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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

The Wife of Usher’s Well

THERE lived a wife at Usher’s Well,

And a wealthy wife was she;

She had three stout and stalwart sons,

And sent them o’er the sea.

They hadna been a week from her,

A week but barely ane,

When word came to the carline wife

That her three sons were gane.

They had not been a week from her,

A week but barely three,

When word came to the carline wife

That her sons she’d never see.

“I wish the wind may never cease,

Nor fishes in the flood,

Till my three sons come hame to me

In earthly flesh and blood!”

It fell about the Martinmas,

When nights are lang and mirk,

The carline wife’s three sons came hame,

And their hats were o’ the birk.

It neither grew in syke nor ditch,

Nor yet in ony sheugh;

But at the gates o’ Paradise

That birk grew fair eneugh.

“Blow up the fire, my maidens!

Bring water from the well!

For a’ my house shall feast this night,

Since my three sons are well!”

And she has made to them a bed,

She’s made it large and wide:

And she’s ta’en her mantle her about;

Sat down at the bedside.

Up then crew the red, red cock,

And up and crew the gray:

The eldest to the youngest said,

“’Tis time we were away!”

The cock he hadna craw’d but once,

And clapp’d his wings at a’,

Whan the youngest to the eldest said,

“Brother, we must awa’.

“The cock doth craw, the day doth daw

The channerin’ worm doth chide:

If we be miss’d out o’ our place,

A sair pain we maun bide.

“Fare ye well, my mother dear!

Farewell to barn and byre!

And fare ye weel, the bonny lass

That kindles my mother’s fire!”