"How can I turn to my horse head, And learn how to sowm?
I've gotten my mither's malison, 85 Its here that I maun drown!"
The very hour this young man sank Into the pot sae deep, Up it waken'd his love, Meggie, Out o' her drowsy sleep. 90
"Come here, come here, my mither dear, And read this dreary dream; I dream'd my love was at our gates, And nane wad let him in."
"Lye still, lye still now, my Meggie. 95 Lye still and tak your rest; Sin' your true love was at your yates, It's but twa quarters past."
Nimbly, nimbly raise she up, And nimbly pat she on; 100 And the higher that the lady cried, The louder blew the win'.
The first an' step that she stepp'd in, She stepped to the queet; "Ohon, alas!" said that lady, 105 "This water's wond'rous deep."
The next an' step that she wade in, She wadit to the knee; Says she, "I cou'd wide farther in, If I my love cou'd see." 110
The next an' step that she wade in, She wadit to the chin; The deepest pot in Clyde's water She got sweet Willie in.
"You've had a cruel mither, Willie, 115 And I have had anither; But we shall sleep in Clyde's water, Like sister an' like brither."
39, 40. Found also in _Leander on the Bay_, and taken from the epigram of Martial:
"Clamabat tumidis audax Leander in undis, Mergite me fluctus, cum rediturus ero."
WILLIE'S DROWNED IN GAMERY.
From Buchan's _Ballads of the North of Scotland_, i. 245. A fragment, exhibiting some differences, is among those ballads of Buchan which are published in the Percy Society's volumes, xvii. 66.
Four stanzas, of a superior cast, upon the same story, are printed in the _Tea-Table Miscellany_, (ii. 141.)
_Rare Willy drown'd in Yarrow._
"Willy's rare, and Willy's fair, And Willy's wond'rous bonny; And Willy heght to marry me, Gin e'er he married ony.
"Yestreen I made my bed fu' braid, This night I'll make it narrow; For a' the livelang winter night I ly twin'd of my marrow.
"O came you by yon water-side?
Pou'd you the rose or lilly?
Or came you by yon meadow green?
Or saw you my sweet Willy?"
She sought him east, she sought him west, She sought him braid and narrow; Syne in the cleaving of a craig, She found him drown'd in Yarrow.
These stanzas furnished the theme to Logan's _Braes of Yarrow_.
"O Willie is fair, and Willie is rare, And Willie is wond'rous bonny; And Willie says he'll marry me, Gin ever he marry ony."
"O ye'se get James, or ye'se get George, 5 Or ye's get bonny Johnnie; Ye'se get the flower o' a' my sons, Gin ye'll forsake my Willie."
"O what care I for James or George, Or yet for bonny Peter? 10 I dinna value their love a leek, An' I getna Willie the writer."
"O Willie has a bonny hand, And dear but it is bonny;"
"He has nae mair for a' his land; 15 What wou'd ye do wi' Willie?"
"O Willie has a bonny face, And dear but it is bonny;"
"But Willie has nae other grace; What wou'd ye do wi' Willie?" 20
"Willie's fair, and Willie's rare, And Willie's wond'rous bonny; There's nane wi' him that can compare, I love him best of ony."
On Wednesday, that fatal day, 25 The people were convening; Besides all this, threescore and ten, To gang to the bridesteel wi' him.
"Ride on, ride on, my merry men a', I've forgot something behind me; 30 I've forgot to get my mother's blessing, To gae to the bridesteel wi' me."
"Your Peggy she's but bare fifteen, And ye are scarcely twenty; The water o' Gamery is wide and braid, 35 My heavy curse gang wi' thee!"
Then they rode on, and further on, Till they came on to Gamery; The wind was loud, the stream was proud, And wi' the stream gaed Willie. 40
Then they rode on, and further on, Till they came to the kirk o' Gamery; And every one on high horse sat, But Willie's horse rade toomly.
When they were settled at that place, 45 The people fell a mourning; And a council held amo' them a', But sair, sair wept Kinmundy.
Then out it speaks the bride hersell, Says, "What means a' this mourning? 50 Where is the man amo' them a', That shou'd gie me fair wedding?"
Then out it speaks his brother John, Says, "Meg, I'll tell you plainly; The stream was strong, the clerk rade wrong, 55 And Willie's drown'd in Gamery."
She put her hand up to her head, Where were the ribbons many; She rave them a', let them down fa', And straightway ran to Gamery. 60
She sought it up, she sought it down, Till she was wet and weary; And in the middle part o' it, There she got her deary.
Then she stroak'd back his yellow hair, 65 And kiss'd his mou' sae comely; "My mother's heart's be as wae as thine; We'se baith asleep in the water o' Gamery."
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 282.
"The following verses are the original words of the tune of _Allan Water_, by which name the song is mentioned in Ramsay's _Tea-Table Miscellany_. The ballad is given from tradition; and it is said that a bridge over the Annan, was built in consequence of the melancholy catastrophe which it narrates. Two verses are added in this edition, from another copy of the ballad, in which the conclusion proves fortunate. By the _Gatehope-Slack_, is perhaps meant the _Gate-Slack_, a pass in Annandale. The Annan, and the Frith of Solway, into which it falls, are the frequent scenes of tragical accidents. The Editor trusts he will be pardoned for inserting the following awfully impressive account of such an event, contained in a letter from Dr. Currie, of Liverpool, by whose correspondence, while in the course of preparing these volumes for the press, he has been alike honoured and instructed. After stating that he had some recollection of the ballad which follows, the biographer of Burns proceeds thus:--'I once in my early days heard (for it was night, and I could not see) a traveller drowning; not in the Annan itself, but in the Frith of Solway, close by the mouth of that river. The influx of the tide had unhorsed him, in the night, as he was passing the sands from Cumberland. The west wind blew a tempest, and, according to the common expression, brought in the water _three foot a-breast_. The traveller got upon a standing net, a little way from the shore. There he lashed himself to the post, shouting for half an hour for assistance--till the tide rose over his head! In the darkness of the night, and amid the pauses of the hurricane, his voice, heard at intervals, was exquisitely mournful. No one could go to his assistance--no one knew where he was--the sound seemed to proceed from the spirit of the waters. But morning rose--the tide had ebbed--and the poor traveller was found lashed to the pole of the net, and bleaching in the wind.'"
"Annan water's wading deep, And my love Annie's wondrous bonny; And I am laith she suld weet her feet, Because I love her best of ony.
"Gar saddle me the bonny black, 5 Gar saddle sune, and make him ready; For I will down the Gatehope-Slack, And all to see my bonny ladye."--