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Clerk Sanders

No: 69; variant: 69G

  1. CLERK SANDY and a lady gay Where walking in the garden green, And great and heavy was the love That hae befa’en these twa between.
  2. ‘A bed, a bed,’ said Clerk Sandy, ‘A bed, my love, for you and me;’ ‘O never a foot,’ said the lady gay, ‘Till ance that we twa married be.
  3. ‘My seven brithers will come in, And a’ their torches burning bright; They’ll say, We hae but ae sister, And here she’s lying wi a knight.’
  4. ‘Ye’ll take my brand I bear in hand, And wi the same ye’ll lift the gin; Then ye may swear, and save your oath, That ye neer let Clerk Sandy in.
  5. ‘Ye’ll take that kurchie on your head, And wi the same tie up your een; And ye will swear, and save your oath, Ye saw not Sandy sin yestreen.
  6. ‘Ye’ll lift me in your arms twa, And carry me unto your bed; Then ye may swear, and save your oath, Clerk Sandy in your bower neer tread.’
  7. She’s taen the brand he bare in hand, And wi the same lifted the gin; It was to swear, and save her oath, She never loot Clerk Sandy in.
  8. She’s taen the kurchie frae her head, And wi the same tied up her een; It was to swear, and save her oath, She saw not Sandy sin yestreen.
  9. She’s taen him in her arms twa, And she’s carried him to her bed; It was to swear, and save her oath, Clerk Sandie in her bower neer tread.
  10. They hadna kissd, nor love clapped, Like other lovers when they meet, Till in a quarter’s space and less These two lovers fell sound asleep.
  11. Then in it came her seven brothers, And a’ their torches burning bright; They said, We hae but ae sister, And here she’s lying wi a knight.
  12. O out it speaks the first o them, ‘We will awa and lat them be;’ Then out it speaks the second o them, ‘His father has nae mair but he.’
  13. Out it speaks the third o them, For he was standing on the birk: ‘Nae sweeter coud twa lovers lye, Tho they’d been married in a kirk.’
  14. Then out it speaks the fourth o them, Mair fair and lovely is his buke: ‘Our sister dear we cannot blame, Altho in him she pleasure took.’
  15. Then out it speaks the fifth o them, ‘It were a sin to do them ill;’ Then out it spake the sixth o them, ‘It’s hard a sleeping man to kill.’
  16. But out it speaks the seventh o them, I wish an ill death mat he dee! ‘I wear the sharp brand by my side That soon shall gar Clerk Sandy die.’
  17. Then he’s taen out his trusty brand, And he has stroakd it ower a strae; And thro and thro Clerk Sandy’s middle I wat he’s gart it come and gae.
  18. The lady slept by her love’s side Until the dawning o the day, But what was dune she naething knew, For when she wak’d these words did say:
  19. ‘Awake, awake, now Clerk Sandy, Awake, and turn you unto me; Ye’re nae sae keen’s ye were at night, When you and I met on the lee.’
  20. O then she calld her chamber-maid To bring her coal and candle seen: ‘I fear Clerk Sandy’s dead eneuch, I had a living man yestreen.’
  21. They hae lifted his body up, They hae searched it round and round, And even anent his bonny heart Discovered the deadly wound.
  22. She wrung her hands, and tore her hair, And wrung her hands most bitterlie: ‘This is my fause brothers, I fear, This night hae used this crueltie.
  23. ‘But I will do for my love’s sake Woud nae be done by ladies rare; For seven years shall hae an end Or eer a kame gang in my hair.
  24. ‘O I will do for my love’s sake What other ladies woud think lack; For seven years shall hae an end Or eer I wear but dowie black.
  25. ‘And I will do for my love’s sake What other ladies woudna thole; Seven years shall hae an end Or eer a shoe gang on my sole.’
  26. In it came her father dear, And he was belted in a brand; Sae softly as he trad the floor, And in her bower did stately stand.
  27. Says, Hold your tongue, my daughter dear, And ye’ll lat a’ your mourning be; I’ll wed you to a higher match Or eer his father’s son coud be.
  28. ‘Wed well, wed well your seven sons; I wish ill wedded they may be, Sin they hae killd him Clerk Sandy! For wedded shall I never be.’
  29. His corpse was laid in the cauld clay, The bells went tinkling thro the town; ‘Alas! alas!’ said the lady gay, ‘That eer I heard that waefu soun!’
  30. When she had sitten intill her bower A twalmonth lang and weary day, Even below her bower-window She heard a ghaist to knock an cry.
  31. She says, Ye’re thief or bauld robber, Or biggin come to burn or brake; Or are you ony masterfu man, That is come seeking ony make?
  32. ‘I am not thief nor bauld robber, Nor bigging come to burn nor brake; Nor am I ony masterfu man, That is come seeking ony make; But I’m Clerk Sandy, your first love, And wants wi you again to speak.
  33. ‘Gin ye’re Clerk Sandy, my first love, And wants wi me to speak again, Tell me some o’ the love tokens That you and I had last between.’
  34. ‘O mind not ye, ye gay lady, Sin last I was in bower wi thee, That in it came your seven brethren, The youngest gart me sairly dree?’ Then sighd and said the gay lady, ‘Sae true a tale as ye tell me.’
  35. Sae painfully she clam the wa, She clam the wa up after him; ‘Twas not for want of stockings nor sheen, But hadna time to put them on; And in the midst o gude greenwood, ‘Twas there she lost the sight o him.
  36. The lady sat, and mourning there, Until she coudna weep nae mair; At length the cloks and wanton flies They biggit in her yellow hair.
  37. ‘O had your peace, my dearest dear, For I am come to mak you wise; Or this night nine nights come and gang, We baith shall be in Paradise.’