The Mother’s Malison, or, Clyde’s Water

No: 216; variant: 216A

  1. ‘YE gie corn unto my horse, An meat unto my man, For I will gae to my true-love’s gates This night, gin that I can.’
  2. ‘O stay at hame this ae night, Willie, This ae bare night wi me; The best bed in a’ my house Sall be well made to thee.’
  3. ‘I carena for your beds, mither, I carena ae pin, For I’ll gae to my love’s gates This night, gin I can win.’
  4. ‘O stay, my son Willie, this night, This ae night wi me; The best hen in a’ my roost Sall be well made ready for thee.’
  5. ‘I carena for your hens, mither, I carena ae pin; I sall gae to my love’s gates This night, gin I can win.’
  6. ‘Gin ye winna stay, my son Willie, This ae bare night wi me, Gin Clyde’s water be deep and fu o flood, My malisen drown ye!’
  7. He rode up yon high hill, An down yon dowie glen; The roaring of Clyde’s water Wad hae fleyt ten thousand men.
  8. ‘O spare me, Clyde’s water, O spare me as I gae! Mak me your wrack as I come back, But spare me as I gae!’
  9. He rade in, and farther in, Till he came to the chin; And he rade in, and farther in, Till he came to dry lan.
  10. An whan he came to his love’s gates, He tirled at the pin: ‘Open your gates, Meggie, Open your gates to me, For my beets are fu o Clyde’s water, And the rain rains oure my chin.’
  11. ‘I hae nae lovers therout,’ she says, ‘I hae nae love within; My true-love is in my arms twa, An nane will I lat in.’
  12. ‘Open your gates, Meggie, this ae night, Open your gates to me; For Clyde’s water is fu o flood, An my mither’s malison ‘ll drown me.’
  13. ‘Ane o my chamers is fu o corn,’ she says, ‘An ane is fu o hay; Anither is fu o Gentlemen, An they winna move till day.’
  14. Out waked her May Meggie, Out o her drousy dream: ‘I dreamed a dream sin the yestreen, God read a’ dreams to guid! That my true-love Willie Was staring at my bed-feet.’
  15. ‘Now lay ye still, my ae dochter, An keep my back fra the call, For it’s na the space of hafe an hour Sen he gad fra yer hall.’
  16. ‘An hey, Willie, an hoa, Willie, Winne ye turn agen?’ But ay the louder that she crayed He rod agenst the wind.
  17. He rod up yon high hill, An doun yon douey den; The roring that was in Clid[e]’s water Wad ha flayed ten thousand men.
  18. He road in, an farder in, Till he came to the chine; An he road in, an farder in, Bat neuer mare was seen.
  19. Ther was na mare seen of that guid lord Bat his hat frae his head; Ther was na mare seen of that lady Bat her comb an her sneed.
  20. Ther waders went up an doun Eadying Claid’s water Hav don us wrang