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Clerk Colvill

No: 42; variant: 42C

  1. CLERK COLIN and his mother dear Were in the garden green; The band that was about her neck Cost Colin pounds fifteen; The belt about her middle sae sma Cost twice as much again.
  2. ‘Forbidden gin ye wad be, love Colin, Forbidden gin ye wad be, And gang nae mair to Clyde’s water, To court yon gay ladie.’
  3. ‘Forbid me frae your ha, mother, Forbid me frae your bour, But forbid me not frae yon ladie; She’s fair as ony flour.
  4. ‘Forbidden I winna be, mother, Forbidden I winna be, For I maun gang to Clyde’s water, To court yon gay ladie.’
  5. An he is on his saddle set, As fast as he could win, An he is on to Clyde’s water, By the lee licht o the moon.
  6. An when he cam to the Clyde’s water He lichted lowly down, An there he saw the mermaiden, Washin silk upon a stane.
  7. ‘Come down, come down, now, Clerk Colin, Come down an [fish] wi me; I’ll row ye in my arms twa, An a foot I sanna jee.’
  8. ‘O mother, mother, mak my bed, And, sister, lay me doun, An brother, tak my bow an shoot, For my shooting is done.’
  9. He wasna weel laid in his bed, Nor yet weel fa’en asleep, When up an started the mermaiden, Just at Clerk Colin’s feet.
  10. ‘Will ye lie there an die, Clerk Colin, Will ye lie there an die? Or will ye gang to Clyde’s water, To fish in flood wi me?’
  11. ‘I will lie here an die,’ he said, ‘I will lie here an die; In spite o a’ the deils in hell I will lie here an die.’