for thee.'
63E.24	'An asken, an asken, gude Lord John,
	I pray you grant it me;
	For the warst ale in a' your hoose,
	That ye wald gie to me.'
63E.25	'Your asken is but sma, Margaret,
	Sune grantet it sall be;
	For the best wine in a' my hoose
	Is owre little for thee.
63E.26	'But cheer up your heart noo, Fair Margaret,
	For, be it as it may,
	Your kirken an your fair weddin
	Sall baith be on one day.'

63F: Child Waters


63F.1	LORD THOMAS stands in his stable-door,
	Seeing his steeds kaimd down;
	Lady Ellen sits at her bower-door,
	Sewing her silver seam.
63F.2	'O will ye stay at hame, Ellen,
	And sew your silver seam?
	Or will ye to the rank highlands?
	For my lands lay far frae hame.'
63F.3	'I winna stay at hame, Lord Thomas,
	And sew my silver seam;
	But I'll gae to the rank highlands,
	Tho your lands lay far frae hame.'
	* * * * *
63F.4	'An asking, an asking, Lord Thomas,
	I pray thee grant it me;
	How many miles into your fair tower,
	And house where you would be?'
63F.5	'Your asking fair, lady Ellen,' he says,
	'Shall now be granted thee;
	For to my castle where it stands
	Is thirty miles and three:'
	'O wae is me,' says Lady Ellen,
	'It will never be run by me.'
63F.6	But up and spak the wily pyot,
	That sat upon the tree:
	'Sae loud, sae loud, ye fause, fause knight,
	Sae loud as I hear you lie!
63F.7	'For to your dwelling-house,' it says,
	'Of miles it's scantly three:'
	'O weel is me,' says Lady Ellen;
	'It shall be run by me.'
	* * * * *
63F.8	'O mither, mither, mak my bed,
	And mak it braid and wide,
	And lay my little page at my feet,
	Whatever may betide.'
	* * * * *
63F.9	'An asking, an asking, Lord Thomas,
	I pray thee grant it me;
	O grant me a cup of cold water,
	Between my young son and me.'
63F.10	'What you do ask, Lady Ellen,
	Shall soon be granted thee;
	The best bread and the best wine,
	Between my young son and thee.'
63F.11	'I ask again, my good Lord Thomas,
	I ask again of thee;
	The poorest cot-house in your land,
	Between my young son and me.'
63F.12	'Your asking now, dear Lady Ellen,
	I quickly grant to thee;
	The best bower about my tower,
	Between my young son and thee.'

63G: Child Waters


63G.1	THE knight he stands in stable-door,
	Says he, I will go ride;
	The lady's kilted her gay cloathing,
	And ran low by his side.
63G.2	He has ridden, and she has run,
	Till they came to yon water wan;
	He has ridden, and she has run,
	Like to his waiting man.
63G.3	He has ridden, and she has run,
	Till they came on to Clyde;
	The knight he rode on high horseback,
	But the lady she bot wide.
63G.4	The first step that the lady stepped,
	She stept into the knee;
	The bairn that was between her sides
	There he gied spartles three.
63G.5	'Lie still, lie still, my bonny boy,
	Ye work your mother woe;
	Your father rides on high horseback,
	Cares little for us two.'
63G.6	The nextand step that lady stepped,
	She stept into the pap;
	The bairn that was between her sides
	There spartled and he lap.
63G.7	'Ly still, ly still, my bonny boy,
	You work your mother's woe;
	Your father rides on high horseback,
	Cares little for us two.'
63G.8	In the middle of that water
	There stands a yird-fast stone;
	He turnd his horse head back again,
	Said, Lady, loup ye on.
63G.9	She hadna ridden a mile, a mile,
	O never a mile but ane,
	Till she grew sick, and so weary
	She couldna ride nor gang.
63G.10	'Ride on, ride on, my gay lady,
	You see not what I see;
	For yonder is my father's castle,
	A little beyond the lee,
	And ye'll get ane of my father's men,
	But, lady, neer lippen on me.'
63G.11	There were four and twenty bonny ladies
	Led Willie frae bower to ha,
	But the bonniest lady among them a'
	Led his steed to the sta.
63G.12	When they were at the table set,
	And sitting at their dine,
	Out it spake his mother dear,
	And she spake aye in time.
63G.13	'Sometimes your boy's red, Willie,
	And other times he's wan;
	He looks like a woman wi bairn,
	But no ways like a man.'
63G.14	'Win up, win up, my bonny boy,
	Go look your master's steed;
	See that his meat be at his head,
	And not among his feet.'
63G.15	O healy, healy raise she up,
	And healy gaed she down,
	And healy opend the stable-door,
	And as healy gaed she in,
	And even among that big horse feet
	She bear her dear young son.
63G.16	As Willie's mother was walking alone,
	Between the bower and ha,
	She thought she heard a bairn's greet
	And lady's moan in the sta.
63G.17	'Gude make ye safe, my ae son Willie,
	Gude keep ye safe frae harm;
	Ye might hae chosen a lighter foot-boy
	Than a women in travilling.'
63G.18	He hit the table wi his foot,
	He kept it wi his knee,
	Till silver cups and silver spoons
	Into the floor did flee.
63G.19	There was fifteen steps into that stair,
	I wat he made them a' but three;
	He's to the stable gane in haste,
	And a' to see his gay lady.
63G.20	'I am not come o sic low kin,
	Nor yet sic low degree,
	That you needed to banish me frae your sight,
	That ye left nae woman wi me.'
63G.21	'I wish I'd drunken the wan water
	When I did drink the wine,
	Or when I left my lady gay,
	And her at sic a time.
63G.22	'But up ye'll take my dear young son,
	And wash him wi the milk,
	And up ye'll take my lady gay
	And row her in the silk;
	For her kirking and her fair wedding
	Shall baith stand in ae day.'

63H: Child Waters


63H.1	* * * *
	'TURN back, turn back, O Burd Alone,
	For the water's both broad and long:'
	First she went into the shoulders,
	And sine unto the chin.
63H.2	'How far is it to your hall, Lord John?
	How far is it? I pray of thee:'
	'The nearest way unto my hall
	Is thirty miles and three.
63H.3	'Turn back, turn back, O Burd Alone,
	Ye'll sink before ye win owre:'
	'I am too big with bairn,' she says,
	'To sink or I win owre.'
63H.4	'Turn back, turn back, O Burd Alone,
	Turn back, I pray of thee;
	For I've got a wife and seven bairns,
	I like far better than thee.'
63H.5	And then spak a wild parrot,
	Sat high upon the tree:
	'Gang on, gang on, O Burd Alone,
	[He likes nane better nor thee.]
63H.6	'For Lord John has neither wife nor bairns,
	He likes better than thee,
	And the nearest way to Lord John's hall
	Is only short miles three.'
63H.7	When she was come to Lord John's hall,
	Lords, knights and ladies braw
	Was there to welcome them hame;
	But the bravest in the ha,
	She waited at Lord John's back,
	Serving the tables a'.
63H.8	When she was laid into her bed,
	Amang the servants a' ilk ane,
	The mother heard a babie greet,
	And a lady make a heavy maen.
63H.9	'Rise up, rise up, Lord John,' she said,
	'Bind on thy hose and shoon;
	Thow might hae got some other lady
	Then a lady big wi bairn.'
63H.10	Lord John awa to the hay-loft,
	Where his lady lay;
	'O rise, O rise, my love,' he says,
	'O rise and let me in;
	It's I have got no loves without,
	But I've got one within.'
63H.11	'I ask three favours of you, Lord John,
	I ask three favours of thee;
	I ask a bottle of your sma, sma beer,
	For your old son and me.'
63H.12	'O rise, O rise, my love,' he says,
	'O rise and let me in;
	My wine and gin is at your command,
	And that of my old son.'
63H.13	'The next favour I ask of you, Lord John,
	The next favour I ask of thee,
	Is the meanest room in all your house,
	For your young son and me.
63H.14	'The next favour I ask of you, Lord John,
	The next favour I ask of thee,
	Is the meanest maid in a' your house,
	To wait on your yong son and me.'
63H.15	'O rise, O rise, my love,' he says,
	'O rise and let me in;
	For thy bridal and thy banquet day
	Shall both be held in ane.'

63I: Child Waters


63I.1	LORD JOHN stands in his stable-door,
	Just on his way to ride;
	Lady Ellen stands in her bower-door,
	Says, Bide, Lord John, abide!
	* * * * *
63I.2	He did ride, and she did run,
	A lief-lang simmer's day,
	Until they came till a wan water,
	That a' man did ca Tay.
63I.3	The first step that she steppit in,
	She steppit tae the cweet;
	An sichan said that gay lady,
	I fear this water's deep!
63I.4	The next step that she steppit in,
	She steppit tae the knee;
	An sichan said that gay lady,
	This water's deep for me!
63I.5	Lord John hield down his high horse head,
	Said, Lady, will ye ride?
	'O no! O no! kind sir,' she said,
	'I'll rather choose tae wide.'
63I.6	The next step that she steppit in,
	She steppit tae the chin;
	An sichan said that gay lady,
	I'll wide nae farrer in.
63I.7	The firsten town that they cam till,
	She got a leash o huns tae lead,
	. . . . .
	. . . . .
	* * * * *
63I.8	When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
	An a' was ready tae dine,
	. . . . .
	. . . . .
63I.9	When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
	An a' were bound for bed,
	. . . . .
	. . . . .

63J: Child Waters


63J.1	THE knight stands in his stable-door,
	Says he, I will gae ride;
	A lady stands in her bower-door,
	Says, I'll ride by your side.
63J.2	'Ye shall not follow me, Burd Helen,
	Except ye do this deed;
	That is, to saddle to me my horse,
	And bridle to me my steed,
	And every town that ye come to,
	A liesh o hounds to lead.'
63J.3	'I will saddle to you your horse,
	Sae will I bridle your steed;
	And every town that we come to,
	A liesh o hounds I'll lead.'
63J.4	Take warning a', ye maidens fair,
	That wear scarlet and brown;
	In virtue leave your lammas beds,
	To follow knights frae town.
63J.5	'My dogs shall eat the white bread, Helen,
	And you the dust and bran;
	And you will sigh, and say, alas!
	That eer our loves began.'
63J.6	'Your dogs may eat the gude white bread,
	And I the dust and bran;
	Yet will I sing, and say, well's me,
	That eer our loves began.'
63J.7	'My horse shall drink the gude red wine,
	And you the water wan;
	And then you'll sigh, and say, alas!
	That eer our loves began.'
63J.8	'Your horse may drink the gude red wine,
	And I the water wan;
	But yet I'll sing, and say, well's me,
	That eer our loves began.'
63J.9	Then Willie lap on his white steed,
	And straight awa did ride;
	Burd Helen, drest in men's array,
	She walked by his side.
63J.10	But he was neer sae lack a knight
	As ance woud bid her ride,
	And she was neer sae mean a may
	As ance woud bid him bide.
63J.11	Sweet Willie rade, Burd Helen ran,
	A livelang summer's tide,
	Until she came to wan water,
	For a' men ca's it Clyde.
63J.12	The first an step that she wade in,
	She wadit to the knee;
	'Ohon, alas!' said that fair maid,
	'This water's nae for me!'
63J.13	The next an step that she wade in,
	She wadit to the pap;
	The babe within her sides twa,
	Cauld water gart it quack.
63J.14	'Lie still, lie still, my bonny bairn,
	For a' this winna dee;
	Your father rides on high horseback,
	Minds neither you nor me.'
63J.15	In the midst of Clyde's water,
	There stands a yird-fast stone;
	There he leant him ower his saddle-bow,
	And set that lady on,
	And brought her to the other side,
	Then set her down again.
63J.16	'O see ye not yon goodly towers,
	And gowd towers stand sae hie?
	There is a lady in yonder bower
	Will sinder you and me.'
63J.17	'I wish nae ill to your lady,
	She neer wishd nane to me;
	But I wish the maid maist o your love
	That drees far mair for thee.
63J.18	'I wish nae ill to your lady,
	She neer comes in my thought;
	But I wish the maid maist o your love
	That dearest hae you bought.'
63J.19	Four an twenty gay ladies
	Led Willie thro bower and ha;
	But the fairest lady amo them a'
	Led his horse to the sta.
63J.20	Four an twenty gay ladies
	Were a' at dinner set;
	Burd Helen sat at a by-table,
	A bit she coudna eat.
63J.21	Out it spake her Dow Isbel,
	A skilly dame was she:
	'O whare got ye this fine foot-page
	Ye've brought alang wi thee?
63J.22	'Sometimes his colour waxes red,
	Sometimes it waxes wan;
	He is liker a woman big wi bairn
	Nor be a waiting man.'
63J.23	'Win up, win up, my boy,' he says,
	'At my bidding to be,
	And gang and supper my gude steed,
	See he be litterd tee.'
63J.24	Then she is into stable gane,
	Shut tee the door wi a pin,
	And even amang Willie's horse feet
	Brought hame her bonny young son.
63J.25	When day was gane, and night was come,
	And a' man bound for bed,
	Sweet Willie and Dow Isbel
	In ae chamber were laid.
63J.26	They hadna been well lien down,
	Nor yet well faen asleep,
	Till up it wakens Sweet Willie,
	And stood at Dow Isbel's feet.
63J.27	'I dreamd a dreary dream this night,
	I wish it may be for guid;
	Some rogue hae broke my stable-door,
	And stown awa my steed.
63J.28	'Win up, win up now, Dow Isbel,
	At my bidding to be,
	And ye'll gae to my stable-door,
	See that be true or lie.'
63J.29	When she gaed to the stable-door,
	She heard a grievous groan;
	She thought she heard a bairn greet,
	But and a woman's moan.
63J.30	'When I was in my bigly bower,
	I wore but what I would;
	This night I'm lighter 'mang Willie's horse feet,
	I fear I'll die for cold.
63J.31	'When I was in my bigly bower,
	I wore gold to my tae;
	This night I'm lighter mang Willie's horse feet,
	And fear I'll die or day.
63J.32	'When I was in my bigly bower,
	I wore scarlet and green;
	This night I'm lighter mang Willie's horse feet,
	And fear I'll die my lane.'
63J.33	Dow Isbel now came tripping hame,
	As fast as gang coud she;
	'I thought your page was not a man,
	Ye brought alang wi thee.
63J.34	'As I gaed to your stable, Willie,
	I heard a grievous groan;
	I thought I heard a bairn greet,
	But and a woman's moan.
63J.35	'She said, when in her bigly bower,
	She wore but what she would;
	But this night is lighter mang your horse feet,
	And fears she'll die for cold.
63J.36	'She said, when in her bigly bower,
	She wore gold to her tae;
	But this night is lighter mang your horse feet,
	And fears she'll die or day.
63J.37	'Win up, win up, now Sweet Willie,
	At my bidding to be,
	And speak some comfort to the maid,
	That's dreed sae much for thee.'
63J.38	He is to the stable door gane,
	As fast as gang coud he;
	'O open, O open, Burd Helen,' he says,
	'Ye'll open the door to me.'
63J.39	'That was never my mother's custom,
	And hope it's never be mine,
	A knight into her companie,
	When she drees a' her pine.'
63J.40	'O open the door, Burd Helen,' he says,
	'O open the door to me;
	For as my sword hangs by my gair,
	I'll gar it gang in three.'
63J.41	'How can I open, how shall I open,
	How can I open to thee,
	When lying amang your great steed's feet,
	Your young son on my knee?'
63J.42	He hit the door then wi his foot,
	Sae did he wi his knee,
	Till doors o deal, and locks o steel,
	In splinders gart he flee.
63J.43	'An asking, asking, Sweet Willie,
	An asking ye'll grant me;
	The warst in bower in a' your towers,
	For thy young son and me.'
63J.44	'Your asking's nae sae great, Burd Helen,
	But granted it shall be;
	The best in bower in a' my towers,
	For my young son and thee.'
63J.45	'An asking, asking, sweet Willie,
	An asking ye'll grant me;
	The warst an woman about your bowers,
	To wait on him and me.'
63J.46	'The best an woman about my bowers,
	To wait on him and thee,
	And that's my sister Dow Isbel,
	And a gude woman is she.
63J.47	'Ye will take up my little young son,
	And wash him wi the milk;
	And ye'll take up my gay lady,
	And row her in the silk.
63J.48	'Be favourable to my lady,
	Be favourable, if ye may;
	Her kirking and her fair wedding
	Shall baith stand on ae day.
63J.49	'There is not here a woman living
	But her shall be my bride,
	And all is for the fair speeches
	I got frae her at Clyde.'

63[K]: Child Waters


63[K].1	Willie was a harper guid,
	He was a harper fine;
	He harped the burds out of the tree,
	The fish out of the flood,
	The milk out of a woman's brist
	That bab had never nean.
63[K.2]	He harped out, an he harped in,
	Till he harped them a' aslep,
	Unless it was her Fair Elen,
	An she stood on her feett.
63[K.3]	Willie stod in stabile dor,
	He said he wad ride,
	. . . . . .
	. . . . .
63[K.4]	'Na women mane gae we me, Hellen,
	Na women mane gaie we me
	Bat them that will saddle my hors,
	An bridell my steed,
	An elky toun that I come to
	A lish of hons mane lead.'
63[K.5]	'I will saddle yer hors, Willie,
	An I will bridel yer steed,
	An elky toun att we come tell
	A leash of honds will lead.'
63[K.6]	'The dogs sall eat the gued fite bread,
	An ye the dou  pran,
	An ye sall bliss, an na curse,
	That ever ye lied a man.'
63[K.7]	'The dogs sall eat the whit bread,
	An me the dou  pran,
	An I will bliss, an na curs,
	That ear I loved a man.'
63[K.8]	She has saddled his hors,
	An she has bridled his stead,
	An ealky toun att they came throu
	A lish of honds did lead.
63[K.9]	The dogs did eatt the whit bread,
	An her the douey pran,
	An she did bliss, an she did na curs,
	That ever she loyed a man.
63[K.10]	Fan they came to yon wan water
	That a' man caas Clayd,
	He louked over his left shoder,
	Says, Ellen, will ye ride?
63[K.11]	'I learned it in my medder's bour,
	I wiss I had learned it better,
	Fan I came to wane water
	To sume as dos the otter.
63[K.12]	'I learned in my midder's bour,
	I watt I learned it well,
	Fan I came to wan water,
	To sume as dos the ell.'
63[K.13]	. . . . . . . .
	. . . . . . . .
	Or the knight was in the middell of the water,
	The lady was in the eather side.
63[K.14]	She leaned her back to a stane,
	Gaa a call opon:
	'O my back is right sore,
	An I sae farr frae hame!
63[K.15]	'Hou monny mill ha ye to rid,
	An hou mony I to rine?'
	'Fifty mill ha I to rid,
	Fifty you to rine,
	An by that time I dou supos
	Ye will be a dead woman.'
63[K.16]	Out spak a bonny burd,
	Sate on yon tree,
	'Gaa on, fair Ellen,
	Ye ha scarcly milles three.'
63[K.17]	Four-an-tuenty bony ladys
	Mett Willie in the closs,
	Bat the fairest lady among them a'
	Took Willie frae his horse.
63[K.18]	Four-an-trenty bonny ladys
	Lead Willie to the table,
	Bat the fairest lady among them a'
	Led his hors to the stable.
63[K.19]	She leaned betuen the gray folle an the waa,
	An gae a call opon;
	'O my back is fue sore,
	An I sae far fra home!
63[K.20]	'Fan I was in my father's bour,
	I ware goud to my hell;
	Bat nou I am among Willie's hors feet,
	An the call it will me kell.
63[K.21]	'Fan I was in my midder's bour
	I wear goud to my head;
	Bat nou I am among Willie's hors feet,
	And the calle will be my dead.'
63[K.22]	'Fatten a heavey horse-boy, my son Willie,
	Is this ye ha brought to me?
	Some times he grous read, read,
	An some times paill an wane;
	He louks just leak a woman we bairn,
	An no weis es leak a man.'
63[K.23]	'Gett up, my heavey hors-boy,
	Gie my hors corn an hay;'
	'By my soth,' says her Fair Ellen,
	'Bat as fast as I may.'
63[K.24]	'I dreamed a dream san the straine,
	Gued read a' dreams to gued!
	I dreamed my stable-dor was opned
	An stoun was my best steed.
	Ye gae, my sister,
	An see if the dream be gued.'
63[K.25]	. . . . . . .
	. . . . . . .
	She thought she hard a baby greet,
	Bat an a lady mone.
63[K.26]	. . . . . . .
	. . . . . . .
	'I think I hard a baby greet,
	Bat an a lady mone.'
63[K.27]	'A askend, Wikllie,' she says,
	'An ye man grant it me;
	The warst room in a' yer house
	To your young son an me.'
63[K.28]	['Ask on, Fair Ellen,
	Ye'r sure yer asken is free;]
	The best room in a' my house
	To yer young son an ye.'
63[K.29]	'[A] asken, Willie,' she sayes,
	'An ye will grant it me;
	The smallest bear in yer house
	To [yer] young son an me.'
63[K.30]	'Ask on, Fair Ellen,
	Ye'r sure your asken is free;
	The best bear in my house
	[To yer young son an ye.]
63[K.31]	'The best bear in my house
	Is the black bear an the wine,
	An ye sall haa that, Fair Ellen,
	To you an yer young son.'
63[K.32]	'[A] askent, Willie,' she says,
	'An ye will grant [it] me;
	The warst maid in yer house
	To wait on yer young son an me.'
63[K.33]	'The best maid in my house
	Is my sister Meggie,
	An ye sall ha her, Fair Ellen,
	To wait on yer young son an ye.
63[K.34]	'Chire up, Fair Ellen,
	Chire up, gin ye may;
	Yer kirking an yer fair weding
	Sall baith stand in ae day.'

Next: 64. Fair Janet






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III