Child Waters

No: 63; variant: 63[K]

  1. Willie was a harper guid, He was a harper fine; He harped the burds out of the tree, The fish out of the flood, The milk out of a woman’s brist That bab had never nean.
  2. He harped out, an he harped in, Till he harped them a’ aslep, Unless it was her Fair Elen, An she stood on her feett.
  3. Willie stod in stabile dor, He said he wad ride, . . . . . . . . . . .
  4. ‘Na women mane gae we me, Hellen, Na women mane gaie we me Bat them that will saddle my hors, An bridell my steed, An elky toun that I come to A lish of hons mane lead.’
  5. ‘I will saddle yer hors, Willie, An I will bridel yer steed, An elky toun att we come tell A leash of honds will lead.’
  6. ‘The dogs sall eat the gued fite bread, An ye the doue: pran, An ye sall bliss, an na curse, That ever ye lied a man.’
  7. ‘The dogs sall eat the whit bread, An me the doue: pran, An I will bliss, an na curs, That ear I loved a man.’
  8. She has saddled his hors, An she has bridled his stead, An ealky toun att they came throu A lish of honds did lead.
  9. The dogs did eatt the whit bread, An her the douey pran, An she did bliss, an she did na curs, That ever she loyed a man.
  10. Fan they came to yon wan water That a’ man caas Clayd, He louked over his left shoder, Says, Ellen, will ye ride?
  11. ‘I learned it in my medder’s bour, I wiss I had learned it better, Fan I came to wane water To sume as dos the otter.
  12. ‘I learned in my midder’s bour, I watt I learned it well, Fan I came to wan water, To sume as dos the ell.’
  13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Or the knight was in the middell of the water, The lady was in the eather side.
  14. She leaned her back to a stane, Gaa a call opon: ‘O my back is right sore, An I sae farr frae hame!
  15. ‘Hou monny mill ha ye to rid, An hou mony I to rine?’ ‘Fifty mill ha I to rid, Fifty you to rine, An by that time I dou supos Ye will be a dead woman.’
  16. Out spak a bonny burd, Sate on yon tree, ‘Gaa on, fair Ellen, Ye ha scarcly milles three.’
  17. Four-an-tuenty bony ladys Mett Willie in the closs, Bat the fairest lady among them a’ Took Willie frae his horse.
  18. Four-an-trenty bonny ladys Lead Willie to the table, Bat the fairest lady among them a’ Led his hors to the stable.
  19. She leaned betuen the gray folle an the waa, An gae a call opon; ‘O my back is fue sore, An I sae far fra home!
  20. ‘Fan I was in my father’s bour, I ware goud to my hell; Bat nou I am among Willie’s hors feet, An the call it will me kell.
  21. ‘Fan I was in my midder’s bour I wear goud to my head; Bat nou I am among Willie’s hors feet, And the calle will be my dead.’
  22. ‘Fatten a heavey horse-boy, my son Willie, Is this ye ha brought to me? Some times he grous read, read, An some times paill an wane; He louks just leak a woman we bairn, An no weis es leak a man.’
  23. ‘Gett up, my heavey hors-boy, Gie my hors corn an hay;’ ‘By my soth,’ says her Fair Ellen, ‘Bat as fast as I may.’
  24. ‘I dreamed a dream san the straine, Gued read a’ dreams to gued! I dreamed my stable-dor was opned An stoun was my best steed. Ye gae, my sister, An see if the dream be gued.’
  25. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . She thought she hard a baby greet, Bat an a lady mone.
  26. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ‘I think I hard a baby greet, Bat an a lady mone.’
  27. ‘A askend, Wikllie,’ she says, ‘An ye man grant it me; The warst room in a’ yer house To your young son an me.’
  28. [‘Ask on, Fair Ellen, Ye’r sure yer asken is free;] The best room in a’ my house To yer young son an ye.’
  29. ‘[A] asken, Willie,’ she sayes, ‘An ye will grant it me; The smallest bear in yer house To [yer] young son an me.’
  30. ‘Ask on, Fair Ellen, Ye’r sure your asken is free; The best bear in my house [To yer young son an ye.]
  31. ‘The best bear in my house Is the black bear an the wine, An ye sall haa that, Fair Ellen, To you an yer young son.’
  32. ‘[A] askent, Willie,’ she says, ‘An ye will grant [it] me; The warst maid in yer house To wait on yer young son an me.’
  33. ‘The best maid in my house Is my sister Meggie, An ye sall ha her, Fair Ellen, To wait on yer young son an ye.
  34. ‘Chire up, Fair Ellen, Chire up, gin ye may; Yer kirking an yer fair weding Sall baith stand in ae day.’