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

No: 216; variant: 216C

  1. WILLIE stands in his stable-door, And clapping at his steed, And looking oer his white fingers His nose began to bleed.
  2. ‘Gie corn to my horse, mother, And meat to my young man, And I’ll awa to Maggie’s bower; I’ll win ere she lie down.’
  3. ‘O bide this night wi me, Willie, O bide this night wi me; The best an cock o a’ the reest At your supper shall be.’
  4. ‘A’ your cocks, and a’ your reests, I value not a prin, For I’ll awa to Meggie’s bower; I’ll win ere she lie down.’
  5. ‘Stay this night wi me, Willie, O stay this night wi me; The best an sheep in a’ the flock At your supper shall be.’
  6. ‘A’ your sheep, and a’ your flocks, I value not a prin, For I’ll awa’ to Meggie’s bower; I’ll win ere she lie down.’
  7. ‘O an ye gang to Meggie’s bower, Sae sair against my will, The deepest pot in Clyde’s water, My malison ye’s feel.’
  8. ‘The guid steed that I ride upon Cost me thrice thretty pound; And I’ll put trust in his swift feet To hae me safe to land.’
  9. As he rade ower yon high, high hill, And down yon dowie den, The noise that was in Clyde’s water Woud feard five huner men.
  10. ‘O roaring Clyde, ye roar ower loud, Your streams seem wondrous strang; Make me your wreck as I come back, But spare me as I gang!’
  11. Then he is on to Maggie’s bower, And tirled at the pin; ‘O sleep ye, wake ye, Meggie,’ he said, ‘Ye’ll open, lat me come in.’
  12. ‘O wha is this at my bower-door, That calls me by my name?’ ‘It is your first love, sweet Willie, This night newly come hame.’
  13. ‘I hae few lovers thereout, thereout, As few hae I therein; The best an love that ever I had Was here jusr late yestreen.’
  14. ‘The warstan stable in a’ your stables, For my puir steed to stand! The warstan bower in a’ your bowers, For me to lie therin! My boots are fu o Clyde’s water, I’m shivering at the chin.’
  15. ‘My barns are fu o corn, Willie, My stables are fu o hay; My bowers are fu o gentlemen, They’ll nae remove till day.’
  16. ‘O fare ye well, my fause Meggie, O farewell, and adieu! I’ve gotten my mither’s malison This night coming to you.’
  17. As he rode ower yon high, high hill, And down yon dowie den, The rushing that was in Clyde’s water Took Willie’s cane frae him.
  18. He leand him ower his saddle-bow, To catch his cane again; The rushing that was in Clyde’s water Took Willie’s hat frae him.
  19. He leand him ower his saddle-bow, To catch his hat thro force; The rushing that was in Clyde’s water Took Willie frae his horse.
  20. His brither stood upo the bank, Says, Fye, man, will ye drown? Ye’ll turn ye to your high horse head And learn how to sowm.
  21. ‘How can I turn to my horse head And learn how to sowm? I’ve gotten my mither’s malison, It’s here that I maun drown.’
  22. The very hour this young man sank Into the pot sae deep, Up it wakend his love Meggie Out o her drowsy sleep.
  23. ‘Come here, come here, my mither dear, And read this dreary dream; I dreamd my love was at our gates, And nane wad let him in.’
  24. ‘Lye still, lye still now, my Meggie, Lye still and tak your rest; Sin your true-love was at your yates, It’s but twa quarters past.’
  25. Nimbly, nimbly raise she up, And nimbly pat she on, And the higher that the lady cried, The louder blew the win.
  26. The first an step that she steppd in, She stepped to the queet; ‘Ohon, alas!’ said that lady, ‘This water’s wondrous deep.’
  27. The next an step that she wade in, She wadit to the knee; Says she, ‘I coud wide farther in, If I my love coud see.’
  28. The next an step that she wade in, She wadit to the chin; The deepest pot in Clyde’s water She got sweet Willie in.
  29. ‘You’ve had a cruel mither, Willie, And I have had anither; But we shall sleep in Clyde’s water Like sister an like brither.’