Sweet William’s Ghost

No: 77; variant: 77E

  1. ‘AS May Margret sat in her bouerie, In her bouer all alone, At the very parting o midnicht She heard a mournfu moan.
  2. ‘O is it my father? O is it my mother? Or is it my brother John? Or is it Sweet William, my ain true-love, To Scotland new come home?’
  3. ‘It is na your father, it is na your mother, It is na your brother John; But it is Sweet William, your ain true-love, To Scotland new come home.’
  4. ‘Hae ye brought me onie fine things, Onie new thing for to wear? Or hae ye brought me a braid o lace, To snood up my gowden hair?’
  5. ‘I’ve brought ye na fine things at all, Nor onie new thing to wear, Nor hae I brought ye a braid of lace, To snood up your gowden hair.
  6. ‘But Margaret, dear Margaret, I pray ye speak to me; O gie me back my faith and troth, As dear as I gied it thee.’
  7. ‘Your faith and troth ye sanna get, Nor will I wi ye twin, Till ye come within my bouer, And kiss me, cheek and chin.’
  8. ‘O should I come within your bouer, I am na earthly man; If I should kiss your red, red lips, Your days wad na be lang.
  9. ‘O Margaret, dear Margaret, I pray ye speak to me; O gie me back my faith and troth, As dear as I gied it thee.’
  10. ‘Your faith and troth ye sanna get, Nor will I wi ye twin, Till ye tak me to yonder kirk, And wed me wi a ring.’
  11. ‘My banes are buried in yon kirk-yard, It’s far ayont the sea; And it is my spirit, Margaret, That’s speaking unto thee.’
  12. ‘Your faith and troth ye sanna get, Nor will I twin wi thee, Till ye tell me the pleasures o heaven, And pains of hell how they be.’
  13. ‘The pleasures of heaven I wat not of, But the pains of hell I dree; There some are hie hangd for huring, And some for adulterie.’
  14. ‘Then Margret took her milk-white hand, And smoothd it on his breast: ‘Tak your faith and troth, William, God send your soul good rest!’