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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 thought it was a trusty tree ;
But first it bow'd, and syne it brak,
    Sae my true love did lightly me.

 O waly, waly! but love be bonny
    A little time, while it is new ;
But when 'tis auld, it waxeth cauld,
    And fades away like morning dew.

 O wherefore shou'd I busk my head?
   Or wherefore shou'd I kame my hair?
For my true-love has me forsook,
    And says he'll never love me mair.

Now Arthur-Seat shall be my bed,
    The sheets shall neer be fyl'd by me ;
Saint Anton's well shall be my drink,
    Since my true-love has forsaken me. 

Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
    And shake the green leaves off the tree?
O gentle death, when wilt thou come?
    For of my life I am weary. 

'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,
    Nor blawing snaw's inclemency ;
'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,
    But my love's heart grown cauld to me. 

When we came in by Glasgow town,
    We were a comely sight to see ;
My love was clad in the black velvet,
    And I my sell in cramasie.

 But had I wist, before I kiss'd,
   That love had been sae ill to win,
I'd locked my heart in a case of gold,
    And pin'd it with a silver pin. 

Oh, oh, if my young babes were born,
    And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I my sell were dead and gane!
    For a maid again I'll never be. 

Footnote : This song appeared in Allan Ramsay's 'Tea-Table Miscellany', five volumes between 1724 and 1737, which brought together many of the traditional songs and ballads of Scotland. Other versions called 'Jamie Douglas' gives this lament an historical setting : Lady Barbara Erskine was separated from James, second Marquis of Douglas, in 1681.



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