Whitcliffe Records logo on a misty day!

"Robert Willance"


Oh Willance he was a wealthy man,
In Richmond did reside-o
And all to take of the winter's air
For Marrick he did ride-o
But 'ere the priory was into view
He's headed back for town-o
As on the top of the Whitcliffe Scar
The mist comes clouding down-o

He's picked his way all through the mist
And as he heads for home-o
There's many a stream aye and ditch to cross
Along the way he's come-o
And when he's come to the first bankside
"Go well me mare" says he-o
And out she leaps all through the mist
And safe has landed she-o

So whe he's come to the next bankside
Again she leaps the mare-o
And here again at the third bankside
So bravely through the air-o
But when he's come to the next bankside
He tightly holds the rein-o
And across the ditch, be short or wide
She blindly leaps again-o

But here's the edge of the Whitcliffe Scar
Two hundred feet below-o
All tumbled over all through the air
Does horse and rider go-o
The poor mare came crashing down
And broken lay and dead-o
And Willance he fell by her side
His leg all tore and red-o

And as he lay in the shivering damp
Oh Willance he did sigh-o
"If no-one finds me here to night
Then surely I may die-o"
And as he felt of his broken bones
His face was pale and ill-o
Then he says"Me mare you've served me well
But you may serve me still-o

For if I cut open my good mare's side
Then I may not be lost-o
And if I place all my leg inside
It'll save me from the frost-o"
So he's cut open her belly wide
And that was how they found him
Alive, and with his leg inside
The corpse still warm around him

They've taken him down to Richmond town,
His leg they have took off him
And in Saint Mary's old churchyard
They've placed it in a coffin
And ten years after did Willance die
And as he had decided
His leg it was dug up again
And they were reunited

Willance's Leap, why the place is known
And you can still read there-o
His words upon the marking stone
As thanks to God and mare-o.

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