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Clerk Sanders

No: 69; variant: 69A

  1. CLARK SANDERS and May Margret Walkt ower yon graveld green, And sad and heavy was the love, I wat, it fell this twa between.
  2. ‘A bed, a bed,’ Clark Sanders said, ‘A bed, a bed for you and I;’ ‘Fye no, fye no,’ the lady said, ‘Until the day we married be.
  3. ‘For in it will come my seven brothers, And a’ their torches burning bright; They’ll say, We hae but ae sister, And here her lying wi a knight.’
  4. ‘Ye’l take the sourde fray my scabbord, And lowly, lowly lift the gin, And you may say, your oth to save, You never let Clark Sanders in.
  5. ‘Yele take a napken in your hand, And ye’l ty up baith your een, An ye may say, your oth to save, That ye saw na Sandy sen late yestreen.
  6. ‘Yele take me in your armes twa, Yele carrey me ben into your bed, And ye may say, your oth to save, In your bower-floor I never tread.’
  7. She has taen the sourde fray his scabbord, And lowly, lowly lifted the gin; She was to swear, her oth to save, She never let Clerk Sanders in.
  8. She has tain a napkin in her hand, And she ty’d up baith her eeen; She was to swear, her oth to save, She saw na him sene late yestreen.
  9. She has taen him in her armes twa, And carried him ben into her bed; She was to swear, her oth to save, He never in her bower-floor tread.
  10. In and came her seven brothers, And all their torches burning bright; Says thay, We hae but ae sister, And see there her lying wi a knight.
  11. Out and speaks the first of them, ‘A wat they hay been lovers dear;’ Out and speaks the next of them, ‘They hay been in love this many a year.’
  12. Out an speaks the third of them, ‘It wear great sin this twa to twain;’ Out an speaks the fourth of them, ‘It wear a sin to kill a sleeping man.’
  13. Out an speaks the fifth of them, ‘A wat they’ll near be twaind by me;’ Out an speaks the sixt of them, ‘We’l tak our leave an gae our way.’
  14. Out an speaks the seventh of them, ‘Altho there wear no a man but me, . . . . . I bear the brand, I’le gar him die.’
  15. Out he has taen a bright long brand, And he has striped it throw the straw, And throw and throw Clarke Sanders’ body A wat he has gard cold iron gae.
  16. Sanders he started, an Margret she lapt, Intill his arms whare she lay, And well and wellsom was the night, A wat it was between these twa.
  17. And they lay still, and sleeped sound, Untill the day began to daw; And kindly till him she did say ‘It’s time, trew-love, ye wear awa.’
  18. They lay still, and sleeped sound, Untill the sun began to shine; She lookt between her and the wa, And dull and heavy was his eeen.
  19. She thought it had been a loathsome sweat, A wat it had fallen this twa between; But it was the blood of his fair body, A wat his life days wair na lang.
  20. ‘O Sanders, I’le do for your sake What other ladys would na thoule; When seven years is come and gone, There’s near a shoe go on my sole.
  21. ‘O Sanders, I’le do for your sake What other ladies would think mare; When seven years is come and gone, Ther’s nere a comb go in my hair.
  22. ‘O Sanders, I’le do for your sake What other ladies would think lack; When seven years is come an gone, I’le wear nought but dowy black.’
  23. The bells gaed clinking throw the towne, To carry the dead corps to the clay, An sighing says her May Margret, ‘A wat I bide a doulfou day.’
  24. In an come her father dear, Stout steping on the floor; . . . . . . . . . .
  25. ‘Hold your toung, my doughter dear, Let all your mourning a bee; I’le carry the dead corps to the clay, An I’le come back an comfort thee.’
  26. ‘Comfort well your seven sons, For comforted will I never bee; For it was neither lord nor loune That was in bower last night wi mee.’