Archie o Cawfield

No: 188; variant: 188D

  1. ‘SEVEN years have I loved my love, And seven years my love’s loved me, But now to-morrow is the day That billy Archie, my love, must die.’
  2. O then out spoke him Little Dickie, And still the best fellow was he: ‘Had I but five men and my self, Then we would borrow billy Archie.’
  3. Out it spoke him Caff o Lin, And still the worst fellow was he: ‘You shall have five men and yourself, And I will bear you companye.’
  4. We will not go like to dragoons, Nor yet will we like grenadiers, But we will go like corn-dealers, And lay our brechams on our meares.
  5. ‘And twa of us will watch the road, And other twa will go between, And I will go to jail-house door, And hold the prisoner unthought lang.’
  6. ‘Who is this at jail-house door, So well as they do know the gin?’ ‘It’s I myself,’ [said] him Little Dickie, ‘And oh sae fain’s I would be in!’
  7. ‘Away, away, now, Little Dickie! Away let all your folly be! If the Lord Lieutenant come on you, Like unto dogs he’ll cause you die.’
  8. ‘Hold you, hold you, billy Archie, And now let all your folly be! Tho I die without, you’ll not die within, For borrowed shall your body be.’
  9. ‘Away, away, now, Little Dickie! Away, let all this folly be! An hundred pounds of Spanish irons Is all bound on my fair bodie.’
  10. Wi plough-culters and gavellocks They made the jail-house door to flee; ‘And in God’s name,’ said Little Dickie, ‘Cast you the prisoner behind me!’
  11. They had not rode a great way off, Will all the haste that ever could be, Till they espied the Lord Lieutenant, With a hundred men in’s companie.
  12. But when they came to wan water, It now was rumbling like the sea; Then were they got into a strait, As great a strait as well could be.
  13. Then out did speak him Caff o Lin, And aye the warst fellow was he: ‘Now God be with my wife and bairns! For fatherless my babes will be.
  14. ‘My horse is young, he cannot swim; The water’s deep, and will not wade; My children must be fatherless, My wife a widow, whateer betide.’
  15. O then cried out him Little Dickie, And still the best fellow was he: ‘Take you my mare, I’ll take your horse, And Devil drown my mare and thee!’
  16. Now they have taken the wan water, Tho it was roaring like the sea, And whan they got to the other side, I wot they bragged right crouselie,
  17. ‘Come thro, come thro now, Lord Lieutenant! O do come thro, I pray of thee! There is an alehouse not far off, We’ll dine you and your companye.’
  18. ‘Away, away, now, Little Dickie! O now let all your taunting be! There’s not a man in the king’s army That would have tried what’s done by thee.
  19. ‘Cast back, cast back my fetters again! Cast back my fetters! I say to thee; And get you gane the way you came, I wish no prisoners like to thee.’
  20. ‘I have a mare, she’s called Meg, The best in all our low countrie; If she gang barefoot till they are done, An ill death may your lordship die!’