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Willie o Couglas Dale

No: 101; variant: 101B

  1. WILLIE was an earl’s ae son, And an earl’s ae son was he, But he thought his father lack to sair, And his mother of low degree.
  2. But he is on to fair England, To sair for meat an fee, And all was for Dame Oliphant, A woman of great beauty.
  3. He hadna been in fair England A month but barely ane, Ere he dreamd that fair Dame Oliphant Gied him a gay gold ring.
  4. He hadna been in fair England A month but barely four, Ere he dreamd that fair Dame Oliphant Gied him a red rose flower, Well set about with white lilies, Like to the paramour.
  5. It fell ance upon a day Dame Oliphant thought lang, And she gaed on to good green wood, As fast as she could gang.
  6. As Willie stood in his chamber-door, And as he thought it good, There he beheld Dame Oliphant, As she came thro the wood.
  7. He’s taen his bow his arm oer, His sword into his hand, And he is on to good green wood, As fast as he could gang.
  8. And there he found Dame Oliphant, Was lying sound asleep, And aye the sounder she did sleep The nearer he did creep.
  9. But when she wakend from her sleep An angry maid was she, Crying, Had far away frae me, young man, Had far away frae me! For I fear ye are the Scottish knight That beguiles young ladies free.
  10. ‘I am not the Scottish knight, Nor ever thinks to be; I am but Willie o Douglass Dale, That serves for meat an fee.’
  11. ‘If ye be Willie o Douglass Dale, Ye’re dearly welcome to me; For oft in my sleep have I thought on You and your merry winking ee.’
  12. But the cocks they crew, and the horns blew, And the lions took the hill, And Willie he gaed hame again, To his hard task and till; And likewise did Dame Oliphant, To her book and her seam.
  13. Till it fell ance upon a day Dame Oliphant thought lang, And she went on to Willie’s bower-yates, As fast as she could gang.
  14. ‘O are ye asleep now, Squire Willie? O are you asleep?’ said she; O waken, waken, Squire Willie, O waken, and speak to me.
  15. ‘For the gowns that were oer wide, Willie, They winna meet on me, And the coats that were oer side, Willie, They winna come to my knee; And if the knights of my father’s court get word, I’m sure they’ll gar you die.’
  16. But she’s taen a web of the scarlet, And she tare it fine an sma, And even into Willie’s arms She leapt the castle-wa; And Willie was wight and well able, And he keept her frae a fa.
  17. But the cocks they crew, and the horns blew, And the lions took the hill, And Willie’s ladie followed him, And the tears did twinkle still.
  18. ‘O want ye ribbons to your hair? Or roses to your sheen? Or want ye chains about your neck? Ye’se get mair ere that be deen.’
  19. ‘I want not ribbons to my hair, Nor roses to my sheen, And there’s mair chains about my neck Nor ever I’ll see deen; But I have as much dear bought love As my heart can contain.’
  20. ‘Will ye go to the cards or dice? Or to the table ee? Or to a bed, so well down spread, And sleep till it be day?’
  21. I’ve mair need of the roddins, Willie, That grow on yonder thorn; Likewise a drink o Marywell water, Out of your grass-green horn.
  22. ‘I’ve mair need of a fire, Willie, To had me frae the cauld; Likewise a glass of your red wine, Ere I bring my son to the fauld.’
  23. He’s got a bush o roddins till her, That grows on yonder thorn; Likewise a drink o Marywell water, Out of his grass-green horn.
  24. He carried the match in his pocket That kindled to her the fire, Well set about wi oaken spells, That leamd oer Lincolnshire.
  25. And he has bought to his lady The white bread and the wine; And the milk he milked from the goats, He fed his young son on.
  26. Till it fell ance upon a day Dame Oliphant thought lang: ‘O gin ye hae a being, Willie, I pray ye hae me hame.’
  27. He’s taen his young son in his arms, His lady by the hand, And they’re down thro good green wood, As fast as they could gang.
  28. Till they came to a shepherd-may, Was feeding her flocks alone; Said, Will ye gae alang wi me, And carry my bonny young son?
  29. The gowns that were shapen for my back, They shall be sewd for thine; And likewise I’ll gar Squire Willie Gie you a braw Scotsman.
  30. When they came on to Willie’s bower-yates, And far beyont the sea, She was haild the lady o Douglass Dale, And Willie an earl to be: Likewise the maid they brought awa, She got a braw Scotsman.