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Trooper and Maid

No: 299; variant: 299B

  1. There cam a trooper frae the West, And of riding he was weary; He rappit at and clappit at, In calling for his dearie. By chance the maid was in the close, The moon was shining clearly, She opened the gates and let him in, Says, Ye’re welcome hame, my dearie.
  2. She took the horse by the bridle-reins And led him to the stable; She gave him corn and hay to eat, As much as he was able. She up the stair and made the bed, She made it fit for a lady, Then she coost aff her petticoat, Said, Trooper, are ye ready?
  3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ‘There’s bread and cheese for musqueteers, And corn and hay for hor[s]es, Sack and sugar for auld wives, And lads for bonnie lasses.’
  4. He coost aff his gude buff coat, His boots, likewise his beaver, He drew his rapier frae his side, And streekit him down beside her. ‘Bonnie lass, I trew I’m near the[e] now, Bonnie lass, I trew I’m near thee, And I’ll gar a’ thy ribbons reel, Bonnie lassie, or I lea thee.’
  5. They had but spoken little a while Till of speaking they were weary; They sleeped together in each other’s arms Till the sun was shining clearly. The very first sound the trumpet gave Was, Troopers, are ye ready? Away you must to London town, Or else for Londonderry.
  6. She took the bottle in her hand, The glass into the other, She filled it up with blood-red wine, Until it ran quite over. She drank a health to her love on the stair, Saying, When shall we two marry? Or when shall we two meet again, On purpose for to marry?
  7. ‘O when shall we two meet again? Or when shall we two marry?’ ‘Whem cockle-shells grow siller bells; No longer must I tarry.’