"Clerk Colvill"

Vernon Hill

Ballads Weird and Wonderful (1912)




Full Image

Single Greeting Card (with matching Envelope)

Code: VH BWW M23 SGC
Price: US$5.00

Detail (for reference)

Reproduction on 8x12'' sheet

Code: VH BWW M23 8x12
Price: US$30.00

Reproduction on 12x18'' sheet

Code: VH BWW M23 12x18
Price: US$60.00



Clerk Colvill



Clerk Colvill and his lusty dame

Were walking in the garden gree;

the belt around her middle jimp,

It cost Clerk Colvill pounds fifteen.


"O promise me now, Clerk Colvill,

Or it will cost ye mickle strife,

Ride never by the well 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;

For I ne'er did see a fair woman,

That I did like sae weel as thee."


He's ta'en his 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 o silk;" –

"and weel fare you, fair gentleman,

Your body whiter than the milk."


.   .   .   .   .


Then loud, loud cried 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 gair."

The she's gied him a little bane-knife,

And frae her sark he cut a share;

She's tied it round his whey-white face,

But aye his head it achèd mair.


The louder cried the Clerk Colvill:

"O sairer, sairer aches my head;" –

"And sairer, sairer ever will,"

The maiden laugh'd, "till you be dead."


Out then he drew his shining blade,

Thinking to stick her where she stay'd,

But she was vanish'd to a fish,

And swam far off, a fair mermaid.


He's mounted on his berry-brown steed,

And dowie, dowie rade he hame,

And heavily, heavily lighted down,

When to his lady's bower he came.


"O mither, mither, braid my fair;

My lusty lady, make my bed;

O brother, take my sword and spear,

For I hae seen the fause mermaid."