The Knight and the Shepherd’s Daughter

No: 110; variant: 110B

  1. THERE was a shepherd’s dochter Kept sheep upon yon hill, And by cam a gay braw gentleman, And wad hae had his will.
  2. He took her by the milk-white hand, And laid her on the ground, And whan he got his will o her He lift her up again.
  3. ‘O syne ye’ve got your will o me, Your will o me ye’ve taen, ‘Tis all I ask o you, kind sir, Is to tell to me your name.’
  4. ‘Sometimes they call me Jack,’ he said, ‘Sometimes they call me John, But whan I am in the king’s court, My name is Wilfu Will.’
  5. Then he loup on his milk-white steed, And straught away he rade, And she did kilt her petticoats, And after him she gaed.
  6. He never was sae kind as say, O lassie, will ye ride? Nor ever had she the courage to say, O laddie, will ye bide!
  7. Until they cam to a wan water, Which was called Clyde, And then he turned about his horse, Said, Lassie, will ye ride?
  8. ‘I learned it in my father’s hall, I learned it for my weel, That whan I come to deep water, I can swim as it were an eel.
  9. ‘I learned it in my mother’s bower, I learned it for my better, That whan I come to broad water, I can swim like ony otter.’
  10. He plunged his steed into the ford, And straught way thro he rade, And she set in her lilly feet, And thro the water wade.
  11. And whan she cam to the king’s court, She tirled on the pin, And wha sae ready’s the king himsel To let the fair maid in?
  12. ‘What is your will wi me, fair maid? What is your will wi me?’ ‘There is a man into your court This day has robbed me.’
  13. ‘O has he taen your gold,’ he said, ‘Or has he taen your fee? Or has he stown your maidenhead, The flower of your bodye?’
  14. ‘He has na taen my gold, kind sir, Nor as little has he taen my fee, But he has taen my maidenhead, The flower of my bodye.’
  15. ‘O gif he be a married man, High hangit shall he be, But gif he be a bachelor, His body I’ll grant thee.’
  16. ‘Sometimes they call him Jack,’ she said, ‘Sometimes they call him John, But whan he’s in the king’s court, His name is Sweet William.’
  17. ‘There’s not a William in a’ my court, Never a one but three, And one of them is the Queen’s brother; I wad laugh gif it war he.’
  18. The king called on his merry men, By thirty and by three; Sweet Willie, wha used to be foremost man, Was the hindmost a’ but three.
  19. O he cam cripple, and he cam blind, Cam twa-fald oer a tree: ‘O be he cripple, or be he blind, This very same man is he.’
  20. ‘O whether will ye marry the bonny may, Or hang on the gallows-tree?’ ‘O I will rather marry the bonny may, Afore that I do die.’
  21. But he took out a purse of gold, Weel locked in a glove: ‘O tak ye that, my bonny may, And seek anither love.’
  22. ‘O I will hae none o your gold,’ she says, ‘Nor as little ony of your fee, But I will hae your ain body, The king has granted me.’
  23. O he took out a purse of gold, A purse of gold and store; ‘O tak ye that, fair may,’ he said, ‘Frae me ye’ll neer get mair.’
  24. ‘O haud your tongue, young man,’ she says, ‘And I pray you let me be; For I will hae your ain body, The king has granted me.’
  25. He mounted her on a bonny bay horse, Himsel on the silver grey; He drew his bonnet out oer his een, He whipt and rade away.
  26. O whan they cam to yon nettle bush, The nettles they war spread: ‘O an my mither war but here,’ she says, ‘These nettles she wad sued.’
  27. ‘O an I had drank the wan water Whan I did drink the wine, That eer a shepherd’s dochter Should hae been a love o mine!’
  28. ‘O may be I’m a shepherd’s dochter, And may be I am nane; But you might hae ridden on your ways, And hae let me alane.’
  29. O whan they cam unto yon mill, She heard the mill clap: . . . . . . . . . .
  30. ‘Clap on, clap on, thou bonny mill, Weel may thou, I say, For mony a time thou’s filled my pock Wi baith oat-meal and grey.’
  31. ‘O an I had drank the wan water Whan I did drink the wine, That eer a shepherd’s dochter Should hae been a love o mine!’
  32. ‘O may be I’m a shepherd’s dochter, And may be I am nane; But you might hae ridden on your ways, And hae let me alane.
  33. ‘But yet I think a fitter match Could scarcely gang thegither Than the King of France’s auld dochter And the Queen of Scotland’s brither.’