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The Clerk’s Twa Sons o Owensford

No: 72; variant: 72B

  1. DE weel, de weel, my twa young sons, An learn weel at the squeel; Tak no up wi young women-kin, An learn to act the feel.’
  2. But they had na been in Blomsbury A twalmon and a day, Till the twa pretty clerks o Owsenfoord Wi the mayr’s dauchters did lay.
  3. Word has gaen till the auld base mayr, As he sat at his wine, That the twa pretty clerks o Owsenford Wi his daughters had lien.
  4. Then out bespak the auld base mayr, An an angry man was he: ‘Tomorrow, before I eat meat or drink, I’ll see them hanged hie.’
  5. But word has gaen to Owsenfoord . . . . . Before the letter was read, She let the tears doun fa.
  6. ‘Your sons are weel, an verra weel, An learnin at the squeel; But I fear ye winna see your sons At the holy days o Yeel.’
  7. Their father he went to Bloomsbury, He turnit him roun about, An there he saw his twa braw sons, In the prison, leukin out.
  8. ‘O lie ye there for owsen, my sons, Or lie ye there for kye? Or lie ye there for dear fond love, Si closs as ye de lie?’
  9. ‘We lie na here for owsen, father, We lie na here for kye, But we lie here for dear fond love, An we’re condemned to die.’
  10. Then out bespak the clerks’ fader, An a sorry man was he: ‘Gae till you bowers, ye lillie-flowers, For a’ this winna dee.’
  11. Then out bespak the aul base mayr, An an angry man was he: ‘Gar to your bowers, ye vile base whores, Ye’ll see them hanged hie.’