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Kempy Kay

No: 33; variant: 33A

  1. KEMPY KAYE’s a wooing gane, Far, far ayont the sea, And he has met with an auld, auld man, His gudefaythir to be.
  2. ‘It’s I’m coming to court your daughter dear, And some part of your gear:’ ‘And by my sooth,’ quoth Bengoleer, ‘She’ll sare a man a wear.
  3. ‘My dochter she’s a thrifty lass, She span seven year to me, And if it were weel counted up, Full three heire it would be.
  4. ‘What’s the matter wi you, my fair creature, You look so pale and wan? I’m sure you was once the fairest creature That ever the sun shined on.
  5. ‘Gae scrape yoursel, and gae scart yoursel, And mak your brucket face clean, For the wooers are to be here to nighte, And your body’s to be seen.’
  6. Sae they scrapit her, and they scartit her, Like the face of an aussy pan; Syne in cam Kempy Kay himself, A clever and tall young man.
  7. His teeth they were like tether-sticks, His nose was three fit lang, Between his shouthers was ells three, And tween his eyne a span.
  8. He led his dochter by the hand, His dochter ben brought he: ‘O is she not the fairest lass That’s in great Christendye?’
  9. Ilka hair intil her head Was like a heather-cowe, And ilka louse anunder it Was like a bruckit ewe.
  10. She had tauchy teeth and kaily lips, And wide lugs, fou o hair; Her pouches fou o peasemeal-daighe A’ hinging down her spare.
  11. Ilka eye intil her head Was like a rotten plumbe, And down browed was the queyne, And sairly did she gloom.
  12. Ilka nail upon her hand Was like an iron rake, And ilka tooth intil her head Was like a tether-stake.
  13. She gied to him a gravat, O the auld horse’s sheet, And he gied her a gay gold ring, O the auld couple-root.