1. Sweet William's gone over the seas
Some unco lair to learn
And our gude Bailie's dochter
Is awa to learn the same
2. In one broad buke they learned baith
In one broad bed they lay;
But when her father came to know
He gart her come away.
3 'It's you must marry that Southland lord,
His lady for to be;
It's ye maun marry that Southland lord,
Or nocht ye'll get frae me.'
4 'I must marry that Southland lord,
Father, an it be your will;
But I rather it were my burial-day,
My grave for to fill.'
5 She walked up, she walked down,
Had none to make her moan,
Nothing but the pretty bird
Sat on the causey-stone.
6 'If thou could speak, wee bird,' she says,
'As weell as thou can flee,
I would write a long letter
To Will ayont the sea.'
7 'What thou wants wi Will,' it says,
'Thou'll seal it with thy ring,
Tak a thread o silk and anither o twine,
About my neck will hing.
8 What she wanted wi Willie
She sealed it wi a ring,
Took a thread of silk, another o twine,
About its neck did hing.
9 This bird flew high, this bird hew low,
This bird flew owre the sea,
Until it entered the same room
Wherein was Sweet Willie.
10 This bird flew high, this bird hew low,
Poor bird, it was mistaen!
It let the letter fa on Baldie's breist,
Instead of Sweet William.
11. 'Here's a letter, William,' he says,
'I'm sure it's not to me;
And gin the morn gin twelve o'clock
Your love shall married be.'
12 'Come saddle to me my horse,' he said,
'The brown and a' that's speedie,
And I'll awa to Old England,
To bring home my ladie.'
13 Awa he gaed, awa he rade,
Awa wi mickle speed;
He lichtit at every twa miles' end,
Lichtit and changed his steed.
14 When she entered the church-style,
The tear was in her ee;
But when she entered the church-door
A blythe sicht did she see.
15 'O hold your hand, you minister,
Hold it a little wee,
Till I speak wi the bonnie bride,
For she's a friend to me.
16 'Stand off, stand off, you braw bridegroom,
Stand off a little wee;
Stand off, stand off, you braw bridegroom,
For the bride shall join wi me.
17 Up and spak the bride's father,
And an angry man was lie;
'If I had pistol, powther and lead,
And all at my command,
I would shoot thee stiff and dead
In the place where thou dost stand.'
18 Up and spoke then Sweet William,
And a blithe blink from his ee;
'If ye neer be shot till I shoot you,
Ye'se neer be shot for me.
19 'Come out, come out, my foremost man,
And lift my lady on;
Commend me all to my good-mother,
At night when ye gang home.'