Willie o Couglas Dale

No: 101; variant: 101A

  1. O WILLY was as brave a lord As ever saild the sea, And he has gane to the English court, To serve for meat and fee.
  2. He had nae been at the kingis court A twelvemonth and a day, Till he longd for a sight o the king’s daughter, But ane he coud never see.
  3. O it fell ance upon a day To the green wood she has gane, An Willy he has followd her, With the clear light o the moon.
  4. He looted him low, by her did go, Wi his hat intill his hand: ‘O what’s your will wi me, Sir Knight? I pray keep your hat on.’
  5. ‘O I am not a knight, Madam, Nor never thinks to be; For I am Willy o Douglassdale, An I serve for meat and fee.’
  6. ‘O I’ll gang to my bowr,’ she says, ‘An sigh baith even an morn That ever I saw your face, Willy, Or that ever ye was born.
  7. ‘O I’ll gang to my bowr,’ she says, ‘An I’ll pray baith night an day, To keep me frae your tempting looks, An frae your great beauty.’
  8. O in a little after that He keepit Dame Oliphant’s bowr, As the love that passd between this twa, It was like paramour.
  9. ‘O narrow, narrow’s my gown, Willy, That wont to be sae wide; An short, short is my coats, Willy, That wont to be sae side; An gane is a’ my fair colour, An low laid is my pride.
  10. ‘But an my father get word of this, He’ll never drink again; An gin my mother get word of this, In her ain bowr she’ll go brain; An gin my bold brothers get word this, I fear, Willy, you’ll be slain.’
  11. ‘O will you leave your father’s court, An go along wi me? I’ll carry you unto fair Scotland, And mak you a lady free.’
  12. She pat her han in her pocket An gae him five hunder poun: ‘An take you that now, Squire Willy, Till awa that we do won.’
  13. Whan day was gane, and night was come, She lap the castle-wa; But Willy kepit his gay lady, He was laith to let her fa.
  14. Whan night was gane, an day come in, An lions gaed to their dens, An ay the lady followd him, An the tears came hailing down.
  15. ‘O want ye ribbons to your hair? Or roses to your shoone? Or want ye as meickle dear bought love As your ain heart can contain?’
  16. ‘I want nae ribbons to my hair, Nor roses till my shoone; An Ohone, alas, for dear bought love! I have mair nor I can contain.’
  17. O he’s pu’d the oak in good green wood, An he’s made to her a fire; He coverd it oer wi withred leaves, An gard it burn thro ire.
  18. He made a bed i the good green wood, An he’s laid his lady down, An he’s coverd her oer wi fig-tree leaves, But an his ain night-gown.
  19. ‘O had I a bunch o yon red roddins, That grows in yonder wood, But an a drink o water clear, I think it woud do me good.’
  20. He’s pu’d her a bunch o yon red roddins, That grew beside yon thorn, But an a drink o water clear, Intill his hunting-horn.
  21. He’s bent his bow, and shot the deer, An thro the green wood gane, An ere that he came back again His lady took travailing.
  22. ‘O up ye tak that horn,’ she says, ‘An ye blaw a blast for me; Gin my father be in good green wood, Sae seen’s he’ll come me ti.’
  23. ‘O gin there be a man on earth That ye loo better nor me, Ye blaw the horn yoursel,’ he says, ‘For it’s never be blawn by me.’
  24. O he’s bent his bow, an shot the deer, An thro the green wood has he gane, An lang or he came back again His lady bare him a son.
  25. O up has he tane his bonny young son, An washn him wi the milk, An up has he tane his gay lady, An rowd her i the silk.
  26. He’s bent his bow, and shot the deer, An thro the green wood has he gane, Till he met wi a well-fard may, Her father’s flock feeding.
  27. ‘Ye leave your father’s flock feeding, An go along wi me; I’ll carry you to a lady fair, Will gi you both meat and fee.’
  28. O whan she came the lady before, She’s fa’n down on her knee: ‘O what’s your will wi me, my dame? An a dame you seem to be.’
  29. ‘O I’m Dame Oliphant, the king’s daughter, Nae doubt but ye’ve heard o me; Will you leave your father’s flock feeding, An go to Scotlan wi me?
  30. ‘An ye sal get a nouriship Intill an earldome, An I will gar provide for the To marry some brave Scotsman.’
  31. The may she keepit the bonny boy, An Willy led his lady, Untill they took their fair shippin, Then quickly hame came they.
  32. The win was fair, an the sea was clear, An they a’ wan safe to lan; He’s haild her lady of Douglassdale, Himsel the lord within.