The Duke of Athole’s Nurse
No: 212; variant: 212D
- AS I cam in by the Duke of Athole’s gate,
I heard a fair maid singing,
Wi a bonny baby on her knee,
And the bells o the court were ringing.
- ‘O it’s I am the Duke of Athole’s nurse,
And the place does well become me;
But I would gie a’ my half-year’s fee
Just for a sight o my Johnie.
- ‘If ye’ll gae down to yon ale-house,
And stop till it be dawing,
And ca for a pint o the very, very best,
And I’ll come and clear up your lawing.’
- O he’s gane down to yon ale-house,
And stopt till it was dawing;
He ca’d for a pint o the very, very best,
But she cam na to clear up his lawing.
- He looked out at the chamber-window,
To see if she was coming;
And there he spied ten armed men,
Across the plain coming running.
- ‘O landlady, landlady, what shall I do?
For my life is not worth a farthing;
I paid you a guinea for my lodging last night,
But I fear I’ll never see sun shining.’
- ‘If ye will be advised by me,
I’ll be your undertaking;
I’ll dress you up in my ain body-clothes
And set you to the baking.’
- So loudly at the door they rapt,
So loudly are they calling,
‘O had you a stranger here last night,
Or is he within your dwelling?’
- ‘O I had a stranger here last night,
But he wos gane or dawing;
He ca’d for a pint, and he paid it or he went,
And I hae nae mair to do wi his lawing.’
- They stabd the feather-beds round and round,
The curtains they spared na to tear them;
But they went as they came, and left a’ things undone,
And the young man busy baking.