Child's Ballads/6

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Willie's Lady, no. 6
For more information see Wikipedia Willie's Lady

Willie’s Lady[edit]

WILLIE has taen him oer the fame,
He’s woo’d a wife and brought her hame.
He’s woo’d her for her yellow hair,
But his mother wrought her mickle care.
And mickle dolour gard her dree,
For lighter she can never be.
But in her bower she sits wi pain,
And Willie mourns oer her in vain.
And to his mother he has gone,
That vile rank witch of vilest kind.
He says: ‘My ladie has a cup,
Wi gowd and silver set about.
‘This goodlie gift shall be your ain,
And let her be lighter o her young bairn.’
‘Of her young bairn she’ll neer be lighter,
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter.
‘But she shall die and turn to clay,
And you shall wed another may.’
‘Another may I’ll never wed,
Another may I’ll neer bring home.’
But sighing says that weary wight,
‘I wish my life were at an end.’
‘Ye doe [ye] unto your mother again,
That vile rank witch of vilest kind.
‘And say your ladie has a steed,
The like o’m’s no in the lands of Leed.
‘For he [i]s golden shod before,
And he [i]s golden shod behind.
‘And at ilka tet of that horse’s main,
There’s a golden chess and a bell ringing.
‘This goodlie gift shall be your ain,
And let me be lighter of my young bairn.’
‘O her young bairn she’ll neer be lighter,
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter.
‘But she shall die and turn to clay,
And ye shall wed another may.’
‘Another may I[’ll] never wed,
Another may I[’ll] neer bring hame.’
But sighing said that weary wight,
‘I wish my life were at an end.’
‘Ye doe [ye] unto your mother again,
That vile rank witch of vilest kind.
‘And say your ladie has a girdle,
It’s red gowd unto the middle.
‘And ay at every silver hem,
Hangs fifty silver bells and ten.
‘That goodlie gift has be her ain,
And let me be lighter of my young bairn.’
‘O her young bairn she’s neer be lighter,
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter.
‘But she shall die and turn to clay,
And you shall wed another may.’
‘Another may I’ll never wed,
Another may I’ll neer bring hame.’
But sighing says that weary wight,
‘I wish my life were at an end.’
Then out and spake the Belly Blind;
He spake aye in good time.
‘Ye doe ye to the market place,
And there ye buy a loaf o wax.
‘Ye shape it bairn and bairnly like,
And in twa glassen een ye pit;
‘And bid her come to your boy’s christening;
Then notice weel what she shall do.
‘And do you stand a little fore bye,
And listen weel what she shall say.’
‘Oh wha has loosed the nine witch knots
That was amo that ladie’s locks?
‘And wha has taen out the kaims of care
That hangs amo that ladie’s hair?
‘And wha’s taen down the bush o woodbine
That hang atween her bower and mine?
‘And wha has killd the master kid
That ran beneath that ladie’s bed?
‘And wha has loosed her left-foot shee,
And lotten that ladie lighter be?’
O Willie has loosed the nine witch knots
That was amo that ladie’s locks.
And Willie’s taen out the kaims o care
That hang amo that ladie’s hair.
And Willie’s taen down the bush o woodbine
That hang atween her bower and thine.
And Willie has killed the master kid
That ran beneath that ladie’s bed.
And Willie has loosed her left-foot shee,
And letten his ladie lighter be.
And now he’s gotten a bonny young son,
And mickle grace be him upon.