Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64F

  1. HEY, love Willie, and how, love Willie, And Willie my love shall be; They’re thinking to sinder our lang love, Willie; It’s mair than man can dee.
  2. ‘Ye’ll mount me quickly on a steed, A milk-white steed or gray, And carry me on to gude greenwood, Before that it be day.’
  3. He mounted her upon a steed, He chose a steed o gray; He had her on to gude greenwood, Before that it was day.
  4. ‘O will ye gang to the cards, Meggie? Or will ye gang wi me? Or will ye hae a bower-woman, To stay ere it be day?’
  5. ‘I winna gang to the cards,’ she said, ‘Nor will I gae wi thee, Nor will I hae a bower-woman, To spoil my modestie.
  6. ‘Ye’ll gie me a lady at my back, An a lady me beforn, An a midwife at my twa sides, Till your young son be born.
  7. ‘Ye’ll do me up, and further up, To the top o yon greenwood tree; For every pain myself shall hae, The same pain ye maun drie.’
  8. The first pain that did strike Sweet Willie, It was into the side; Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie, These pains are ill to bide!
  9. The nextan pain that strake Sweet Willie, It was into the back; Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie, These pains are women’s wreck!
  10. The nextan pain that strake Sweet Willie, It was into the head; Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie, I fear my lady’s dead!
  11. Then he’s gane on, and further on, At the foot o yon greenwood tree; There he got his lady lighter, Wi his young son on her knee.
  12. Then he’s taen up his little young son, And kissd him, cheek and chin, And he is on to his mother, As fast as he could gang.
  13. ‘Ye will take in my son, mother, Gie him to nurses nine; Three to wauk, and three to sleep, And three to fanf between.’
  14. Then he has left his mother’s house, And frae her he has gane, And he is back to his lady, And safely brought her hame.
  15. Then in it came her father dear, Was belted in a brand: ‘It’s nae time for brides to lye in bed, When the bridegroom’s send’s in town.
  16. ‘There are four-and-twenty noble lords A’ lighted on the green; The fairest knight amang them a’, He must be your bridegroom.’
  17. ‘O wha will shoe my foot, my foot? And wha will glove my hand? And wha will prin my sma middle, Wi the short prin and the lang?’
  18. Now out it speaks him Sweet Willie, Who knew her troubles best: ‘It is my duty for to serve, As I’m come here as guest.
  19. ‘Now I will shoe your foot, Maisry, And I will glove your hand, And I will prin your sma middle, Wi the sma prin and the lang.’
  20. ‘Wha will saddle my steed,’ she says, ‘And gar my bridle ring? And wha will hae me to gude church-door, This day I’m ill abound?’
  21. ‘I will saddle your steed, Maisry, And gar your bridle ring, And I’ll hae you to gude church-door, And safely set you down.’
  22. ‘O healy, healy take me up, And healy set me down, And set my back until a wa, My foot to yird-fast stane.’
  23. He healy took her frae her horse, And healy set her down, And set her back until a wa, Her foot to yird-fast stane.
  24. When they had eaten and well drunken, And a’ had thornd fine, The bride’s father he took the cup, For to serve out the wine.
  25. Out it speaks the bridegroom’s brother, An ill death mat he die! ‘I fear our bride she’s born a bairn, Or else has it a dee.’
  26. She’s taen out a Bible braid, And deeply has she sworn; ‘If I hae born a bairn,’ she says, ‘Sin yesterday at morn,
  27. ‘Or if I’ve born a bairn,’ she says, ‘Sin yesterday at noon, There’s nae a lady amang you a’ That woud been here sae soon.’
  28. Then out it spake the bridegroom’s man, Mischance come ower his heel! ‘Win up, win up, now bride,’ he says, ‘And dance a shamefu reel.’
  29. Then out it speaks the bride hersell, And a sorry heart had she: ‘Is there nae ane amang you a’ Will dance this dance for me?’
  30. Then out it speaks him Sweet Willie, And he spake aye thro pride: ‘O draw my boots for me, bridegroom, Or I dance for your bride.’
  31. Then out it spake the bride hersell: O na, this maunna be; For I will dance this dance mysell, Tho my back shoud gang in three.
  32. She hadna well gane thro the reel, Nor yet well on the green, Till she fell down at Willie’s feet As cauld as ony stane.
  33. He’s taen her in his arms twa, And haed her up the stair; Then up it came her jolly bridegroom, Says, What’s your business there?
  34. Then Willie lifted up his foot, And dang him down the stair, And brake three ribs o the bridegroom’s side, And a word he spake nae mair.
  35. Nae meen was made for that lady, When she was lying dead; But a’ was for him Sweet Willie, On the fields for he ran mad.