Child Waters

No: 63; variant: 63G

  1. THE knight he stands in stable-door, Says he, I will go ride; The lady’s kilted her gay cloathing, And ran low by his side.
  2. He has ridden, and she has run, Till they came to yon water wan; He has ridden, and she has run, Like to his waiting man.
  3. He has ridden, and she has run, Till they came on to Clyde; The knight he rode on high horseback, But the lady she bot wide.
  4. The first step that the lady stepped, She stept into the knee; The bairn that was between her sides There he gied spartles three.
  5. ‘Lie still, lie still, my bonny boy, Ye work your mother woe; Your father rides on high horseback, Cares little for us two.’
  6. The nextand step that lady stepped, She stept into the pap; The bairn that was between her sides There spartled and he lap.
  7. ‘Ly still, ly still, my bonny boy, You work your mother’s woe; Your father rides on high horseback, Cares little for us two.’
  8. In the middle of that water There stands a yird-fast stone; He turnd his horse head back again, Said, Lady, loup ye on.
  9. She hadna ridden a mile, a mile, O never a mile but ane, Till she grew sick, and so weary She couldna ride nor gang.
  10. ‘Ride on, ride on, my gay lady, You see not what I see; For yonder is my father’s castle, A little beyond the lee, And ye’ll get ane of my father’s men, But, lady, neer lippen on me.’
  11. There were four and twenty bonny ladies Led Willie frae bower to ha, But the bonniest lady among them a’ Led his steed to the sta.
  12. When they were at the table set, And sitting at their dine, Out it spake his mother dear, And she spake aye in time.
  13. ‘Sometimes your boy’s red, Willie, And other times he’s wan; He looks like a woman wi bairn, But no ways like a man.’
  14. ‘Win up, win up, my bonny boy, Go look your master’s steed; See that his meat be at his head, And not among his feet.’
  15. O healy, healy raise she up, And healy gaed she down, And healy opend the stable-door, And as healy gaed she in, And even among that big horse feet She bear her dear young son.
  16. As Willie’s mother was walking alone, Between the bower and ha, She thought she heard a bairn’s greet And lady’s moan in the sta.
  17. ‘Gude make ye safe, my ae son Willie, Gude keep ye safe frae harm; Ye might hae chosen a lighter foot-boy Than a women in travilling.’
  18. He hit the table wi his foot, He kept it wi his knee, Till silver cups and silver spoons Into the floor did flee.
  19. There was fifteen steps into that stair, I wat he made them a’ but three; He’s to the stable gane in haste, And a’ to see his gay lady.
  20. ‘I am not come o sic low kin, Nor yet sic low degree, That you needed to banish me frae your sight, That ye left nae woman wi me.’
  21. ‘I wish I’d drunken the wan water When I did drink the wine, Or when I left my lady gay, And her at sic a time.
  22. ‘But up ye’ll take my dear young son, And wash him wi the milk, And up ye’ll take my lady gay And row her in the silk; For her kirking and her fair wedding Shall baith stand in ae day.’