Page images

Out o’er yon moss, out o'er yon moor, Till he came to her daddie's door.

Goodman, quo he, be ye within?
I'm come your daughter's love to win ;
I carena for making mickle din,

What answer gie ye me?
Now wooer, quo' he, wad ye light doun,
I'll gie ye my daughter's love to win.

Now, wooer, sin ye are lighted doun,
Whare do ye won, or in what touns
I think my daughter winna gloom

On sic a lad as ye.
The wooer he stepped up the house,
An' wow but he was wondrous crouse,

I hae three owsen in a pleugh,
Twa good gaun yaudes and gear aneugh,
The place they ca’ it Cadeneugh,

I scorn to tell a lee!
Forbye I have, frae the great laird,
A peat-pat, and a lang kale yard.
The maid put on her kirtle brown,
She was the brawest in a' the town,
I wat on him she did nae gloom,

But blinkit bonnilie.
The lover he stended up in haste,
And gript her hard about the waist.

To win your love, lass, I'm come here,
I'm young and hae enough of gear,
And for mysel ye need na fear,
Troth try me whan



He took off his bonnet, and spat in his chow,
He dighted his gab and he pried her inou.

The maiden blushed and binged fu’ law,
She had sma' will to say him na ;
But to her daddie she left it a',

As they twa could agree.
The lover he gae her the tither kiss,
Syne ran to her daddie and tauld him this,

Your daughter wadna say me na,
But to yoursel she has left it a',
As we could gree between us twa,

Say what'll ye gie me wi' her?
Now, wooer, quo' he: I hae nae mickle,
But sic as I hae ye’se get a pickle,

A kiln fu' o' corn, I'll gie to thee,
Three soums o' sheep, twa gude milk-kye,
The bridal feast, my blessing forbye

Troth I dow do nae mair.
Content, quo Willie, a feastma feast,
Gae fee the piper and fetch the priest.*

The bridal day it came to pass,
Wi' mony a blythesome lad and lass,
But siccan a day there never was,

Sic mirth was never seen,
The winsome couple straked hands,
Mess John tied up the marriage bands,

* I have followed Allan Cunningham's copy of this verse, which is much more graphic than the original wording.

And our bride's maidens werena few,
Wi' top-knots, lug-knots, a' in blue,
Frae tap to tae they were brent new,

And blinkit bonnilie.
Their toys and mutches were sae clean,
They glanced in a' our ladses een.

Sic hirdum dirdum and sic din,
Wi' he o'er her and she o'er him
The minstrels they did never blin

Wi' mickle mirth and glee,
And aye they reeld and aye they set,
And ladses lips with lasses met.

[This is a long song and a good song. It was first published by Allan Ramsay.]


I wish I were where Helen lies-
Night and day on me she cries ;
O that I were where Helen lies

On fair Kirconnel lea.
O Helen fair beyond compare,
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair

Until the day I die.

O think nae ye my heart was sair
When my love dropt and spoke nae mair,
She sank and swoon'd wi' meikle care

On fair Kirconnel lea.

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,

And died to succour me.

As I went down the water wide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
With sword in hand and side by side,

On fair Kirconnel lea;
The small bird ceased its song with awe
When our bright swords it heard and saw,
And I hew'd him in pieces sma’

For her that died for me.

O that I were where Helen lies,
Night and day on me she cries,
Out of my bed she bids me rise,

“ O come my love to me."
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste !
If I were with thee I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest,

On fair Kirconnel lea.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn o'er my een,
And I in Helen's arms lying

On fair Kirconnel lea.
I wish I were where Helen lies,
Night and day on me she cries;
I'm sick of all beneath the skies

Since my love died for me.

[It would be endless work to give the many variations in the song of Fair Helen, half a volume might be taken up in giving different

readings and different versions of ancient copies and modern fabrications. But see Leigh Hunt's Journal, Vol, J. Burns wrote to George Thomson that the song of Fair Helen was silly to despicability, an opinion few have joined him in.)


Although I be but a country lass,

Yet a lofty mind I bear,
And think mysell as good as those

That rich apparel wear.
Although my gown be home-spun grey,

My skin it is as soft
As them that satin weeds do wear,

And carry their heads aloft.
What though I keep my father's sheep,

The thing that must be done,
With garlands of the finest flowers,

To shade me frae the sun;
When they are feeding pleasantly,

Where grass and flowers do spring,
Then on a flowery bank at noon

I sit me down and sing.

veins' enrage,

My Paisley piggy, cork'd with sage,

Contains my drink but thin;
No winęs do e'er'

Or tempt my mind to sin.
My country curds, and wooden spoon,

I think them unco fine;
And on a flowery bank at noon,

I sit me down and dine.

« PreviousContinue »