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The Washer Woman (Bean Nighe)

Bean Nighe, is a Scottish folk myth, a fairy who washes the clothes of those about to die. It translates as washer woman.
Tell me, haggard washer woman,
Whose clothes are washed this day?
I see the robes of a nobleman,
Within your basket, lay.
And is this Laird to fall from grace,
His lands to be forfeit?
And shall the banshee sing tonight,
To wail the piper's dirge?

The sky laments with blackened clouds,
And spills it's rain of tears,
The wind howls through the glen,
To warn that Death is near,
The old castle looks forlorn,
As darkness drapes its veil,
I wash the Laird's finest robes,
That he may go to Hell!

Tell me, haggard washer woman,
Whose clothes are washed this day?
I see the white of bridal gown,
Within your basket, lay,
The preacher peels the wedding bells,
To hail the congregation,
But should, with lateness of the hour,
A more solemn psalm be mentioned?

The bride shall smile her happy smile,
As she's led by the hand,
The handsome groom will take her home,
And tell her of his plans,
Alas, a word spilled from her lips,
Will drive that laddie wild,
For he cannot lose dignity,
To someone else's child!

Tell me, haggard washer woman,
Whose clothes are washed this day?
I see a shirt that once was mine,
Within your basket, lay.
And can you wash it free of blood,
To cleanse my blackened soul?
And shall you say a prayer for me,
Beneath my gallow's pole?
By
Published: 6/5/2012
Bouquets and Brickbats