Ane summer night by campfire roun'
And miles frae bonnie Maybole toun
Auld Harry spun this gory tale;
By gloomy light and moon sae pale.
He walked with Darky tae the bend
'Neath misty skies that bogles kend
He wandered on thro' twilight corn
Tae fetch some water for the morn.
As he approached the lanely well
There stood a shape resembling hell
Thocht he could this be man or beast
Black hooded, gaunt, like ony priest;
He drew his kneive and struck it low
But naething shifted wi' his blow.
It smacked and reekt o' cutty's gin
Or some auld cadger wantin' shin,
He bellowed loud within its path
Yet 'twas nae fiert o' Harry's rath.
Nae sooner had he stepped fornenst
When a' its guts it had dispensed;
Then there it stood right fair amused
Poor Harry's mettle sair defused.
Then spoke the shape thro' his black beard
And in his wanton glory peered.
"You see yon stanes as black as muck
Gin ye be there your out o' luck,
Come sit beside me on this neuk
I need your name for my black book;
But mark ye weel by this auld well
I hae power, o' damnation hell."
That ugly face and jaundiced look
It wad hae made a body peuk;
Yet Harry pu'd himself togither
While reachin' for Auld Darky's tether;
For this auld man still hard o' bane
He louped on the stallion's mane;
The shape geid chase thro' a' the glen
But ne'er was seen by beast or men.
The night gaed quiet as Harry strode
And brought the stallion back the road,
He tethered him thro' a' the night
A wee bit nearer hand the light.
Nae mair he'd bide beside that well
Whaur he had witnessed a' that hell.
A gallant beast o' shinny black
Before the evil chased him back,
But in the morning light still frayed
The bonnie stallion's coat had greyed.
When a' had witnessed Darky's sheen
They kent the devil he had seen.
But lest ye no' believe this story
Auld Harry was a man o' glory;
So when ye meet a priest or devil
Dae your best tae be right civil
For a' ye ken there may be slaughter
Down by the well, upon Muck Water.