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Wife of Ushers Well 2

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The Wife of Usher's Well 2

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The Wife of Usher's Well 2

There lived a wife at Usher's Well
And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons
And sent them o'er the sea.
They had not been a week from her,
A week but barely one,
When word came to the carline wife
That her three sons were gone.

They had not been a week from her
A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife
That her sons she'd never see.
"I wish the wind may never cease
Nor fishes in the flood,
Till my three sons come home to me
In earthly flesh and blood !"

It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are long and mirk,
The carline wife's three sons came home
And their hats were on the birk.
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in any sheugh,
But at the gates of Paradise
That birk grew fair enough.

"Blow up the fires, my maidens fair!
Bring water from the well!
For all my house shall feast this night
Since my three sons are well!"
And she has made for them a bed
She's made it long and wide;
And she's taken her mantle round about,
Sat down at their bedside.

Up then did crow the red, red cock
And up and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said,
"'Tis time we were away"
The cock he hadn't crowed but once
And clapped his wings away
When the youngest to the eldest said,
"O, Brother, we must away!"

The cock doth crow, the day doth dawn,
The channerin worm doth chide;
"Gin we be miss out of our place,
A sair pain we maun bide.
Fare you well, my mother dear!
Farewell to barn and byre!
And fare you well, the bonny lass
That kindles my mother's fire!"

Child #79
From Ballads Migrant in New England, Flanders
Collected from Phyllis Burditt, Springfield VT 1951
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