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The Wylie Wife of the Hie Toun Hie

No: 290; variant: 290C

  1. IN Edinburgh, on a summer evening, Our gentlemen sat drinking wine, And every one to the window went, To view the ladies, they went so fine.
  2. They drank the wine, and they spilt the beer, So merrily as the reel went round, And a’ the healths that was drucken there Was to the bonnie lass o the hie toun end.
  3. Up then spoke a young squire’s son, And as he spoke it all alone; ‘Oh, I would give a guinea of gold, And so would I a pint of wine, And I would make them their licence free That would welcome this bonnie lassie in.’
  4. The ostler’s wife, on hearin this, So nimbly down the stairs she ran, And the first toun’s-body that she met Was the bonnie lass o the hie toun end.
  5. ‘Mistress, ye maun gang wi me And get a cup o oor claret wine; It’s new come oer the ragin sea, Awat it is baith gude and fine.’
  6. ‘To gang wi you I daurna stay, My mither’s wearyin for me in; I am so beautiful and fine I am a prey to all young men.’
  7. Wi sattin slippers on her feet, So nimbly up the stair she ran, And wha so ready as this young squire To welcome the bonny lassie in.
  8. He[’s] taen her by the milk-white hand, He’s gently led her through the room, And aye she sighed, and aye she said, It would be a pity to do me wrong.
  9. ‘Now, since you’ve taken your will o me, I pray, kind sir, tell me your name;’ ‘Oh yes, my dear, indeed,’ he said ‘But it’s more than I ever did to one.
  10. ‘I am a squire and a squire’s son, My faither has fifty ploughs o land, And I’m a man in the militrie, And I must away and rank up my men.
  11. ‘And Jamie Lumsdaine is my name, From the North Countrie, love, I really came.’
  12. About a twelvemonth after that, He sent a letter owre the main, And muckle writin was therein, To the bonnie lass o the hie toun end.
  13. About a twelvemonth after that, He himsel cam owre the main; He made her Duchess o Douglas Dale, And to him she’s had a fine young son.