Clerk Colvill

No: 42; variant: 42A

  1. CLARK COLVEN and his gay ladie, As they walked to yon garden green, A belt about her middle gimp, Which cost Clark Colven crowns fifteen:
  2. ‘O hearken weel now, my good lord, O hearken weel to what I say; When ye gang to the wall o Stream, O gang nae neer the well-fared may.’
  3. ‘O haud your tongue, my gay ladie, Tak nae sic care o me; For I nae saw a fair woman I like so well as thee.’
  4. He mounted on his berry-brown steed, And merry, merry rade he on, Till he came to the wall o Stream, And there he saw the mermaiden.
  5. ‘Ye wash, ye wash, ye bonny may, And ay’s ye wash your sark o silk:’ ‘It’s a’ for you, ye gentle knight, My skin is whiter than the milk.’
  6. He’s taen her by the milk-white hand, He’s taen her by the sleeve sae green, And he’s forgotten his gay ladie, And away with the fair maiden.
  7. ‘Ohon, alas!’ says Clark Colven, ‘And aye sae sair’s I mean my head!’ And merrily leugh the mermaiden, ‘O win on till you be dead.
  8. ‘But out ye tak your little pen-knife, And frae my sark ye shear a gare; Row that about your lovely head, And the pain ye’ll never feel nae mair.’
  9. Out he has taen his little pen-knife, And frae her sark he’s shorn a gare, Rowed that about his lovely head, But the pain increased mair and mair.
  10. ‘Ohon, alas!’ says Clark Colven, ‘An aye sae sair’s I mean my head!’ And merrily laughd the mermaiden, ‘It will ay be war till ye be dead.’
  11. Then out he drew his trusty blade, And thought wi it to be her dead, But she’s become a fish again, And merrily sprang into the fleed.
  12. He’s mounted on his berry-brown steed, And dowy, dowy rade he home, And heavily, heavily lighted down When to his ladie’s bower-door he came.
  13. ‘Oh, mither, mither, mak my bed, And, gentle ladie, lay me down; Oh, brither, brither, unbend my bow, ‘Twill never be bent by me again.’
  14. His mither she has made his bed, His gentle ladie laid him down, His brither he has unbent his bow, ‘Twas never bent by him again.