My good man—he’s an old, old man—
And my good man got a fall,
To buy me a bargain so fast he ran
When he heard the gypsies call:
“Buy, buy brushes,
Baskets wrought o’ rushes.
Buy them, buy them, take them, try them,
Buy, dames all.”
My old man, he has money and land,
And a young, young wife am I.
Let him put the penny in my white hand
When he hears the gypsies cry:
“Buy, buy laces,
Veils to screen your faces.
Buy them, buy them, take and try them.
Buy, maids, buy.”
My fair lady’s a dear, dear lady—
I walked by her side to woo.
In a garden alley, so sweet and shady,
She answered, “I love not you,
John, John Brady,”
Quoth my dear lady,
“Pray now, pray now, go your way now,
Do, John, do!”
Yet my fair lady’s my own, own lady,
For I passed another day;
While making her moan, she sat all alone,
And thus, and thus did she say:
“John, John Brady,”
Quoth my dear lady,
“Do now, do now, once more woo now.
Pray, John, pray!”
“Master,” quoth the auld hound
“Where will ye go?”
“Over moss, over muir,
To court my new jo.”
“Master, though the night be merk,
I’se follow through the snow.
“Court her, master, court her,
So shall ye do weel;
But and ben she’ll guide the house,
I’se get milk and meal.
Ye’se get lilting while she sits
With her rock and reel.”
“For, oh! she has a sweet tongue,
And een that look down,
A gold girdle for her waist,
And a purple gown.
She has a good word forbye
Fra a’ folk in the town.”
In the night she told a story,
In the night and all night through,
While the moon was in her glory,
And the branches dropped with dew.
’Twas my life she told, and round it
Rose the years as from a deep;
In the world’s great heart she found it,
Cradled like a child asleep.
In the night I saw her weaving
By the misty moonbeam cold,
All the weft her shuttle cleaving
With a sacred thread of gold.
Ah! she wept me tears of sorrow,
Lulling tears so mystic sweet;
Then she wove my last to-morrow,
And her web lay at my feet.
Of my life she made the story:
I must weep—so soon ’twas told!
But your name did lend it glory,
And your love its thread of gold!