"What news, what news, ye well-fared maid?
What news hae ye this day to me?"
"No news, no news, ye gentle knight, 15 No news hae I this day to thee, But fifteen lords in the hostage house Waiting Wallace for to see."
"If I had but in my pocket The worth of one single pennie, 20 I would go to the hostage house, And there the gentlemen to see."
She put her hand in her pocket, And she has pull'd out half-a-crown; Says, "Take ye that, ye belted knight, 25 'Twill pay your way till ye come down."
As he went from the well-fared maid, A beggar bold I wat met he, Was cover'd wi' a clouted cloak, And in his hand a trusty tree. 30
"What news, what news, ye silly auld man?
What news hae ye this day to gie?"
"No news, no news, ye belted knight, No news hae I this day to thee, But fifteen lords in the hostage house 35 Waiting Wallace for to see."
"Ye'll lend me your clouted cloak, That covers you frae head to shie, And I'll go to the hostage house, Asking there for some supplie." 40
Now he's gone to the West-muir wood, And there he's pull'd a trusty tree; And then he's on to the hostage gone, Asking there for charitie.
Down the stair the captain comes, 45 Aye the poor man for to see: "If ye be a captain as good as ye look, Ye'll give a poor man some supplie; If ye be a captain as good as ye look, A guinea this day ye'll gie to me." 50
"Where were ye born, ye crooked carle?
Where were ye born, in what countrie?"
"In fair Scotland I was born, Crooked carle that I be."
"I would give you fifty pounds, 55 Of gold and white monie, I would give you fifty pounds, If the traitor Wallace ye'd let me see."
"Tell down your money," said Willie Wallace, "Tell down your money, if it be good; 60 I'm sure I have it in my power, And never had a better bode.
"Tell down your money, if it be good, And let me see if it be fine; I'm sure I have it in my power 65 To bring the traitor Wallace in."
The money was told on the table, Silver bright of pounds fiftie: "Now here I stand," said Willie Wallace, "And what hae ye to say to me?" 70
He slew the captain where he stood, The rest they did quack an' roar; He slew the rest around the room, And ask'd if there were any more.
"Come, cover the table," said Willie Wallace, 75 "Come, cover the table now, make haste; For it will soon be three lang days Sin I a bit o' meat did taste."
The table was not well covered, Nor yet was he set down to dine, 80 Till fifteen more of the English lords Surrounded the house where he was in.
The guidwife she ran but the floor, And aye the guidman he ran ben; From eight o'clock till four at noon 85 He had kill'd full thirty men.
He put the house in sic a swither That five o' them he sticket dead, Five o' them he drown'd in the river, And five hung in the West-muir wood. 90
Now he is on to the North-Inch gone,[L91]
Where the maid was washing tenderlie; "Now by my sooth," said Willie Wallace, "It's been a sair day's wark to me."
He's put his hand in his pocket, 95 And he has pull'd out twenty pounds; Says, "Take ye that, ye weel-fared maid For the gude luck of your half-crown."
91. A beautiful plain, or common, lying along the Tay near Perth.--CHAMBERS.
SIR WILLIAM WALLACE.
From _The Thistle of Scotland_, p. 100.
The editor states that he took the ballad down from the recitation of an old gentlewoman in Aberdeenshire.
Wou'd ye hear of William Wallace, An' sek him as he goes, Into the lan' of Lanark, Amang his mortel faes?
There was fyften English sogers 5 Unto his ladie cam, Said "Gie us William Wallace, That we may have him slain.
"Wou'd ye gie William Wallace, That we may have him slain, 10 And ye's be wedded to a lord, The best in Christendeem."
"This verra nicht at seven, Brave Wallace will come in, And he'll come to my chamber door, 15 Without or dread or din."
The fyften English sogers Around the house did wait, And four brave Southron foragers, Stood hie upon the gait. 20
That verra nicht at seven Brave Wallace he came in, And he came to his ladies bouir, Withouten dread or din.
When she beheld him Wallace, 25 She star'd him in the face; "Ohon, alas!" said that ladie, "This is a woful case.
"For I this nicht have sold you, This nicht you must be taen, 30 And I'm to be wedded to a lord, The best in Christendeem."
"Do you repent," said Wallace, "The ill you've dane to me?"
"Ay, that I do," said that ladie, 35 "And will do till I die.
"Ay, that I do," said that ladie, "And will do ever still, And for the ill I've dane to you, Let me burn upon a hill." 40
"Now God forfend," says brave Wallace, "I shou'd be so unkind; Whatever I am to Scotland's faes, I'm aye a woman's friend.
"Will ye gie me your gown, your gown, 45 Your gown but and your kirtle, Your petticoat of bonny brown, And belt about my middle?
"I'll take a pitcher in ilka hand, And do me to the well, 50 They'll think I'm one of your maidens, Or think it is your sell."
She has gien him her gown, her gown, Her petticoat and kirtle, Her broadest belt wi' silver clasp, 55 To bind about his middle.
He's taen a pitcher in ilka hand, And dane him to the well, They thought him one of her maidens, They ken'd it was nae hersell. 60
Said one of the Southron foragers, "See ye yon lusty dame?
I wou'd nae gie muckle to thee, neebor, To bring her back agen."
Then all the Southrons follow'd him, 65 And sure they were but four; But he has drawn his trusty brand, And slew them pair by pair.
He threw the pitchers frae his hands, And to the hills fled he, 70 Until he cam to a fair may, Was washin' on yon lea.
"What news, what news, ye weel far'd may?
What news hae ye to gie?"