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Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64C

  1. LIVD ance twa luvers in yon dale, And they luvd ither weel; Frae evning late to morning aire Of luving luvd their fill.
  2. ‘Now, Willie, gif you luve me weel, As sae it seems to me, Gar build, gar build a bonny schip, Gar build it speedilie.
  3. ‘An we wLl saL the sea sae g-een, Unto some far countrie, Or we’ll sail to some bonie isle, Stands lanely midst the sea.’
  4. But lang or ere the schip was built, Or deckd, or rigged out, Came sick a pain in Annet’s back That down she coud na lout.
  5. ‘Now, Willie, gif ye luve me weel, As sae it seems to me, O haste, haste, bring me to my bowr, And my bowr-maidens three.’
  6. He’s taen her in his arms twa, And kissd her, cheik and chin; He’s brocht her to her ain sweet bowr, But nae bowr-maid was in.
  7. ‘Now leave my bower, Willie,’ she said, ‘Now leave me to my lane; When she was travelling.’
  8. He’s stepped three steps down the stair, Upon the marble stane; Sae loud’s he heard his young son’s greet, But and his lady’s mane!
  9. ‘Now come, now come, Willie,’ she said, ‘Tak your young son frae me, And hie him to your mother’s bower, With speed and privacie.’
  10. He’s taen his young son in his arms, He’s kissd him, cheik and chin; He’s hied him to his mother’s bower, By th’ ae light of the moon.
  11. And with him came the bold barone, And he spake up wi pride: ‘Gar seek, gar seek the bower-maidens, Gar busk, gar busk the bryde.’
  12. ‘My maidens, easy with my back, And easy with my side; O set my saddle saft, Willie, I am a tender bryde.’
  13. When she came to the burrow-town, They gied her a broch and ring, And when she came to . . ., They had a fair wedding.
  14. O up then spake the norland lord, And blinkit wi his ee: ‘I trow this lady’s born a bairn,’ Then laucht loud lauchters three.
  15. And up then spake the brisk bridegroom, And he spake up wi pryde: ‘Gin I should pawn my wedding-gloves, I will dance wi the bryde.’
  16. ‘Now had your tongue, my lord,’ she said, ‘Wi dancing let me be; I am sae thin in flesh and blude, Sma dancing will serve me.’
  17. But she’s taen Willie be the hand, The tear blinded her ee: ‘But I wad dance wi my true-luve, But bursts my heart in three.’
  18. She’s taen her bracelet frae her arm, Her garter frae her knee: ‘Gie that, gie that to my young son, He’ll neer his mother see.’
  19. ‘Gar deal, gar deal the bread, mother, Gar deal, gar deal the wyne; This day hath seen my true-love’s death, This nicht shall witness myne.’