Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
11. The Wee Wee Man

AS I was walking mine alane
  Atween a water and a wa’,
There I spied a wee wee man,
  And he was the least that ere I saw.

His legs were scant a shathmont’s length,
  And thick and thimber was his thie;
Atween his brows there was a span,
  And atween his shoulders there was three.

He’s ta’en and flung a meikle stane,
  And he flang ’t as far as I could see;        10
Though I had been a Wallace wight
  I couldna liften ’t to my knee.

‘O wee wee man, but ye be strang!
  O tell me where your dwelling be?’
‘My dwelling’s down by yon bonny bower;        15
  Fair lady, come wi’ me and see.’

On we lap, and awa’ we rade,
  Till we came to yon bonny green;
We lighted down to bait our steed,
  And out there came a lady sheen;        20

Wi’ four and twenty at her back
  A’ comely clad in glisterin’ green;
Tho’ the King of Scotland had been there,
  The warst o’ them might ha’ been his queen.

On we lap, and awa’ we rade,
  Till we came to a bonny ha’;
The roof was o’ the beaten gowd,
  And the floor was o’ the cristal a’.

When we came to the stair-foot,
  Ladies were dancing jimp and sma’,        30
But in the twinkling of an eie
  My wee wee man was clean awa’.

Out gat the lights, on came the mist,
  Ladies nor mannie mair cou’d I see:
I turn’d about, and gae a look        35
  Just at the foot o’ Benachie.
GLOSS:  shathmont] measure from the point of the extended thumb to the extremity of the palm, six inches.  thimber] stout.  thie] thigh.  lap] leapt.  sheen] shining, beautiful.


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