Young Johnstone

No: 88; variant: 88D

  1. JOHNSTON HEY and Young Caldwell Were drinking o the wine: ‘O will ye marry my sister? And I will marry thine.’
  2. ‘I winna marry your sister, Altho her locks are broun; But I’ll make her my concubine, As I ride through the toun.’
  3. Syne Johnston drew a gude braid sword, That hang down by his knee, And he has run the Young Caldwell Out through the fair bodie.
  4. Up he gat, and awa he rade, By the clear light o the moon, Until he came to his mother’s door, And there he lichtit doun.
  5. ‘Whare hae ye been, son Willie,’ she said, ‘Sae late and far in the night?’ ‘O I hae been at yon new slate house, Hearing the clergy speak.’
  6. ‘I dreamd a dream, son Willie,’ she said, ‘I doubt it bodes nae gude; That your ain room was fu o red swine, And your bride’s bed daubd wi blude.’
  7. ‘To dream o blude, mither,’ he said, ‘It bodeth meikle ill; And I hae slain a Young Caldwell, And they’re seeking me to kill.’
  8. ‘Gin ye hae slain a Young Caldwell, Alace and wae is me! But gin your fair body’s free frae skaith, The easier I will be.’
  9. Up he gat, and awa he rade, By the clear licht o the mune, Until he cam to his sister’s bower, And there he lichtit doun.
  10. ‘Whare hae ye been, brither,’ she said, ‘Sae late and far in the night?’ ‘O I hae been in yon new slate house, Hearing the clergy speak.’
  11. ‘I dreamd a dream, brither,’ she said, ‘I doubt it bodes nae gude; I dreamd the ravens eat your flesh, And the lions drank your blude.’
  12. ‘To dream o blude, sister,’ he said, ‘It bodeth meikle ill; And I hae slain a Young Caldwell, And they’re seeking me to kill.’
  13. ‘Gin ye hae slain a Young Caldwell, Alace and wae is me! To be torn at the tail o wild horses Is the death I weet ye’ll die.’
  14. Up he gat, and awa he rade, By the clear light o the mune, Untill he cam to his true-love’s bower, And there he lichtit doun.
  15. ‘Whare hae ye been, Love Willie,’ she said, ‘Sae late and far in the night?’ ‘O I hae been in yon new sklate house, Hearing the clergy speak.’
  16. ‘I dreamd a dream, Willie,’ she said, ‘I doubt it bodes nae gude; I dreamd the ravens ate your flesh, And the lions drank your blude.’
  17. ‘To dream o ravens, love,’ he said, ‘Is the loss o a near friend; And I hae killed your brither dear, And for it I’ll be slain.’
  18. ‘Gin ye hae slain my ae brither, Alace and wae is me! But gin your fair body’s free frae skaith, The easier I will be.
  19. ‘Lye doun, lye doun, Love Willie,’ she said, ‘Lye doun and tak a sleep; And I will walk the castel wa, Your fair bodie to keep.’
  20. He laid him doun within her bowr, She happit him wi her plaid, And she’s awa to the castle-wa, To see what would betide.
  21. She hadna gane the castle round A time but only three, Till four and twenty beltit knichts Cam riding ower the lea.
  22. And whan they came unto the gate, They stude and thus did say: ‘O did ye see yon bludie knicht, As he rade out this way?’
  23. ‘What colour was his hawk?’ she said, ‘What colour was his hound? What colour was the gudely steed The bludie knicht rade on?’
  24. ‘Nut-brown was his hawk,’ they said, ‘And yellow-fit was his hound, And milk-white was the goodly steed The bluidie knicht rade on.’
  25. ‘Gin nut-brown was his hawk,’ she said, ‘And yellow-fit was his hound, And milk-white was the gudely steed, He’s up to London gone.’
  26. They spurrd their steeds out ower the lea, They being void o fear; Syne up she gat, and awa she gade, Wi tidings to her dear.
  27. ‘Lye still, lye still, Love Willie,’ she said, ‘Lye still and tak your sleep;’ Syne he took up his good braid sword, And wounded her fu deep.
  28. ‘O wae be to you, Love Willie,’ she said, ‘And an ill death may ye die! For first ye slew my ae brither, And now ye hae killd me.’
  29. ‘Oh live, oh live, true-love,’ he said, ‘Oh live but ae half hour, And there’s not a docter in a’ London But sall be in your bower.’
  30. ‘How can I live, Love Willie,’ she said, ‘For the space of half an hour? Dinnae ye see my clear heart’s blood A rinnin down the floor?
  31. ‘Tak aff, tak aff my holland sark, And rive’t frae gare to gair, And stap it in my bleeding wounds; They’ll may be bleed nae mair.’
  32. Syne he took aff her holland sark, And rave’t frae gare to gair, And stappit it in her bleeding wounds, But aye they bled the mair.
  33. ‘Gae dress yoursell in black,’ she said, ‘And gae whistling out the way, And mourn nae mair for your true-love When she’s laid in the clay.’
  34. He leaned his halbert on the ground, The point o’t to his breast, Saying, Here three sauls [’s] gaun to heaven; I hope they’ll a’ get rest.