Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
61. Willie’s Lyke-Wake
 
 
I

‘WILLIE, Willie, what makes you sae sad?’
  And the sun shines over the valleys and a’—
‘I lie sairly sick for the love of a maid.’
  Amang the blue flowers and the yellow and a’.
 
II

‘O Whille, my son, I’ll learn you a wile,
        5
How this pretty fair maid ye may beguile.
 
III

‘Ye maun lie doun just as ye were dead,
And tak’ your windin’-sheet round your head.
 
IV

‘Ye maun gie the bellman his bell-groat,
To ring your dead-bell at your lover’s yett.’        10
 
V

Willie lay doun just as he war dead,
And took his windin’-sheet round his head.
 
VI

He gied the bellman his bell-groat
To ring his dead-bell at his lover’s yett.
 
VII

‘O wha is this that is dead, I hear?’—
        15
‘O wha but Willie that lo’ed ye sae dear?’
 
VIII

She is hame to her father’s ain bour:
‘I’ll gang to yon lyke-wake ae single hour.’—
 
IX

‘Ye maun tak’ with you your brither John;
It’s not meet for maidens to venture alone.’—        20
 
X

‘I’ll not tak’ with me my brither John,
But I’ll gang along myself all alone.’
 
XI

It’s when she cam’ to her true lovers yett,
She dealt the red gold round for his sak’.
 
XII

It’s when she came to her true lover’s bed
        25
She lifted the sheet to look at the dead.
 
XIII

He’s ta’en her hand sae meek and sae sma’,
[And ca’d her his wife before them a’].
 
XIV

‘Fair maid, ye cam’ without horse or boy,
But I’ll send you home with a merry convoy.’        30
 
GLOSS:  yett] gate.  lyke-wake] corpse-watching.
 

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