The Fause Knight Upon The Road

A poem by Frank Sidgwick

The Text is taken from the Introduction to Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. lxxiv.


The Story appears to be a conversation between a wee boy and the devil, the latter under the guise of a knight. The boy will be carried off unless he can 'have the last word,' a charm of great power against all evil spirits.

A very similar ballad, of repartees between an old crone and a wee boy, was found at the Lappfiord, Finland.


THE FAUSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD

1.
'O whare are ye gaun?'
Quo the fause knicht upon the road:
'I'm gaun to the scule,'
Quo' the wee boy, and still he stude.

2.
'What is that upon your back?'
'Atweel it is my bukes.'

3.
'What's that ye've got in your arm?'
'Atweel it is my peit.'

4.
'Wha's aucht they sheep?'
'They're mine and my mither's.'

5.
'How monie o' them are mine?'
'A' they that hae blue tails.'

6.
'I wiss ye were on yon tree:'
'And a gude ladder under me.'

7.
'And the ladder for to break:'
'And you for to fa' down.'

8.
'I wiss ye were in yon sie:'
'And a gude bottom under me.'

9.
'And the bottom for to break:'
'And ye to be drowned.'

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