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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Waly, Waly, Love Be Bonny


O WALY, waly, up the bank,

And waly, waly, down the brae,

And waly, waly, yon burn-side

Where I and my Love wont to gae!

I lean’d my back unto an aik,

I thocht it was a trustie tree;

But first it bow’d and syne it brak,—

Sae my true Love did lichtlie me.

O waly, waly, gin love be bonnie

A little time while it is new!

But when ’tis auld, it waxeth cauld,

And fades awa’ like morning dew.

O wherefore should I busk my heid?

Or wherefore should I kame my hair?

For my true Love has me forsook,

And says he’ll never lo’e me mair.

Now Arthur’s Seat sall be my bed;

The sheets sall ne’er be ’filed by me:

Saint Anton’s Well sall be my drink,

Since my true Love has forsaken me.

Marti’mas wind, when wilt thou blaw,

And shake the green leaves aff the tree?

O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?

For of my life I am wearie.

’Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,

Nor blawing snaw’s inclemencie;

’Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,

But my Love’s heart grown cauld to me.

When we cam in by Glasgow toun

We were a comely sicht to see;

My love was clad in black velvèt,

And I mysel in cramasie.

But had I wist, before I kist,

That love had been sae ill to win;

I had lock’d my heart in a case o’ gowd,

And pinn’d it wi’ a siller pin.

But O! if my young babe were born,

And set upon the nurse’s knee;

And I mysel were dead and gane,

And the green grass growing over me!