Had I The Wyte? She Bade Me

Melody - "Highland Hills", which is another name for "Had I the Wate she bade me"

Robert Burns, 1795, right: from the Merry Muses of Caledonia, 1799

Had I the wyte, had I the wyte,
Had I the wyte? she bade me;
She watch'd me by the hie-gate side,
And up the loan she shaw'd me.
And when I wadna venture in,
A coward loon she ca'd me:
Had Kirk an' State been in the gate,
I'd lighted when she bade me.

2. Sae craftilie she took me ben,
And bade me mak nae clatter;
"For our ramgunshoch, glum gudeman
Is o'er ayont the water."
Whae'er shall say I wanted grace,
When I did kiss and dawte her,
Let him be planted in my place,
Syne say, I was the fautor.

3. Could I for shame, could I for shame,
Could I for shame refus'd her;
And wadna manhood been to blame,
Had I unkindly used her!
He claw'd her wi' the ripplin-kame,
And blae and bluidy bruis'd her;
When sic a husband was frae hame,
What wife but wad excus'd her!

4. I dighted aye her e'en sae blue,
An' bann'd the cruel randy,
And weel I wat, her willin' mou
Was sweet as sugar-candie.
At gloamin-shot, it was I wot,
I lighted on the Monday;
But I cam thro' the Tyseday's dew,
To wanton Willie's brandy.

Had I the wyte, had I the wyte,
Had I the wyte she bad me;
For she was steward in the house,
And I was fit-man ladddie;
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 bad me.

2. Could I for shame, could I for shame,
Could I for shame deny her;
Or in the bed was I to blame,
She bad my lye beside her;
I pat six inches in her wame,
A quarter wadna fly'd her;
For ay the man I ca'd it hame,
Her ports they grew the wider.

3. My tartan plaid, when it was dark,
Could I refuse to share it;
She lifted up her hollan-sark,
And bad me fin' the gair o't:
Or how could I amang the garse,
But gie her hilt and hair o't;
She clasp'd her houghs about my arse,
And ay she glowr'd for mair o't.


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