Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship

No: 46; variant: 46A

  1. THE laird of Bristoll’s daughter was in the woods walking, And by came Captain Wetherbourn, a servant to the king; And he said to his livery man, Wer’t not against the law, I would tak her to mine ain bed, and lay her neist the wa.
  2. ‘I’m into my father’s woods, amongst my father’s trees, O kind sir, let mee walk alane, O kind sir, if you please; The butler’s bell it will be rung, and I’ll be mist awa; I’ll lye into mine ain bed, neither at stock nor wa.’
  3. ‘O my bonny lady, the bed it’s not be mine, For I’ll command my servants for to call it thine; The hangings are silk satin, the sheets are holland sma, And we’s baith lye in ae bed, but you’s lye neist the wa.
  4. ‘And so, my bonny lady, –I do not know your name,– But my name’s Captain Wetherburn, and I’m a man of fame; Tho your father and a’ his men were here, I would na stand in awe To tak you to mine ain bed, and lay you neist the wa.
  5. ‘Oh my bonny, bonny lady, if you’ll gie me your hand, You shall hae drums and trumpets to sound at your command; Wi fifty men to guard you, sae weel their swords can dra, And wee’s baith lye in ae bed, but you’s lye neist the wa.’
  6. He’s mounted her upon a steid, behind his gentleman, And he himself did walk afoot, to had his lady on, With his hand about her midle sae jimp, for fear that she should fa; She man lye in his bed, but she’ll not lye neist the wa.
  7. He’s taen her into Edinburgh, his landlady cam ben: ‘And monny bonny ladys in Edinburgh hae I seen, But the like of this fine creature my eyes they never sa;’ ‘O dame bring ben a down-bed, for she’s lye neist the wa.’
  8. ‘Hold your tongue, young man,’ she said, aend dinna trouble me, Unless you get to my supper, and that is dishes three; Dishes three to my supper, tho I eat nane at a’, Before I lye in your bed, but I winna lye neist the wa.
  9. ‘You maun get to my supper a cherry but a stane, And you man get to my supper a capon but a bane, And you man get a gentle bird that flies wanting the ga, Before I lye in your bed, but I’ll not lye neist the wa.’
  10. ‘A cherry whan in blossom is a cherry but a stane; A capon when he’s in the egg canna hae a bane; The dow it is a gentle bird that flies wanting the ga; And ye man lye in my bed, between me and the wa.’
  11. ‘Hold your tongue, young man,’ she said, aend dinna me perplex, Unless you tell me questions, and that is questions six; Tell me them as I shall ask them, and that is twa by twa, Before I lye in your bed, but I’ll not lye neist the wa.
  12. ‘What is greener than the grass, what’s higher than the tree? What’s war than a woman’s wiss, what’s deeper than the sea? What bird sings first, and whereupon the dew down first does fa? Before I lye in your bed, but I’ll lye neist the wa.’
  13. ‘Virgus is greener than the grass, heaven’s higher than the tree; The deil’s war than a woman’s wish, hell’s deeper than the sea; The cock sings first, on the Sugar Loaf the dew down first does fa; And ye man lye in my bed, betweest me and the wa.’
  14. ‘Hold your tongue, young man,’ she said, ‘I pray you give it oer, Unless you tell me questions, and that is questions four; Tell me them as I shall ask them, and that is twa by twa, Before I lye in your bed, but I winna lye neist the wa.
  15. ‘You man get to me a plumb that does in winter grow; And likewise a silk mantle that never waft gaed thro; A sparrow’s horn, a priest unborn, this night to join us twa, Before I lye in your bed, but I winna lye neist the wa.’
  16. ‘There is a plumb in my father’s yeard that does in winter grow; Likewise he has a silk mantle that never waft gaed thro; A sparrow’s horn, it may be found, there’s ane in every tae, There’s ane upo the mouth of him, perhaps there may be twa.
  17. ‘The priest is standing at the door, just ready to come in; Nae man could sae that he was born, to lie it is a sin; For a wild boar bored him mother’s side, he out of it did fa; And you man lye in my bed, between me and the wa.’
  18. Little kent Grizey Sinclair, that morning when she raise, ‘Twas to be the hindermost of a’ her single days; For now she’s Captain Wetherburn’s wife, a man she never saw, And she man lye in his bed, but she’ll not lye neist the wa.