The Excellent Old Scots Song of the Blaeberry Courtship, to which is added, The Crook and Plaid/The blaeberry courtship
The Blaeberry Courtship.
Will you go the Highlands, my jewel, with me,
Wil you go the Highlands the flocks for to see,
health to my jewel to breath the sweet air,
And to pull the blackberries in the forest so fair.
To the Highlands, my jewel, I will not go with thee,
For the road it is long, and the hills they are high,
love those vallies and sweet corn fields,
More than all the blaeberries your wild mountains yield.
Our hills they are bonny when the heather’s in bloom,
It would cheer a fine fancy in the month of June,
To pull the blaeberries and carry them home, [on.
And set them on your table when December comes.
Out spake her father, that saucy old man,
You might have chosen a mistress among your own clan.
It’s but poor entertainment to our Lowland dames,
To promise them heather and blue heatner bloom.
Kilt up your green plaidie, walk over yon hill,
For a sight of your Highland face does me much ill,
For I will wed my daughter and spare pennies too,
To whom my heart pleases, and what’s that to you.
My plaid it is broad, it has colours anew,
Goodman, for your kindness, I’d leave it with you,
I have got a warm cordial keeps the cold from me,
The blithe blinks of love from your daughters eye.
My flocks they are thin, and my lodgings but bare,
And you that has meikle the more you can spare,
Some of your spare pennies with me you will share,
And you winna send your lassie o’er the hills bare.
He went to his daughter to give her advice,
Said, if you go with him I’m sure you’re not wise,
He’s a rude Highland fellow, as poor as a crow,
He’s of the clan of Caithness for ought that I know.
But if you go with him. I’m sure you’ll go bare,
You’ll have nothing father or mother can spare,
Of all I possess I’ll deprive you for aye,
If o’er the hills, lassie, you go away.
It’s father, keep what you are not willing to give,
For fain would I go with him, as sure as I live;
What signifies gold or treasure to me,
If the Highland hills is between my love and me.
Now she is gone with him in spite of them a’,
Away to a place that her eyes never saw,
He had no steed for to carry her on,
But still he said, lassie, think not the road long.
In a warm summer’s evening they came to a glen,
Being wearied with travel the lassie sat down;
Get up my brave lassie, let us step on,
Fo, the sun will go round before we get home.
My feet are all torn, my shoes are all rent,
I’m wearied with travel and just like to faint,
Were it not for the sake of your kind company,
I would lie in the desert until that I die.
The day is far spent and the night’s coming on,
And step you aside to yon bonny mill-town,
And there you’ll ask lodgings for thee and for me,
For glad would I be in a barn for to be.
The place it is pleasant and bonny indeed,
But the people are hard-hearted to us that’s in need,
Perhaps they’ll not grant us their barn nor byre,
But I’ll go and ask them as it is your desire.
The lassie went foremost, sure I was to blame,
To ask for a lodging myself I thought shame;
The lassie replied with tears not a few,
It’s ill ale, said she, that’s sour when it’s new.
In a short time thereafter they came to a grove,
Where his flocks they were feeding in numberless droves,
Allan stood musing his flocks for to see,
Step on, says the lady, that’s no pleasure to me.
A beautful laddie, with green tartan trews,
And twa bonnie lassies, were bughting in ewes,
They said, honoured master, are you come again,
Long, long have we look’d for you coming hame.
Bught in your ewes lassies, and go your way home
I’ve brought a swan frae the north, I have her to tame;
Her feathers are fallen, and where can she lie?
The best bed in the house her bed shall be.
The lady’s heart was far down it coudna well rise;
Till many a lad and lass came in with a phrase,
To welcome the lady to welcome her home;
Such a hall in the Highlands she never thought on.
The laddies did whistle and the lassies did sing,
They made her a supper might served a queen;
With ale and with whisky they drank her health round;
And they made to the lady a braw bed of down.
Early next morning he led her to the hay,
He bid her look round as far as she could spy,
These lands and possessions my debt for to pay,
You winna gae round them in a lang summer day.
O Allan! O Allan! I’m indebted to thee,
It is a debt, dear Allan, I never can pay.
O Allan! 0 Allan! how came you for me!
Sure I am not worthy your bride for to be.
How call you me Allan, when Sandy’s my name?
Why call you me Allan? sure you are to blame:
For don’t you remember when at school with thee,
I was hated by all the rest but loved by thee?
How oft have I fed on your bread & your cheese?
Likewise when you had but an handful of pease,
Your cruel hearted father hound at me his dogs,
They tore my bare heels, and rave all my rags.
Is this my dear Sandy whom I lov’d so dear?
I have not heard of you this many a year;
When all the rest went to bed, sleep was frae me,
For thinking on what was become of thee.
My parents were born lang before me,
Perhaps by this time they are drown’d in the sea,
These lands and possessions they left them to me,
And I came for you, jewel, to share them with thee.
In love we began and in love we will end,
And in joy and mirth our days we will spend:
And a voyage to your father once more we will go,
And relieve the old farmer from his trouble and woe.
With men and maid servants us to wait upon,
So away to her father in a chaise they are gone;
The laddie went foremost, the brave Highland loun,
Till they came to the road that leads to the town.
When he came to the gate, he gave a loud roar,
Come down, gentle farmer, Catherine’s at your door,
When he look’d out at the window, he saw his daughter’s face,
With his hat in his hand he made a great phrase.
Keep on your hat, farmer, don’t let it fa’,
For it sets not the peacock to bow to the crow.
It’s hold your tongue, Sawney, and do not taunt me,
For my daughter’s not worthy your bride for to be.
Now he held his bridle reins, till he came down,
And then he conveyed him to a fine room;
With the finest of spirits they drank a fine toast,
And the son and the father drank both in one glass.