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Poem by Andrew Lang


Willie's Ladye


Willie has ta'en him o'er the faem,
He's wooed a wife, and brought her hame;
He's wooed her for her yellow hair,
But his mother wrought her meikle care;

And meikle dolour gar'd her dree,
For lighter she can never be;
But in her bow'r she sits with pain,
And Willie mourns o'er her in vain.

And to his mother he has gane,
That vile rank witch, of vilest kind!
He says--"My lady has a cup,
With gowd and silver set about;
This gudely gift shall be your ain,
And let her be lighter of her bairn."

"Of her bairn she's never be lighter,
Nor in her bow'r to shine the brighter
But she shall die, and turn to clay,
And you shall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
"I wish my life were at an end."

"Yet gae ye to your mother again,
That vile rank witch, of vilest kind
And say, your ladye has a steed,
The like of him's no in the land of Leed.

"For he is silver shod before,
And he is gowden shod behind;
At every tuft of that horse mane
There's a golden chess, and a bell to ring.
This gudely gift shall be her ain,
And let me be lighter of my bairn."

"Of her young bairn she's ne'er be lighter,
Nor in her bow'r to shine the brighter;
But she shall die, and turn to clay,
And ye shall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
I wish my life were at an end!"

"Yet gae ye to your mother again,
That vile rank witch, of rankest kind!
And say, your ladye has a girdle,
It's all red gowd to the middle;

"And aye, at ilka siller hem,
Hang fifty siller bells and ten;
This gudely gift shall be her ain,
And let me be lighter of my bairn."

"Of her young bairn she's ne'er be lighter,
Nor in your bow'r to shine the brighter;
For she shall die, and turn to clay,
And thou shall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
"I wish my days were at an end!"

Then out and spak the Billy Blind,
He spak aye in good time [his mind]:-
"Yet gae ye to the market place,
And there do buy a loaf of wace;
Do shape it bairn and bairnly like,
And in it two glassen een you'll put.

"Oh, wha has loosed the nine witch-knots
That were amang that ladye's locks?
And wha's ta'en out the kames of care,
That were amang that ladye's hair?

"And wha has ta'en down that bush of woodbine
That hung between her bow'r and mine?
And wha has kill'd the master kid
That ran beneath that ladye's bed?
And wha has loosed her left foot shee,
And let that ladye lighter be?"

Syne, Willie's loosed the nine witch-knots
That were amang that ladye's locks;
And Willie's ta'en out the kames of care
That were into that ladye's hair;
And he's ta'en down the bush of woodbine,
Hung atween her bow'r and the witch carline.

And he has killed the master kid
That ran beneath that ladye's bed;
And he has loosed her left foot shee,
And latten that ladye lighter be;
And now he has gotten a bonnie son,
And meikle grace be him upon.



Andrew Lang


Andrew Lang's other poems:
  1. Ballade of the Tweed
  2. Valentine in Form of Ballade
  3. A Scot to Jeanne DТArc
  4. The Bonnie House O' Airly
  5. A Highly Valuable Chain Of Thoughts


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