The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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216A: The Mother’s Malison, or, Clyde’s Water


216A.1	 ‘YE gie corn unto my horse,
	 An meat unto my man,
	 For I will gae to my true-love’s gates
	 This night, gin that I can.’
216A.2	 ‘O stay at hame this ae night, Willie,
	 This ae bare night wi me;
	 The best bed in a’ my house
	 Sall be well made to thee.’
216A.3	 ‘I carena for your beds, mither,
	 I carena ae pin,
	 For I’ll gae to my love’s gates
	 This night, gin I can win.’
216A.4	 ‘O stay, my son Willie, this night,
	 This ae night wi me;
	 The best hen in a’ my roost
	 Sall be well made ready for thee.’
216A.5	 ‘I carena for your hens, mither,
	 I carena ae pin;
	 I sall gae to my love’s gates
	 This night, gin I can win.’
216A.6	 ‘Gin ye winna stay, my son Willie,
	 This ae bare night wi me,
	 Gin Clyde’s water be deep and fu o flood,
	 My malisen drown ye!’
216A.7	 He rode up yon high hill,
	 An down yon dowie glen;
	 The roaring of Clyde’s water
	 Wad hae fleyt ten thousand men.
216A.8	 ‘O spare me, Clyde’s water,
	 O spare me as I gae!
	 Mak me your wrack as I come back,
	 But spare me as I gae!’
216A.9	 He rade in, and farther in,
	 Till he came to the chin;
	 And he rade in, and farther in,
	 Till he came to dry lan.
216A.10	 An whan he came to his love’s gates,
	 He tirled at the pin:
	 ‘Open your gates, Meggie,
	 Open your gates to me,
	 For my beets are fu o Clyde’s water,
	 And the rain rains oure my chin.’
216A.11	 ‘I hae nae lovers therout,’ she says,
	 ‘I hae nae love within;
	 My true-love is in my arms twa,
	 An nane will I lat in.’
216A.12	 ‘Open your gates, Meggie, this ae night,
	 Open your gates to me;
	 For Clyde’s water is fu o flood,
	 An my mither’s malison ’ll drown me.’
216A.13	 ‘Ane o my chamers is fu o corn,’ she says,
	 ‘An ane is fu o hay;
	 Anither is fu o Gentlemen,
	 An they winna move till day.’
216A.14	 Out waked her May Meggie,
	 Out o her drousy dream:
	 ‘I dreamed a dream sin the yestreen,
	 God read a’ dreams to guid!
	 That my true-love Willie
	 Was staring at my bed-feet.’
216A.15	 ‘Now lay ye still, my ae dochter,
	 An keep my back fra the call,
	 For it’s na the space of hafe an hour
	 Sen he gad fra yer hall.’
216A.16	 ‘An hey, Willie, an hoa, Willie,
	 Winne ye turn agen?’
	 But ay the louder that she crayed
	 He rod agenst the wind.
216A.17	 He rod up yon high hill,
	 An doun yon douey den;
	 The roring that was in Clid[e]’s water
	 Wad ha flayed ten thousand men.
216A.18	 He road in, an farder in,
	 Till he came to the chine;
	 An he road in, an farder in,
	 Bat neuer mare was seen.
	 * * * * *
216A.19	 Ther was na mare seen of that guid lord
	 Bat his hat frae his head;
	 Ther was na mare seen of that lady
	 Bat her comb an her sneed.
216A.20	 Ther waders went up an doun
	 Eadying Claid’s water
	 Hav don us wrang

216B: The Mother’s Malison, or, Clyde’s Water


216B.1	 ‘GIE corn to my horse, mither,
	 Gie meat unto my man,
	 For I maun gang to Margaret’s bower
	 Before the nicht comes on.’
216B.2	 ‘O stay at hame now, my son Willie,
	 The wind blaws cald and sour;
	 The nicht will be baith mirk and late
	 Before ye reach her bower.’
216B.3	 ‘O the nicht were ever sae dark,
	 Or the wind blew never sae cald,
	 I will be In my Margaret’s bower
	 Before twa hours be tald.’
216B.4	 ‘O gin ye gang to May Margaret,
	 Without the leave of me,
	 Clyde’s water’s wide and deep enough,
	 My malison drown thee!’
216B.5	 He mounted on his coal-black steed,
	 And fast he rade awa,
	 But ere he came to Clyde’s water
	 Fu loud the wind did blaw.
216B.6	 As he rode oer yon hich, hich hill,
	 And down yon dowie den,
	 There was a roar in Clyde’s water
	 Wad feard a hunder men.
216B.7	 His heart was warm, his pride was up;
	 Sweet Willie kentna fear;
	 But yet his mither’s malison
	 Ay sounded in his ear.
216B.8	 O he has swam through Clyde’s water,
	 Tho it was wide and deep,
	 And he came to May Margaret’s door,
	 When a’ were fast asleep.
216B.9	 O he’s gane round and round about,
	 And tirled at the pin;
	 But doors were steekd, and windows barrd,
	 And nane wad let him in.
216B.10	 ‘O open the door to me, Margaret!
	 O open amd lat me in!
	 For my boots are full o Clyde’s water
	 And frozen to the brim.’
216B.11	 ‘I darena open the door to you,
	 Nor darena lat you in,
	 For my mither she is fast asleep,
	 And I darena mak nae din.’
216B.12	 ‘O gin ye winna open the door,
	 Nor yet be kind to me,
	 Now tell me o some out-chamber
	 Where I this nicht may be.’
216B.13	 ‘Ye canna win in this nicht, Willie,
	 Nor here ye canna be;
	 For I’ve nae chambers out nor in,
	 Nae ane but barely three.
216B.14	 ‘The tane o them is fu o corn,
	 The tither is fu o hay;
	 The tither is fu o merry young men;
	 They winna remove till day.’
216B.15	 ‘O fare ye weel, then, May Margaret,
	 Sin better manna be;
	 I’ve win my mither’s malison,
	 Coming this nicht to thee.’
216B.16	 He’s mounted on his coal-black steed,
	 O but his heart was wae!
	 But, ere he came to Clyde’s water,
	 ’Twas half up oer the brae.
	 * * * * *
216B.17	 . . . .
	 . . .
	 . .  he plunged in,
	 But never raise again.

216C: The Mother’s Malison, or, Clyde’s Water


216C.1	 WILLIE stands in his stable-door,
	 And clapping at his steed,
	 And looking oer his white fingers
	 His nose began to bleed.
216C.2	 ‘Gie corn to my horse, mother,
	 And meat to my young man,
	 And I’ll awa to Maggie’s bower;
	 I’ll win ere she lie down.’
216C.3	 ‘O bide this night wi me, Willie,
	 O bide this night wi me;
	 The best an cock o a’ the reest
	 At your supper shall be.’
216C.4	 ‘A’ your cocks, and a’ your reests,
	 I value not a prin,
	 For I’ll awa to Meggie’s bower;
	 I’ll win ere she lie down.’
216C.5	 ‘Stay this night wi me, Willie,
	 O stay this night wi me;
	 The best an sheep in a’ the flock
	 At your supper shall be.’
216C.6	 ‘A’ your sheep, and a’ your flocks,
	 I value not a prin,
	 For I’ll awa’ to Meggie’s bower;
	 I’ll win ere she lie down.’
216C.7	 ‘O an ye gang to Meggie’s bower,
	 Sae sair against my will,
	 The deepest pot in Clyde’s water,
	 My malison ye’s feel.’
216C.8	 ‘The guid steed that I ride upon
	 Cost me thrice thretty pound;
	 And I’ll put trust in his swift feet
	 To hae me safe to land.’
216C.9	 As he rade ower yon high, high hill,
	 And down yon dowie den,
	 The noise that was in Clyde’s water
	 Woud feard five huner men.
216C.10	 ‘O roaring Clyde, ye roar ower loud,
	 Your streams seem wondrous strang;
	 Make me your wreck as I come back,
	 But spare me as I gang!’
216C.11	 Then he is on to Maggie’s bower,
	 And tirled at the pin;
	 ‘O sleep ye, wake ye, Meggie,’ he said,
	 ‘Ye’ll open, lat me come in.’
216C.12	 ‘O wha is this at my bower-door,
	 That calls me by my name?’
	 ‘It is your first love, sweet Willie,
	 This night newly come hame.’
216C.13	 ‘I hae few lovers thereout, thereout,
	 As few hae I therein;
	 The best an love that ever I had
	 Was here jusr late yestreen.’
216C.14	 ‘The warstan stable in a’ your stables,
	 For my puir steed to stand!
	 The warstan bower in a’ your bowers,
	 For me to lie therin!
	 My boots are fu o Clyde’s water,
	 I’m shivering at the chin.’
216C.15	 ‘My barns are fu o corn, Willie,
	 My stables are fu o hay;
	 My bowers are fu o gentlemen,
	 They’ll nae remove till day.’
216C.16	 ‘O fare ye well, my fause Meggie,
	 O farewell, and adieu!
	 I’ve gotten my mither’s malison
	 This night coming to you.’
216C.17	 As he rode ower yon high, high hill,
	 And down yon dowie den,
	 The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
	 Took Willie’s cane frae him.
216C.18	 He leand him ower his saddle-bow,
	 To catch his cane again;
	 The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
	 Took Willie’s hat frae him.
216C.19	 He leand him ower his saddle-bow,
	 To catch his hat thro force;
	 The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
	 Took Willie frae his horse.
216C.20	 His brither stood upo the bank,
	 Says, Fye, man, will ye drown?
	 Ye’ll turn ye to your high horse head
	 And learn how to sowm.
216C.21	 ‘How can I turn to my horse head
	 And learn how to sowm?
	 I’ve gotten my mither’s malison,
	 It’s here that I maun drown.’
216C.22	 The very hour this young man sank
	 Into the pot sae deep,
	 Up it wakend his love Meggie
	 Out o her drowsy sleep.
216C.23	 ‘Come here, come here, my mither dear,
	 And read this dreary dream;
	 I dreamd my love was at our gates,
	 And nane wad let him in.’
216C.24	 ‘Lye still, lye still now, my Meggie,
	 Lye still and tak your rest;
	 Sin your true-love was at your yates,
	 It’s but twa quarters past.’
216C.25	 Nimbly, nimbly raise she up,
	 And nimbly pat she on,
	 And the higher that the lady cried,
	 The louder blew the win.
216C.26	 The first an step that she steppd in,
	 She stepped to the queet;
	 ‘Ohon, alas!’ said that lady,
	 ‘This water’s wondrous deep.’
216C.27	 The next an step that she wade in,
	 She wadit to the knee;
	 Says she, ‘I coud wide farther in,
	 If I my love coud see.’
216C.28	 The next an step that she wade in,
	 She wadit to the chin;
	 The deepest pot in Clyde’s water
	 She got sweet Willie in.
216C.29	 ‘You’ve had a cruel mither, Willie,
	 And I have had anither;
	 But we shall sleep in Clyde’s water
	 Like sister an like brither.’

Next: 217. The Broom of Cowdenknows