For teachers and young people from nursery to university

Scuilwab - leuk efter yer leid

The Wife of Usher's Well

Read aboot the peer wife of Usher's Well in this ballad. Ye can doonload it by clickin on the link at the end.

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
Whan word came to the carlin wife
That her three sons were gane.

They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely three,
Whan word came to the carlin wife
That her sons she'd never see.

"I wish the wind May never cease
Nor fashes in the flood,
Till my three sons come home to me
In earthly flesh and blood."

It fell about the Martinmass
When nights are lang and mirk
The carlin 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 enough.

"Blow up the fire, my maidens!
Bring water from the well!
For aw my house hall 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 taen her mantle her about,
Sat down at the bed-side.

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 crawd but once
And clappd his wings at aw
When the youngest to the eldest said,
"Brother, we must awa.”

"The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
The channerin worm doth chide;
Gin we be mist out o our place,
A sair pain we maun bide.

"Fare ye weel, my mother dear!
Fareweel to barn and byre!
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass
That kindles my mother's fire.”

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Glossary

carlin wife = old woman
fashes = makes trouble
flood = sea
birk = birch
syke = trench
sheugh = trench
daw = dawn
channerin = grumbling
A sair pain we maun bide = We must put up with sore pain
byre = cow shed

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