Rough Scan
Foreword

WHEN I was invited to lecture to soldiers in the rest camps in France, in the cold early months of that year of unhappy memories, 1917, I found myself (as many others must have done) in a difficult situation, brought suddenly from an academic audience, such as that was in those meagre days, face to face with young men 'of all sorts and conditions', Ulstermen, Scots, Englishmen, Canadians, Australians.  What could one say to interest them and yet supply a little of that more solid element, the want of which had led to the demand to supplement the purely amusement programme?  By good fortune I met Miss Penelope Wheeler at the hut where we boarded.  She told me of the interest soldiers of all kind showed in her telling of the stories of different Greek tragedies with the reading of selected scenes.  I bethought me what in our own Literature came perhaps nearest to the simplicity of structure and the vivid dramatic presentation of a single, poignant motive; and what struck me was that for my purpose, and for my audience, the best choice would be - not the more complex, and, in language, difficult Elizabethan plays - but the Scottish ballads, romantic and historical, for there it seemed to me was the very stuff, of a like immemorial antiquity, yet still fresh and speaking a language not so very old, of which the Greek tragedies themselves are woven.  The story of Oedipus, the love of Alcestis, the revenge of Medea, Agamemnon and (Clytymnestra, Orestes and his mother - how easy to think of each of these as the theme of a popular ballad - perhaps they once were, if all that Child and Gummere and the late Andrew Lang said be sound.
The themes, if not the names, are those of the ballads English and Scottish, Danish, and German Low or High; and if Greek tragedy could make such immediate appeal to a mixed, but in the main, simple, audience, was it not because despite the inwoven strain of reflection and the elaborate harmonies of the choral odes, Greek tragedy preserved not only the old themes, but the simple, essential manner of telling the story, the story being, as Aristotle saw, the thing to the full effect of which character and style and everything else must contribute, not become a substitute, a distraction.  The Elizabethan drama suffered from the Renaissance passion for art, for decoration of every kind.  Tragic, heroic, romantic stories of immemorial antiquity, breathing the very soul of the people, their unfailing interest in life and the supernatural background to life, the moments in which experience transcends experience with the consciousness of things 'that would thick the blood' - these are the burden of the popular ballads.  'What we find in all these songs', says Grimm in his preface to a German version of the Danish ballads, 'is the heart's delight that speaks in them in tones of sorrow and joy.  We must esteem them as the highest because from them springs all that we call life, truth, beauty, poetry.  Here lies the great difference of popular poetry from the poetry of art, that it knows no waste places, that the whole world for it is green, fresh and lit with poetry, and all, it knows, is in the eye of heaven, nothing unreckoned, not a hair of the head.  Thus it says nothing but what is necessary, what actually delineates, and shuns all external glitter; thus it troubles little about conception, leaves gaps, yet never misses the essential'.  Whether this be all true or not it expresses well the enthusiasm with which the old ballads were rediscovered, as the Renaissance passion for a cultured, sophisticated art began to subside, when it was almost too late.  The simplicity, the truth to nature, of the ballads appealed to our classical age from Addison onwards, but they deplored their lack of elegance and dignity.  Percy found it necessary to dress them to advantage, give them a touch of powder and silver buckles to their shoes.  But in his timid fashion he had released a geni who was to renew the magic and passion of poetry.

Whoever would illustrate the old ballads has a twofold task before him.  He must, like the ballads themselves, get to the heart of the story and render it with the same simplicity.  The picture will stand or fall by its simpleness and intensity of impression.  But he must, or at least he may legitimately, reproduce also the touch of strangeness with which these old poems affected and affect a later, more sophisticated, audience, the effect which charmed Percy and Collins and Gray - if Johnson repelled and resented it - the blend of naïveté and remoteness, simplicity and pure imagination.  There is no realism in the ballads, no truth as Johnson understood it, for everything is seen through the popular mind with all its naive, quaint idealism.  Young lords and ladies, kings and kings' sons and daughters, behave as the popular imagination thinks they should and would behave, for it is not of themselves that the people tell in the ballads, but of the upper classes and their more picturesque lives.  And the story is often old, and there are elements in it which the later transmitters hardly understand themselves - traits of forgotten traditions and older beliefs and customs, and this, too, adds to the element of strangeness.  Yet in all but very imperfectly transmitted and transcribed ballads the essence of the story is preserved.  'The Wife of Usher's Well' is incomplete, and many older notions and details have disappeared.  What remains is just that on which the popular imagination had fastened, the passionate grief of the mother, the 'desiderium' (as they were fain to think) of the suddenly departed for what they leave behind, home and mother and

====the bonny lass
==That kindles my mother's fire;

which, like many other popular beliefs, masqueraded as erudite philosophy.  'If they died,' says Sir Thomas Browne, 'by violent hands, and were thrust into their urns, these bodeys became considerable, and some old philosophers would honour them, whose souls they conceived most pure which were thus snatched from their bodies; and to retain a stronger propension unto them.'
To communicate by the pencil this atmosphere at once simple and subtle, natural and strange, the quintessence of romantic feeling as that awoke again under the spell of the geni evoked by Percy and Sir Walter Scott, that is a difficult feat; but I think my young friend and pupil, Mr. Bliss, has succeeded to a remarkable degree.  Here is just so much of illustration as I for one can tolerate beside a ballad - brief glimpses into that strange world of the popular imagination which the ballads evoke, not realistic, charged with atmosphere, dream-like, imaginative, almost symbolic, yet with touches of homely, even humorous, detail.  One feels something of the inspiration of Blake in the boldness with which the artist has tried to go to the heart of the matter, even when that involves the choice of detail not readily adaptable to the artist's medium.  Look at 'Sir Patrick Spens':

=Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
=='Tis fifty fathoms deep;
=And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
==Wi' the Scots lords at his feet!

One can imagine a critic of the school of Lessing telling us that this was not a fit subject for the pencil, that the poet can suggest what the artist may not attempt to depict.  No illustrator who has felt the influence of Blake will accept that limitation.  He might be tempted by the sentiment and the colour to dwell on the previous verse -

=O lang, lang may the maidens sit,
==Wi' their gowd kames in their hair,
=A-waiting for their ain dear loves!
==For them they'll see nae mair.

But Mr. Bliss has rightly gone to the heart of the ballad and shown us Sir Patrick and his good knights 'fifty fathoms deep' with the towers of Aberdour in the background; but he has invested the whole with an element of fantastic pattern which renders it romantic, symbolic, vision not portraiture.  And he has got thus to the heart of the ballad, given us exactly the right atmosphere, in his treatment of most of the tragic stories.  Look at the Douglas dying at Otterbourne - the dark figures, the bush, the stone, the lances crossed and patterned against the evening sky.  I confess that is the kind of illustration which adds a touch of excitement to my reading of the ballad.

='My wound is deep: I am fayn to sleep,
==Take thou the vaward of me,
=And hide me by the bracken bush
==Grows on yon lilye-lee.'

=The moon was clear, the day drew nie,
==-Yet stiffly in stowre they stood;
=Echone hewing another while they might drie,
==Till aye run down the blood.

There is the same poignant quality about the 'Douglas Tragedy', the same touch of unforced symbolism in the dead oak, the livid sky, the two figures alone.
But there are other notes than the tragic in Mr. Bliss's experiments in rendering the spirit of the old ballads.  The cynical flavour of the fine old ballad of 'The Twa Corbies' is strengthened by the rather unexpectedly brutal touch in the figure and half-seen face of the dead, the murdered, husband.  I had, and perhaps some other readers have, generally thought of the story from a different angle, of the gallant young husband, the brutal lover, the wanton wife; but there is nothing in the old ballad itself to preclude another reading, a different setting.  All the singer was concerned with was the last scene, _la fin est toujour sanglante_.  Whatever the rights and wrongs, the corbies will dine; and Mr. Bliss's crows are delightful.
Taken all together, his little decorations of the border ballads provide just the right background, the details which evoke the half-sad, half-romantic border of the old tales and songs - the bare hillsides, the winding streams, the gnarled trees, the keep and the robber knight hanging at the gate while the king rides slowly away, the blazing steading and Jamie running to raise the countryside, armed knights and ranked spears and Jeddart justice; nothing, I think, could give better the atmosphere of the old ballads that stirred the heart of the young Walter Scott, and it is the genuine romantic note of the era of Percy and Scott which Mr. Bliss has caught, not the more strained note of a later, a Burne-Jones period.  He has not been afraid to blend humour with pathos.  He has set nothing in a minor key.
In the illustrations to the 'Border Widow's Lament', indeed, by completing the suggestion of the title, Mr. Bliss has almost unwittingly strengthened the hesitation with which one receives that ballad, for which Hogg and Scott were probably more responsible than tradition.  It is a little difficult to recognize in a border keep the widow's bower as she describes it:

=My love he built me a bonny bower,
=And clad it a' wi' lilye-flour;
=A brawer bower ye ne'er did see,
=Than my true love he built for me.

If the original of the older ballad, which Scott's resembles, was a border-widow at all-which is doubtful-then her bonny bower was just as Mr. Bliss has depicted it, and the fate of her love was doubtless well-deserved.  But the touch of irony in the one picture has not destroyed the power and gloom and pathos of the other.  The illustrator, like the old composer of the ballads, must not fear to blend humour and pathos, the homely and the romantic.  These are among the best illustrations to the ballads that the present writer can recall.

===H. J. C. GRIERSON.





THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL


I
THERE lived a wife at Usher's well,
=And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
=And sent them o'er the sea.

II
They hadna been a week from her,
=A week but barely ane,
When word came to the carline wife
=That her three sons were gane.

III
They hadna been a week from her,
=A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife
=That her sons she'd never see.

IV
'I wish the wind may never cease,
=Nor fashes in the flood,
Till my three sons come hame to me
=In earthly flesh and blood!'

V
It fell about the Martinmas,
=When nights are lang and mirk,
The carline wife's three sons came hame,
=And their hats were o' the birk.

VI
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
=Nor yet in ony sheugh;
But at the gates o' Paradise
=That birk grew fair eneugh.

VII
'Blow up the fire, my maidens!
=Bring water from the well!
For a' my house shall feast this night,
=Since my three sons are well.'

VIII
And she has made to them a bed,
=She's made it large and wide;
And she's ta'en her mantle her about,
=Sat down at the bedside.

IX
Up then crew the red, red cock,
=And up and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said,
=''Tis time we were away.'

X
The cock he hadna craw'd but once,
=And clapp'd his wings at a',
When the youngest to the eldest said,
='Brother, we must awa'.

XI
'The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
=The channerin' worm doth chide;
Gin we be miss'd out o' our place,
=A sair pain we maun bide.'-

XII
Lie still, lie still but a little wee while,
=Lie still but if we may;
Gin my mother should miss us when she wakes,
=She'll go mad ere it be day.'-

XIII
'Fare ye weel, my mother dear!
=Fareweel to barn and byre!
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass
=That kindles my mother's fire!'





THE DOWIE HOUMS OF YARROW

I
LATE at een, drinkin' the wine,
=And ere they paid the lawin',
They set a combat them between,
=To fight it in the dawin'.

II
'O stay at hame, my noble lord!
=O stay at hame, my marrow!
My cruel brother will you betray,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.'-

III
'O fare ye weel, my lady gay!
=O fare ye weel, my Sarah!
For I maun gae, tho' I ne'er return
=Frae the dowie banks o' Yarrow.'

IV
She kiss'd his cheek, she kamed his hair,
=As she had done before, O;
She belted on his noble brand,
=An' he's awa to Yarrow.

V
O he's gane up yon high, high hill-
=I wat he gaed wi' sorrow-
An' in a den spied nine arm'd men,
=I' the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

VI
'O are ye come to drink the wine,
=As ye hae done before, O?
Or are ye come to wield the brand,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow?'-

VII
'I am no come to drink the wine,
=As I hae done before, O,
But I am come to wield the brand,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.'

VIII
Four he hurt an' five he slew,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,
=An' ran his body thorrow.

IX
'Gae hame, gae hame, good brother John,
=An' tell your sister Sarah
To come an' lift her noble lord,
=Who's sleepin' sound on Yarrow.'

X
'Yestreen I dream'd a dolefu' dream;
=I ken'd there wad be sorrow;
I dream'd I pu'd the heather green,
=On the dowie banks o' Yarrow.'

XI
She gaed up yon high, high hill-
=I wat she gaed wi' sorrow-
An' in a den spied nine dead men,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

XII
She kiss'd his cheek, she kamed his hair,
=As oft she did before, O;
She drank the red blood frae him ran,
=On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

XIII
'O haud your tongue, my douchter dear,
=For what needs a' this sorrow?
I'll wed you on a better lord
=Than him you lost on Yarrow.'-

XIV
'O haud your tongue, my father dear,
=An' dinna grieve your Sarah;
A better lord was never born
=Than him I lost on Yarrow.

XV
'Tak hame your ousen, tak hame your kye,
=For they hae bred our sorrow;
I wiss that they had a' gane mad
=Whan they cam' first to Yarrow.'





THE DOUGLAS TRAGEDY

I
'RISE up, rise up, now Lord Douglas,' she says,
='And put on your armour so bright;
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine
=Was married to a lord under night.

II
'Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
=And put on your armour so bright,
And take better care of your youngest sister,
=For your eldest's awa the last night.'

III
He's mounted her on a milk-white steed,
=And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down his side;
=And lightly they rode away.

IV
Lord William look'd o'er his left shoulder,
=To see what he could see,
And there he spy'd her seven brethren bold,
=Come riding over the lea.

V
'Light down, light down, Lady Margret,' he said,
='And hold my steed in your hand,
Until that against your seven brethren bold,
=And your father, I mak' a stand.'

VI
O, there she stood, and bitter she stood,
=And never did shed one tear,
Until that she saw her seven brethren fa',
=And her father, who lov'd her so dear.

VII
'O hold your hand, Lord William!' she said,
='For your strokes they are wondrous sair;
True lovers I can get many an ane,
=But a father I can never get mair.'

VIII
O she's ta'en out her handkerchief,
=It was o' the holland sae fine,
And aye she dighted her father's wounds,
=That were redder than the wine.

IX
'O chuse, O chuse, Lady Margret,' he said,
='O whether will ye gang or bide?'
'I'll gang, I'll gang, Lord William,' she said,
='For ye've left me no other guide.'

X
He's lifted her on a milk-white steed,
=And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side;
=And slowly they baith rade away.

XI
O they rade on, and on they rade,
=And a' by the light of the moon,
Until they came to yon wan water,
=And there they lighted doun.

XII
They lighted doun to tak' a drink
=Of the spring that ran sae clear,
And doun the stream ran his gude heart's blood,
=And sair she gan to fear.

XIII
'Hold up, hold up, Lord William,' she says,
='For I fear that you are slain.'-
'Tis naething but the shadow of my scarlet cloak,
=That shines in the water sae plain.'

XIV
O they rade on, and on they rade,
=And a' by the light of the moon,
Until they cam' to his mother's ha' door,
=And there they lighted doun.

XV
'Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says,
='Get up, and let me in!
Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says,
='For this night my fair lady I've win.

XVI
'O mak my bed, lady mother,' he says,
='O mak it braid and deep,
And lay Lady Margret close at my back,
=And the sounder I will sleep.'

XVII
Lord William was dead lang ere midnight,
=Lady Margret lang ere day,
And all true lovers that go thegither,
=May they have mair luck than they!

XVIII
Lord William was buried in St. Mary's kirk,
=Lady Margret in Mary's quire;
Out o' the lady's grave grew a bonny red rose,
=And out o' the knight's a brier.

XIX
And they twa met, and they twa plat,
=And fain they wad be near;
And a' the warld might ken right weel
=They were twa lovers dear.

XX
But bye and rade the Black Douglas,
=And wow but he was rough!
For he pull'd up the bonny brier,
=And flang't in St. Mary's Lough.





THE DAEMON LOVER

I
'O WHERE hae ye been, my long, long love,
=These seven long years and more?'-
'O I'm come to seek my former vows,
=That ye promised me before.'-

II
'Awa' wi' your former vows,' she says,
='For they will breed but strife;
Awa' wi' your former vows,' she says,
='For I am become a wife.

III
'I am married to a ship-carpenter,
=A ship-carpenter he's bound;
I wadna he kenn'd my mind this nicht
=For twice five hundred pound.'

IV
He turn'd him round and round about,
=And the tear blinded his e'e:
'I wad never hae trodden on Irish ground
=If it hadna been for thee.

V
'I might hae had a noble lady,
=Far, far beyond the sea;
I might hae had a noble lady,
=Were it no for the love o' thee.'-

VI
'If ye might hae had a noble lady,
=Yoursel' ye had to blame;
Ye might hae taken the noble lady,
=For ye kenn'd that I was nane.'-

VII
'O fause are the vows o' womankind,
=But fair is their fause bodie:
I wad never hae trodden on Irish ground,
=Were it no for the love o' thee.'-

VIII
'If I was to leave my husband dear,
=And my wee young son alsua,
O what hae ye to tak' me to,
=If with you I should gae?'-

IX
'I hae seven ships upon the sea,
=The eighth brought me to land;
With mariners and merchandise,
=And music on every hand.

X
'The ship wherein my love sall sail
=Is glorious to behowd;
The sails sall be o' the finest silk,
=And the mast o' beaten gowd.'

XI
She has taken up her wee young son,
=Kiss'd him baith cheek and chin;
'O fare ye weel, my wee young son,
=For I'll never see you again!'

XII
She has put her foot on gude ship-board,
=And on ship-board she has gane,
And the veil that hangit ower her face
=Was a' wi' gowd begane.

XIII
She hadna sail'd a league, a league,
=A league but barely twa,
Till she minded on her husband she left
=And her wee young son alsua.

XIV
'O haud your tongue o' weeping,' he says,
='Let a' your follies a-bee;
I'll show where the white lilies grow
=On the banks o' Italie.'

XV
She hadna sail'd a league, a league,
=A league but barely three,
Till grim, grim grew his countenance
=And gurly grew the sea.

XVI
What hills are yon, yon pleasant hills,
=The sun shines sweetly on?'-
'O yon are the hills o' Heaven,' he said,
='Where you will never won.'-

XVII
'O whaten-a mountain is yon,' she said,
=Sae dreary wi' frost and snae?'-
'O yon is the mountain o' Hell,' he said,
=Where you and I will gae.

XVIII
'But haud your tongue, my dearest dear,
=Let a' your follies a-bee,
I'll show where the white lilies grow,
=In the bottom o' the sea.'

XIX
And aye as she turn'd her round about,
=Aye taller he seem'd to be;
Until that the tops o' that gallant ship
=Nae taller were than he.

XX
He strack the top-mast wi' his hand,
=The fore-mast wi' his knee;
And he brake that gallant ship in twain,
=And sank her in the sea.





THOMAS THE RHYMER

I
TRUE Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
=A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e;
And there he saw a ladye bright
=Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

II
Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk,
=Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;
At ilka tett o' her horse's mane
=Hung fifty siller bells and nine.

III
True Thomas he pu'd aff his cap,
=And louted low down on his knee:
'Hail to thee, Mary, Queen of Heaven!
=For thy peer on earth could never be.'

IV
'O no, O no, Thomas,' she said,
='That name does not belang to me;
I'm but the Queen o' fair Elfland,
=That am hither come to visit thee.

V
'Harp and carp, Thomas,' she said;
='Harp and carp along wi' me;
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
=Sure of your bodie I will be.'

VI
Betide me weal, betide me woe,
=That weird shall never daunten me.'
Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips,
=All underneath the Eildon Tree.

VII
'Now ye maun go wi' me,' she said,
='True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me;
And ye maun serve me seven years,
=Thro' weal or woe as may chance to be.'

VIII
She's mounted on her milk-white steed,
=She's ta'en true Thomas up behind;
And aye, whene'er her bridle rang,
=The steed gaed swifter than the wind.

IX
O they rade on, and farther on,
=The steed gaed swifter than the wind;
Until they reach'd a desert wide,
=And living land was left behind.

X
'Light down, light down now, true Thomas,
=And lean your head upon my knee;
Abide ye there a little space,
=And I will show you ferlies three.

XI
'O see ye not yon narrow road,
=So thick beset wi' thorns and briers?
That is the Path of Righteousness,
=Though after it but few inquires.

XII
'And see ye not yon braid, braid road,
=That lies across the lily leven?
That is the Path of Wickedness,
=Though some call it the Road to Heaven.

XIII
'And see ye not yon bonny road
=That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the Road to fair Elfland,
=Where thou and I this night maun gae.

XIV
'But, Thomas, ye sall haud your tongue,
=Whatever ye may hear or see;
For speak ye word in Elflyn-land,
=Ye'll ne'er win back to your ain countrie.'

XV
O they rade on, and farther on,
=And they waded rivers abune the knee;
And they saw neither sun nor moon,
=But they heard the roaring of the sea.

XVI
It was mirk, mirk night, there was nae starlight,
=They waded thro' red blude to the knee;
For a' the blude that's shed on the earth
=Rins through the springs o' that countrie.

XVII
Syne they came to a garden green,
=And she pu'd an apple frae a tree:
'Take this for thy wages, true Thomas;
=It will give thee the tongue that can never lee.'

XVIII
'My tongue is my ain,' true Thomas he said;
='A gudely gift ye wad gie to me!
I neither dought to buy or sell
=At fair or tryst where I might be.

XIX
'I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
=Nor ask of grace from fair ladye!'-
'Now haud thy peace, Thomas,' she said,
='For as I say, so must it be.'

XX
He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
=And a pair o' shoon of the velvet green;
And till seven years were gane and past,
=True Thomas on earth was never seen.





TAM LIN

I
'O I forbid you, maidens a',
=That wear gowd on your hair,
To come or gae by Carterhaugh,
=For young Tam Lin is there.

II
'For even about that knight's middle
=O' siller bells are nine;
And nae maid comes to Carterhaugh
=And a maid returns again.'

III
Fair Janet sat in her bonny bower,
=Sewing her silken seam,
And wish'd to be in Carterhaugh
=Amang the leaves sae green.

IV
She's lat her seam fa' to her feet,
=The needle to her tae,
And she's awa' to Carterhaugh
=As fast as she could gae.

V
And she has kilted her green kirtle
=A little abune her knee;
And she has braided her yellow hair
=A little abune her bree;
And she has gaen for Carterhaugh
=As fast as she can hie.

VI
She hadna pu'd a rose, a rose,
=A rose but barely ane,
When up and started young Tam Lin;
=Says, 'Ladye, let alane.

VII
'What gars ye pu' the rose, Janet?
=What gars ye break the tree?
What gars ye come to Carterhaugh
=Without the leave o' me?'

VIII
'Weel may I pu' the rose,' she says,
='And ask no leave at thee;
For Carterhaugh it is my ain,
=My daddy gave it me.'

IX
He's ta'en her by the milk-white hand,
=And by the grass-green sleeve,
He's led her to the fairy ground
=At her he ask'd nae leave.

X
Janet has kilted her green kirtle
=A little abune her knee,
And she has snooded her yellow hair
=A little abune her bree,
And she is to her father's ha'
=As fast as she can hie.

XI
But when she came to her father's ha',
=She look'd sae wan and pale,
They thought the lady had gotten a fright,
=Or with sickness she did ail.

XII
Four and twenty ladies fair
=Were playing at the ba',
And out then came fair Janet
=Ance the flower amang them a'.

XIII
Four and twenty ladies fair
=Were playing at the chess,
And out then came fair Janet
=As green as onie glass.

XIV
Out then spak' an auld grey knight
='Lay owre the Castle wa',
And says, 'Alas, fair Janet!
=For thee we'll be blamed a'.'

XV
'Haud your tongue, ye auld-faced knight,
=Some ill death may ye die!
Father my bairn on whom I will,
=I'll father nane on thee.

XVI
'O if my love were an earthly knight,
=As he is an elfin gay,
I wadna gie my ain true-love
=For nae laird that ye hae.

XVII
'The steed that my true-love rides on
=Is fleeter nor the wind;
Wi' siller he is shod before,
=Wi' burning gold behind.'

XVIII
Out then spak' her brither dear-
=He meant to do her harm:
'There grows an herb in Carterhaugh
=Will twine you an' the bairn.'

XIX
Janet has kilted her green kirtle
=A little abune her knee,
And she has snooded her yellow hair
=A little abune her bree,
And she's awa' to Carterhaugh
=As fast as she can hie.

XX
She hadna pu'd a leaf, a leaf,
=A leaf but only twae,
When up and started young Tam Lin,
=Says,' Ladye, thou's pu' nae mae.

XXI
'How dar' ye pu' a leaf?' he says,
='How dar' ye break the tree?
How dar' ye scathe my babe,' he says,
='That's between you and me?'

XXII
'O tell me, tell me, Tam,' she says,
='For His sake that died on tree,
If ye were ever in holy chapel
=Or sain'd in Christentie?

XXIII
'The truth I'll tell to thee, Janet,
=Ae word I winna lee;
A knight me got, and a lady me bore,
=As well as they did thee.

XXIV
'Roxburgh he was my grandfather,
=Took me with him to bide;
And ance it fell upon a day,
=As hunting I did ride,

XXV
'There came a wind out o' the north,
=A sharp wind an' a snell,
A dead sleep it came over me
=And frae my horse I fell;
And the Queen o' Fairies she took me
=In yon green hill to dwell.

XXVI
'And pleasant is the fairy land
=For those that in it dwell,
But ay at end of seven years
=They pay a teind to hell;
I am sae fair and fu' o' flesh
=I'm fear'd 'twill be mysell.

XXVII
'But the night is Hallowe'en, Janet,
=The morn is Hallowday;
Then win me, win me, an ye will,
=For weel I wat ye may.

XXVIII
'The night it is gude Hallowe'en,
=The fairy folk do ride,
And they that wad their true-love win,
=At Miles Cross they maun bide.'-

XXIX
'But how should I you ken, Tam Lin,
=How should I borrow you,
Amang a pack of uncouth knights
=The like I never saw?'-

XXX
'You'll do you down to Miles Cross
=Between twel' hours and ane,
And fill your hands o' the holy water
=And cast your compass roun'.

XXXI
'The first company that passes by,
=Say na, and let them gae;
The neist company that passes by,
=Say na, and do right sae;
The third company that passes by,
=Then I'll be ane o' thae.

XXXII
'O first let pass the black, ladye,
=And syne let pass the brown;
But quickly run to the milk-white steed,
=Pu' ye his rider down.

XXXIII
'For some ride on the black, ladye,
=And some ride on the brown;
But I ride on a milk-white steed,
=A gowd star on my crown:
Because I was an earthly knight
=They gie me that renown.

XXXIV
'My right hand will be gloved, ladye,
=My left hand will be bare,
And thae's the tokens I gie thee:
=Nae doubt I will be there.

XXXV
'Ye'll tak' my horse then by the head
=And let the bridle fa';
The Queen o' Elfin she'll cry out
="True Tam Lin he's awa'!"

XXXVI
'They'll turn me in your arms, ladye,
=An aske but and a snake;
But hauld me fast, let me na gae,
=To be your warldis make.

XXXVII
'They'll turn me in your arms, ladye,
=But and a deer so wild;
But hauld me fast, let me na gae,
=The father o' your child.

XXXVIII
'They'll shape me in your arms, ladye,
=A hot iron at the fire;
But hauld me fast, let me na go,
=To be your heart's desire.

XXXIX
'They'll shape me last in your arms, Janet,
=A mother-naked man;
Cast your green mantle over me,
=And sae will I be won.'

XL
Janet has kilted her green kirtle
=A little abune the knee;
And she has snooded her yellow hair
=A little abune her bree,
And she is on to Miles Cross
=As fast as she can hie.

XLI
About the dead hour o' the night
=She heard the bridles ring;
And Janet was as glad at that
=As any earthly thing.

XLII
And first gaed by the black, black steed,
=And syne gaed by the brown;
But fast she gript the milk-white steed
=And pu'd the rider down.

XLIII
She's pu'd him frae the milk-white steed,
=An' loot the bridle fa',
And up there rase an eldritch cry,
='True Tam Lin he's awa'!

XLIV
They shaped him in her arms twa
=An aske but and a snake;
But aye she grips and hau'ds him fast
=To be her warldis make.

XLV
They shaped him in her arms twa
=But and a deer sae wild;
But aye she grips and hau'ds him fast,
=The father o' her child.

XLVI
They shaped him in her arms twa
=A hot iron at the fire;
But aye she grips and hau'ds him fast
=To be her heart's desire.

XLVII
They shaped him in her arms at last
=A mother-naked man;
She cast her mantle over him,
=And sae her love she wan.

XLVIII
Up then spak' the Queen o' Fairies,
=Out o' a bush o' broom,
'She that has borrow'd young Tam Lin
=Has gotten a stately groom.'

XLIX
Out then spak' the Queen o' Fairies,
=And an angry woman was she,
'She 's ta'en awa' the bonniest knight
=In a' my companie!

L
'But what I ken this night, Tam Lin,
=Gin I had kent yestreen,
I wad ta'en out thy heart o' flesh,
=And put in a heart o' stane.

LI
'And adieu, Tam Lin!  But gin I had kent
=A ladye wad borrow'd thee,
I wad ta'en out thy twa grey e'en
=Put in twa e'en o' tree.

LII
'And had I the wit yestreen, yestreen,
=That I have coft this day,
I'd paid my teind seven times to hell
=Ere you had been won away!'





THE LAMENT OF THE BORDER WIDOW

I
MY love he built me a bonny bower,
And clad it a' wi' lilye flour;
A brawer bower ye ne'er did see,
Than my true love he built for me.

II
There came a man, by middle day,
He spied his sport, and went away;
And brought the King that very night,
Who brake my bower, and slew my knight.

III
He slew my knight, to me sae dear;
He slew my knight, and poin'd his gear;
My servants all for life did flee,
And left me in extremitie.

IV
I sew'd his sheet, making my mane;
I watch'd the corpse, myself alane;
I watch'd his body, night and day;
No living creature came that way.

V
I took his body on my back,
And whiles I gaed, and whiles I sat;
I digg'd a grave, and laid him in,
And happ'd him with the sod sae green.

VI
But think na ye my heart was sair,
When I laid the moul' on his yellow hair;
O think na ye my heart was wae,
When I turn'd about, away to gae?

VII
Nae living man I'll love again,
Since that my lovely knight is slain;
Wi' ae lock of his yellow hair
I'll chain my heart for evermair.





LITTLE MUSGRAVE AND LADY BARNARD

_O wow for day!_
=_And, dear, gin it were day!_
_Gin it were day, and I were away-_
=_For I ha' na lang time to stay._

I
As it fell on one holy-day,
=As many be in the year,
When young men and maids together did go
=Their matins and mass to hear,

II
Little Musgrave came to the church-door-
=The priest was at private mass-
But he had more mind of the fair women
=Than he had of Our Lady's grace.

III
The one of them was clad in green,
=Another was clad in pall,
And then came in my Lord Barnard's wife,
=The fairest amongst them all.

IV
She cast an eye on Little Musgrave
=As bright as the summer sun;
And then bethought him Little Musgrave,
='This lady's heart have I won.'

V
Quoth she, 'I have loved thee, Little Musgrave,
=Full long and many a day.'-
'So have I loved you, fair ladye,
=Yet never word durst I say.'-

VI
'But I have a bower at Bucklesfordberry,
=Full daintily it is dight;
If thou'lt wend thither, thou Little Musgrave,
=Thou's lig in my arms all night.'

VII
Quoth he, 'I thank thee, fair ladye,
=This kindness thou showest to me;
And whether it be to my weal or woe
=This night I will lodge with thee.'

VIII
With that beheard a little tiny page,
=By his lady's coach as he ran.
Says, 'Although I am my lady's foot-page,
=Yet I am Lord Barnard's man.'

IX
Then he's cast off his hose and shoon,
=Set down his feet and ran,
And where the bridges were broken down
=He bent his bow and swam.

X
'Awake! awake! thou Lord Barnard,
=As thou art a man of life!
Little Musgrave is at Bucklesfordberry
=Along with thy own wedded wife.'-

XI
If this be true, thou little tiny page,
=This thing thou tellest to me,
Then all the land in Bucklesfordberry,
=I freely will give to thee.

XII
'But if it be a lie, thou little tiny page,
=This thing thou tellest to me,
On the highest tree in Bucklesfordberry
=Then hanged shalt thou be.'

XIII
He called up his merry men all:
='Come saddle me my steed;
This night must I to Bucklesfordberry,
=For I never had greater need.'

XIV
But some they whistled, and some they sung
=And some they thus could say,
Whenever Lord Barnard's horn it blew:
=_'Away, Musgrave, away! . . ._

XV
'Methinks I hear the threstle cock,
=Methinks I hear the jay;
Methinks I hear Lord Barnard's horn,
=_Away, Musgrave, away!_'-

XVI
'Lie still, lie still, thou little Musgrave
=And huggle me from the cold;
'Tis nothing but a shepherd's boy
=A-driving his sheep to the fold.'

XVII
By this, Lord Barnard came to his door
=And lighted a stone upon;
And he's pull'd out three silver keys,
=And open'd the doors each one.

XVIII
He lifted up the coverlet,
=He lifted up the sheet:
'Dost thou like my bed, Little Musgrave?
=Dost thou find my lady sweet?'-

XIX
'I find her sweet,' quoth Little Musgrave,
='The more 'tis to my pain;
I would gladly give three hundred pounds
=That I were on yonder plain.'-

XX
'Arise, arise, thou Little Musgrave,
=And put thy clothes on;
It shall ne'er be said in my country
=I have kill'd a naked man.

XXI
'I have two swords in one scabbard,
=They are both sharp and clear;
Take you the best, and I the worst,
=We'll end the matter here.'

XXII
The first stroke Little Musgrave struck,
=He hurt Lord Barnard sore;
The next stroke that Lord Barnard struck,
=Little Musgrave ne'er struck more.

XXIII
With that bespake this fair lady,
=In bed where as she lay:
'Although thou'rt dead, thou Little Musgrave,
=Yet I for thee will pray.

XXIV
'And wish well to thy soul will I
=So long as I have life;
So will I not for thee, Barnard,
=Although I'm thy Wedded wife.'

XXV
He cut her paps from off her breast;
=Great pity it was to see
That some drops of this lady's heart's blood
=Ran trickling down her knee.

XXVI
'Woe worth you, woe worth, my merry men all,
=You were ne'er born for my good!
Why did you not offer to stay my hand
=When you saw me wax so wood?

XXVII
'For I have slain the fairest lady
=That ever wore woman's weed,
Soe I have slain the fairest lady
=That ever did woman's deed.

XXVIII
'A grave, a grave,' Lord Barnard cried,
='To put these lovers in!
But lay my lady on the upper hand,
=For she comes of the nobler kin.'





LORD RANDAL

I
'O WHERE hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son?
O where hae ye been, my handsome young man?'-
'I hae been to the wild wood; mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.'

II
'Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?'-
'I dined wi' my true-love; mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.'

III
'What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?'-
'I gat eels boil'd in broo'; mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.'

IV
'What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randal, my son?
What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?'-
'O they swell'd and they died; mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.'

V
'O I fear ye are poison'd, Lord Randal, my son!
O I fear ye are poison'd, my handsome young man!'-
'O yes!  I am poison'd; mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down.'





THE TWA CORBIES
(SCOTTISH VERSION)

I
AS I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane:
The tane unto the tither did say,
'Whar sall we gang and dine the day?'

II
'-In behint yon auld fail dyke
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair.

III
'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta'en anither mate,
So we may mak' our dinner sweet.

IV
'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue e'en:
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.

V
'Mony a one for him maks mane,
But nane sall ken whar he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
=The wind sall blaw for evermair.'





A LYKE-WAKE DIRGE

I
THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

II
When thou from hence away art past,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last:
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

III
If ever thou gayest hosen and shoon,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
Sit thee down and put them on:
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

IV
If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane;
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

V
From whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

VI
From Brig o' Dread when thou may'st pass,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last;
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

VII
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
The fire sall never make thee shrink;
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

VIII
If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
=_And Christe receive thy saule._

IX
This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
=_-Every nighte and alle,_
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
=_And Christe receive thy saule._





CLERK SAUNDERS

PART I

I
CLERK SAUNDERS and may Margaret
=Walk'd owre yon garden green;
And deep and heavy was the love
=That fell thir twa between.

II
'A bed, a bed,' Clerk Saunders said,
='A bed for you and me!'
'Fye na, fye na,' said may Margaret,
='Till anes we married be!'-

III 
'Then I'll take the sword frae my scabbard
=And slowly lift the pin;
And you may swear, and save your aith,
=Ye ne'er let Clerk Saunders in.

IV
'Take you a napkin in your hand,
=And tie up baith your bonnie e'en,
And you may swear, and save your aith,
=Ye saw me na since late yestreen.'

V
It was about the midnight hour,
=When they asleep were laid,
When in and came her seven brothers,
=Wi' torches burning red:

VI
When in and came her seven brothers,
=Wi' torches burning bright:
They said, 'We hae but one sister,
=And behold her lying with a knight!'

VII
Then out and spake the first o' them,
='I bear the sword shall gar him die.'
And out and spake the second o' them,
='His father has nae mair but he.'

VIII
And out and spake the third o' them,
='I wot that they are lovers dear.'
And out and spake the fourth o' them,
='They hae been in love this mony a year.'

IX
Then out and spake the fifth o' them,
='It were great sin true love to twain.'
And out and spake the sixth o' them,
='It were shame to slay a sleeping man.'

X
Then up and gat the seventh o' them,
=And never a word spake he;
But he has striped his bright brown brand
=Out through Clerk Saunders' fair bodye.

XI
Clerk Saunders he started, and Margaret she turn'd
=Into his arms as asleep she lay;
And sad and silent was the night
=That was atween thir twae.

XII
And they lay still and sleepit sound
=Until the day began to daw';
And kindly she to him did say,
='It is time, true love, you were awa'.'

XIII
But he lay still, and sleepit sound,
=Albeit the sun began to sheen;
She look'd atween her and the wa',
=And dull and drowsie were his e'en.

XIV
Then in and came her father dear;
=Said, 'Let a' your mourning be;
I'll carry the dead corse to the clay,
=And I'll come back and comfort thee.'

XV
'Comfort weel your seven sons,
=For comforted I will never be:
I ween 'twas neither knave nor loon
=Was in the bower last night wi' me.'



PART II

I
The clinking bell gaed through the town,
=To carry the dead corse to the clay;
And Clerk Saunders stood at may Margaret's window,
=I wot, an hour before the day.

II
'Are ye sleeping, Marg'ret? 'he says,
='Or are ye waking presentlie?
Give me my faith and troth again,
=I wot, true love, I gied to thee.'

III
'Your faith and troth ye sall never get,
=Nor our true love sall never twin,
Until ye come within my bower,
=And kiss me cheik and chin.'

IV
'My mouth it is full cold, Marg'ret;
=It has the smell, now, of the ground;
And if I kiss thy comely mouth,
=Thy days of life will not be lang.

V
'O cocks are crowing on merry middle-earth,
=I wot the wild fowls are boding day;
Give me my faith and troth again,
=And let me fare me on my way.'

VI
'Thy faith and troth thou sallna get,
=And our true love sall never twin,
Until ye tell what comes o' women,
=I wot, who die in strong traivelling?'

VII
'Their beds are made in the heavens high,
=Down at the foot of our good Lord's knee,
Weel set about wi' gillyflowers;
=I wot, sweet company for to see.

VIII
'O cocks are crowing on merry middle-earth,
=I wot the wild fowls are boding day;
The psalms of heaven will soon be sung,
=And I, ere now, will be miss'd away.'

IX
Then she has taken a crystal wand,
=And she has stroken her troth thereon;
She has given it him out at the shot-window,
=Wi' mony a sad sigh and heavy groan.

X
'I thank ye, Marg'ret; I thank ye, Marg'ret;
=And ay I thank ye heartilie;
Gin ever the dead come for the quick,
=Be sure, Marg'ret, I'll come for thee.'

XI
It's hosen and shoon, and gown alone,
=She climb'd the wall, and follow'd him,
Until she came to the green forest,
=And there she lost the sight o' him.

XII
'Is there ony room at your head, Saunders?
=Is there ony room at your feet?
Or ony room at your side, Saunders,
=Where fain, fain, I wad sleep?'

XIII
'There's nae room at my head, Marg'ret,
=There's nae room at my feet;
My bed it is fu' lowly now,
=Amang the hungry worms I sleep.

XIV
'Cauld mould is my covering now,
=But and my winding-sheet;
The dew it falls nae sooner down
=Than my resting-place is weet.

XV
'But plait a wand o' bonny birk,
=And lay it on my breast;
And shed a tear upon my grave,
=And wish my saul gude rest.'

XVI
Then up and crew the red, red cock,
=And up and crew the gray:
'Tis time, 'tis time, my dear Marg'ret,
=That you were going away.

XVII
And fair Marg'ret, and rare Marg'ret,
=And Marg'ret o' veritie,
Gin e'er ye love another man,
=Ne'er love him as ye did me.'





JOHNIE ARMSTRONG

I
SUM speiks of lords, sum speiks of lairds,
=And sick lyke men of hie degrie;
Of a gentleman I sing a sang,
=Sum tyme called Laird of Gilnockie.

II
The King he wrytes a luving letter,
=With his ain hand sae tenderly,
And he hath sent it to Johnie Armstrang,
=To cum and speik with him speedily.

III
The Eliots and Armstrangs did convene;
=They were a gallant cumpanie-
'We'll ride and meit our lawful King,
=And bring him safe to Gilnockie.'

IV
'Make kinnen and capon ready, then,
=And venison in great plentie;
We'll wellcum here our royal King;
=I hope he'll dine at Gilnockie!'-

V
They ran their horse on the Langholme howm,
=And brak their spears wi' mickle main;
The ladies lukit frae their loft windows-
='God bring our men weel hame agen!'

VI
When Johnie cam' before the King,
=Wi' a' his men sae brave to see,
The King he movit his bonnet to him;
=He ween'd he was King as weel as he.

VII
'May I find grace, my sovereign liege,
=Grace for my loyal men and me?
For my name it is Johnie Armstrang,
=And a subject of yours, my liege,' said he.

VIII
'Away, away, thou traitor strang!
=Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
I grantit never a traitor's life,
=And now I'll not begin wi' thee.'-

IX
'Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
=And a bonny gift I'll gie to thee:
Full four-and-twenty milk-white steids,
=Were a' foal'd in ae yeir to me.

X
'I'll gie thee a' these milk-white steids,
=That prance and nicker at a speir;
And as mickle gude Inglish gilt,
=As four o' their braid backs dow bear.'-

XI
'Away, away, thou traitor strang!
=Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
I grantit never a traitor's life,
=And now I'll not begin wi' thee!'-

XII
Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
=And a bonny gift I'll gie to thee:
Gude four-and-twenty ganging mills,
=That gang thro' a' the yeir to me.

XIII
'These four-and-twenty mills complete
=Sall gang for thee thro' a' the yeir;
And as mickle of gude reid wheit,
=As a' thair happers dow to bear.'-

XIV
'Away, away, thou traitor strang!
=Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
I grantit never a traitor's life,
=And now I'll not begin wi' thee.'-

XV
'Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
=And a great great gift I'll gie to thee:
Bauld four-and-twenty sisters' sons,
=Sall for thee fetch, tho' a' should flee!'-

XVI
'Away, away, thou traitor strang!
=Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
I grantit never a traitor's life,
=And now I'll not begin wi' thee.'-

XVII
'Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
=And a brave gift I'll gie to thee:
All between heir and Newcastle town
=Sall pay their yeirly rent to thee.'-

XVIII
'Away, away, thou traitor strang!
=Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
I grantit never a traitors life,
=And now I'll not begin wi' thee.'-

XIX
'Ye lied, ye lied, now, King,' he says,
='Altho' a King and Prince ye be!
For I've luved naething in my life,
=I weel dare say it, but honesty:

XX
'Save a fat horse, and a fair woman,
=Twa bonny dogs to kill a deir;
But England suld have found me meal and mault,
=Gif I had lived this hundred yeir!

XXI
'She suld have found me meal and mault,
=And beef and mutton in a' plentie;
But never a Scots wyfe could have said
=That e'er I skaith'd her a puir flee.

XXII
'To seik het water beneith cauld ice,
=Surely it is a greit folie-
I have asked grace at a graceless face,
=But there is nane for my men and me!

XXIII
'But had I kenn'd ere I cam' frae hame,
=How thou unkind wadst been to me!
I wad have keepit the Border side,
=In spite of all thy force and thee.

XXIV
'Wist Eng]and's King that I was ta'en,
=O gin a blythe man he wad be!
For anes I slew his sister's son,
=And on his breist bane brak a trie.'

XXV
John wore a girdle about his middle,
=Imbroider'd owre wi' burning gold,
Bespangled wi' the same metal,
=Maist beautiful was to behold.

XXVI
There hung nine targats at Johnie's hat,
=And ilk ane worth three hundred pound-
'What wants that knave that a King suld have,
=But the sword of honour and the crown?

XXVII
'O where got thou these targats, Johnie,
=That blink sae brawlie abune thy brie?'-
'I gat them in the field fechting,
=Where, cruel King, thou durst not be.

XXVIII
'Had I my horse, and harness gude,
=And riding as I wont to be,
It suld have been tauld this hundred yeir,
=The meeting of my King and me!

XXIX
'God be with thee, Kirsty, my brother,
=Lang live thou Laird of Mangertoun!
Lang mayst thou live on the Border syde,
=Ere thou see thy brother ride up and doun!

XXX
'And God be with thee, Kirsty, my son,
=Where thou sits on thy nurse's knee!
But an thou live this hundred yeir,
=Thy father's better thou'lt never be.

XXXI
'Farewell! my bonny Gilnock hall,
=Where on Esk side thou standest stout!
Gif I had lived but seven yeirs mair,
=I wad hae gilt thee round about.'

XXXII
John murder'd was at Carlinrigg,
=And all his gallant companie;
But Scotland's heart was ne'er sae wae
=To see sae mony brave men die-

XXXIII
Because they saved their country deir
=Frae Englishmen! Nane were sa bauld,
Whyle Johnie lived on the Border syde,
=Nane of them durst cum neir his hauld.





THE BONNY EARL OF MURRAY

I
YE Highlands and ye Lawlands,
=O where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Murray,
=And hae laid him on the green.

II
Now wae be to thee, Huntley!
=And whairfore did ye sae!
I bade you bring him wi' you,
=But forbade you him to slay.

III
He was a braw gallant,
=And he rid at the ring;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
=O he might hae been a king!

IV
He was a braw gallant,
=And he play'd at the ba';
And the bonny Earl of Murray
=Was the flower amang them a'!

V
He was a braw gallant,
=And he play'd at the gluve;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
=O he was the Queen's luve!

VI
O lang will his Lady
=Look owre the Castle Downe,
Ere she see the Earl of Murray
=Come sounding through the town!





SIR PATRICK SPENS

I.  _The Sailing_

I
THE king sits in Dumfermline town
=Drinking the blude-red wine;
'O whare will I get a skeely skipper
=To sail this new ship o' mine?

II
O up and spak an eldern knight,
=Sat at the king's right knee:
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
=That ever sail'd the sea.'

III
Our king has written a braid letter,
=And seal'd it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
=Was walking on the strand.

IV
'To Noroway, to Noroway,
=To Noroway o'er the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
='Tis thou must bring her hame.'

V
The first word that Sir Patrick read
=So loud, loud laugh'd he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read
=The tear blinded his e'e.

VI
'O wha is this has done this deed
=And tauld the king o' me,
To send us out, at this time o' year,
=To sail upon the sea?

VII
Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
=Our ship must sail the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
='Tis we must fetch her hame.'

VIII
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn
=Wi' a' the speed they may;
They hae landed in Noroway
=Upon a Wodensday.



II.  _The Return_

IX
'Mak ready, mak ready, my merry men a'!
=Our gude ship sails the morn.'-
'Now ever alack, my master dear,
=I fear a deadly storm.

X
'I saw the new moon late yestreen
=Wi' the auld moon in her arm;
And if we gang to sea, master,
=I fear we'll come to harm.'

XI
They hadna sail'd a league, a league,
=A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
=And gurly grew the sea.

XII
The ankers brak, and the topmast lap,
=It was sic a deadly storm:
And the waves cam owre the broken ship
=Till a' her sides were torn.

XIII
'O where will I get a gude sailor
=To tak' my helm in hand,
Till I get up to the tall topmast
=To see if I can spy land?'-

XIV
'O here am I, a sailor gude,
=To tak' the helm in hand,
Till you go up to the tall topmast,
=But I fear you'll ne'er spy land.'

XV
He hadna gane a step, a step,
=A step but barely ane,
When a bolt flew out of our goodly ship,
=And the saut sea it came in.

XVI
'Go fetch a web o' the silken claith,
=Another o' the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,
=And let nae the sea come in.'

XVII
They fetch'd a web o' the silken claith,
=Another o' the twine,
And they wapp'd them round that gude ship's side,
=But still the sea came in.

XVIII
O laith, laith were our gude Scots lords
=To wet their cork-heel'd shoon;
But lang or a' the play was play'd
=They wat their hats aboon.

XIX
And mony was the feather bed
=That flatter'd on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son
=That never mair cam hame.

XX
O lang, lang may the ladies sit,
=Wi' their fans into their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
=Come sailing to the strand!

XXI
And lang, lang may the maidens sit
=Wi' their gowd kames in their hair,
A-waiting for their ain dear loves!
=For them they'll see nae mair.

XXII
Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
='Tis fifty fathoms deep;
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
=Wi' the Scots lords at his feet!





THE QUEEN'S MARIE

I
MARIE HAMILTON'S to the kirk gane,
=Wi' ribbons in her hair;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
=Than ony that were there.

II
Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane
=Wi' ribbons on her breast;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
=Than he listen'd to the priest.

III
Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane,
=Wi' gloves upon her hands;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
=Than the Queen and a' her lands.

IV
She hadna been about the King's court
=A month, but barely ane,
Till she was beloved by a' the King's court,
=And the King the only man.

V
She hadna been about the King's court
=A month, but barely three,
Till frae the King's court Marie Hamilton,
=Marie Hamilton durstna be.

VI
The King is to the Abbey gane,
=To pu' the Abbey tree,
To scale the babe frae Marie's heart;
=But the thing it wadna be.

VII
O she has row'd it in her apron,
=And set it on the sea-
'Gae sink ye or swim ye, bonny babe,
=Ye'se get nae mair o' me.'

VIII
Word is to the kitchen gane,
=And word is to the ha',
And word is to the noble room
=Amang the ladies a',
That Marie Hamilton's brought to bed,
=And the bonny babe 's miss'd and awa',

IX
Scarcely had she lain down again,
=And scarcely fa'en asleep,
When up and started our gude Queen
=Just at her bed-feet;
Saying - 'Marie Hamilton, where's your babe?
=For I am sure I heard it greet.'-

X
'O no, O no, my noble Queen!
=Think no sic thing to be;
'Twas but a stitch into my side,
=And sair it troubles me!'-

XI
'Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton:
=Get up and follow me;
For I am going to Edinburgh town,
=A rich wedding for to see.'

XII
O slowly, slowly rase she up,
=And slowly put she on;
And slowly rade she out the way
=Wi' mony a weary groan.

XIII
The Queen was clad in scarlet,
=Her merry maids all in green;
And every town that they cam to,
=They took Marie for the Queen.

XIV
'Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen,
=Ride hooly now wi' me!
For never, I am sure, a wearier burd
=Rade in your companie.'

XV
But little wist Marie Hamilton,
=When she rade on the brown,
That she was gaen to Edinburgh town,
=And a' to be put down.

XVI
'Why weep ye sae, ye burgess wives,
=Why look ye sae on me?
O I am going to Edinburgh town,
=A rich wedding to see.'

XVII
When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
=The corks frae her heels did flee;
And lang or e'er she cam down again,
=She was condemn'd to die.

XVIII
When she cam to the Netherbow port,
=She laugh'd loud laughters three;
But when she came to the gallows foot
=The tears blinded her e'e.

XIX
'Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
=The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
=And Marie Carmichael, and me.

XX
'O often have I dress'd my Queen,
=And put gowd upon her hair;
But now I've gotten for my reward
=The gallows to be my share.

XXI
'Often have I dress'd my Queen
=And often made her bed;
But now I've gotten for my reward
=The gallows tree to tread.

XXII
'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
=When ye sail owre the faem,
Let neither my father nor mother get wit
=But that I'm coming hame.

XXIII
'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
=That sail upon the sea,
That neither my father nor mother get wit
=The dog's death I'm to die.

XXIV
'For if my father and mother got wit,
=And my bold brethren three,
o mickle wad be the gude red blude
=This day wad be spilt for me!

XXV
'O little did my mother ken,
=The day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in
=Or the death I was to die!





JOHNNIE OF COCKERSLEE

I
JOHNNIE rose up in a May morning,
=Call'd for water to wash his hands;
'Gar loose to me the gude gray dogs,
=That are bound wi' iron bands.'

II
When Johnnie's mother gat word o' that,
=Her hands for dule she wrang;
'O Johnnie, for my venison,
=To the greenwood dinna gang!

III
'Eneugh ye hae o' gude wheat bread,
=And eneugh o' the blude-red wine;
And therefore for nae venison, Johnnie,
=I pray ye, stir frae hame.

IV
'There are Seven For'sters at Hislinton side,
=Ai Hislinton where they dwell,
And for ae drap o' thy heart's blude
=They wad ride the fords o' hell.'

V
But Johnnie has buskit his gude bend-bow,
=His arrows, ane by ane,
And he has gane to Durrisdeer
=To ding the dun deer down.

VI
He's lookit east, and he's lookit west,
=And a little below the sun;
And there he spied the dun deer lying
=Aneath a buss o' broom.

VII
Johnnie he shot and the dun deer lap,
=And he wounded her on the side;
But atween the wood and the wan water
=His hounds they laid her pride.

VIII
And Johnnie has brittled the deer sae well,
=Had out her liver and lungs;
And wi' these he has feasted his bluidy hounds
=As if they had been Earl's sons.

IX
They ate sae much o' the venison,
=And drank sae much o' the blude,
That Johnnie and his gude gray hounds
=Fell asleep by yonder wood.

X
By there came a silly auld carle,
=An ill death mote he die!
And he's awa' to Hislinton,
=Where the Seven Foresters did lie.

XI
'What news, what news, ye gray-headed carle?
=What news? come tell to me.'-
'I bring nae news,' said the gray-headed carle,
='But what these eyes did see.

XII
High up in Braidislee, low down in Braidislee,
=And under a buss o' scroggs,
The bonniest childe that ever I saw
=Lay sleeping atween his dogs.

XIII
'The sark he had upon his back
=It was o' the holland fine,
The doublet he had over that
=It was o' the Lincoln twine.

XIV
'The buttons that were on his sleeve
=Were o' the gowd sae gude;
The twa gray dogs he lay atween,
=Their mouths were dyed wi' blude.'

XV
Then out and spak' the First Forester,
=The head man owre them a';
'If this be Johnnie o' Cockerslee
=Nae nearer will we draw.'

XVI
But up and spak' the Sixth Forester,
=(His sister's son was he,)
'If this be Johnnie o' Cockerslee,
=We soon shall gar him dee!'

XVII
The first flight of arrows the Foresters shot,
=They wounded him on the knee;
And out and spak' the Seventh Forester,
='The next will gar him dee.'

XVIII
'O some they count ye well-wight men,
=But I do count ye nane;
For you might well ha' waken'd me,
=And ask'd gin I wad be ta'en.

XIX
'The wildest wolf in a' this wood
=Wad no ha' done sae by me;
She ha' wet her foot i' the wan water,
=And sprinkled it owre my bree,
And if that wad not ha' waken'd me,
=Wad ha' gone an' let me be.

XX
'O bows of yew, if ye be true,
=In London where ye were bought;
And, silver strings, value me sma' things
=Till I get this vengeance wrought!
And, fingers five, get up belive:
=And Manhood fail me nought!

XXI
'Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs,
=Stand stout and dinna flee!
Stand fast, stand fast, my good gray hounds.
=And we will gar them dee!'

XXII
Johnnie has set his back to an aik,
=His foot against a stane,
And he has slain the Seven Foresters,
=He has slain them a' but ane.

XXIII
He has broke three ribs in that ane's side,
=But and his collar bane;
He's flung him twa-fald owre his steed,
=Bade him carry the tidings hame . . .

XXIV
'Is there no a bird in a' this forest
=Will do as mickle for me
As dip its wing in the wan water
=And straik it on my e'e-bree?

XXV
'Is there no a bird in a' this forest
=Can sing as I can say,-
Can flee away to my mother's bower
=And tell to fetch Johnnie away?'

XXVI
The starling flew to her window-stane,
=It whistled and it sang;
And aye the owre-word o' the tune
=Was, _Johnnie tarries lang!_

XXVII
They made a rod o' the hazel-bush,
=Another o' the slae-thorn tree,
And mony, mony were the men
=At the fetching our Johnnie.

XXVIII
Then out and spak' his auld mother,
=And fast her tears did fa':
'Ye wadna be warn'd, my son Johnnie,
=Frae the hunting to bide awa'!'

XXIX
Now Johnnie's gude bend-bow is broke,
=And his gude gray dogs are slain;
And his body lies dead in Durrisdeer,
=And his hunting it is done.





THE BATTLE OF OTTERBURN

I
IT fell about the Lammas tide
=When husbands win their hay,
The doughty Douglas bound him to ride
=In England to take a prey.

II
He has chosen the Graemes, and the Lindsays light,
=And the gallant Gordons gay;
And the Earl of Fyfe withouten strife,
=He's bound him over Solway.

III
They come in over Ottercap Hill,
=So down by Rodeley Cragge;
Upon Green Leyton they lighted down
=Styrande many a stagge.

IV
And they have brent the dales of Tyne,
=And harryed Bamborowe shire,
And the Otter Dale they have brent it hale
=And left it a' on fire.

V
Then spake a berne upon the bent,
=Of comfort that was not cold,
And said, 'We have brent Northumberland,
=We have all wealth in hold.

VI
'Now we have harryed all Bamborowe shire,
=All the wealth in the world have we:
I rede we ryde to Newcastell
=So still and stalworthlye.'

VII
Upon the morrow, when it was day,
=The standards shone full bright;
To Newcastell they took the way,
=And thither they came full right.

VIII
To Newcastell when that they came,
=The Douglas cry'd on hyght:
'Harry Percy, an thou bidest within,
=Come to the field, and fight!-

IX
'For we have brent Northumberland,
=Thy herytage good and right;
And syne my lodging I have ta'en,
=With my brand dubb'd many a knight.'

X
Sir Harry Percy came to the walls
=The Scottish host for to see,
Sayd, 'An thou hast brent Northumberland,
=Full sore it rueth me.

XI
If thou hast haryed all Bamborowe shire,
=Thou hast done me great envye;
For this trespasse thou hast me done
=The tone of us shall die.'

XII
'Where shall I bide thee?' sayd the Douglas,
='Or where wilt thou come to me?'-
'But gae ye up to Otterbourne,
=And wait there dayès three.

XIII
'The roe full rekeles there she rins,
=To make the game and glee;
The falcon and the phesant both,
=To fend thy men and thee.

XIV
'There may'st thou have thy wealth at will,
=Well lodg'd thou there may'st be:
It shall not be long ere I come thee till,'
=Sayd Sir Harry Percy.

XV
'There shall I bide thee,' sayd the Douglas,
='By the faith of my bodye.'-
'There shall I come,' said Sir Harry Percy,
='My troth I plight to thee.'

XVI
A pipe of wine over the wall,
=He gave them [to their pay],
There he made the Douglas drinke,
=And all his host that day.

XVII
The Douglas turn'd him homeward again,
=[And rode withouten stay];
He pyght his standard at Otterbourne
=Upon a Wedensday.

XVIII
And syne he warned his men to go
=To choose their geldings grass;
[And he that had no man to send]
=His own servant he was.

XIX
A Scottish knight hoved on the bent
=At watch, I dare well say,
So was he ware of the noble Percy
=In the dawning of the day.

XX
He pryck'd to his pavilion door
=As fast as he might run:
'Awaken, Douglas!' cried the knight,
='For his sake that sits in throne!

XXI
'Awaken, Douglas!' cried the knight,
='For thou mayst wake with wynne!
Yonder have I spied the proud Percy,
=And seven standards with him.'

XXII
'Now by my troth,' the Douglas sayd,
='It is but a fayned tale!
He durst not look on my broad banner
=[Were all England in] hail!

XXIII
'Was I not yesterday at Newcastell
=That stands so fair on Tyne?
For all the men the Percy had
=He could not gar me to dine.'

XXIV
He stepp'd out at his pavilion-door
=To look an it were lease:
'Array you, lordings, one and all!
=For here begins no peace.

XXV
'The Earl of Menteith, thou art my eme,
=The vaward I give to thee:
The Earl of Huntley, cante and keen,
=Take him to go with thee.

XXVI
'The Lord of Buchan, in armure bright,
=On the other side he shall be;
Lord Johnstone and Lord Maxwell
=They two shall go with me.

XXVII
'Swynton, fair fall upon your pride!
=To battle make you bowne.-
Sir Davy Scott, Sir Walter Steward,
=Sir John of Agerstone!'

XXVIII
The Percy came before his host,
=He was ever a gentil knight:
Upon the Douglas loud can he cry
='I will hold that I have hyght.'

XXIX
'For thou hast brent Northumberland,
=And done me great envye,
For this trespasse thou hast me done
=The tone of us shall die.'

XXX
The Douglas answer'd him again
=With great words upon hie,
And sayd, 'I have twenty against thy one:
=Behold, and thou mayst see!'

XXXI
With that the Percy was grieved sore
=Forsooth as I you say:
He lighted down upon his foot
=And schoote his horse away.

XXXII
Every man saw that he did so,
=That ryal was ever in rowghte:
Every man schoote his horse him fro
=And lighted him round about.

XXXIII
Sir Harry Percy took the field
=Even thus, as I you say;
Jesus Christe in hevyn on height
=Did help him well that day.

XXXIV
But nine thousand, there was no more-
=The chronicle will not layne-
Forty thousand of Scots and four
=That day fought them again.

XXXV
But when the battel began to join,
=In haste there came a knight;
And letters fair forth hath he ta'en,
=And thus he sayd full right:

XXXVI
'My lord your father greets you well,
=With many a noble knight;
He doth desire you now to bide,
=That he may see this fight.

XXXVII
'The Baron of Graystoke is out of the west
=With a noble companye:
All they lodge at your father's this night,
=And the battel fayn would they see.'

XXXVIII
'For Jesus' love,' sayd Sir Harry Percy,
='That died for you and me,
Wend to my lord my father agayn,
=Say thou saw me not with thee.

XXXIX
'My troth is plight to yon Scottish knight,
=-It nede's me not to layne-
That I should bide him upon this bent,
=And I have his troth agayn.

XL
'And if that I wend off this growende,
=Forsooth, unfoughten away,
He would call me but a coward knight
=In his land another day.

XLI
'Yet had I liefer be rynde and rent,
=-By Mary, that mickle may!-
Than ever my manhood be reproved
=With a Scot another day.

XLII
'Wherefore shoot, archers, for my sake!
=And let sharp arrows flee.
Minstrels, play up for your waryson!
=And well quit it shall be.

XLIII
'Every man thynke on his true-love,
=And mark him to the Trinitye:
For unto God I make mine avowe
=This day will I not flee.'

XLIV
The blodye herte in the Douglas arms
=His standard stood on hie,
That every man might full wel knowe;
=Bysyde stood starrès three.

XLV
The white lyon on the English part,
=Forsooth as I you sayn,
The lucettes and the cressants both
=The Scot fought them again.

XLVI
Upon Seynt Andrewe loud can they crye,
=And thrice they showt on hyght,
Syne mark'd them on our English men,
=As I have told you right.

XLVII
Seynt George the bryght, Our Ladye's knyght,
=To name they were full fayne;
Our English men they cry'd on hyght,
=And thrice they shot agayne.

XLVIII
With that sharp arrows began to flee,
=I tell you in certayne:
Men of arms began to joyne,
=Many a doughty man was slayne.

XLIX
The Percy and the Douglas met
=That either of other was fayne;
They swapp'd together while they swet
=With swords of fyne Collayne:

L
Until the blood from their bassonets ran
=As the roke doth in the rayne;
'Yield thou to me,' sayd the Douglas,
='Or elles thou shalt be slayne.

LI
'For I see by thy bryght bassonet
=Thou art some man of myght:
And so I do by thy burnysh'd brand,
=Thou'rt an earl or elles a knyght.'

LII
'By my good faith,' said the noble Percye,
='Now hast thou rede full ryght;
Yet will I never yield me to thee,
=While I may stand and fyght.'

LIII
They swapp'd together, while that they swet,
=With swordès sharp and long;
Each on other so fast they bette,
=Their helms came in pieces down.

LIV
The Percy was a man of strength,
=I tell you in this stounde:
He smote the Douglas at the sword's length
=That he fell to the grounde.

LV
The Douglas call'd to his little foot-page,
=And sayd, 'Run speedilye,
And fetch my ain dear sister's son,
=Sir Hugh Montgomery.

LVI
'My nephew good,' the Douglas sayd,
='What recks the death of ane?
'Last night I dream'd a dreary dream,
=And I ken the day's thy ain.

LVII
'My wound is deep: I am fayn to sleep,
=Take thou the vaward of me,
And hide me by the bracken bush
=Grows on yon lilye-lee.'

LVIII
He has lifted up that noble lord
=With the saut tears in his e'e;
He has hidden him in the bracken bush
=That his merry men might not see.

LIX
The standards stood still on eke side;
=With many a grievous groan
They fought that day, and all the night;
=Many a doughtye man was slone.

LX
The morn was clear, the day drew nie,
=-Yet stiffly in stowre they stood;
Echone hewing another while they might drie,
=Till aye ran down the blood.

LXI
The Percy and Montgomery met
=That either of other was fayn:
They swapped swords, and they two met
=Till the blood ran down between.

LXII
'Now yield thee, yield thee, Percy,' he said,
='Or I vow I'le lay thee low!'
'To whom shall I yield?' said Earl Percy,
='Now I see it maun be so.'-

LXIII
'Thou shalt not yield to lord nor loun,
=Nor yet shalt thou to me;
But yield thee to the bracken bush
=Grows on yon lilye-lee.'-

LXIV
'I winna yield to a bracken bush,
=Nor yet I will to a brere;
But I would yield to Earl Douglas,
=Or Montgomery if he was here.'

LXV
As soon as he knew Montgomery,
=He stuck his sword's point in ground;
The Montgomery was a courteous knight,
=And quickly took him by the hand.

LXVI
There was slayne upon the Scottès' side,
=For sooth and certaynlye,
Sir James a Douglas there was slayne,
=That day that he cou'd dye.

LXVII
The Earl of Menteith he was slayne,
=And gryselye groan'd on the groun';
Sir Davy Scott, Sir Walter Steward,
=Sir John of Agerstone.

LXVIII
Sir Charles Murray in that place
=That never a foot would flee;
Sir Hew Maxwell, a lord he was,
=With the Douglas did he dee.

LXIX
There was slayne upon the Scottès' side
=For sooth as I you say,
Of four and fifty thousand Scottes
=Went but eighteen away.

LXX
There was slayne upon the English side
=For sooth and certaynlye,
A gentle Knight, Sir John Fitzhughe,
=It was the more pitye.

LXXI
Sir James Hardbotell there was slayne,
=For him their heartes were sore;
The gentle Lovell there was slayne,
=That the Percy's standard bore.

LXXII
There was slayne upon the English part
=For sooth as I you say,
Of nine thousand English men
=Five hundred came away.

LXXIII
The others slayne were in the field;
=Christ keep their souls from woe!
Seeing there was so fewè friends
=Against so many a foe.

LXXIV
Then on the morn they made them bieres
=Of birch and hazell gray:
Many a widow with weeping teares
=Their makes they fette away.

LXXV
This fray was fought at Otterbourne,
=Between the night and the day;
Earl Douglas was buried at the bracken bush,
=And the Percy led captive away.

LXXVI
Now let us all for the Percy pray
=To Jesu most of might,
To bring his soul to the bliss of heaven,
=For he was a gentle knight.





KINMONT WILLIE

I
O HAVE ye na heard o' the fause Sakelde?
=O have ye na heard o' the keen Lord Scroope?
How they hae ta'en bauld Kinmont Willie,
=On Haribee to hang him up?

II
Had Willie had but twenty men,
But twenty men as stout as he,
Fause Sakelde had never the Kinmont ta'en,
=Wi' eight score in his companie.

III
They band his legs beneath the steed,
=They tied his hands behind his back;
They guarded him, fivesome on each side,
=And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack.

IV
They led him thro' the Liddel-rack,
=And also thro' the Carlisle sands;
They brought him in to Carlisle castell,
=To be at my Lord Scroope's commands.

V
My hands are tied, but my tongue is free,
=And whae will dare this deed avow?
Or answer by the Border law?
=Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch?'-

VI
'Now haud thy tongue, thou rank reiver!
=There 's never a Scot shall set thee free:
Before ye cross my castle yate,
=I trow ye shall take farewell o' me.'

VII
'Fear na ye that, my lord,' quo' Willie:
='By the faith o' my body, Lord Scroope,' he said,
'I never yet lodged in a hostelrie
=But I paid my lawing before I gaed.'

VIII
Now word is gane to the bauld Keeper,
=In Branksome Ha', where that he lay,
That Lord Scroope has ta'en the Kinmont Willie,
=Between the hours of night and day.

IX
He has ta'en the table wi' his hand,
=He garr'd the red wine spring on hie-
'Now Christ's curse on my head,' he said,
='But avenged of Lord Scroope I'll be!

X
'O is my basnet a widow's curch?
=Or my lance a wand of the willow-tree?
Or my arm a ladye's lilye hand,
=That an English lord should lightly me!

XI
'And have they ta'en him, Kinmont Willie,
=Against the truce of Border tide?
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
=Is Keeper here on the Scottish side?

XII
'And have they e'en ta'en him, Kinmont Willie,
=Withouten either dread or fear?
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
=Can back a steed, or shake a spear?

XIII
'O were there war between the lands,
=As well I wot that there is nane,
I would slight Carlisle castell high,
=Though it were builded of marble stane.

XIV
'I would set that castell in a low,
=And sloken it with English blood!
There's never a man in Cumberland
=Should ken where Carlisle castell stood.

XV
'But since nae war's between the lands,
=And there is peace, and peace should be;
I'll neither harm English lad or lass,
=And yet the Kinmont freed shall be!'

XVI
He has call'd him forty Marchmen bauld,
=I trow they were of his ain name,
Except Sir Gilbert Elliot, call'd
=The Laird of Stobs, I mean the same.

XVII
He has call'd him forty Marchmen bauld,
=Were kinsmen to the bauld Buccleuch;
With spur on heel, and splent on spauld,
=And gleuves of green, and feathers blue.

XVIII
There were five and five before them a',
=Wi' hunting-horns and bugles bright:
And five and five came wi' Buccleuch,
=Like Warden's men, array'd for fight.

XIX
And five and five, like a mason-gang,
=That carried the ladders lang and hie;
And five and five, like broken men;
=And so thcy reach'd the Woodhouselee.

XX
And as we cross'd the Bateable Land,
=When to the English side we held,
The first o' men that we met wi',
=Whae sould it be but fause Sakelde?

XXI
'Where be ye gaun, ye hunters keen?'
=Quo' fause Sakelde; 'come tell to me!'-
'We go to hunt an English stag,
=Has trespass'd on the Scots countrie.'

XXII
'Where be ye gaun, ye marshal men?'
=Quo' fause Sakelde; 'come tell me true!'-
'We go to catch a rank reiver,
=Has broken faith wi' the bauld Buccleuch.'

XXIII
'Where be ye gaun, ye mason lads,
=Wi' a' your ladders, lang and hie?'-
'We gang to herry a corbie's nest,
=That wons nor far frae Woodhouselee.'-

XXIV
'Where be ye gaun, ye broken men?'
=Quo' fause Sakelde; 'come tell to me!'-
Now Dickie of Dryhope led that band,
=And the never a word of lear had he.

XXV
'Why trespass ye on the English side?
=Row-footed outlaws, stand!' quo' he;
The never a word had Dickie to say,
=Sae he thrust the lance through his fause bodie.

XXVI
Then on we held for Carlisle toun,
=And at Staneshaw-bank the Eden we cross'd;
The water was great and meikle of spate,
=But the never a horse nor man we lost.

XXVII
And when we reach'd the Staneshaw-bank,
=The wind was rising loud and hie;
And there the Laird gar'd leave our steeds,
=For fear that they should stamp and neigh.

XXVIII
And when we left the Staneshaw-bank,
=The wind began fu' loud to blaw;
But 'twas wind and weet, and fire and sleet,
=When we came beneath the castle wa'.

XXIX
We crept on knees, and held our breath,
=Till we placed the ladders against the wa';
And sae ready was Buccleuch himsell
=To mount the first before us a'.

XXX
He has ta'en the watchman by the throat,
=He flung him down upon the lead-
'Had there not been peace between our lands,
=Upon the other side thou hadst gaed!-

XXXI
'Now sound out, trumpets! ' quo' Buccleuch;
='Let 's waken Lord Scroope right merrilie!'
Then loud the Warden's trumpet blew-
=_O wha dare meddle wi' me?_

XXXII
Then speedilie to wark we gaed,
=And raised the slogan ane and a',
And cut a hole through a sheet of lead,
=And so we wan to the castle ha'.

XXXIII
They thought King James and a' his men
=Had won the house wi' bow and spear;
It was but twenty Scots and ten,
=That put a thousand in sic a stead!

XXXIV
Wi' coulters, and wi' forehammers,
=We gar'd the bars bang merrilie,
Until we came to the inner prison,
=Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie.

XXXV
And when we cam to the lower prison,
=Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie-
'O sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie,
=Upon the morn that thou's to die?'-

XXXVI
'O I sleep saft, and I wake aft;
=It's lang since sleeping was fley'd frae me!
Gie my service back to my wife and bairns,
=And a' gude fellows that spier for me.'

XXXVII
The Red Rowan has hente him up,
=The starkest man in Teviotdale-
'Abide, abide now, Red Rowan,
=Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

XXXVIII
'Farewell, farewell, my gude Lord Scroope!
=My gude Lord Scroope, farewell!' he cried;
'I'll pay you for my lodging mail,
=When first we meet on the Border side.'-

XXXIX
Then shoulder high, with shout and cry,
=We bore him down the ladder lang;
At every stride Red Rowan made,
=I wot the Kinmont's aims play'd clang!

XL
'O mony a time,' quo' Kinmont Willie,
='I have ridden horse baith wild and wood;
But a rougher beast than Red Rowan
=I ween my legs have ne'er bestrode.

XLI
'And mony a time,' quo' Kinmont Willie,
='I've prick'd a horse out oure the furs;
But since the day I back'd a steed,
=I never wore sic cumbrous spurs!

XLII
We scarce had won the Staneshaw-bank
=When a' the Carlisle bells were rung,
And a thousand men on horse and foot
=Cam wi' the keen Lord Scroope along.

XLIII
Buccleuch has turn'd to Eden Water,
=Even where it flow'd frae bank to brim,
And he has plunged in wi' a' his band,
=And safely swam them through the stream.

XLIV
He turn'd him on the other side,
=And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he;
'If ye like na my visit in merry England,
=In fair Scotland come visit me!

XLV
All sore astonish'd stood Lord Scroope,
=He stood as still as rock of stane;
He scarcely dared to trew his eyes,
=When through the water they had gane.

XLVI
'He is either himsell a devil frae hell,
=Or else his mother a witch maun be;
I wadna have ridden that wan water
=For a' the gowd in Christentie.'





JAMIE TELFER IN THE FAIR DODHEAD

I
IT fell about the Martinmas tyde,
=When our Border steeds get corn and hay,
The Captain of Bewcastle bound him to ryde,
=And he's ower to Tividale to drive a prey.

II
The first ae guide that they met wi',
=It was high up in Hardhaughswire;
The second guide that they met wi',
=It was laigh down in Borthwick water.

III
'What tidings, what tidings, my trusty guide?'-
='Nae tidings, nae tidings, I hae to thee;
But gin ye'll gae to the fair Dodhead,
=Mony a cow's cauf I'll let thee see.'

IV
And when they cam to the fair Dodhead,
=Right hastily they clam the peel;
They loosed the kye out, ane and a',
=And ranshackled the house right weel.

V
Now Jamie Telfer's heart was sair,
=The tear aye rowing in his ee;
He pled wi' the Captain to hae his gear,
=Or else revenged he wad be.

VI
The Captain turned him round and leugh;
=Said- 'Man, there's naething in thy house,
But ae auld sword without a sheath,
=That hardly now would fell a mouse.'

VII
The sun wasna up, but the moon was down,
=It was the gryming of a new-fa'n snaw,
Jamie Telfer has run ten myles a-foot,
=Between the Dodhead and the Stobs's Ha'.

VIII
And when he cam to the fair tower-yate,
=He shouted loud, and cried weel hie,
Till out bespak auld Gibby Elliot-
='Whae's this that brings the fraye to me?'-

IX
'It's I, Jamie Telfer in the fair Dodhead,
=And a harried man I think I be!
There's naething left at the fair Dodhead,
=But a waefu' wife and bairnies three.'

X
'Gae seek your succour at Branksome Ha',
=For succour ye'se get nane frae me!
Gae seek your succour where ye paid black-mail,
=For, man, ye ne'er paid money to me.'-

XI
Jamie has turned him round about,
=I wat the tear blinded his ee-
'I'll ne'er pay mail to Elliot again,
=And the fair Dodhead I'll never see.

XII
'My hounds may a' rin masterless,
=My hawks may fly frae tree to tree,
My lord may grip my vassal lands,
=For there again maun I never be!'-

XIII
He has turn'd him to the Tiviot-side,
=E'en as fast as he could drie,
Till he cam to the Coultart Cleugh,
=And there he shouted baith loud and hie.

XIV
Then up bespak him auld Jock Grieve,
='Whae's this that brings the fraye to me?'-
'It's I, Jamie Telfer in the fair Dodhead,
=A harried man I trow I be.

XV
'There's naething left in the fair Dodhead,
=But a greeting wife and bairnies three,
And sax poor ca's stand in the sta',
=A' routing loud for their minnie.'-

XVI
'Alack a wae!' quo' auld Jock Grieve,
='Alack! my heart is sair for thee!
For I was married on the elder sister,
=And you on the youngest of a' the three.'

XVII
Then he has ta'en out a bonny black,
=Was right weel fed with corn and hay,
And he's set Jamie Telfer on his back,
=To the Catslockhill to tak the fraye.

XVIII
And whan he cam to the Catslockhill,
=He shouted loud, and cried weel hie,
Till out and spak him William's Wat,
='O whae's this brings the fraye to me?'-

XIX
'It's I, Jamie Telfer in the fair Dodhead,
=A harried man I think I be!
The Captain of Bewcastle has driven my gear;
=For God's sake rise, and succour me!'-

XX
'Alas for wae!' quoth William's Wat,
='Alack, for thee my heart is sair!
I never cam by the fair Dodhead,
=That ever I fand thy basket bare.'

XXI
He's set his twa sons on coal-black steeds,
=Himsell upon a freckled gray,
And they are on wi' Jamie Telfer,
=To Branksome Ha' to tak the fraye.

XXII
And when they cam to Branksome Ha',
=They shouted a' baith loud and hie,
Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch,
=Said, 'Whae's this brings the fraye to me?'-

XXIII
'It's I, Jamie Telfer in the fair Dodhead,
=And a harried man I think I be!
There's nought left in the fair Dodhead,
=But a greeting wife and bairnies three.'-

XXIV
'Alack for wae!' quoth the gude auld lord,
='And ever my heart is wae for thee!
But fye gar cry on Willie, my son,
=And see that he come to me speedilie!

XXV
'Gar warn the water, braid and wide,
=Gar warn it sune and hastilie!
They that winna ride for Telfer's kye,
=Let them never look in the face o' me!

XXVI
'Warn Wat o' Harden, and his sons,
=Wi' them will Borthwick Water ride;
Warn Gaudilands, and Allanhaugh,
=And Gilmanscleugh, and Commonside.

XXVII
'Ride by the gate at Priesthaughswire,
=And warn the Currors o' the Lee;
As ye cum down the Hermitage Slack,
=Warn doughty Willie o' Gorrinberry.'

XXVIII
The Scotts they rade, the Scotts they ran,
=Sae starkly and sae steadilie!
And aye the ower-word o' the thrang
=Was-'Rise for Branksome readilie!'

XXIX
The gear was driven the Frostylee up,
=Frae the Frostylee unto the plain,
Whan Willie has look'd his men before,
=And saw the kye right fast drivand.

XXX
'Whae drives thir kye?' 'gan Willie say,
='To make an outspeckle o' me?'-
'It's I, the Captain o' Bewcastle, Willie;
=I winna layne my name for thee.'-

XXXI
'O will ye let Telfer's kye gae back?
=Or will ye do aught for regard o' me?
Or, by the faith of my body,' quo' Willie Scott,
=I'se ware my dame's cauf skin on thee!'-

XXXII
'I winna let the kye gae back,
=Neither for thy love, nor yet thy fear;
But I will drive Jamie Teller's kye,
=In spite of every Scott that's here.'-

XXXIII
'Set on them, lads!' quo' Willie than;
='Fye, lads, set on them cruellie!
For ere they win to the Ritterford,
=Mony a toom saddle there sall be!'

XXXIV
Then till't they gaed wi' heart and hand,
=The blows fell thick as bickering hail;
And mony a horse ran masterless,
=And mony a comely cheek was pale.

XXXV
But Wiilie was stricken ower the head,
=And thro' the knapscap the sword has gane;
And Harden grat for very rage,
=Whan Wiiiie on the grund lay slane.

XXXVI
But he's ta'en aff his gude steel cap,
=And thrice he's waved it in the air-
The Dinlay snaw was ne'er mair white
=Nor the lyart locks of Harden's hair.

XXXVII
'Revenge! revenge!' auld Wat 'gan cry;
='Fye, lads, lay on them cruellie!
We'll ne'er see Tiviot-side again,
=Or Wiliie's death revenged sall be.'

XXXVIII
O mony a horse ran masterless,
=The splinter'd lances flew on hie;
But or they wan to the Kershope ford,
=The Scotts had gotten the victory.

XXXIX
John o' Brigham there was slane,
=And John o' Barlow, as I heard say;
And thirty mae o' the Captain's men
=Lay bleeding on the grund that day

XL
The Captain was run through the thick of the thigh,
=And broken was his right leg-bane;
If he had lived this hundred years,
=He had never been loved by woman again.

XLI
'Hae back the kye!' the Captain said;
='Dear kye, I trow, to some they be!
For gin I suld live a hundred years,
=There will ne'er fair lady smile on me.'

XLII
Then word is gane to the Captain's bride,
=Even in the bower where that she lay,
That her lord was prisoner in enemy's land,
=Since into Tividale he had led the way.

XLIII
'I wad lourd have had a winding-sheet,
=And helped to put it ower his head,
Ere he had been disgraced by the Border Scot,
=Whan he ower Liddel his men did lead!'

XLIV
There was a wild gallant amang us a',
=His name was Watty wi' the Wudspurs,
Cried - 'On for his house in Stanegirthside,
=If ony man wiii ride with us!'

XLV
When they cam to the Stanegirthside,
=They dang wi' trees, and burst the door;
They loosed out a' the Captain's kye,
=And set them forth our lads before.

XLVI
There was an auid wyfe ayont the fire,
=A wee bit o' the Captain's kin-
'Whae dar loose out the Captain's kye
=Or answer to him and his men?'-

XLVII
'It s I, Watty Wudspurs, loose the kye,
=I winna layne my name frae thee!
And I will loose out the Captain's kye,
=In scorn of a' his men and he.'

XLVIII
Whan they cam to the fair Dodhead,
=They were a wellcum sight to see!
For instead of his ain ten milk kye,
=Jamie Telfer has gotten thirty and three.

XLIX
And he has paid the rescue shot,
=Baith wi' gowd and white monie;
And at the burial o' Willie Scott,
=I wat was mony a weeping e'e.





FAIR ANNIE

I
IT 's narrow, narrow, mak your bed,
=And learn to lie your lane;
For I'm gaun owre the sea, Fair Annie,
=A braw Bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear,
=Wi' you I ne'er gat nane.

II
'But wha will bake my bridal bread,
=Or brew my bridal ale?
And wha will become my bright Bride,
=That I bring owre the dale?'-

III
'It's I will bake your bridal bread,
=And brew your bridal ale;
And I will welcome your bright Bride,
=That you bring owre the dale.'-

IV
'But she that welcomes my bright Bride
=Maun gang like maiden fair;
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
=And comely braid her hair.

V
'Bind up, bind up your yellow hair,
=And tie it on your neck;
And see you look as maiden-like
=As the day that first we met.'-

VI
'O how can I gang maiden-like,
=When maiden I am nane?
Have I not borne six sons to thee,
=And am wi' child again?'-

VII
'I'll put cooks into my kitchen,
=And stewards in my hall,
And I'll have bakers for my bread,
=And brewers for my ale;
But you're to welcome my bright Bride,
=That I bring owre the dale.'

VIII
Three months and a day were gane and past,
=Fair Annie she gat word
That her love's ship was come at last,
=Wi' his bright young Bride aboard.

IX
She's ta'en her young son in her arms,
=Anither in her hand;
And she's gane up to the highest tower,
=Looks over sea and land.

X
'Come doun, come doun, my mother dear,
=Come aff the castle wa'!
I fear if langer ye stand there,
=Ye'll let yoursell doun fa'.'

XI
She's ta'en a cake o' the best bread,
=A stoup o' the best wine,
And a' the keys upon her arm,
=And to the yett is gane.

XII
'O ye're welcome hame, my ain gude lord,
=To your castles and your towers;
Ye're welcome hame, my ain gude lord,
=To your ha's, but and your bowers,
And welcome to your hame, fair lady!
=For a' that's here is yours.'

XIII
'O whatna lady's that, my lord,
=That welcomes you and me?
Gin I be lang about this place,
=Her friend I mean to be.'

XIV
Fair Annie served the lang tables
=Wi' the white bread and the wine;
But ay she drank the wan water
=To keep her colour fine.

XV
And aye she served the lang tables
=Wi' the white bread and the brown,
And aye she turn'd her round about,
=Sae fast the tears fell doun.

XVI
She took a napkin lang and white,
=And hung it on a pin;
It was to wipe away the tears,
=As she gaed out and in.

XVII
When bells were rung and mass was sung,
=And a' men bound for bed,
The bridegroom and the bonny Bride
=In ae chamber were laid.

XVIII
Fair Annie's ta'en a harp in her hand,
=To harp thir twa asleep;
But ay, as she harpit and she sang,
=Fu' sairly did she weep.

XIX
'O gin my sons were seven rats,
=Rinnin' on the castle wa',
And I mysell a great grey cat,
=I soon wad worry them a'!

XX
'O gin my sons were seven hares,
=Rinnin' owre yon lily lea,
And I mysell a good greyhound,
=Soon worried they a' should be!'

XXI
Then out and spak the bonny young Bride,
=In bride-bed where she lay:
'That's like my sister Annie,' she says;
='Wha is it doth sing and play?

XXII
'I'll put on my gown,' said the new-come Bride,
='And my shoes upon my feet;
I will see wha doth sae sadly sing,
=And what is it gars her greet.

XXIII
'What ails you, what ails you, my housekeeper,
=That ye mak sic a mane?
Has ony wine-barrel cast its girds,
=Or is a' your white bread gane?'-

XXIV
'It isna because my wine is spilt,
=Or that my white bread's gane;
But because I've lost my true love's love,
=And he's wed to anither ane.'-

XXV
'Noo tell me wha was your father?' she says,
='Noo tell me wha was your mither?
And had ye ony sister?' she says,
='And had ye ever a brither?'-

XXVI
'The Earl of Wemyss was my father,
=The Countess of Wemyss my mither,
Young Elinor she was my sister dear,
=And Lord John he was my brither.'-

XXVII
'If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
=I wot sae was he mine;
And it's O my sister Annie!
=Your love ye sallna tyne.

XXVIII
'Tak your husband, my sister dear;
=You ne'er were wrang'd for me,
Beyond a kiss o' his merry mouth
=As we cam owre the sea.

XXIX
'Seven ships, loaded weel,
=Cam owre the sea wi' me;
Ane o' them will tak me hame,
=And six I'll gie to thee.'





EDOM O' GORDON

I
IT fell about the Martinmas,
=When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
='We maun draw to a hauld.

II
'And what a hauld sall we draw to,
=My merry men and me?
We will gae to the house o' the Rodes,
=To see that fair ladye.'

III
The lady stood on her castle wa',
=Beheld baith dale and down;
There she was 'ware of a host of men
=Cam' riding towards the town.

IV
'O see ye not, my merry men a',
=O see ye not what I see?
Methinks I see a host of men;
=I marvel wha they be.'

V
She ween'd it had been her lovely lord,
=As he cam riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
=Wha reck'd nae sin nor shame.

VI
She had nae sooner buskit hersell,
=And putten on her gown,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
=Were round about the town.

VII
They had nae sooner supper set,
=Nae sooner said the grace,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
=Were lighted about the place.

VIII
The lady ran up to her tower-head,
=Sae fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches
=She could wi' him agree.

IX
'Come doun to me, ye lady gay,
=Come doun, come doun to me;
This night sall ye lig within mine arms,
=To-morrow my bride sall be.'-

X
'I winna come down, ye fals Gordon,
=I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
=That is sae far frae me.'-

XI
'Gie owre your house, ye lady fair,
=Gie owre your house to me;
Or I sall brenn yoursel therein,
=But and your babies three.'-

XII
'I winna gie owre, ye fals Gordon,
=To nae sic traitor as yee;
And if ye brenn my ain dear babes,
=My lord sall mak ye dree.

XIII
'Now reach my pistol, Glaud, my man,
=And charge ye weel my gun;
For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher,
=My babes, we been undone!'

XIV
She stood upon her castle wa',
=And let twa bullets flee:
She miss'd that bluidy butcher's heart,
=And only razed his knee.

XV
'Set fire to the house!' quo' fals Gordon,
=All wud wi' dule and ire:
'Fals lady, ye sall rue this deid
=As ye brenn in the fire!'-

XVI
'Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
=I paid ye weel your fee;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
=Lets in the reek to me?

XVII
'And e'en wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
=I paid ye weel your hire;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
=To me lets in the fire?'-

XVIII
'Ye paid me weel my hire, ladye,
=Ye paid me weel my fee:
But now I'm Edom o Gordon's man,
=Maun either do or dee.'

XIX
O then bespake her little son,
=Sat on the nurse's knee:
Says, 'Mither dear, gie owre this house,
=For the reek it smithers me.'-

XX
'I wad gie a' my gowd, my bairn,
=Sae wad I a' my fee,
For ae blast o' the western wind,
=To blaw the reek frae thee.'

XXI
O then bespake her dochter dear-
=She was baith jimp and sma':
'O row me in a pair o' sheets,
=And tow me owre the wa'!

XXII
They row'd her in a pair o' sheets,
=And tow'd her owre the wa';
But on the point o' Gordon's spear
=She gat a deadly fa'.

XXIII
O bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,
=And cherry were her cheiks,
And clear, clear was her yellow hair,
=Whereon the red blood dreips.

XXIV
Then wi' his spear he turn'd her owre;
=O gin her face was wane!
He said, 'Ye are the first that e'er
=I wish'd alive again.'

XXV
He turn'd her owre and owre again;
=O gin her skin was white!
'I might hae spared that bonnie face
=To hae been some man's delight.

XXVI
'Busk and boun, my merry men a',
=For ill dooms I do guess;
I canna look in that bonnie face
=As it lies on the grass.'-

XXVII
'Wha looks to freits, my master dear,
=It's freits will follow them;
Let it ne'er be said that Edom o' Gordon
=Was daunted by a dame.'

XXVIII
But when the lady saw the fire
=Come flaming owre her head,
She wept, and kiss'd her children twain,
=Says, 'Bairns, we been but dead.'

XXIX
The Gordon then his bugle blew,
=And said, 'Awa', awa'!
This house o' the Rodes is a' in a flame;
=I hauld it time to ga'.'

XXX
And this way lookit her ain dear lord,
=As he cam owre the lea;
He saw his castle a' in a lowe,
=As far as he could see.

XXXI
Then sair, O sair, his mind misgave,
=And all his heart was wae:
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
=Sae fast as ye can gae.

XXXII
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
=Sae fast as ye can drie!
For he that's hindmost o' the thrang
=Sall ne'er get good o' me.'

XXXIII
Then some they rade, and some they ran,
=Out-owre the grass and bent;
But ere the foremost could win up,
=Baith lady and babes were brent.

XXXIV
And after the Gordon he is gane,
=Sae fast as he might drie;
And soon i' the Gordon's foul heart's blude
=He's wroken his dear ladye.