Jasmine: Your suggestion the Willie was impotent startled me. In an actual event it is certainly something that might have happened; but in the context of this story I think it is an unlikely interpretation. What would be the point of all the wrestling if he couldn't have deflowered her anyway? The lines "I'll fecht wi you till day" & "All through the nicht they warsled there" seem to me say clearly that she resisted force with force.
I had always imagined that "hired your hand" was a special idiom meaning "married you", but the OED records no such thing. In context I still think that's what it has to mean. Perhaps "hire" alludes to the dowry; but all the senses in the OED refer to *temporary* possession of someone or something, which seems out of place in referring to a marriage.
--- Joe Fineman firstname.lastname@example.org
||: There's nothing between the North Pole and Texas but a barbed-wire fence. :||