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Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship

No: 46; variant: 46C

  1. THE laird of Roslin’s daughter walked thro the wood her lane, And by came Captain Wedderburn, a servant to the Queen; He said unto his serving man, Wer’t not agaynst the law, I would tak her to my ain house as lady o my ha.
  2. He said, My pretty ladye, I pray give me your hand; You shall have drums and trumpets always at your command; With fifty men to guard you, that well their swords can draw, And I’ll tak ye to my ain bed, and lay you next the wa.
  3. ‘I’m walking in my feyther’s shaws:’ quo he, My charming maid, I am much better than I look, so be you not afraid; For I serve the queen of a’ Scotland, and a gentil dame is she; So we’se be married ere the morn, gin ye can fancy me.
  4. . . . . . . . . . . . ‘The sparrow shall toot on his horn, gif naething us befa, And I’ll mak you up a down-bed, and lay you next the wa.
  5. ‘Now hold away from me, kind sir, I pray you let me be; I wont be lady of your ha till you answer questions three; Questions three you must answer me, and that is one and twa, Before I gae to Woodland’s house, and be lady o your ha.
  6. ‘You must get me to my supper a chicken without a bone; You must get me to my supper a cherry without a stone; You must get me to my supper a bird without a ga, Before I go to Woodland’s house and be lady of your ha.’
  7. ‘When the cherry is in the bloom, I’m sure it has no stone; When the chicken’s in the shell, I’m sure it has nae bone; The dove she is a gentil bird, and flies without a ga; So I’ve answered you your questions three, and you’re lady of my ha.’
  8. ‘Questions three you must answer me: What’s higher than the trees? And what is worse than woman’s voice? What’s deeper than the seas?’ . . . . . . . . . . .
  9. He answered then so readily: Heaven’s higher than the trees; The devil’s worse than woman’s voice; hell’s deeper than the seas; . . . . . . . . . . .
  10. ‘One question still you must answer me, or you I laugh to scorn; Go seek me out an English priest, of woman never born;’ . . . . . . . . . . .
  11. ‘Oh then,’ quo he, ‘My young brother from mother’s side was torn, And he’s a gentil English priest, of woman never born;’ . . . . . . . . . . .
  12. Little did his lady think, that morning when she raise, It was to be the very last of all her mayden days; . . . . . . . . .