Riddles Wisely Expounded
No: 1; variant: 1C
- THERE was a knicht riding frae the east,
Sing the Cather banks, the bonnie brume
Wha had been wooing at monie a place.
And ye may beguile a young thing sune
- He came unto a widow’s door,
And speird whare her three dochters were.
- The auldest ane’s to a washing gane,
The second’s to a baking gane.
- The youngest ane’s to a wedding gane,
And it will be nicht or she be hame.
- He sat him doun upon a stane,
Till thir three lasses came tripping hame.
- The auldest ane’s to the bed making,
And the second ane’s to the sheet spreading.
- The youngest ane was bauld and bricht,
And she was to lye with this unco knicht.
- ‘Gin ye will answer me questions ten,
The morn ye sall be made my ain.
- ‘O what is heigher nor the tree?
And what is deeper nor the sea?
- ‘Or what is heavier nor the lead?
And what is better nor the breid?
- ‘O what is whiter nor the milk?
Or what is safter nor the silk?
- ‘Or what is sharper nor a thorn?
Or what is louder nor a horn?
- ‘Or what is greener nor the grass?
Or what is waur nor a woman was?’
- ‘O heaven is higher nor the tree,
And hell is deeper nor the sea.
- ‘O sin is heavier nor the lead,
The blessing’s better nor the bread.
- ‘The snaw is whiter nor the milk,
And the down is safter nor the silk.
- ‘Hunger is sharper nor a thorn,
And shame is louder nor a horn.
- ‘The pies are greener nor the grass,
And Clootie’s waur nor a woman was.’
- As sune as she the fiend did name,
He flew awa in a blazing flame.