The Duke of Athole’s Nurse
No: 212; variant: 212C
- 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!
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.
- 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.