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The Heir of Linne

No: 267; variant: 267B

  1. ‘The bonny heir, and the well-faird heir, And the weary heir o Linne, Yonder he stands at his father’s yetts, And naebody bids him come in.
  2. ‘O see for he gangs, an see for he stands, The weary heir o Linne! O see for he stands on the cauld casey, And nae an bids him come in!
  3. ‘But if he had been his father’s heir, Or yet the heir o Linne, He wadna stand on the cauld casey, Some an woud taen him in.’
  4. ‘Sing ower again that sang, nourice, The sang ye sung just now;’ ‘I never sung a sang in my life But I woud sing ower to you.
  5. ‘O see for he gangs, an see for he stands, The weary heir o Linne! O see for he stands on the cauld casey, An nae an bids him come in!
  6. ‘But if he had been his father’s heir, Or yet the heir o Linne, He woudna stand on the cauld casye, Some an woud taen him in.
  7. ‘When his father’s lands a selling were, His claise lay well in fauld, But now he wanders on the shore, Baith hungry, weet, and cauld.’
  8. As Willie he gaed down the town, The gentlemen were drinking; Some bade gie Willie a glass, a glass, And some bade him gie nane, Some bade gie Willie a glass, a glass, The weary heir o Linne.
  9. As Willie he came up the town, The fishers were a’ sitting; Some bade gie Willie a fish, a fish, Some bade gie him a fin, Some bade gie him a fish, a fish, And lat the palmer gang.
  10. He turned him right and round about, As will as a woman’s son, And taen his cane into his hand, And on his way to Linne.
  11. His nourice at her window lookd, Beholding dale and down, And she beheld this distressd young man Come walking to the town.
  12. ‘Come here, come here, Willie,’ she said, ‘And rest yoursel wi me; I hae seen you in better days, And in jovial companie.’
  13. ‘Gie me a sheave o your bread, nourice, And a bottle o your wine, And I’ll pay you it a’ ower again, When I’m laird o Linne.’
  14. ‘Ye’se get a sheave o my bread, Willie, And a bottle o my wine, But ye’ll pay me when the seas gang dry, For ye’ll neer be heir o Linne.’
  15. Then he turnd him right and round about, As will as woman’s son, And aff he set, and bent his way, And straightway came to Linne.
  16. But when he came to that castle, They were set down to dine; A score o nobles there he saw, Sat drinking at the wine.
  17. Then some bade gie him beef, the beef, And some bade gie him the bane; And some bade gie him naething at a’, But lat the palmer gang.
  18. Then out it speaks the new-come laird, A saucy word spake hee; ‘Put round the cup, gie my rival a sup, Let him fare on his way.’
  19. Then out it speaks Sir Ned Magnew, Ane o young Willie’s kin; ‘This youth was ance a sprightly boy As ever lived in Linne.’
  20. He turned him right and round about, As will as woman’s son, Then minded him on a little wee key, That his mother left to him.
  21. His mother left [him] this little wee key A little before she died; And bade him keep this little wee key Till he was in maist need.
  22. Then forth he went, these nobles left, All drinkin’ in the room, Wi walking rod intill his hand, He walked the castle roun.
  23. There he found out a little door, For there the key slipped in, And there [he] got as muckle red gowd As freed the lands o Linne.
  24. Back through the nobles then he went, A saucy man was then: ‘I’ll take the cup frae this new-come laird, For he neer bade me sit down.’
  25. Then out it speaks the new-come laird, He spake wi mock an jeer; ‘I’d gie a seat to the laird o Linne, Sae be that he were here.
  26. ‘When the lands o Linne a selling were, A’ men said they were free; This lad shall hae them frae me this day, If he’ll gie the third pennie.’
  27. ‘I take ye witness, nobles a’, Guide witnesses ye’ll be; I’m promisd the lands o Linne this day, If I gie the third pennie.’
  28. ‘Ye’ve taen us witness, Willie,’ they said, ‘Guide witnesses we’ll be;’ ‘Buy the lands o Linne who likes, They’ll neer be bought by thee.’
  29. He’s done him to a gaming-table, For it stood fair and clean; There he tauld down as much rich gowd As freed the lands o Linne.
  30. Thus having done, he turnd about, A saucy man was he; ‘Take up your monie, my lad,’ he says, ‘Take up your third pennie.
  31. ‘Aft hae I gane wi barefeet cauld, Likewise wi legs full bare, An mony days walkd at these yetts Wi muckle dool and care.
  32. ‘But now my sorrow’s past and gane, And joy’s returned to me, And here i’ve gowd enough forbye, Ahin this third pennie.’
  33. As Willie he gaed down the town, There he crawd wonderous crouse; He calld the may afore them a’, The nourice o the house,
  34. ‘Come here, come here, my nurse,’ he says, ‘I’ll pay your bread and wine; Seas ebb and flow [as] they wont to do, Yet i’m the laird o Linne.’
  35. As he gaed up the Gallowgate port, His hose abeen his sheen; But lang ere he came down again Was convoyed by lords fifeteen.