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The Duke of Athole’s Nurse

No: 212; variant: 212C

  1. AS I went down by the Duke of Athole’s gates, Where the bells of the court were ringing, And there I heard a fair maid say, O if I had but ae sight o my Johnie!
  2. ‘O here is your Johnie just by your side; What have ye to say to your Johnie? O here is my hand, but anither has my heart, So ye’ll never get more o your Johnie.’
  3. ‘O ye may go down to yon ale-house, And there do sit till the dawing; And call for the wine that is very, very fine, And I’ll come and clear up your lawing.’
  4. So he’s gane down to yon ale-house, And he has sat till the dawing; And he’s calld for the wine that’s very, very fine, But she neer cam to clear up his lawing.
  5. Lang or the dawing he oure the window looks, To see if his true-love was coming, And there he spied twelve weel armd boys, Coming over the plainstanes running.
  6. ‘O landlady, landlady, what shall I do? For my life it’s not worth a farthing!’ ‘O young man,’ said she, ‘Tak counsel by me, And I will be your undertaking.
  7. ‘I will clothe you in my own body-clothes And I’ll send you like a girl to the baking:’ And loudly, loudly they rapped at the door, And loudly, loudly they rappe:d.
  8. ‘O had you any strangers here late last night? Or were they lang gane or the dawing? O had you any strangers here late last night? We are now come to clear up his lawing.’
  9. ‘O I had a stranger here late last night, But he was lang gane or the dawing; He called for a pint, and he paid it as he went, And ye’ve no more to do with his lawing.’
  10. ‘O show me the room that your stranger lay in, If he was lang gane or the dawing:’ She showed them the room that her stranger lay in, But he was lang gane or the dawing.
  11. O they stabbed the feather-bed all round and round, And the curtains they neer stood to tear them; And they gade as they cam, and left a’ things undone, And left the young squire by his baking.