No: 42; variant: 42B
- CLERK COLVILL and his lusty dame
Were walking in the garden green;
The belt around her stately waist
Cost Clerk Colvill of pounds fifteen.
- 'O promise me now, Clerk Colvill,
Or it will cost ye muckle strife,
Ride never by the wells of Slane,
If ye wad live and brook your life.'
- 'Now speak nae mair, my lusty dame,
Now speak nae mair of that to me;
Did I neer see a fair woman,
But I wad sin with her body?'
- He's taen leave o his gay lady,
Nought minding what his lady said,
And he's rode by the wells of Slane,
Where washing was a bonny maid.
- 'Wash on, wash on, my bonny maid,
That wash sae clean your sark of silk;'
'And weel fa you, fair gentleman,
Your body whiter than the milk.'
- Then loud, loud cry'd the Clerk Colvill,
'O my head it pains me sair;'
'Then take, then take,' the maiden said,
'And frae my sark you'll cut a gare.'
- Then she's gied him a little bane-knife,
And frae her sark he cut a share;
She's ty'd it round his whey-white face,
But ay his head it aked mair.
- Then louder cry'd the Clerk Colvill,
'O sairer, sairer akes my head;'
'And sairer, sairer ever will,'
The maiden crys, 'Till you be dead.'
- Out then he drew his shining blade,
Thinking to stick her where she stood,
But she was vanishd to a fish,
And swam far off, a fair mermaid.
- 'O mother, mother, braid my hair;
My lusty lady, make my bed;
O brother, take my sword and spear,
For I have seen the false mermaid.'