The Merry Muses of Caledonia/Had I the Wyte she Bade Me


An old song, of which there is more than one version. The setting of the "servant man and the lady" is common to many free songs of the kind, some of which are still current in Ayrshire. An amended version will be found in the Aldyne edition of 1893. The same version appears in Scott Douglas's 6 vol. edition (Vol. III., p. 270), with a note to the effect that it superseded the old song.

Had I the wyte, had I the wyte,
Had I the wyte she bade me;
For she was steward in the house,
And I was fit-man laddie;
And when I wadna do't again,
A silly cow she ca'd me;
She straik't my head, and clapt my cheeks.
And lous'd my breeks and bade me.

Could I for shame, could I for shame.
Could I for shame denied her;
Or in the bed was I to blame
She bade me lye beside her:
I pat six inches in her wame,
A quarter wadna fly'd her;
For ay the mair I ca'd it hame.
Her ports they grew the wider.

My tartan plaid when it was dark,
Could I refuse to share it;
She hfted up her holland sark.
And bade me fin the gair o't:
Or how could I amang the gerse.
But gie her hilt and hair o't;
She clasped her houghs about my a—e.
And ay she glowr'd for mair o't.