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Project Gutenberg's English and Scottish Ballads (volume 3 of 8), by Various

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Title: English and Scottish Ballads (volume 3 of 8)

Author: Various

Editor: Francis James Child

Release Date: November 16, 2011 [EBook #38037]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ENGLISH, SCOTTISH BALLADS, (3 OF 8) ***




Produced by Simon Gardner, Dianna Adair, Louise Davies and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images
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Center, Michigan State University Libraries.)






Transcriber's Notes

Archaic, dialect and inconsistent spellings have been retained as in the original. Other than minor changes to format or punctuation, any changes to the text have been listed at the end of the book.

[Pg i]

ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH BALLADS.

EDITED BY
FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

VOLUME III.

BOSTON:
LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY.
M.DCCC.LX.

[Pg ii]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857 by Little, Brown and Company, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:
STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY
H.O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.

[Pg iii]

CONTENTS OF VOLUME THIRD.

BOOK III. (continued.)
Page
11 a.Earl Richard, (A) [Scott's version]3
11 b.Earl Richard, [Motherwell's version]10
11 c.Young Redin13
11 d.Lord William18
12 a.Prince Robert22
12 b.Earl Robert26
13.The Weary Coble o' Cargill30
14.Old Robin of Portingale34
15.Fause Foodrage40
16.Bonnie Annie47
17.William Guiseman50
18 a.The Enchanted Ring53
18 b.Bonny Bee-Ho'm57
19 a.The Three Ravens59
19 b.The Twa Corbies, [Scott]61
20 a.The Dowie Dens of Yarrow63
20 b.The Braes o' Yarrow69
21.Sir James the Rose73
22.Græme and Bewick77
23.The Lament of the Border Widow86
24.Young Waters88
25.Bonnie George Campbell92
26 a.Lamkin94
26 b.Lambert Linkin100
27 a.The Laird of Waristoun, [Jamieson]107
27 b.Laird of Wariestoun, [Kinloch][Pg iv]110
28 a.The Queen's Marie113
28 b.Mary Hamilton120
29.Bessie Bell and Mary Gray126
30.The Children in the Wood128
31 a.Hugh of Lincoln136
31 b.Sir Hugh142
31 c.The Jew's Daughter144
32 a.Sir Patrick Spence, [Percy]147
32 b.Sir Patrick Spens, [Scott]152
BOOK IV.
1.King Estmere159
2.Sir Cauline173
3 a.Fair Annie, [Scott]191
3 b.Fair Annie, [Motherwell]198
4 a.Child Waters205
4 b.Burd Ellen213
5 a.Erlinton220
5 b.The Child of Elle224
6 a.Sir Aldingar234
6 b.Sir Hugh le Blond253
7 a.The Knight, and Shepherd's Daughter260
7 b.Earl Richard (B)266
8 a.The Gay Goss-Hawk277
8 b.The Jolly Goshawk285
APPENDIX.
Young Hunting295
Young Waters301
Lammikin307
Long Lonkin313
The Laird of Waristoun316
Mary Hamilton, [Kinloch]324
Mary Hamilton, [Maidment]329
Sir Hugh, or The Jew's Daughter, [Motherwell][Pg v]331
Sir Hugh, [Hume]335
Sir Patrick Spens338
Lord Livingston343
Clerk Tamas349
John Thomson and The Turk352
Lord Thomas Stuart357
The Spanish Virgin360
The Lady Isabella's Tragedy366
The Cruel Black370
King Malcolm and Sir Colvin378
Skiœn Anna; Fair Annie383
Lady Margaret390
Earl Richard (B)395
 
Glossary403

[Pg 1]

BOOK III.
CONTINUED.


[Pg 3]

EARL RICHARD.

A fragment of this gloomy and impressive romance, (corresponding to v. 21-42,) was published in Herd's Scottish Songs, i. 184, from which, probably, it was copied into Pinkerton's Scottish Tragic Ballads, p. 84. The entire ballad was first printed in The Border Minstrelsy, together with another piece, Lord William, containing a part of the same incidents. Of the five versions which have appeared, four are given in this place, and the remaining one in the Appendix. In the Gentleman's Magazine, 1794, Vol. 64, Part I. p. 553, there is a modern ballad of extremely perverted orthography and vicious style, (meant for ancient,) in which the twenty lines of Herd's fragment are interwoven with an altogether different story. It is printed as authentic in Scarce "Ancient" Ballads, Aberdeen, 1822.

"There are two ballads in Mr. Herd's MSS. upon the following story, in one of which the unfortunate knight is termed Young Huntin'. [See Appendix.] The best verses are selected from both copies, and some trivial alterations have been adopted from tradition." Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 184.

"O Lady, rock never your young son, young,
One hour langer for me;
For I have a sweetheart in Garlioch Wells,
I love far better than thee.[Pg 4]
"The very sole o' that lady's foot5
Than thy face is far mair white:"
"But, nevertheless, now, Erl Richard,
Ye will bide in my bower a' night?"
She birled him with the ale and wine,
As they sat down to sup:10
A living man he laid him down,
But I wot he ne'er rose up.
Then up and spake the popinjay,
That flew aboun her head;
"Lady! keep weel your green cleiding15
Frae gude Erl Richard's bleid."—
"O better I'll keep my green cleiding
Frae gude Erl Richard's bleid,
Than thou canst keep thy clattering toung,
That trattles in thy head."20
She has call'd upon her bower maidens,
She has call'd them ane by ane;
"There lies a dead man in my bour:
I wish that he were gane!"
They hae booted him, and spurred him,25
As he was wont to ride;—
A hunting-horn tied round his waist,
A sharpe sword by his side;[Pg 5]
And they hae had him to the wan water,
For a' men call it Clyde.30
Then up and spoke the popinjay
That sat upon the tree—
"What hae ye done wi' Erl Richard?
Ye were his gay ladye."—
"Come down, come down, my bonny bird,35
And sit upon my hand;
And thou sall hae a cage o' gowd,
Where thou hast but the wand."—
"Awa! awa! ye ill woman!
Nae cage o' gowd for me;40
As ye hae done to Erl Richard,
Sae wad ye do to me."
She hadna cross'd a rigg o' land,
A rigg but barely ane,
When she met wi' his auld father,45
Came riding all alane.
"Where hae ye been, now, ladye fair,
Where hae ye been sae late?
We hae been seeking Erl Richard,
[Pg 6]But him we canna get."—50
"Erl Richard kens a' the fords in Clyde,
He'll ride them ane by ane;
And though the night was ne'er sae mirk,
Erl Richard will be hame."
O it fell anes, upon a day,55
The King was boun to ride;
And he has mist him, Erl Richard,
Should hae ridden on his right side.
The ladye turn'd her round about,
Wi' mickle mournfu' din—60
"It fears me sair o' Clyde water,
That he is drown'd therein."—
"Gar douk, gar douk," the King he cried,
"Gar douk for gold and fee;
O wha will douk for Erl Richard's sake,65
Or wha will douk for me?"
They douked in at ae weil-heid,
And out aye at the other;
"We can douk nae mair for Erl Richard,
Although he were our brother."70
It fell that, in that ladye's castle,
The King was boun to bed;
And up and spake the popinjay,
That flew abune his head.[Pg 7]
"Leave aff your douking on the day,75
And douk upon the night;
And where that sackless knight lies slain,
The candles will burn bright."—
"O there's a bird within this bower,
That sings baith sad and sweet;80
O there's a bird within your bower,
Keeps me frae my night's sleep."
They left the douking on the day,
And douk'd upon the night;
And where that sackless knight lay slain,85
The candles burned bright.
The deepest pot in a' the linn,
They fand Erl Richard in;[Pg 8]
A green turf tyed across his breast,
To keep that gude lord down.90
Then up and spake the King himsell,
When he saw the deadly wound—
"O wha has slain my right-hand man,
That held my hawk and hound?"—
Then up and spake the popinjay,95
Says—"What needs a' this din?
It was his light leman took his life,
And hided him in the linn."
She swore her by the grass sae grene,
Sae did she by the corn,100
She hadna seen him, Erl Richard,
Since Moninday at morn.
"Put na the wite on me," she said,
"It was my may Catherine:"
Then they hae cut baith fern and thorn,105
To burn that maiden in.
It wadna take upon her cheik,
Nor yet upon her chin;
Nor yet upon her yellow hair,
[Pg 9]To cleanse the deadly sin.110
The maiden touch'd the clay-cauld corpse,
A drap it never bled;
The ladye laid her hand on him,
And soon the ground was red.
Out they hae ta'en her, may Catherine,115
And put her mistress in;
The flame tuik fast upon her cheik,
Tuik fast upon her chin;
Tuik fast upon her faire body—
She burn'd like hollin-green.120

30. Clyde, in Celtic, means white.—Lockhart.

86. These are unquestionably the corpse-lights, called in Wales Canhwyllan Cyrph, which are sometimes seen to illuminate the spot where a dead body is concealed. The Editor is informed, that, some years ago, the corpse of a man, drowned in the Ettrick, below Selkirk, was discovered by means of these candles. Such lights are common in churchyards, and are probably of a phosphoric nature. But rustic superstition derives them from supernatural agency, and supposes, that, as soon as life has departed, a pale flame appears at the window of the house, in which the person had died, and glides towards the churchyard, tracing through every winding the route of the future funeral, and pausing where the bier is to rest. This and other opinions, relating to the "tomb-fires' livid gleam," seem to be of Runic extraction. Scott.

87. The deep holes, scooped in the rock by the eddies of a river, are called pots; the motion of the water having there some resemblance to a boiling caldron. Linn, means the pool beneath a cataract. Scott.

120. The lines immediately preceding, "The maiden touched," &c., and which are restored from tradition, refer to a superstition formerly received in most parts of Europe, and even resorted to by judicial authority, for the discovery of murder. In Germany, this experiment was called bahrrecht, or the law of the bier; because, the murdered body being stretched upon a bier, the suspected person was obliged to put one hand upon the wound and the other upon the mouth of the deceased, and, in that posture, call upon heaven to attest his innocence. If, during this ceremony, the blood gushed from the mouth, nose, or wound, a circumstance not unlikely to happen in the course of shifting or stirring the body, it was held sufficient evidence of the guilt of the party. Scott.


[Pg 10]

EARL RICHARD.

Obtained from recitation by Motherwell, and printed in his Minstrelsy, p. 218.

Earl Richard is a hunting gone,
As fast as he could ride;
His hunting-horn hung about his neck,
And a small sword by his side.
When he came to my lady's gate,5
He tirled at the pin;
And wha was sae ready as the lady hersell
To open and let him in?
"O light, O light, Earl Richard," she says,
"O light and stay a' night;10
You shall have cheer wi' charcoal clear,
And candles burning bright."[Pg 11]
"I will not light, I cannot light,
I cannot light at all;
A fairer lady than ten of thee15
Is waiting at Richard's-wall."
He stooped from his milk-white steed,
To kiss her rosy cheek;
She had a penknife in her hand,
And wounded him so deep.20
"O lie ye there, Earl Richard," she says,
"O lie ye there till morn;
A fairer lady than ten of me
Will think lang of your coming home."
She called her servants ane by ane,25
She called them twa by twa:
"I have got a dead man in my bower,
I wish he were awa."
The ane has ta'en him by the hand,
And the other by the feet;30
And they've thrown him in a deep draw well,
Full fifty fathoms deep.
Then up bespake a little bird,
That sat upon a tree:
"Gae hame, gae hame, ye fause lady,35
And pay your maids their fee."[Pg 12]
"Come down, come down, my pretty bird,
That sits upon the tree;
I have a cage of beaten gold,
I'll gie it unto thee."40
"Gae hame, gae hame, ye fause lady,
And pay your maids their fee;
As ye have done to Earl Richard,
Sae wud ye do to me."
"If I had an arrow in my hand,45
And a bow bent on a string;
I'd shoot a dart at thy proud heart,
Among the leaves sae green."

[Pg 13]

YOUNG REDIN.

"From the recitation of Miss E. Beattie, of Edinburgh, a native of Mearnsshire, who sings it to a plaintive, though somewhat monotonous air of one measure."—Kinloch, Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 1.

Young Redin's til the huntin gane,
Wi' therty lords and three;
And he has til his true-love gane,
As fast as he could hie.
"Ye're welcome here, my young Redin,5
For coal and candle licht;
And sae are ye, my young Redin,
To bide wi' me the nicht."
"I thank ye for your licht, ladie,
Sae do I for your coal;10
But there's thrice as fair a ladie as thee
Meets me at Brandie's well."[Pg 14]
Whan they were at their supper set,
And merrily drinking wine,
This ladie has tane a sair sickness,15
And til her bed has gane.
Young Redin he has followed her,
And a dowie man was he;
He fund his true-love in her bouer,
And the tear was in her ee.20
Whan he was in her arms laid,
And gieing her kisses sweet,
Then out she's tane a little penknife,
And wounded him sae deep.
"O lang, lang, is the winter nicht,25
And slawly daws the day;
There is a slain knicht in my bouer,
And I wish he war away."
Then up bespak her bouer-woman,
And she spak ae wi' spite:—30
"An there be a slain knicht in your bouer,
It's yoursel that has the wyte."
"O heal this deed on me, Meggy,
O heal this deed on me;
The silks that war shapen for me gen Pasche,
[Pg 15]They sall be sewed for thee."35
"O I hae heal'd on my mistress
A twalmonth and a day,
And I hae heal'd on my mistress,
Mair than I can say."40
They've booted him, and they've spurred him,
As he was wont to ride:—
A huntin horn round his neck,
And a sharp sword by his side;
In the deepest place o' Clyde's water,45
It's there they've made his bed.
Sine up bespak the wylie parrot,
As he sat on the tree,—
"And hae ye kill'd him young Redin,
Wha ne'er had love but thee!"50
"Come doun, come doun, ye wylie parrot,
Come doun into my hand;
Your cage sall be o' the beaten gowd,
When now it's but the wand."
"I winna come doun, I canna come doun,55
I winna come doun to thee;
For as ye've dune to young Redin,
Ye'll do the like to me;
Ye'll thraw my head aff my hause-bane,
[Pg 16]And throw me in the sea."60
O there cam seekin young Redin,
Monie a lord and knicht;
And there cam seekin young Redin,
Monie a ladie bricht.
And they hae til his true-love gane,65
Thinking he was wi' her;
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
"I hae na seen him, young Redin,
Sin yesterday at noon;70
He turn'd his stately steed about,
And hied him through the toun.
"But ye'll seek Clyde's water up and doun,
Ye'll seek it out and in—
I hae na seen him, young Redin,75
Sin yesterday at noon."
Then up bespak young Redin's mither,
And a dowie woman was scho;—
"There's na a place in a Clyde's water,
But my son wad gae through."80
They've sought Clyde's water up and doun,
They've sought it out and in,
And the deepest place o' Clyde's water
They fund young Redin in.[Pg 17]
O white, white, war his wounds washen,85
As white as a linen clout;
But as the traitor she cam near,
His wounds they gushed out!
"It's surely been my bouer-woman,
O ill may her betide;90
I ne'er wad slain him young Redin,
And thrown him in the Clyde."
Then they've made a big bane-fire,
The bouer-woman to brin;
It tuke na on her cheek, her cheek,95
It tuke na on her chin,
But it tuke on the cruel hands
That put young Redin in.
Then they're tane out the bouer-woman,
And put the ladie in:100
It tuke na on her cheek, her cheek,
It tuke na on her chin,
But it tuke on the fause, fause arms,
That young Redin lay in.

[Pg 18]

LORD WILLIAM.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 23.

This ballad was communicated to Sir Walter Scott by Mr. James Hogg, accompanied with the following note:—

"I am fully convinced of the antiquity of this song; for, although much of the language seems somewhat modernized, this must be attributed to its currency, being much liked, and very much sung in this neighbourhood. I can trace it back several generations, but cannot hear of its ever having been in print. I have never heard it with any considerable variation, save that one reciter called the dwelling of the feigned sweet-heart, Castleswa."

Lord William was the bravest knight
That dwalt in fair Scotland,
And though renown'd in France and Spain,
Fell by a ladie's hand.
As she was walking maid alone,5
Down by yon shady wood,
She heard a smit o' bridle reins,
She wish'd might be for good.[Pg 19]
"Come to my arms, my dear Willie,
You're welcome hame to me;10
To best o' cheer and charcoal red,
And candle burning free."—
"I winna light, I darena light,
Nor come to your arms at a';
A fairer maid than ten o' you15
I'll meet at Castle-law."—
"A fairer maid than me, Willie!
A fairer maid than me!
A fairer maid than ten o' me
Your eyes did never see."—20
He louted ower his saddle lap,
To kiss her ere they part,
And wi' a little keen bodkin,
She pierced him to the heart.
"Ride on, ride on, Lord William now,25
As fast as ye can dree!
Your bonny lass at Castle-law
Will weary you to see."[Pg 20]
Out up then spake a bonny bird,
Sat high upon a tree,—30
"How could you kill that noble lord?
He came to marry thee."—
"Come down, come down, my bonny bird,
And eat bread aff my hand!
Your cage shall be of wiry goud,35
Whar now it's but the wand."—
"Keep ye your cage o' goud, lady,
And I will keep my tree;
As ye hae done to Lord William,
Sae wad ye do to me."—40
She set her foot on her door step,
A bonny marble stane,
And carried him to her chamber,
O'er him to make her mane.
And she has kept that good lord's corpse45
Three quarters of a year,
Until that word began to spread;
Then she began to fear.
Then she cried on her waiting maid,
Aye ready at her ca';50
"There is a knight into my bower,
'Tis time he were awa."[Pg 21]
The ane has ta'en him by the head,
The ither by the feet,
And thrown him in the wan water,55
That ran baith wide and deep.
"Look back, look back, now, lady fair,
On him that lo'ed ye weel!
A better man than that blue corpse
Ne'er drew a sword of steel."—60

11. Charcoal red. This circumstance marks the antiquity of the poem. While wood was plenty in Scotland, charcoal was the usual fuel in the chambers of the wealthy. Scott.


[Pg 22]

PRINCE ROBERT

Was first published in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 269, and was obtained from the recitation of Miss Christian Rutherford. Another copy, also from recitation, is subjoined.

Prince Robert has wedded a gay ladye,
He has wedded her with a ring:
Prince Robert has wedded a gay ladye,
But he darna bring her hame.
"Your blessing, your blessing, my mother dear!5
Your blessing now grant to me!"—
"Instead of a blessing ye sall have my curse,
And you'll get nae blessing frae me."—
She has call'd upon her waiting-maid,
To fill a glass of wine;10
She has call'd upon her fause steward,
To put rank poison in.[Pg 23]
She has put it to her roudes lip,
And to her roudes chin;
She has put it to her fause, fause mouth,15
But the never a drap gaed in.
He has put it to his bonny mouth,
And to his bonny chin,
He's put it to his cherry lip,
And sae fast the rank poison ran in.20
"O ye hae poison'd your ae son, mother,
Your ae son and your heir;
O ye hae poison'd your ae son, mother,
And sons you'll never hae mair.
"O where will I get a little boy,25
That will win hose and shoon,
To rin sae fast to Darlinton,
And bid fair Eleanor come?"—
Then up and spake a little boy,
That wad win hose and shoon,—30
"O I'll away to Darlinton,
And bid fair Eleanor come."—
O he has run to Darlinton,
And tirled at the pin;
And wha was sae ready as Eleanor's sell35
To let the bonny boy in.[Pg 24]
"Your gude-mother has made ye a rare dinour,
She's made it baith gude and fine;
Your gude-mother has made ye a gay dinour,
And ye maun cum till her and dine."—40
It's twenty lang miles to Sillertoun town,
The langest that ever were gane:
But the steed it was wight, and the ladye was light,
And she cam linkin' in.
But when she came to Sillertoun town,45
And into Sillertoun ha',
The torches were burning, the ladies were mourning,
And they were weeping a'.
"O where is now my wedded lord,
And where now can he be?50
O where is now my wedded lord?
For him I canna see."—
"Your wedded lord is dead," she says,
"And just gane to be laid in the clay:
Your wedded lord is dead," she says,55
"And just gane to be buried the day.
"Ye'se get nane o' his gowd, ye'se get nane o' his gear,[Pg 25]
Ye'se get nae thing frae me;
Ye'se no get an inch o' his gude braid land,
Though your heart suld burst in three."—60
"I want nane o' his gowd, I want nane o' his gear,
I want nae land frae thee:
But I'll hae the rings that's on his finger,
For them he did promise to me."—
"Ye'se no get the rings that's on his finger,65
Ye'se no get them frae me;
Ye'se no get the rings that's on his finger,
An your heart suld burst in three."—
She's turn'd her back unto the wa',
And her face unto a rock;70
And there, before the mother's face,
Her very heart it broke.
The tane was buried in Marie's kirk,
The tother in Marie's quair;
And out o' the tane there sprang a birk,75
And out o' the tother a brier.
And thae twa met, and thae twa plat,
The birk but and the brier;
And by that ye may very weel ken
They were twa lovers dear.80

[Pg 26]

EARL ROBERT.

"Given," says Motherwell, "from the recitation of an old woman, a native of Bonhill, in Dumbartonshire; and it is one of the earliest songs she remembers of having heard chanted on the classic banks of the Water of Leaven."—Minstrelsy, p. 200.

Another copy is noted by the same editor as containing the following stanzas:—

Lord Robert and Mary Florence,
They wer twa children ying;
They were scarce seven years of age
Till luve began to spring.
Lord Robert loved Mary Florence,
And she lov'd him above power;
But he durst not for his cruel mither
Bring her intill his bower.

It's fifty miles to Sittingen's rocks,
As ever was ridden or gane;
And Earl Robert has wedded a wife,
But he dare na bring her hame.
And Earl Robert has wedded a wife, [Pg 27]&c.
His mother, she call'd to her waiting-maid:
"O bring me a pint of wine,
For I dinna weel ken what hour of this day
That my son Earl Robert shall dine."
She's put it to her fause, fause cheek,
But an' her fause, fause chin;10
She's put it to her fause, fause lips;
But never a drap went in.
But he's put it to his bonny cheek,
Aye and his bonny chin;
He's put it to his red rosy lips,15
And the poison went merrily down.
"O where will I get a bonny boy,
That will win hose and shoon,—
That will gang quickly to Sittingen's rocks,
And bid my lady come?"20
It's out then speaks a bonny boy,
To Earl Robert was something akin:
"Many a time have I run thy errand,
But this day with the tears I'll rin."
O when he cam to Sittingen's rocks,25
To the middle of a' the ha',
There were bells a ringing, and music playing,
And ladies dancing a'.[Pg 28]
"What news, what news, my bonny boy,
What news have ye to me?30
Is Earl Robert in very good health,
And the ladies of your countrie?"
"O Earl Robert's in very good health,
And as weel as a man can be;
But his mother this night has a drink to be druken,35
And at it you must be."
She called to her waiting-maid,
To bring her a riding weed;
And she called to her stable groom,
To saddle her milk-white steed.40
But when she came to Earl Robert's bouir,
To the middle of a' the ha',
There were bells a ringing and sheets down hinging,
And ladies murning a'.
"I've come for none of his gold," she said,45
"Nor none of his white monie;
Excepting a ring of his smallest finger,
If that you will grant me."
"Thou'll no get none of his gold," she said.
[Pg 29]"Nor none of his white monie;50
Thou'll no get a ring of his smallest finger,
Tho' thy heart should break in three."
She set her foot unto a stone,
Her back unto a tree;
She set her foot unto a stone,55
And her heart did break in three!
The one was buried in Mary's kirk,
The other in Mary's quier;
Out of the one there grew a bush,
From the other a bonnie brier.60
And thir twa grew, and thir twa threw,
Till thir twa craps drew near;
So all the world may plainly see
That they lov'd each other dear.

[Pg 30]

THE WEARY COBLE O' CARGILL.

From Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 230.

"This local ballad, which commemorates some real event, is given from the recitation of an old woman, residing in the neighbourhood of Cambus Michael, Perthshire. It possesses the elements of good poetry, and, had it fallen into the hands of those who make no scruple of interpolating and corrupting the text of oral song, it might have been made, with little trouble, a very interesting and pathetic composition.

"Kercock and Balathy are two small villages on the banks of the Tay; the latter is nearly opposite Stobhall. According to tradition, the ill-fated hero of the ballad had a leman in each of these places; and it was on the occasion of his paying a visit to his Kercock love, that the jealous dame in Balathy Toun, from a revengeful feeling, scuttled the boat in which he was to recross the Tay to Stobhall." Motherwell.

David Drummond's destinie,
Gude man o' appearance o' Cargill;
I wat his blude rins in the flude,
Sae sair against his parents' will.[Pg 31]
She was the lass o' Balathy toun,5
And he the butler o' Stobhall;
And mony a time she wauked late,
To bore the coble o' Cargill.
His bed was made in Kercock ha',
Of gude clean sheets and of the hay;10
He wudna rest ae nicht therein,
But on the prude waters he wud gae.
His bed was made in Balathy toun,
Of the clean sheets and of the strae;
But I wat it was far better made,15
Into the bottom o' bonnie Tay.
She bored the coble in seven pairts,
I wat her heart might hae been sae sair;
For there she got the bonnie lad lost,
Wi' the curly locks and the yellow hair.20
He put his foot into the boat,
He little thocht o' ony ill:
But before that he was mid waters,
The weary coble began to fill.
"Woe be to the lass o' Balathy toun,25
I wat an ill death may she die;
For she bored the coble in seven pairts,
And let the waters perish me![Pg 32]
"O help, O help I can get nane,
Nae help o' man can to me come!"30
This was about his dying words,
When he was choaked up to the chin.
"Gae tell my father and my mother,
It was naebody did me this ill;
I was a-going my ain errands,35
Lost at the coble o' bonnie Cargill."
She bored the boat in seven pairts,
I wat she bored it wi' gude will;
And there they got the bonnie lad's corpse,
In the kirk-shot o' bonnie Cargill.40
O a' the keys o' bonnie Stobha',
I wat they at his belt did hing;
But a' the keys of bonnie Stobha',
They now ly low into the stream.
A braver page into his age45
Ne'er set a foot upon the plain;
His father to his mother said,
"O sae sune as we've wanted him!
"I wat they had mair luve than this,
When they were young and at the scule;50
But for his sake she wauked late,
And bored the coble o' bonnie Cargill.[Pg 33]
"There's ne'er a clean sark gae on my back,
Nor yet a kame gae in my hair;
There's neither coal nor candle licht55
Shall shine in my bouer for ever mair.
"At kirk nor market I'se ne'er be at,
Nor yet a blythe blink in my ee;
There's ne'er a ane shall say to anither,
That's the lassie gar'd the young man die."60
Between the yetts o' bonnie Stobha',
And the kirkstyle o' bonnie Cargill,
There is mony a man and mother's son
That was at my luve's burial.

[Pg 34]

OLD ROBIN OF PORTINGALE.

Percy's Reliques of English Poetry, iii. 88.

"From an ancient copy in the Editor's folio MS., which was judged to require considerable corrections.

"In the former edition the hero of this piece had been called Sir Robin, but that title not being in the MS. is now omitted.

"Giles, steward to a rich old merchant trading to Portugal, is qualified with the title of Sir, not as being a knight, but rather, I conceive, as having received an inferior order of priesthood." Percy.

Let never again soe old a man
Marrye soe yonge a wife,
As did old Robin of Portingale;
Who may rue all the dayes of his life.
For the mayors daughter of Lin, God wott5
He chose her to his wife,
And thought with her to have lived in love,
But they fell to hate and strife.[Pg 35]
They scarce were in their wed-bed laid,
And scarce was hee asleepe,10
But upp shee rose, and forth shee goes,
To the steward, and gan to weepe.
"Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles?
Or be you not within?
Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles,15
Arise and let me inn."
"O I am waking, sweete," he said,
"Sweete ladye, what is your will?"
"I have onbethought me of a wile
How my wed lord weel spill.20
"Twenty-four good knights," shee sayes,
"That dwell about this towne,
Even twenty-four of my next cozens
Will helpe to dinge him downe."
All that beheard his litle footepage,25
As he watered his masters steed;
And for his masters sad perille
His verry heart did bleed.
He mourned, sighed and wept full sore;
[Pg 36]I sweare by the holy roode,30
The teares he for his master wept
Were blent water and bloude.
And that beheard his deare master
As he stood at his garden pale:
Sayes, "Ever alacke, my litle foot-page,35
What causes thee to wail?
"Hath any one done to thee wronge,
Any of thy fellowes here?
Or is any of thy good friends dead,
That thou shedst manye a teare?40
"Or, if it be my head bookes-man,
Aggrieved he shal bee:
For no man here within my howse
Shall doe wrong unto thee."
"O it is not your head bookes-man,45
Nor none of his degree:
But, on to-morrow ere it be noone
All deemed to die are yee:
"And of that bethank your head steward,
And thank your gay ladye."50
"If this be true, my litle foot-page,
The heyre of my land thoust bee:"[Pg 37]
"If it be not true, my dear master,
No good death let me die:"
"If it be not true, thou litle foot-page,55
A dead corse shalt thou bee.
"O call now downe my faire ladye,
O call her downe to mee;
And tell my ladye gay how sicke,
And like to die I bee."60
Downe then came his ladye faire,
All clad in purple and pall:
The rings that were on her fingers,
Cast light thorrow the hall.
"What is your will, my own wed-lord?65
"What is your will with mee?"
"O see, my ladye deere, how sicke,
And like to die I bee."
"And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord,
Soe sore it grieveth me:70
But my five maydens and myselfe
Will make the bedde for thee.
"And at the waking of your first sleepe,
We will a hott drinke make;
And at the waking of your next sleepe,75
Your sorrowes we will slake."[Pg 38]
He put a silk cote on his backe,
And mail of manye a fold;
And hee putt a steele cap on his head,
Was gilt with good red gold.80
He layd a bright browne sword by his side,
And another att his feete:
[And twentye good knights he placed at hand,
To watch him in his sleepe.]
And about the middle time of the night,85
Came twentye-four traitours inn;
Sir Giles he was the foremost man,
The leader of that ginn.
Old Robin with his bright browne sword,
Sir Gyles head soon did winn;90
And scant of all those twenty-four
Went out one quick agenn.
None save only a litle foot-page,
Crept forth at a window of stone;
And he had two armes when he came in,95
And he went back with one.
Upp then came that ladie gaye,
With torches burning bright;
She thought to have brought Sir Gyles a drinke,
[Pg 39]Butt she found her owne wedd knight.100
The first thinge that she stumbled on
It was Sir Gyles his foote;
Sayes, "Ever alacke, and woe is mee!
Here lyes my sweete hart-roote."
The next thinge that she stumbled on105
It was Sir Gyles his heade;
Sayes, "Ever alacke, and woe is me!
Heere lyes my true love deade."
Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest,
And didd her body spille;110
He cutt the eares beside her heade,
And bade her love her fille.
He called up then up his litle foot-page,
And made him there his heyre;
And sayd, "Henceforth my worldlye goodes,115
And countrie I forsweare."
He shope the crosse on his right shoulder,
Of the white clothe and the redde,
And went him into the holy land,
Wheras Christ was quicke and dead.120

19, unbethought.

MS. 32, blend.

47, or to-morrow.

MS. 75, first.

117. Every person who went on a Croisade to the Holy Land usually wore a cross on his upper garment, on the right shoulder, as a badge of his profession. Different nations were distinguished by crosses of different colors: the English wore white, the French red, &c. This circumstance seems to be confounded in the ballad. Percy.

MS. 118, fleshe.


[Pg 40]

FAUSE FOODRAGE.

First published in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 220.

"This ballad has been popular in many parts of Scotland. It is chiefly given from Mrs. Brown of Falkland's MSS. The expression,

"The boy stared wild like a gray goss-hawk," v. 31,

strongly resembles that in Hardyknute,

"Norse e'en like gray goss-hawk stared wild;"

a circumstance which led the Editor to make the strictest inquiry into the authenticity of the song. But every doubt was removed by the evidence of a lady of high rank, who not only recollected the ballad, as having amused her infancy, but could repeat many of the verses, particularly those beautiful stanzas from the 20th to the 25th. The Editor is, therefore, compelled to believe, that the author of Hardyknute copied the old ballad, if the coincidence be not altogether accidental." Scott.

King Easter has courted her for her lands,
King Wester for her fee,
King Honour for her comely face,
And for her fair bodie.[Pg 41]
They had not been four months married,5
As I have heard them tell,
Until the nobles of the land
Against them did rebel.
And they cast kevils them amang,
And kevils them between;10
And they cast kevils them amang,
Wha suld gae kill the king.
O some said yea, and some said nay,
Their words did not agree;
Till up and got him, Fause Foodrage,15
And swore it suld be he.
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' men bound to bed,
King Honour and his gay ladye
In a high chamber were laid.20
Then up and raise him, Fause Foodrage,
When a' were fast asleep,
And slew the porter in his lodge,
That watch and ward did keep.
O four and twenty silver keys25
Hang hie upon a pin;
And aye as ae door he did unlock,
He has fasten'd it him behind.[Pg 42]
Then up and raise him, King Honour,
Says—"What means a' this din?30
Or what's the matter, Fause Foodrage,
Or wha has loot you in?"—
"O ye my errand weel sall learn,
Before that I depart."—
Then drew a knife, baith lang and sharp,35
And pierced him to the heart.
Then up and got the Queen hersell,
And fell low down on her knee,
"O spare my life, now, Fause Foodrage!
For I never injured thee.40
"O spare my life, now, Fause Foodrage!
Until I lighter be!
And see gin it be lad or lass,
King Honour has left me wi'."—
"O gin it be a lass," he says,45
"Weel nursed it sall be;
But gin it be a lad bairn,
He sall be hanged hie.
"I winna spare for his tender age,
Nor yet for his hie, hie kin;50
But soon as e'er he born is,
He sall mount the gallows pin."[Pg 43]
O four-and-twenty valiant knights
Were set the Queen to guard;
And four stood aye at her bour door,55
To keep both watch and ward.
But when the time drew near an end,
That she suld lighter be,
She cast about to find a wile,
To set her body free.60
O she has birled these merry young men
With the ale but and the wine,
Until they were a' deadly drunk
As any wild-wood swine.
"O narrow, narrow is this window,65
And big, big am I grown!"—
Yet through the might of Our Ladye,
Out at it she is gone.
She wander'd up, she wander'd down,
She wander'd out and in;70
And, at last, into the very swine's stythe,
The Queen brought forth a son.
Then they cast kevils them amang,
Which suld gae seek the Queen;
And the kevil fell upon Wise William,75
And he sent his wife for him.[Pg 44]
O when she saw Wise William's wife,
The Queen fell on her knee:
"Win up, win up, madam!" she says:
"What needs this courtesie?"—80
"O out o' this I winna rise,
Till a boon ye grant to me;
To change your lass for this lad bairn,
King Honour left me wi'.
"And ye maun learn my gay goss-hawk85
Right weel to breast a steed;
And I sall learn your turtle dow
As weel to write and read.
"And ye maun learn my gay goss-hawk
To wield both bow and brand;90
And I sall learn your turtle dow
To lay gowd wi' her hand.
"At kirk and market when we meet,
We'll dare make nae avowe,
But—'Dame, how does my gay goss-hawk?'95
'Madame, how does my dow?'"
When days were gane, and years came on,
Wise William he thought lang;
And he has ta'en King Honour's son
[Pg 45]A-hunting for to gang.100
It sae fell out, at this hunting,
Upon a simmer's day,
That they came by a bonny castell,
Stood on a sunny brae.
"O dinna ye see that bonny castell,105
Wi' halls and towers sae fair?
Gin ilka man had back his ain,
Of it you suld be heir."
"How I suld be heir of that castell,
In sooth, I canna see;110
For it belangs to Fause Foodrage,
And he is na kin to me."—
"O gin ye suld kill him, Fause Foodrage,
You would do but what was right;
For I wot he kill'd your father dear,115
Or ever ye saw the light.
"And gin ye suld kill him, Fause Foodrage,
There is no man durst you blame;
For he keeps your mother a prisoner,
And she darna take ye hame."—120
The boy stared wild like a gray goss-hawk,
Says,—"What may a' this mean?"
"My boy, ye are King Honour's son,
And your mother's our lawful queen."[Pg 46]
"O gin I be King Honour's son,125
By our Ladye I swear,
This night I will that traitor slay,
And relieve my mother dear!"—
He has set his bent bow to his breast,
And leaped the castell wa';130
And soon he has seized on Fause Foodrage,
Wha loud for help 'gan ca'.
"O haud your tongue, now, Fause Foodrage,
Frae me ye shanna flee;"—
Syne pierced him through the fause, fause heart,135
And set his mother free.
And he has rewarded Wise William
Wi' the best half o' his land;
And sae has he the turtle dow
Wi' the truth o' his right hand.140

[Pg 47]

BONNIE ANNIE.

From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 123.

"There is a prevalent belief among seafaring people, that if a person who has committed any heinous crime be on ship-board, the vessel, as if conscious of its guilty burden, becomes unmanageable, and will not sail till the offender be removed: to discover whom, they usually resort to the trial of those on board, by casting lots; and the individual upon whom the lot falls, is declared the criminal, it being believed that Divine Providence interposes in this manner to point out the guilty person."—Kinloch.

Motherwell is inclined to think this an Irish ballad, though popular in Scotland.

With Bonnie Annie may be compared Jon RimaardsŚns Skriftemaal, Danske Viser, ii. 220; or, Herr Peders SjŚresa, Svenska Folk-Visor, ii. 31, Arwiddson, ii. 5 (translated in Literature and Romance of Northern Europe, 276).

There was a rich lord, and he lived in Forfar,
He had a fair lady, and one only dochter.
O she was fair, O dear! she was bonnie,
A ship's captain courted her to be his honey.[Pg 48]
There cam a ship's captain out owre the sea sailing,5
He courted this young thing till he got her wi' bairn:—
"Ye'll steal your father's gowd, and your mother's money,
And I'll mak ye a lady in Ireland bonnie."
She's stown her father's gowd and her mother's money,
But she was never a lady in Ireland bonnie.10
* * * * * * *
"There's fey fowk in our ship, she winna sail for me,
There's fey fowk in our ship, she winna sail for me."
They've casten black bullets twice six and forty,
And ae the black bullet fell on bonnie Annie.
"Ye'll tak me in your arms twa, lo, lift me cannie,15
Throw me out owre board, your ain dear Annie."
He has tane her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her cannie,
He has laid her on a bed of down, his ain dear Annie.
"What can a woman do, love, I'll do for ye;"
"Muckle can a woman do, ye canna do for me.—
Lay about, steer about, lay our ship cannie,21
Do all you can to save my dear Annie."[Pg 49]
"I've laid about, steer'd about, laid about cannie,
But all I can do, she winna sail for me.
Ye'll tak her in your arms twa, lo, lift her cannie,25
And throw her out owre board, your ain dear Annie."
He has tane her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her cannie,
He has thrown her out owre board, his ain dear Annie:
As the ship sailed, bonnie Annie she swam,
And she was at Ireland as soon as them.30
They made his love a coffin of the gowd sae yellow,
And they buried her deep on the high banks of Yarrow.

32. The last two lines are derived from Motherwell, p. xcix. The text in Kinloch is corrupt, and stands thus:—

He made his love a coffin off the Goats of Yerrow,
And buried his bonnie love doun in a sea valley.

[Pg 50]

WILLIAM GUISEMAN.

From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 156.

"My name is William Guiseman,
In London I do dwell;
I have committed murder,
And that is known right well;
I have committed murder,5
And that is known right well,
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"I lov'd a neighbour's dochter,
And with her I did lie;
I did dissemble with her10
Myself to satisfy;
I did dissemble with her
Myself to satisfy,
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"Sae cunningly's I kept her,15
Until the fields war toom;[Pg 51]
Sae cunningly's I trysted her
Unto yon shade o' broom;
And syne I took my wills o' her,
And then I flang her doun,20
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"Sae cunningly's I killed her,
Who should have been my wife;
Sae cursedly's I killed her,
And with my cursed knife;25
Sae cursedly's I killed her,
Who should have been my wife,
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"Six days she lay in murder,
Before that she was found;30
Six days she lay in murder,
Upon the cursed ground;
Six days she lay in murder,
Before that she was found,
And it's for mine offence I must die.35
"O all the neighbours round about,
They said it had been I;
I put my foot on gude shipboard,
The county to defy;
The ship she wadna sail again,40
But hoisted to and fro,
And it's for mine offence I must die.[Pg 52]
"O up bespak the skipper-boy,
I wat he spak too high;
'There's sinful men amongst us,45
The seas will not obey;'
O up bespak the skipper-boy,
I wat he spak too high,
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"O we cuist cavels us amang,50
The cavel fell on me;
O we cuist cavels us amang,
The cavel fell on me;
O we cuist cavels us amang,
The cavel fell on me,55
And it's for mine offence I must die.
"I had a loving mother
Who of me took gret care;
She wad hae gien the gold sae red,
To have bought me from that snare;60
But the gold could not be granted,
The gallows pays a share,
And it's for mine offence I must die."

[Pg 53]

THE ENCHANTED RING

Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 169. Annexed is a fragment published by Jamieson, under the title of Bonny Bee-Ho'm.

In Lauderdale I chanc'd to walk,
And heard a lady's moan,
Lamenting for her dearest dear,
And aye she cried, ohon!
"Sure never a maid that e'er drew breath5
Had harder fate than me;
I'd never a lad but one on earth,
They forc'd him to the sea.
"The ale shall ne'er be brewin o' malt,
Neither by sea nor land,10
That ever mair shall cross my hause,
Till my love comes to hand.[Pg 54]
A handsome lad wi' shoulders broad,
Gold yellow was his hair;
None of our Scottish youths on earth15
That with him could compare.
She thought her love was gone to sea,
And landed in Bahome;
But he was in a quiet chamber,
Hearing his lady's moan.20
"Why make ye all this moan, lady?
Why make ye all this moan?
For I'm deep sworn on a book,
I must go to Bahome.
"Traitors false for to subdue,25
O'er seas I'll make me boun',
That have trepan'd our kind Scotchmen,
Like dogs to ding them down."
"Weell, take this ring, this royal thing,
Whose virtue is unknown;30
As lang's this ring's your body on,
Your blood shall ne'er be drawn.
"But if this ring shall fade or stain,
Or change to other hue,
Come never mair to fair Scotland,35
If ye're a lover true."[Pg 55]
Then this couple they did part
With a sad heavy moan;
The wind was fair, the ship was rare,
They landed in Bahome.40
But in that place they had not been
A month but barely one,
Till he look'd on his gay gold ring,
And riven was the stone.
Time after this was not expir'd45
A month but scarcely three,
Till black and ugly was the ring,
And the stone was burst in three.
"Fight on, fight on, you merry men all,
With you I'll fight no more;50
I will gang to some holy place,
Pray to the King of Glore."
Then to the chapel he is gone,
And knelt most piteouslie,
For seven days and seven nights,55
Till blood ran frae his knee.
"Ye'll take my jewels that's in Bahome,
And deal them liberallie,[Pg 56]
To young that cannot, and old that mannot,
The blind that does not see.60
"Give maist to women in child-bed laid,
Can neither fecht nor flee:
I hope she's in the heavens high,
That died for love of me."
The knights they wrang their white fingers,65
The ladies tore their hair;
The women that ne'er had children born,
In swoon they down fell there.
But in what way the knight expir'd,
No tongue will e'er declare;70
So this doth end my mournful song,
From me ye'll get nae mair.

43, they look'd.

48, And stone.


[Pg 57]

BONNY BEE-HO'M.

Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i. 184, from Mrs. Brown's MS., the interpolations of the editor being omitted.

By Arthur's dale as late I went,
I heard a heavy moan;
I heard a lady lamenting sair.
And ay she cried "ohon!"
"Ohon, alas! what shall I do,5
Tormented night and day?
I never loved a love but ane,
And now he's gone away.
"But I will do for my true love
What ladies would think sair;10
For seven years shall come and gae,
Ere a kaime gae in my hair.
"There shall neither a shoe gae on my foot,
Nor a kaime gae in my hair,
Nor ever a coal or candle light15
Shine in my bower nae mair."
She thought her love had been on sea,
Fast sailing to Bee-Ho'm;[Pg 58]
But he was still in a quiet chamber,
Hearing his lady's moan.20
"Be hush'd, be hush'd, my lady dear,
I pray thee moan not so;
For I am deep sworn on a book
To Bee-Ho'm for to go."
She's gien him a chain o' the beaten goud,25
And a ring with a ruby stone:
"As lang as this chain your body binds,
Your blood can never be drawn.
"But gin this ring should fade or fail,
Or the stone should change its hue,30
Be sure your love is dead and gone,
Or she has proved untrue."
* * * * * * *
He had not been at bonny Bee-Ho'm
A twelvemonth and a day,
Till looking on his gay gold ring,35
The stone grew dark and gray.
"O ye tak my riches to Bee-Ho'm,
And deal them presentlie,
To the young that canna, the old that manna,
The blind that downa see."40
Now Death has come intill his bower,
And split his heart in twain:
Sae their twa sauls flew up to heaven,
And there shall ever remain.

[Pg 59]

THE THREE RAVENS.

From Ritson's Ancient English Songs, ii. 53. It is there reprinted from Ravenscroft's Melismata, 1611. Another copy follows, taken from Scott's Minstrelsy. Motherwell has recast the ballad in modern style, p. 7 of his collection.

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Downe, a downe, hay downe, hay downe,
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
With a downe,
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
They were as blacke as they might be,
With a downe, derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.
The one of them said to his mate,
"Where shall we our breakefast take?"—
"Downe in yonder greene field,5
There lies a knight slain under his shield.[Pg 60]
"His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they their master keepe.
"His haukes they flie so eagerly,
There's no fowle dare him com nie."10
Downe there comes a fallow doe,
As great with yong as she might goe.
She lift up his bloudy hed,
And kist his wounds that were so red.
She got him up upon her backe,15
And carried him to earthen lake.
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herselfe ere even-song time.
God send every gentleman,
Such haukes, such houndes, and such a leman.20

[Pg 61]

THE TWA CORBIES.

From Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, ii. 359. It was communicated to Scott by Mr. Sharpe, as written down, from tradition, by a lady.

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
"Where sall we gang and dine to-day?"—
"In behint yon auld fail dyke,5
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.
"His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk, to fetch the wild-fowl hame,10
His lady's ta'en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.[Pg 62]
"Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pick out his bonny blue een:
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair15
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.
"Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair."—20

[Pg 63]

THE DOWIE DENS OF YARROW.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 143.

"This ballad, which is a very great favourite among the inhabitants of Ettrick Forest, is universally believed to be founded in fact. I found it easy to collect a variety of copies; but very difficult indeed to select from them such a collated edition as might, in any degree, suit the taste of 'these more light and giddy-paced times.'

"Tradition places the event, recorded in the song, very early; and it is probable that the ballad was composed soon afterwards, although the language has been gradually modernized, in the course of its transmission to us, through the inaccurate channel of oral tradition. The bard does not relate particulars, but barely the striking outlines of a fact, apparently so well known when he wrote, as to render minute detail as unnecessary as it is always tedious and unpoetical.

"The hero of the ballad was a knight of great bravery, called Scott, who is said to have resided at Kirkhope, or Oakwood Castle, and is, in tradition, termed the Baron of Oakwood. The estate of Kirkhope belonged anciently to the Scotts of Harden:[Pg 64] Oakwood is still their property, and has been so from time immemorial. The Editor was, therefore, led to suppose that the hero of the ballad might have been identified with John Scott, sixth son of the Laird of Harden, murdered in Ettrick Forest by his kinsmen, the Scotts of Gilmanscleugh. (See notes to Jamie Telfer.) This appeared the more probable, as the common people always affirm that this young man was treacherously slain, and that, in evidence thereof, his body remained uncorrupted for many years; so that even the roses on his shoes seemed as fresh as when he was first laid in the family vault at Hassendean. But from a passage in Nisbet's Heraldry, he now believes the ballad refers to a duel fought at Deucharswyre, of which Annan's Treat is a part, betwixt John Scott of Tushielaw and his brother-in-law, Walter Scott, third son of Robert of Thirlestane, in which the latter was slain.

"In ploughing Annan's Treat, a huge monumental stone, with an inscription, was discovered; but being rather scratched than engraved, and the lines being run through each other, it is only possible to read one or two Latin words. It probably records the event of the combat. The person slain was the male ancestor of the present Lord Napier.

"Tradition affirms, that the hero of the song (be he who he may) was murdered by the brother, either of his wife or betrothed bride. The alleged cause of malice was the lady's father having proposed to endow her with half of his property, upon her marriage with a warrior of such renown. The name of the murderer is said to have been Annan, and the place of combat is still called Annan's Treat. It is a low muir, on the[Pg 65] banks of the Yarrow, lying to the west of Yarrow Kirk. Two tall unhewn masses of stone are erected, about eighty yards distant from each other; and the least child, that can herd a cow, will tell the passenger, that there lie 'the two lords, who were slain in single combat.'

"It will be, with many readers, the greatest recommendation of these verses, that they are supposed to have suggested to Mr. Hamilton of Bangour, the modern ballad, beginning,

'Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride.'

"A fragment, apparently regarding the story of the following ballad, but in a different measure, occurs in Mr. Herd's MS., and runs thus:—

'When I look east, my heart is sair,
But when I look west, it's mair and mair;
For then I see the braes o' Yarrow,
And there, for aye, I lost my marrow.'"

We have added an uncollated copy from Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland. Another is furnished by Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. 252. Some of Scott's verses are also found in Herd's fragment, (Scottish Songs, i. 202,) and Buchan's Haughs o' Yarrow, ii. 211. The Dowy Den, in Evans's collection, iii. 342, is the caput mortuum of this spirited ballad.

Late at e'en, drinking the wine,
And ere they paid the lawing,
They set a combat them between,
To fight it in the dawing.[Pg 66]
"O stay at hame, my noble lord,5
O stay at hame, my marrow!
My cruel brother will you betray
On the dowie houms of Yarrow."—
"O fare ye weel, my ladye gaye!
O fare ye weel, my Sarah!10
For I maun gae, though I ne'er return
Frae the dowie banks o' Yarrow."
She kiss'd his cheek, she kaim'd his hair,
As oft she had done before, O;
She belted him with his noble brand,15
And he's away to Yarrow.
As he gaed up the Tennies bank,
I wot he gaed wi' sorrow,
Till, down in a den, he spied nine arm'd men,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.20
"O come ye here to part your land,
The bonnie Forest thorough?
Or come ye here to wield your brand,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow?"—
"I come not here to part my land,25
And neither to beg nor borrow;[Pg 67]
I come to wield my noble brand,
On the bonnie banks of Yarrow.
"If I see all, ye're nine to ane;
And that's an unequal marrow;30
Yet will I fight, while lasts my brand,
On the bonnie banks of Yarrow."
Four has he hurt, and five has slain,
On the bloody braes of Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,35
And ran his body thorough.
"Gae hame, gae hame, good-brother John,
And tell your sister Sarah,
To come and lift her leafu' lord;
He's sleepin sound on Yarrow."—40
"Yestreen I dream'd a dolefu' dream;
I fear there will be sorrow!
I dream'd I pu'd the heather green,
Wi' my true love, on Yarrow.
"O gentle wind, that bloweth south,45
From where my love repaireth,
Convey a kiss from his dear mouth,
And tell me how he fareth![Pg 68]
"But in the glen strive armed men;
They've wrought me dole and sorrow;50
They've slain—the comeliest knight they've slain—
He bleeding lies on Yarrow."
As she sped down yon high high hill,
She gaed wi' dole and sorrow,
And in the den spied ten slain men,55
On the dowie banks of Yarrow.
She kissed his cheek, she kaim'd his hair,
She searched his wounds all thorough,
She kiss'd them, till her lips grew red,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.60
"Now haud your tongue, my daughter dear!
For a' this breeds but sorrow;
I'll wed ye to a better lord,
Than him ye lost on Yarrow."—
"O haud your tongue, my father dear!65
Ye mind me but of sorrow;
A fairer rose did never bloom
Than now lies cropp'd on Yarrow."

17. The Tennies is the name of a farm of the Duke of Buccleuch's, a little below Yarrow Kirk.


[Pg 69]

THE BRAES O' YARROW.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 203. Repeated in the xviith volume of the Percy Society Publications.

Ten lords sat drinking at the wine,
Intill a morning early;
There fell a combat them among,
It must be fought,—nae parly.
"O stay at hame, my ain gude lord,5
O stay, my ain dear marrow."
"Sweetest min', I will be thine,
And dine wi' you to-morrow."
She's kiss'd his lips, and comb'd his hair,
As she had done before, O;10
Gied him a brand down by his side,
And he is on to Yarrow.[Pg 70]
As he gaed ower yon dowie knowe,
As aft he'd dune before, O;
Nine armed men lay in a den,15
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow.
"O came ye here to hunt or hawk,
As ye hae dune before, O?
Or came ye here to wiel' your brand,
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow?"20
"I came na here to hunt nor hawk,
As I hae dune before, O;
But I came here to wiel' my brand,
Upon the braes o' Yarrow."
Four he hurt, and five he slew,25
Till down it fell himsell, O;
There stood a fause lord him behin',
Who thrust him thro' body and mell, O.
"Gae hame, gae hame, my brother John,
And tell your sister sorrow;30
Your mother to come take up her son,
Aff o' the braes o' Yarrow."
As he gaed ower yon high, high hill,
As he had dune before, O;
There he met his sister dear,35
Came rinnin fast to Yarrow.[Pg 71]
"I dreamt a dream last night," she says,
"I wish it binna sorrow;
I dreamt I was pu'ing the heather green,
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow."40
"I'll read your dream, sister," he says,
"I'll read it into sorrow;
Ye're bidden gae take up your love,
He's sleeping sound on Yarrow."
She's torn the ribbons frae her head,45
They were baith thick and narrow;
She's kilted up her green claithing,
And she's awa' to Yarrow.
She's taen him in her arms twa,
And gien him kisses thorough,50
And wi' her tears she bath'd his wounds,
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow.
Her father looking ower his castle wa',
Beheld his daughter's sorrow;
"O had your tongue, daughter," he says,55
"And let be a' your sorrow,
I'll wed you wi' a better lord,
Than he that died on Yarrow."[Pg 72]
"O had your tongue, father," she says,
"And let be till to-morrow;60
A better lord there cou'dna be
Than he that died on Yarrow."
She kiss'd his lips, and comb'd his hair,
As she had dune before, O;
Then wi' a crack her heart did brack,65
Upon the braes o' Yarrow.

39. To dream of any thing green is regarded in Scotland as unlucky.


[Pg 73]

SIR JAMES THE ROSE.

Pinkerton first published this piece in his Scottish Tragic Ballads, p. 61. In a note, it is said to have been taken "from a modern edition in one sheet, 12mo. after the old copy." Motherwell gives another version "as it occurs in early stall prints," (Minstrelsy, p. 321,) and suspects a few conjectural emendations in Pinkerton's text. The passage from v. 51 to v. 59 is apparently defective, and has, probably, been tampered with; but Pinkerton's copy is on the whole much better than Motherwell's, or than Whitelaw's, (Scottish Ballads, 39,) which professes to be given chiefly from oral recitations.

Michael Bruce's Sir James the Rose will be found in another part of this collection. In Caw's Museum (p. 290) is a ballad in the worst possible taste, styled Elfrida and Sir James of Perth, which seems to be a mere disfiguration of Bruce's.

O heard ye o' Sir James the Rose,
The young heir o' Buleighan?
For he has kill'd a gallant squire,
Whase friends are out to tak him.[Pg 74]
Now he has gane to the house o' Mar,5
Whar nane might seik to find him;
To see his dear he did repair,
Weining she wold befreind him.
"Whar are ye gaing Sir James," she said,
"O whar awa are ye riding?"10
"I maun be bound to a foreign land,
And now I'm under hiding.
"Whar sall I gae, whar sall I rin,
Whar sall I rin to lay me?
For I ha kill'd a gallant squire,15
And his friends seik to slay me."
"O gae ye down to yon laigh house,
I sall pay there your lawing;
And as I am your leman trew,
I'll meet ye at the dawing."20
He turned him richt and round about,
And rowd him in his brechan:
And laid him doun to tak a sleip,
In the lawlands o' Buleighan.
He was nae weil gane out o' sicht,25
Nor was he past Milstrethen,
Whan four and twenty belted knichts
Cam riding owr the Leathen.[Pg 75]
"O ha ye seen Sir James the Rose,
The young heir o' Buleighan?30
For he has kill'd a gallant squire,
And we are sent to tak him."
"Yea, I ha seen Sir James," she said,
"He past by here on Monday;
Gin the steed be swift that he rides on,35
He's past the Hichts of Lundie."
But as wi speid they rade awa,
She leudly cryd behind them;
"Gin ye'll gie me a worthy meid,
I'll tell ye whar to find him."40
"O tell fair maid, and on our band,
Ye'se get his purse and brechan."
"He's in the bank aboon the mill,
In the lawlands o' Buleighan."
Than out and spak Sir John the Graham,45
Who had the charge a keiping,
"It's neer be said, my stalwart feres,
We kill'd him whan a sleiping."
They seized his braid sword and his targe,
And closely him surrounded:50
"O pardon! mercy! gentlemen,"
He then fou loudly sounded.[Pg 76]
"Sic as ye gae, sic ye sall hae,
Nae grace we shaw to thee can."
"Donald my man, wait till I fa,55
And ye sall hae my brechan;
Ye'll get my purse thouch fou o' gowd
To tak me to Loch Lagan."
Syne they take out his bleiding heart,
And set it on a speir;60
Then tuke it to the house o' Mar,
And shawd it to his deir.
"We cold nae gie Sir James's purse,
We cold nae gie his brechan;
But ye sall ha his bleeding heart,65
Bot and his bleeding tartan."
"Sir James the Rose, O for thy sake
My heart is now a breaking,
Curs'd be the day I wrocht thy wae,
Thou brave heir of Buleighan!"70
Then up she raise, and furth she gaes,
And, in that hour o' tein,
She wanderd to the dowie glen,
And nevir mair was sein.

[Pg 77]

GRÆME AND BEWICK.

From Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 69. A single improved reading is adopted from a Newcastle chap-book.

"Given, in the first edition, from the recitation of a gentleman, who professed to have forgotten some verses. These have, in the present edition, been partly restored, from a copy obtained by the recitation of an ostler in Carlisle, which has also furnished some slight alterations."

"The ballad is remarkable, as containing, probably, the very latest allusion to the institution of brotherhood in arms, which was held so sacred in the days of chivalry, and whose origin may be traced up to the Scythian ancestors of Odin." Scott.

Gude Lord Græme is to Carlisle gane,
Sir Robert Bewick there met he,
And arm in arm to the wine they did go,
And they drank till they were baith merrie.[Pg 78]
Gude Lord Græme has ta'en up the cup,5
"Sir Robert Bewick, and here's to thee!
And here's to our twae sons at hame!
For they like us best in our ain countrie."—
"O were your son a lad like mine,
And learn'd some books that he could read,10
They might hae been twae brethren bauld,
And they might hae bragged the Border side.
"But your son's a lad, and he is but bad,
And billie to my son he canna be;"
* * * * * * *
"I sent him to the schools, and he wadna learn;15
I bought him books, and he wadna read;
But my blessing shall he never earn,
Till I see how his arm can defend his head."—
Gude Lord Græme has a reckoning call'd,
A reckoning then called he;20
And he paid a crown, and it went roun',
It was all for the gude wine and free.
And he has to the stable gane,
Where there stude thirty steeds and three;[Pg 79]
He's ta'en his ain horse amang them a',25
And hame he rade sae manfullie.
"Welcome, my auld father!" said Christie Græme,
"But where sae lang frae hame were ye?"—
"It's I hae been at Carlisle town,
And a baffled man by thee I be.30
"I hae been at Carlisle town,
Where Sir Robert Bewick, he met me;
He says ye're a lad, and ye are but bad,
And billie to his son ye canna be.
"I sent ye to the schools, and ye wadna learn;35
I bought ye books, and ye wadna read;
Therefore my blessing ye shall never earn,
Till I see with Bewick thou save thy head."
"Now, God forbid, my auld father,
That ever sic a thing suld be!40
Billie Bewick was my master, and I was his scholar,
And aye sae weel as he learned me."
"O hald thy tongue, thou limmer loon,
And of thy talking let me be![Pg 80]
If thou does na end me this quarrel soon,45
There is my glove, I'll fight wi' thee."
Then Christie Græme he stooped low
Unto the ground, you shall understand;—
"O father, put on your glove again,
The wind has blown it from your hand?"50
"What's that thou says, thou limmer loon?
How dares thou stand to speak to me?
If thou do not end this quarrel soon,
There's my right hand thou shalt fight with me."—
Then Christie Græme's to his chamber gane,55
To consider weel what then should be;
Whether he should fight with his auld father,
Or with his billie Bewick, he.
"If I suld kill my billie dear,
God's blessing I shall never win;60
But if I strike at my auld father,
I think 'twald be a mortal sin.
"But if I kill my billie dear,
It is God's will, so let it be;
But I make a vow, ere I gang frae hame,65
That I shall be the next man's die."[Pg 81]
Then he's put on's back a gude auld jack,
And on his head a cap of steel,
And sword and buckler by his side;
O gin he did not become them weel!70
We'll leave off talking of Christie Græme,
And talk of him again belive;
And we will talk of bonny Bewick,
Where he was teaching his scholars five.
When he had taught them well to fence,75
And handle swords without any doubt,
He took his sword under his arm,
And he walk'd his father's close about.
He look'd atween him and the sun,
And a' to see what there might be,80
Till he spied a man in armour bright,
Was riding that way most hastilie.
"O wha is yon, that came this way,
Sae hastilie that hither came?
I think it be my brother dear,85
I think it be young Christie Græme.
"Ye're welcome here, my billie dear,
And thrice ye're welcome unto me!"—
"But I'm wae to say, I've seen the day,
When I am come to fight wi' thee.90
[Pg 82]
"My father's gane to Carlisle town,
Wi' your father Bewick there met he:
He says I'm a lad, and I am but bad,
And a baffled man I trow I be.
"He sent me to schools, and I wadna learn;95
He gae me books, and I wadna read;
Sae my father's blessing I'll never earn,
Till he see how my arm can guard my head."
"O God forbid, my billie dear,
That ever such a thing suld be!100
We'll take three men on either side,
And see if we can our fathers agree."
"O hald thy tongue, now, billie Bewick,
And of thy talking let me be!
But if thou'rt a man, as I'm sure thou art,105
Come o'er the dyke, and fight wi' me."
"But I hae nae harness, billie, on my back,
As weel I see there is on thine."[Pg 83]
"But as little harness as is on thy back,
As little, billie, shall be on mine."—110
Then he's thrown aff his coat o' mail,
His cap of steel away flung he;
He stuck his spear into the ground,
And he tied his horse unto a tree.
Then Bewick has thrown aff his cloak,115
And's psalter-book frae's hand flung he;
He laid his hand upon the dyke,
And ower he lap most manfullie.
O they hae fought for twae lang hours;
When twae lang hours were come and gane,120
The sweat drapp'd fast frae aff them baith,
But a drap of blude could not be seen.[Pg 84]
Till Græme gae Bewick an ackward stroke,
Ane ackward stroke strucken sickerlie;
He has hit him under the left breast,125
And dead-wounded to the ground fell he.
"Rise up, rise up, now, billie dear,
Arise and speak three words to me!
Whether thou's gotten thy deadly wound,
Or if God and good leeching may succour thee?"
"O horse, O horse, now, billie Græme,131
And get thee far from hence with speed;
And get thee out of this country,
That none may know who has done the deed."—
"O I have slain thee, billie Bewick,135
If this be true thou tellest to me;
But I made a vow, ere I came frae hame,
That aye the next man I wad be."
He has pitch'd his sword in a moodie-hill,
And he has leap'd twenty lang feet and three,
And on his ain sword's point he lap,141
And dead upon the ground fell he.
'Twas then came up Sir Robert Bewick,
And his brave son alive saw he;
"Rise up, rise up, my son," he said,145
"For I think ye hae gotten the victorie."[Pg 85]
"O hald your tongue, my father dear,
Of your prideful talking let me be!
Ye might hae drunken your wine in peace,
And let me and my billie be.150
"Gae dig a grave, baith wide and deep,
And a grave to hald baith him and me;
But lay Christie Græme on the sunny side,
For I'm sure he wan the victorie."
"Alack! a wae!" auld Bewick cried,155
"Alack! was I not much to blame?
I'm sure I've lost the liveliest lad
That e'er was born unto my name."
"Alack! a wae!" quo' gude Lord Græme,
"I'm sure I hae lost the deeper lack!160
I durst hae ridden the Border through,
Had Christie Græme been at my back.
"Had I been led through Liddesdale,
And thirty horsemen guarding me,
And Christie Græme been at my back,165
Sae soon as he had set me free!
"I've lost my hopes, I've lost my joy,
I've lost the key but and the lock;
I durst hae ridden the world round,
Had Christie Græme been at my back."170

15, Scott, Ye sent;

16, Ye bought.

22. Newcastle C. B., and hay.

41, 42.

Shall I venture my body in field to fight
With a man that's faith and troth to me?

N. C. B.

107-118. Instead of this passage, the Newcastle copy has the following stanzas:—

He flang his cloak from off his shoulders,
His psalm-book from his pouch flang he,
He clapped his hand upon the hedge,
And o'er lap he right wantonly.
When Graham did see his bully come,
The salt tears stood long in his ee;
"Now needs must I say thou art a man,
That dare venture thy body to fight with me.
"Nay, I have a harness on my back;
I know that thou hast none on thine;
But as little as thou hast on thy back,
As little shall there be on mine."
He flang his jacket from off his back,
His cap of steel from his head flang he;
He's taken his spear into his hand,
He's ty'd his horse unto a tree.

[Pg 86]

THE LAMENT OF THE BORDER WIDOW.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 94.

This fragment was obtained from recitation in Ettrick Forest, where it is said to refer to the execution of Cockburne, of Henderland, a freebooter, hanged by James V. over the gate of his own tower. There is another version in Johnson's Museum, (Oh Ono Chrio, p. 90,) which, Dr. Blacklock informed Burns, was composed on the massacre of Glencoe. But in fact, these verses seem to be, as Motherwell has remarked, only a portion (expanded, indeed,) of The Famous Flower of Serving Men: see vol. iv. p. 174.

There are some verbal differences between Scott's copy and the one in Chambers's Scottish Songs, i. 174.

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.[Pg 87]
There came a man, by middle day,5
He spied his sport, and went away;
And brought the King that very night,
Who brake my bower, and slew my knight.
He slew my knight, to me sae dear;
He slew my knight, and poin'd his gear;10
My servants all for life did flee,
And left me in extremitie.
I sew'd his sheet, making my mane;
I watch'd the corpse, myself alane;
I watch'd his body, night and day;15
No living creature came that way.
I tuk 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.20
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?
Nae living man I'll love again,25
Since that my lovely knight is slain;
Wi' ae lock of his yellow hair
I'll chain my heart for ever mair.

[Pg 88]

YOUNG WATERS.

First published on an octavo sheet, by Lady Jean Home, about the middle of the last century, and from this copy reprinted in Percy's Reliques, (ii. 227.) Buchan has a version (i. 15) twenty-five stanzas longer than the present, which is given in our Appendix. This ballad has been supposed to refer to the fate of the Earl of Murray, (see post, The Bonny Earl of Murray.) The additional circumstances furnished by Buchan's copy, however, have led Chambers to suggest that the unfortunate hero was Walter Stuart, second son of the Duke of Albany. In support of his conjecture, he adduces "the name, which may be a corruption of Walter; the mention of the Heading (beheading) Hill of Stirling, which is known to have been the very scene of Walter Stuart's execution; the relationship which Young Waters claims with the king; and the sympathy expressed by the people, in the last verse, for the fate of the young knight, which exactly tallies with what is told us by the Scottish historians, regarding the popular feeling expressed in favour of[Pg 89] the numerous nobles and princes of his own blood, whom the king saw it necessary to sacrifice." We do not consider these coincidences sufficient to establish the historical character of the piece.

About Zule, quhen the wind blew cule,
And the round tables began,
A'! there is cum to our kings court
Mony a well-favourd man.
The queen luikt owre the castle wa',5
Beheld baith dale and down,
And then she saw zoung Waters
Cum riding to the town.
His footmen they did rin before,
His horsemen rade behind;10
Ane mantel of the burning gowd
Did keip him frae the wind.
Gowden graith'd his horse before,
And siller shod behind;
The horse zoung Waters rade upon15
Was fleeter than the wind.
But then spake a wylie lord,
Unto the queen said he:
"O tell me quha's the fairest face
[Pg 90]Rides in the company?"20
"I've sene lord, and I've sene laird,
And knights of high degree,
Bot a fairer face than zoung Waters
Mine eyne did never see."
Out then spaek the jealous king25
(And an angry man was he):
"O if he had been twice as fair,
Zou micht have excepted me."
"Zou're neither laird nor lord," she says,
"Bot the king that wears the crown;30
There is not a knight in fair Scotland,
Bot to thee maun bow down."
For a' that she could do or say,
Appeasd he wade nae bee;
Bot for the words which she had said,35
Zoung Waters he maun dee.
They hae taen zoung Waters, and
Put fetters to his feet;
They hae taen zoung Waters, and
Thrown him in dungeon deep.40
"Aft I have ridden thro' Stirling town,
In the wind bot and the weit;
Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town
Wi' fetters at my feet.[Pg 91]
"Aft have I ridden thro' Stirling town,45
In the wind bot and the rain;
Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town
Neir to return again."
They hae taen to the heiding-hill
His zoung son in his craddle;50
And they hae taen to the heiding-hill
His horse bot and his saddle.
They hae taen to the heiding-hill
His lady fair to see;
And for the words the queen had spoke55
Zoung Waters he did dee.

[Pg 92]

BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL.

Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 44.

This, says Motherwell, "is probably a lament for one of the adherents of the house of Argyle, who fell in the battle of Glenlivat, stricken on Thursday, the third day of October, 1594 years." It is printed, somewhat differently, in Smith's Scottish Minstrel, v. 42. Finlay gives eight lines of this ballad in the Preface to his first volume, p. xxxiii.

Hie upon Hielands,
And low upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell
Rade out on a day.
Saddled and bridled5
And gallant rade he;
Hame cam his gude horse,
But never cam he!
Out cam his auld mither
[Pg 93]Greeting fu' sair,10
And out cam his bonnie bride
Rivin' her hair.
Saddled and bridled
And booted rade he;
Toom hame cam the saddle,15
But never cam he!
"My meadow lies green,
And my corn is unshorn;
My barn is to big,
And my babie's unborn."20
Saddled and bridled
And booted rade he;
Toom hame cam the saddle,
But never cam he!

[Pg 94]

LAMKIN.

The following is believed to be a correct account of the various printed forms of this extremely popular ballad. In the second edition of Herd's Scottish Songs (1776) appeared a fragment of eighteen stanzas, called Lammikin, embellished in a puerile style by some modern hand. Jamieson published the story in a complete and authentic shape in his Popular Ballads, in 1806. Finlay's collection (1808) furnishes us with two more copies, the first of which (ii. 47) is made up in part of Herd's fragment, and the second (ii. 57) taken from a MS. "written by an old lady." Another was given, from recitation, in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, (1827,) with the more intelligible title of Lambert Linkin. An English fragment, called Long Lonkin, taken down from the recitation of an old woman, is said to have been inserted by Miss Landon, in the Drawing-Room Scrap-Book, for 1837. This was republished in Richardson's Borderer's Table-Book, 1846, vol. viii. 410, and the editor of that miscellany, who ought to have learned to be skeptical in such matters, urges the circumstantial character of local tradition as strong evidence that the real scene of the cruel history was in Northumberland.[Pg 95] Lastly, we have to note a version resembling Motherwell's, styled Bold Rankin, printed in A New Book of Old Ballads, (p. 73,) and in Whitelaw's Book of Scottish Ballads, (p. 246,) and an imperfect ballad (Long Lankyn) in Notes and Queries, New Series, ii. 324.

We have printed Jamieson's, Motherwell's, the longer of Finlay's versions, and the English fragment: the last two in the Appendix. The following is from Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i. 176. "This piece was transmitted to the Editor by Mrs. Brown."

"O pay me now, Lord Wearie;
Come, pay me out o' hand."
"I canna pay you, Lamkin,
Unless I sell my land."
"O gin ye winna pay me,5
I here sall mak a vow,
Before that ye come hame again,
Ye sall ha'e cause to rue."
Lord Wearie got a bonny ship,
To sail the saut sea faem;10
Bade his lady weel the castle keep,
Ay till he should come hame.
But the nourice was a fause limmer
As e'er hung on a tree;
She laid a plot wi' Lamkin,15
Whan her lord was o'er the sea.[Pg 96]
She laid a plot wi' Lamkin,
When the servants were awa';
Loot him in at a little shot window,
And brought him to the ha'.20
"O whare's a' the men o' this house,
That ca' me Lamkin?"
"They're at the barn well thrashing,
'Twill be lang ere they come in."
"And whare's the women o' this house,25
That ca' me Lamkin?"
"They're at the far well washing;
'Twill be lang ere they come in."
"And whare's the bairns o' this house,
That ca' me Lamkin?"30
"They're at the school reading;
'Twill be night or they come hame."
O whare's the lady o' this house,
That ca's me Lamkin?"
"She's up in her bower sewing,35
But we soon can bring her down."
Then Lamkin's tane a sharp knife,
That hang down by his gaire,
And he has gi'en the bonny babe
[Pg 97]A deep wound and a sair.40
Then Lamkin he rocked,
And the fause nourice sang,
Till frae ilkae bore o' the cradle
The red blood out sprang.
Then out it spak the lady,45
As she stood on the stair,
"What ails my bairn, nourice,
That he's greeting sae sair?
"O still my bairn, nourice;
O still him wi' the pap!"50
"He winna still, lady,
For this, nor for that."
"O still my bairn, nourice;
"O still him wi' the wand!"
"He winna still, lady,55
For a' his father's land."
"O still my bairn, nourice,
O still him wi' the bell!"
"He winna still, lady,
Till ye come down yoursel."60
O the firsten step she steppit,
She steppit on a stane;
But the neisten step she steppit,
She met him, Lamkin.[Pg 98]
"O mercy, mercy, Lamkin!65
Ha'e mercy upon me!
Though you've ta'en my young son's life,
Ye may let mysel be."
"O sall I kill her, nourice?
Or sall I lat her be?"70
"O kill her, kill her, Lamkin,
For she ne'er was good to me."
"O scour the bason, nourice,
And mak it fair and clean,
For to keep this lady's heart's blood,75
For she's come o' noble kin."
"There need nae bason, Lamkin;
Lat it run through the floor;
What better is the heart's blood
O' the rich than o' the poor?"80
But ere three months were at an end,
Lord Wearie came again;
But dowie dowie was his heart
When first he came hame.
"O wha's blood is this," he says,85
"That lies in the châmer?"
"It is your lady's heart's blood;
'Tis as clear as the lamer."[Pg 99]
"And wha's blood is this," he says,
"That lies in my ha'?"90
"It is your young son's heart's blood;
'Tis the clearest ava."
O sweetly sang the black-bird
That sat upon the tree;
But sairer grat Lamkin,95
When he was condemn'd to die.
And bonny sang the mavis
Out o' the thorny brake;
But sairer grat the nourice,
When she was tied to the stake.100

[Pg 100]

LAMBERT LINKIN.

"The present copy is given from recitation, and though it could have received additions, and perhaps improvements, from another copy, obtained from a similar source, and of equal authenticity, in his possession, the Editor did not like to use a liberty which is liable to much abuse. To some, the present set of the ballad may be valuable, as handing down both name and nickname of the revengeful builder of Prime Castle; for there can be little doubt that the epithet Linkin Mr. Lambert acquired from the secrecy and address with which he insinuated himself into that notable strength. Indeed, all the names of Lammerlinkin, Lammikin, Lamkin, Lankin, Linkin, Belinkin, can easily be traced out as abbreviations of Lambert Linkin. In the present set of the ballad, Lambert Linkin and Belinkin are used indifferently, as the measure of the verse may require; in the other recited copy, to which reference has been made, it is Lammerlinkin and Lamkin; and the nobleman for whom he "built a house" is stated to be "Lord Arran." No allusion, however, is made here to the name of the[Pg 101] owner of Prime Castle. Antiquaries, peradventure, may find it as difficult to settle the precise locality of this fortalice, as they have found it to fix the topography of Troy." Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 291.

In Finlay's second copy, the murderer's name is Balcanqual, "which," observes the editor, "is an ancient Scottish surname, and is sometimes corrupted, for the more agreeable sound, into Beluncan." It is more likely that Belinkin has suggested Balcanqual, than that Balcanqual has been corrupted into Lamkin.

Belinkin was as gude a mason
As e'er pickt a stane;
He built up Prime Castle,
But payment gat nane.
The lord said to his lady,5
When he was going abroad,
"O beware of Belinkin,
For he lyes in the wood."
The gates they were bolted,
Baith outside and in;10
At the sma' peep of a window
Belinkin crap in.
"Gude morrow, gude morrow,"
Said Lambert Linkin.
"Gude morrow to yoursell, sir,"15
Said the fause nurse to him.[Pg 102]
"O whare is your gude lord?"
Said Lambert Linkin.
"He's awa to New England,
To meet with his king."20
"O where is his auld son?"
Said Lambert Linkin.
"He's awa to buy pearlings,
Gin our lady ly in."
"Then she'll never wear them,"25
Said Lambert Linkin.
"And that is nae pity,"
Said the fause nurse to him.
"O where is your lady?"
Said Lambert Linkin.30
"She's in her bouir sleepin',"
Said the fause nurse to him.
"How can we get at her?"
Said Lambert Linkin.
"Stab the babe to the heart35
Wi' a silver bo'kin."
"That wud be a pity,"
Said Lambert Linkin.
"Nae pity, nae pity,"
[Pg 103]Said the fause nurse to him.40
Belinkin he rocked,
And the fause nurse she sang,
Till a' the tores o' the cradle
Wi' the red blude down ran.
"O still my babe, nurice,45
O still him wi' the knife."
"He'll no be still, lady,
Tho' I lay down my life."
"O still my babe, nurice,
O still him wi' the kame."50
"He'll no be still, lady,
Till his daddy come hame."
"O still my babe, nurice,
O still him wi' the bell."
"He'll no be still, lady,55
Till ye come down yoursell."
"It's how can I come doun,
This cauld frosty nicht,
Without e'er a coal
[Pg 104]Or a clear candle licht?"60
"There's twa smocks in your coffer,
As white as a swan;
Put ane o' them about you,
It will shew you licht doun."
She took ane o' them about her,65
And came tripping doun;
But as soon as she viewed,
Belinkin was in.
"Gude morrow, gude morrow,"
Said Lambert Linkin.70
"Gude morrow to yoursell, sir,"
Said the lady to him.
"O save my life, Belinkin,
Till my husband come back,
And I'll gie ye as much red gold75
As ye'll haud in your hat."
"I'll not save your life, lady,
Till your husband come back,
Tho' you wud gie me as much red gold
As I could haud in a sack.80
"Will I kill her?" quo' Belinkin,
"Will I kill her, or let her be?"
"You may kill her," said the fause nurse,
"She was ne'er gude to me;[Pg 105]
And ye'll be laird o' the Castle,85
And I'll be ladye."
Then he cut aff her head
Fra her lily breast bane,
And he hung 't up in the kitchen,
It made a' the ha' shine.90
The lord sat in England
A-drinking the wine:
"I wish a' may be weel
Wi' my lady at hame;
For the rings o' my fingers95
They're now burst in twain!"
He saddled his horse,
And he came riding doun;
But as soon as he viewed,
Belinkin was in.100
He hadna weel stepped
Twa steps up the stair,
Till he saw his pretty young son
Lying dead on the floor.
He hadna weel stepped105
Other twa up the stair,
Till he saw his pretty lady
Lying dead in despair.[Pg 106]
He hanged Belinkin
Out over the gate;110
And he burnt the fause nurice,
Being under the grate.

43. Tores. The projections or knobs at the corners of old-fashioned cradles, and the ornamented balls commonly found surmounting the backs of old chairs. Motherwell.


[Pg 107]

THE LAIRD OF WARISTOUN.

Jamieson and Kinloch have each published a highly dramatic fragment of this terrible story. Both of these are here given, and in the Appendix may be seen Buchan's more extensive, but far less poetical version. With this last, we have printed Mr. Chambers's account of the events on which these ballads are founded.

Jamieson's copy was taken down by Sir Walter Scott, from the recitation of his mother. Popular Ballads, i. 109.

Down by yon garden green
Sae merrily as she gaes;
She has twa weel-made feet,
And she trips upon her taes.
She has twa weel-made feet;5
Far better is her hand;
She's as jimp in the middle
As ony willow-wand.[Pg 108]
"Gif ye will do my bidding,
At my bidding for to be,10
It's I will make you lady
Of a' the lands you see."
* * * * * * *
He spak a word in jest;
Her answer wasna good;
He threw a plate at her face,15
Made it a' gush out o' blood.
She wasna frae her chamber
A step but barely three,
When up and at her richt hand
There stood Man's Enemy.20
"Gif ye will do my bidding,
At my bidding for to be;
I'll learn you a wile
Avenged for to be."
The Foul Thief knotted the tether;25
She lifted his head on hie;
The nourice drew the knot
That gar'd lord Waristoun die.
Then word is gane to Leith,
Also to Edinburgh town,30
That the lady had kill'd the laird,
The laird o' Waristoun.
[Pg 109]* * * * * * *
"Tak aff, tak aff my hood,
But lat my petticoat be;
Put my mantle o'er my head;35
For the fire I downa see.
"Now, a' ye gentle maids,
Tak warning now by me,
And never marry ane
But wha pleases your e'e.40
"For he married me for love,
But I married him for fee;
And sae brak out the feud
That gar'd my dearie die."

[Pg 110]

LAIRD OF WARIESTOUN.

Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 53.

It was at dinner as they sat,
And when they drank the wine,
How happy were the laird and lady
Of bonnie Wariestoun.
The lady spak but ae word,5
The matter to conclude;
The laird strak her on the mouth,
Till she spat out o' blude.
She did not know the way
Her mind to satisfy,10
Till evil cam into her head
All by the Enemy.
[Pg 111]* * * * * * *
"At evening when ye sit
And when ye drink the wine,
See that ye fill the glass well up15
To the laird o' Wariestoun."
* * * * * * *
So at table as they sat,
And when they drank the wine,
She made the glass aft gae round
To the laird o' Wariestoun.20
The nurice she knet the knot,
And O she knet it sicker;
The ladie did gie it a twig,
Till it began to wicker.
But word has gane doun to Leith,25
And up to Embro toun,
That the lady she has slain the laird,
The laird o' Wariestoun.
Word's gane to her father, the great Duniepace,
And an angry man was he;30
Cries, "Fy! gar mak a barrel o' pikes,
And row her doun some brae."
She said, "Wae be to ye, Wariestoun,
I wish ye may sink for ain;
For I hae been your gudwife35
These nine years, running ten;
[Pg 112] And I never loved ye sae weill
As now when you're lying slain."
* * * * * * *
"But tak aff this gowd brocade,
And let my petticoat be,40
And tie a handkerchief round my face,
That the people may not see."

[Pg 113]

THE QUEEN'S MARIE.

Of this affecting ballad different editions have appeared in Scott's Minstrelsy, Sharpe's Ballad Book, p. 18, Kinloch's Scottish Ballads, and Motherwell's Minstrelsy. There is also a fragment in Maidment's North Countrie Garland, which has been reprinted in Buchan's Gleanings, p. 164, and a very inferior version, with a different catastrophe, in Buchan's larger collection, (ii. 190,) called Warenston and the Duke of York's Daughter. Kinloch's copy may be found with Maidment's fragment, in the Appendix to this volume: Motherwell's immediately after the present.

Sir Walter Scott conceives the ballad to have had its foundation in an event which took place early in the reign of Mary Stuart, described by Knox as follows: "In the very time of the General Assembly, there comes to public knowledge a haynous murther, committed in the court; yea, not far from the Queen's lap; for a French woman, that served in the Queen's chamber, had played the whore with the Queen's own apothecary. The woman conceived and bare a childe, whom, with common consent, the father and mother murthered; yet were the cries of a new[Pg 114]-borne childe hearde, searche was made, the childe and the mother were both apprehended, and so were the man and the woman condemned to be hanged in the publicke street of Edinburgh. The punishment was suitable, because the crime was haynous. But yet was not the court purged of whores and whoredoms, which was the fountaine of such enormities: for it was well known that shame hasted marriage betwixt John Sempill, called the Dancer, and Mary Levingston, sirnamed the Lusty. What bruit the Maries, and the rest of the dancers of the court had, the ballads of that age doe witnesse, which we for modestie's sake omit. Knox's History of the Reformation, p. 373.

"Such," Sir Walter goes on to say, "seems to be the subject of the following ballad, as narrated by the stern apostle of Presbytery. It will readily strike the reader, that the tale has suffered great alterations, as handed down by tradition; the French waiting woman being changed into Mary Hamilton, and the Queen's apothecary into Henry Darnley. Yet this is less surprising, when we recollect, that one of the heaviest of the Queen's complaints against her ill-fated husband, was his infidelity, and that even with her personal attendants."

Satisfactorily as the circumstances of Knox's story may agree with those of the ballads, a coincidence no less striking, and extending even to the name, is presented by an incident which occurred at the court of Peter the Great. "During the reign of the Czar Peter," observes Mr. C. K. Sharpe, "one of his Empress's attendants, a Miss Hamilton, was executed for the murder of a natural child,—not her first crime in that way, as was suspected; and the Emperor, whose admiration of her beauty did not preserve her life,[Pg 115] stood upon the scaffold till her head was struck off, which he lifted by the ears and kissed on the lips. I cannot help thinking that the two stories have been confused in the ballad; for, if Marie Hamilton was executed in Scotland, it is not likely that her relations resided beyond seas; and we have no proof that Hamilton was really the name of the woman who made the slip with the Queen's apothecary."

Scott's edition of Mary Hamilton, (the first ever published,) was made up by him, from various copies. See Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 294.

Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane,
Wi' ribbons in her hair;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton,
Than ony that were there.
Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane,5
Wi' ribbons on her breast;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton,
Than he listen'd to the priest.
Marie Hamilton's to the kirk gane,
Wi' gloves upon her hands;10
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton,
Than the Queen and a' her lands.
She hadna been about the King's court
A month, but barely one,
Till she was beloved by a' the King's court,15
And the King the only man.[Pg 116]
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.20
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.
O she has row'd it in her apron,25
And set it on the sea,—
"Gae sink ye, or swim ye, bonny babe,
Ye's get nae mair o' me."—
Word is to the kitchen gane,
And word is to the ha',30
And word is to the noble room,
Amang the ladyes a',
That Marie Hamilton's brought to bed,
And the bonny babe's mist and awa'.
Scarcely had she lain down again,35
And scarcely fa'en asleep,
When up then started our gude Queen,
Just at her bed-feet;
Saying—"Marie Hamilton, where's your babe?
For I am sure I heard it greet."—40
"O no, O no, my noble Queen!
Think no such thing to be;[Pg 117]
'Twas but a stitch into my side,
And sair it troubles me."—
"Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton:45
Get up and follow me;
For I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding for to see."—
O slowly, slowly raise she up,
And slowly put she on;50
And slowly rode she out the way,
Wi' mony a weary groan.
The Queen was clad in scarlet,
Her merry maids all in green;
And every town that they cam to,55
They took Marie for the Queen.
"Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen,
Ride hooly now wi' me!
For never, I am sure, a wearier burd
Rade in your cumpanie."—60
But little wist Marie Hamilton,
When she rade on the brown,
That she was ga'en to Edinburgh town,
And a' to be put down.
"Why weep ye so, ye burgess wives,65
Why look ye so on me?
O I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding for to see."[Pg 118]
When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
The corks frae her heels did flee;70
And lang or e'er she cam down again,
She was condemn'd to die.
When she cam to the Netherbow port,
She laughed loud laughters three;
But when she cam to the gallows foot,75
The tears blinded her ee.
"O often have I dress'd my Queen,
And put gold upon her hair;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows to be my share.
"Often have I dress'd my Queen,85
And often made her bed;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows tree to tread.
"I charge ye all, ye mariners,
When ye sail ower the faem,90
Let neither my father nor mother get wit,
But that I'm coming hame.
"I charge ye all, ye mariners,
That sail upon the sea,
Let neither my father nor mother get wit95
This dog's death I'm to die.
"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!100
"O little did my mother ken,
That day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in,
Or the death I was to die!"

73. The Netherbow port was the gate which divided the city of Edinburgh from the suburb, called the Canongate. S.

80. The Queen's Maries were four young ladies of the highest families in Scotland, who were sent to France in her train, and returned with her to Scotland. Keith gives us their names, p. 55. "The young Queen, Mary, embarked at Dunbarton for France, ... and with her went ... and four young virgins, all of the name of Mary, viz. Livingston, Fleming, Seatoun, and Beatoun." Neither Mary Livingston, nor Mary Fleming, are mentioned in the ballad; nor are the Mary Hamilton, and Mary Carmichael, of the ballad, mentioned by Keith. But if this corps continued to consist of young virgins, as when originally raised, it could hardly have subsisted without occasional recruits; especially if we trust our old bard, and John Knox.

The Queen's Maries are mentioned in many ballads, and the name seems to have passed into a general denomination for female attendants.—Scott.


[Pg 120]

MARY HAMILTON.

From Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 311.

"In this set of the ballad, from its direct allusion to the use of the Savin-tree, a clue is, perhaps, afforded for tracing how the poor mediciner mentioned by Knox should be implicated in the crime of Mary Hamilton. It may also be noted as a feature in this version of the ballad, which does not occur in any heretofore printed, the unfortunate heroine's proud and indignant spurning at life after her character had been tainted by the infamy of a sentence of condemnation. In another copy of the ballad, also obtained from recitation, this sentiment is, perhaps, still more forcibly expressed; at any rate, it is more appropriate as being addressed to the King. The whole concluding verses of this copy, differing as they somewhat do from the version adopted for a text, it has been thought worth while to preserve.

"But bring to me a cup," she says,
"A cup bot and a can,
And I will drink to all my friends,
And they'll drink to me again.
Here's to you, all travellers,
Who travel by land or sea;
Let na wit to my father nor mother
The death that I must die.
Here's to you, all travellers,[Pg 121]
That travel on dry land;
Let na wit to my father or mother
But I am coming hame.
O little did my mother think,
First time she cradled me,
What land I was to travel on,
Or what death I would die.
O little did my mother think,
First time she tied my head,
What land I was to tread upon,
Or whare I would win my bread.
Yestreen Queen Mary had four Maries;
This night she'll hae but three;
She had Mary Seaton, and Mary Beaton,
And Mary Carmichael, and me.
Yestreen I wush Queen Mary's feet,
And bore her till her bed;
This day she's given me my reward,
The gallows tree to tread.
Cast aff, cast aff my gown," she said,
"But let my petticoat be;
And tye a napkin on my face,
For that gallows I downa see."
By and cam the King himsell,
Look'd up wi' a pitiful ee:
"Come down, come down, Mary Hamilton;
This day thou wilt dine with me."
"Hold your tongue, my sovereign liege,
And let your folly be;
An ye had had a mind to save my life,
Ye should na hae shamed me here!"

"The copy of the ballad from which the above extract is given, begins with this verse:

"There were three ladies, they lived in a bower,
And O but they were fair;
The youngest o' them is to the King's court,
To learn some unco lair."
[Pg 122]

"There is another version in which the heroine is named Mary Myles, or Myle; but Myle is probably a corruption of the epithet 'mild,' which occurs in the fragment given in the North Countrie Garland." Motherwell.

There lived a knight into the North,
And he had daughters three:
The ane of them was a barber's wife,
The other a gay ladie;
And the youngest o' them to Scotland is gane5
The Queen's Mary to be;
And for a' that they could say or do,
Forbidden she wouldna be.
The prince's bed it was sae saft,
The spices they were sae fine,10
That out of it she could not lye
While she was scarce fifteen.
She's gane to the garden gay
To pu' of the savin tree;
But for a' that she could say or do,15
The babie it would not die.
She's rowed it in her handkerchief,
She threw it in the sea:
Says,—"Sink ye, swim ye, my bonnie babe,
[Pg 123]For ye'll get nae mair of me."20
Queen Mary came tripping down the stair,
Wi' the gold strings in her hair:
"O whare's the little babie," she says,
"That I heard greet sae sair?"
"O hald your tongue, Queen Mary, my dame,25
Let all those words go free;
It was mysell wi' a fit o' the sair colic,
I was sick just like to die."
"O hald your tongue, Mary Hamilton,
Let all those words go free;30
O where is the little babie
That I heard weep by thee?"
"I rowed it in my handkerchief,
And threw it in the sea;
I bade it sink, I bade it swim,35
It would get nae mair o' me."
"O wae be to thee, Mary Hamilton,
And an ill deid may you die;
For if you had saved the babie's life,
It might hae been an honour to thee.40
"Busk ye, busk ye, Mary Hamilton,
O busk ye to be a bride;
For I am going to Edinburgh town
Your gay wedding to bide.[Pg 124]
"You must not put on your robes of black,45
Nor yet your robes of brown;
But you must put on your yellow gold stuffs,
To shine thro' Edinburgh town."
"I will not put on my robes of black,
Nor yet my robes of brown;50
But I will put on my yellow gold stuffs,
To shine thro' Edinburgh town."
As she went up the Parliament Close,
A riding on her horse,
There she saw many a burgess' lady55
Sit greeting at the cross.
"O what means a' this greeting?
I'm sure it's nae for me;
For I'm come this day to Edinburgh town,
Weel wedded for to be."60
When she gade up the Parliament stair,
She gied loud lauchters three;
But ere that she had come down again,
She was condemned to die.
"O little did my mother think,65
The day she prinned my gown,
That I was to come sae far frae hame
To be hanged in Edinburgh town.[Pg 125]
"O what'll my poor father think,
As he comes through the town,70
To see the face of his Molly fair
Hanging on the gallows pin?
"Here's a health to the mariners
That plough the raging main;
Let neither my mother nor father ken75
But I'm coming hame again.
"Here's a health to the sailors
That sail upon the sea;
Let neither my mother nor father ken
That I came here to die.80
"Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
This night she'll hae but three;
There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton,
And Mary Carmichael and me."
"O hald your tongue, Mary Hamilton,85
Let all those words go free;
This night ere ye be hanged
Ye shall gang hame wi' me."
"O hald your tongue, Queen Mary, my dame,
Let all those words go free;90
Since I have come to Edinburgh town,
It's hanged I shall be;
For it shall ne'er be said that in your court
I was condemned to die."

[Pg 126]

BESSIE BELL AND MARY GRAY.

From Lyle's Ancient Ballads and Songs, p. 160, where it was printed as collated "from the singing of two aged persons, one of them a native of Perthshire." There are two versions slightly differing from the present;—one in Cunningham's Songs of Scotland, iii. 60, obtained from Sir Walter Scott, and another in Mr. Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Ballad Book, p. 62.

Allan Ramsay wrote a song with the same title, beginning with the first stanza of the ballad, (Tea Table Miscellany, i. 70.)

The story of the unfortunate heroines is thus given by Chambers: "Bessie Bell and Mary Gray were the daughters of two country gentlemen in the neighborhood of Perth; and an intimate friendship subsisted between them. Bessie Bell, daughter of the Laird of Kinnaird, happening to be on a visit to Mary Gray, at her father's house of Lynedoch, when the plague of 1666 broke out, to avoid the infection, the two young ladies built themselves a bower in a very retired and romantic spot, called the Burn-braes, about three quarters of a mile westward from Lynedoch House; where they resided for some time, supplied with food, it is[Pg 127] said, by a young gentleman of Perth, who was in love with them both. The disease was unfortunately communicated to them by their lover, and proved fatal; when, according to custom in cases of the plague, they were not buried in the ordinary parochial place of sepulture, but in a sequestered spot, called the Dronach Haugh, at the foot of a brae of the same name, upon the banks of the River Almond."

O Bessy Bell an' Mary Gray,
They were twa bonnie lassies;
They biggit a house on yon burn-brae,
An' theekit it o'er wi' rashes.
They theekit it o'er wi' birk and brume,5
They theekit it o'er wi' heather,
Till the pest cam frae the neib'rin town
An' streekit them baith thegither.
They were na' buried in Meffen kirk-yard,
Amang the rest o' their kin;10
But they were buried by Dornoch haugh,
On the bent before the sun.
Sing, Bessy Bell an' Mary Gray,
They were twa bonnie lasses,
Wha' biggit a bower on yon burn-brae,15
An' theekit it o'er wi' thrashes.

[Pg 128]

THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.

The Children in the Wood is perhaps the most popular of all English ballads. Its merit is attested by the favor it has enjoyed with so many generations, and was vindicated to a cold and artificial age by the kindly pen of Addison. The editor of the Reliques thought that the subject was taken from an old play, published in 1601, "of a young child murthered in a wood by two ruffins, with the consent of his unkle," but Ritson discovered that the ballad was entered in the Stationers' Registers in 1595. The plot of the play was undoubtedly derived from the Italian, and the author of the ballad may have taken a hint from the same source.

Percy's edition, (Reliques, iii. 218,) which we have adopted, was printed from two old copies, one of them in black-letter, in the Pepys collection. The full title is, The Children in the Wood, or, The Norfolk Gentleman's Last Will and Testament. To the Tune of Rogero, &c. Copies slightly varying from Percy's may be seen in A Collection of Old Ballads, (1723,) i. 221; Ritson's Ancient Songs, ii. 150; The Book of British Ballads, p. 13; and Moore's Pictorial Book of Ancient Ballad Poetry, p. 263.[Pg 129]

Now ponder well, you parents deare,
These wordes which I shall write;
A doleful story you shall heare,
In time brought forth to light.
A gentleman of good account5
In Norfolke dwelt of late,
Who did in honour far surmount
Most men of his estate.
Sore sicke he was, and like to dye,
No helpe his life could save;10
His wife by him as sicke did lye,
And both possest one grave.
No love between these two was lost,
Each was to other kinde;
In love they liv'd, in love they dyed,15
And left two babes behinde:
The one a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three yeares olde;
The other a girl more young than he,
And fram'd in beautyes molde.20
The father left his little son,
As plainlye doth appeare,
When he to perfect age should come,
Three hundred poundes a yeare.
And to his little daughter Jane25
Five hundred poundes in gold,[Pg 130]
To be paid downe on marriage-day,
Which might not be controll'd:
But if the children chance to dye,
Ere they to age should come,30
Their uncle should possesse their wealth;
For so the wille did run.
"Now, brother," said the dying man,
"Look to my children deare;
Be good unto my boy and girl,35
No friendes else have they here:
To God and you I recommend
My children deare this daye;
But little while be sure we have
Within this world to staye.40
"You must be father and mother both,
And uncle all in one;
God knowes what will become of them,
When I am dead and gone."
With that bespake their mother deare,45
"O brother kinde," quoth shee,
"You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or miserie:
"And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward;50
But if you otherwise should deal,
God will your deedes regard."[Pg 131]
With lippes as cold as any stone,
They kist their children small:
"God bless you both, my children deare;"55
With that the teares did fall.
These speeches then their brother spake
To this sicke couple there:
"The keeping of your little ones,
Sweet sister, do not feare.60
God never prosper me nor mine,
Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children deare,
When you are layd in grave."
The parents being dead and gone,65
The children home he takes,
And bringes them straite unto his house,
Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a daye,70
But, for their wealth, he did devise
To make them both awaye.
He bargain'd with two ruffians strong,
Which were of furious mood,
That they should take these children young,75
And slaye them in a wood.
He told his wife an artful tale.
He would the children send[Pg 132]
To be brought up in faire London,
With one that was his friend.80
Away then went those pretty babes,
Rejoycing at that tide,
Rejoycing with a merry minde,
They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,85
As they rode on the waye,
To those that should their butchers be,
And work their lives decaye:
So that the pretty speeche they had,
Made Murder's heart relent:90
And they that undertooke the deed,
Full sore did now repent.
Yet one of them more hard of heart,
Did vowe to do his charge,
Because the wretch, that hired him,95
Had paid him very large.
The other won't agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
With one another they did fight,
About the childrens life:100
And he that was of mildest mood,
Did slaye the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood;
The babes did quake for feare![Pg 133]
He took the children by the hand,105
Teares standing in their eye,
And bad them straitwaye follow him,
And look they did not crye:
And two long miles he ledd them on,
While they for food complaine:110
"Staye here," quoth he, "I'll bring you bread,
When I come back againe."
These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and downe;
But never more could see the man115
Approaching from the towne:
Their prettye lippes with blackberries,
Were all besmear'd and dyed,
And when they sawe the darksome night,
They sat them downe and cryed.120
Thus wandered these poor innocents,
Till deathe did end their grief,
In one anothers armes they died,
As wanting due relief:
No burial this pretty pair125
Of any man receives,
Till Robin-red-breast piously
Did cover them with leaves.
And now the heavy wrathe of God
[Pg 134]Upon their uncle fell;130
Yea, fearfull fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt an hell;
His barnes were fir'd, his goodes consum'd,
His landes were barren made,
His cattle dyed within the field,135
And nothing with him stayd.
And in the voyage of Portugal
Two of his sonnes did dye;
And to conclude, himselfe was brought
To want and miserye:140
He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about,
And now at length this wicked act
Did by this meanes come out:
The fellowe, that did take in hand145
These children for to kill,
Was for a robbery judg'd to dye,
Such was God's blessed will:
Who did confess the very truth,
As here hath been display'd:150
Their uncle having dyed in gaol,
Where he for debt was layd.
You that executors be made,
And overseers eke[Pg 135]
Of children that be fatherless,155
And infants mild and meek;
Take you example by this thing,
And yield to each his right,
Lest God with such like miserye
Your wicked minds requite.

125, these ... babes, PP.

137. "A. D. 1588. Dr. Percy, not knowing that the text alludes to a particular event, has altered it to a voyage to Portugal." Ritson.


[Pg 136]

HUGH OF LINCOLN.

In the year 1255, we are told by Matthew Paris, in his account of the reign of Henry III., the Jews of Lincoln stole a boy, named Hugh, of the age of eight years, whom, after torturing for ten days, they crucified before a large council of their people, in contempt of the death of the founder of Christianity. The boy was sought by his mother in the house of a Jew, which he had been seen to enter, and his body was found in a pit. The occupant of the house being seized, acknowledged the crime, and avowed, besides, that the like was committed nearly every year by his nation. Notwithstanding the promise of impunity by which this confession had been obtained, the wretch who made it was tied to the tail of a horse and dragged to the gallows, and after a judicial investigation, eighteen of the richest and most distinguished Jews in Lincoln were hanged for participation in the murder, while many more were detained as prisoners in the Tower of London. On the other hand, the body of the child was buried with the honors of a martyr in Lincoln Cathedral, where a construction, assumed without reason to be his tomb, is still shown. The remains of a young person, found near this spot in 1791, were at once taken for granted to be those of[Pg 137] the sainted infant, and drawings were made of the relics, which may be seen among the works of the artist Grimm in the British Museum.

Several stories of the same tenor are reported by the English chroniclers. It may be doubted whether there is a grain of truth in any of them, although it would be no wonder if the atrocious injuries inflicted on the Jews should, in an instance or two, have provoked a bloody retaliation, even from that tribe whose badge has always been sufferance. The annual sacrifice of a Christian child, in mockery of the crucifixion of Jesus, is on a par for credibility with the miracles which are said to have followed the death of those innocents.

The exquisite tale which Chaucer has put into the mouth of the Prioress exhibits nearly the same incidents as the following ballad. The legend of Hugh of Lincoln was widely famous. Michel has published an Anglo-Norman ballad, (Hugo de Lincolnia,) on the subject, which appears to be almost contemporary with the event recorded by Matthew Paris, and is certainly of the times of Henry III. The versions of the English ballad are quite numerous. We give here those of Percy, Herd, and Jamieson, and two others in the Appendix. Besides these, fragments have been printed in Sir Egerton Brydges's Restituta, i. 381, Halliwell's Ballads and Poems respecting Hugh of Lincoln, (1849,) and in Notes and Queries, vol. viii. 614, ix. 320, xii. 496. The most complete of all the versions is to be found in the new edition of the Musical Museum, vol. iv. p. 500; but that copy is evidently made up from others previously published. See, for a collection of most of the poetry, and of much[Pg 138] curious information on the imputed cruelties of the Jews, Michel's Hugues de Lincoln, and Hume's Sir Hugh of Lincoln. The whole subject is critically examined in the London Athenæum for Dec. 15, 1849.

"The text of the following edition has been given verbatim, as the editor took it down from Mrs. Brown's recitation; and in it two circumstances are preserved, which are neither to be found in any of the former editions, nor in any of the chronicles in which the transaction is recorded; but which are perfectly in the character of those times, and tend to enhance the miracles to which the discovery is attributed. The first of these is, that, in order that the whole of this infamous sacrifice might be of a piece, and every possible outrage shown to Christianity, the Jews threw the child's body into a well dedicated to the Virgin Mary; and tradition says, that it was 'through the might of Our Ladie,' that the dead body was permitted to speak, and to reveal the horrid story to the disconsolate mother. The other is, the voluntary ringing of the bells, &c., at his funeral. The sound of consecrated bells was supposed to have a powerful effect in driving away evil spirits, appeasing storms, &c., and they were believed to be inspired with sentiments and perceptions which were often manifested in a very miraculous manner." Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i. 139-156.

Four and twenty bonny boys
Were playing at the ba';
And by it came him, sweet Sir Hugh,
And he play'd o'er them a'.[Pg 139]
He kick'd the ba' with his right foot,5
And catch'd it wi' his knee;
And throuch-and-thro' the Jew's window,
He gar'd the bonny ba' flee.
He's doen him to the Jew's castell,
And walk'd it round about;10
And there he saw the Jew's daughter
At the window looking out.
"Throw down the ba', ye Jew's daughter,
Throw down the ba' to me!"
"Never a bit," says the Jew's daughter,15
"Till up to me come ye."
"How will I come up? How can I come up?
How can I come to thee?
For as ye did to my auld father,
The same ye'll do to me."20
She's gane till her father's garden,
And pu'd an apple, red and green;
'Twas a' to wyle him, sweet Sir Hugh,
And to entice him in.
She's led him in through ae dark door,25
And sae has she thro' nine;
She's laid him on a dressing table,
And stickit him like a swine.[Pg 140]
And first came out the thick, thick blood,
And syne came out the thin;30
And syne came out the bonny heart's blood;
There was nae mair within.
She's row'd him in a cake o' lead,
Bade him lie still and sleep;
She's thrown him in Our Lady's draw well,35
Was fifty fathom deep.
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' the bairns came hame,
When every lady gat hame her son,
The Lady Maisry gat nane.40
She's ta'en her mantle her about,
Her coffer by the hand;
And she's gane out to seek her son,
And wander'd o'er the land.
She's doen her to the Jew's castell,45
Where a' were fast asleep;
"Gin ye be there, my sweet Sir Hugh,
I pray you to me speak."
She's doen her to the Jew's garden,
Thought he had been gathering fruit;50
"Gin ye be there, my sweet Sir Hugh,
I pray you to me speak."[Pg 141]
She near'd Our Lady's deep draw-well,
Was fifty fathom deep;
"Whare'er ye be, my sweet Sir Hugh,55
I pray you to me speak."
"Gae hame, gae hame, my mither dear;
Prepare my winding sheet;
And, at the back o' merry Lincoln,
The morn I will you meet."60
Now Lady Maisry is gane hame;
Made him a winding sheet;
And, at the back o' merry Lincoln,
The dead corpse did her meet.
And a' the bells o' merry Lincoln,65
Without men's hands were rung;
And a' the books o' merry Lincoln,
Were read without man's tongue;
And ne'er was such a burial
Sin Adam's days begun.70

[Pg 142]

SIR HUGH.

From Herd's Scottish Songs, i. 157.

A' the boys of merry Linkim
War playing at the ba',
An up it stands him sweet Sir Hugh,
The flower among them a'.
He keppit the ba' than wi' his foot,5
And catcht it wi' his knee,
And even in at the Jew's window,
He gart the bonny ba' flee.
"Cast out the ba' to me, fair maid,
Cast out the ba' to me."10
"Ah never a bit of it," she says,
"Till ye come up to me.
"Come up, sweet Hugh, come up, dear Hugh,
Come up and get the ba';"
"I winna come, I mayna come,15
Without my bonny boys a'."[Pg 143]
"Come up, sweet Hugh, come up, dear Hugh,
Come up and speak to me;"
"I mayna come, I winna come,
Without my bonny boys three."20
She's taen her to the Jew's garden,
Whar the grass grew lang and green,
She's pu'd an apple red and white,
To wyle the bonny boy in.
She's wyled him in through ae chamber,25
She's wyled him in through twa,
She's wyled him in till her ain chamber,
The flower out owr them a'.
She's laid him on a dressin board,
Whar she did often dine;30
She stack a penknife to his heart,
And dress'd him like a swine.
She row'd him in a cake of lead,
Bade him ly still and sleep,
She threw him i' the Jew's draw-well,35
It was fifty fathom deep.
Whan bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' man bound to bed,
Every lady got home her son,
But sweet Sir Hugh was dead.

[Pg 144]

THE JEW'S DAUGHTER.

From Percy's Reliques, i. 40; printed from a manuscript copy sent from Scotland.

Mirryland toune is a corruption of Merry Lincoln, and not, as Percy conjectured, of Mailand (Milan) town. In Motherwell's copy we have Maitland town.

The rain rins doun through Mirry-land toune,
Sae dois it doune the Pa:
Sae dois the lads of Mirry-land toune,
Quhan they play at the ba'.
Than out and cam the Jewis dochter,5
Said, "Will ye cum in and dine?"
"I winnae cum in, I cannae cum in,
Without my play-feres nine."
Scho powd an apple reid and white,
To intice the zong thing in:10
Scho powd an apple white and reid,
And that the sweit bairne did win.[Pg 145]
And scho has taine out a little pen-knife,
And low down by her gair;
Scho has twin'd the zong thing and his life;15
A word he nevir spak mair.
And out and cam the thick thick bluid,
And out and cam the thin;
And out and cam the bonny herts bluid:
Thair was nae life left in.20
Scho laid him on a dressing borde,
And drest him like a swine,
And laughing said, "Gae nou and pley
With zour sweit play-feres nine."
Scho rowd him in a cake of lead,25
Bade him lie stil and sleip;
Scho cast him in a deip draw-well,
Was fifty fadom deip.
Quhan bells wer rung, and mass was sung,
And every lady went hame,30
Then ilka lady had her zong sonne,
Bot Lady Helen had nane.
Scho rowd hir mantil hir about,
And sair sair gan she weip,
And she ran into the Jewis castèl,35
Quhan they wer all asleip.[Pg 146]
"My bonny Sir Hew, my pretty Sir Hew,
I pray thee to me speik:"
"O lady, rinn to the deip draw-well,
Gin ze zour sonne wad seik."40
Lady Helen ran to the deip draw-well,
And knelt upon her kne:
"My bonny Sir Hew, and ze be here,
I pray thee speik to me."
"The lead is wondrous heavy, mither,45
The well is wondrous deip;
A keen pen-knife sticks in my hert,
A word I dounae speik.
"Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir,
Fetch me my windling sheet,50
And at the back o' Mirry-land toun,
Its thair we twa sall meet."

[Pg 147]

SIR PATRICK SPENCE.

From Percy's Reliques, i. 81.

The event upon which this ballad is founded, if it has been rightly ascertained, belongs to a remote period in Scottish history. Margaret, the daughter of Alexander III., was, in the year 1281, betrothed to Eric, prince of Norway. The bride was conducted to her husband by a splendid convoy of knights and nobles, and in the month of August was crowned queen. In returning from the celebration of the nuptials, many of the Scottish escort were lost at sea, and among those who perished was Sir Patrick Spence, we are to suppose.

It is in conformity with this view of the origin of the ballad, (the suggestion of Motherwell,) that in Buchan's version the object of the voyage is said to be to take the king's daughter, now "a chosen queen," to Norway. In Scott's edition, on the other hand, Sir Patrick is deputed to bring home the king of Norway's daughter. To explain this circumstance in the story, Sir Walter is forced to suppose that an unsuccessful and unrecorded embassy was sent, when the death of Alexander III. had left the Scottish throne vacant, to bring the only daughter of Eric and Margaret, styled by historians the Maid of Norway, to the kingdom of which, after her grandfather's demise, she became the[Pg 148] heir. That such an embassy, attended with so disastrous consequences to the distinguished persons who would compose it, should be entirely unnoticed by the chroniclers is, to say the least, exceedingly improbable.

The question concerning the historical basis of the ballad would naturally lose much of its interest, were any importance attached to the arguments by which its genuineness has been lately assailed. These are so trivial as hardly to admit of a statement. The claims of the composition to a high antiquity are first disputed, (Musical Museum, new ed., iv. 457*,) on the ground that such a piece was never heard of till it was sent to Percy by some of his correspondents in Scotland, with other ballads of (assumed) questionable authority. But even the ballad of Sir Hugh is liable to any impeachment that can be extracted from these circumstances, since it was first made known by Percy, and was transmitted to him from Scotland, (for aught we know, in suspicious company,) while its story dates also from the 13th century. Then, "an ingenious friend" having remarked to Percy that some of the phrases of Hardyknute seemed to have been borrowed from Sir Patrick Spence and other old Scottish songs, this observation, combined with the fact that the localities of Dunfermline and Aberdour are in the neighborhood of Sir Henry Wardlaw's estate, leads to a conjecture that Lady Wardlaw may have been the author of Sir Patrick Spence, as she is known to have been of Hardyknute. It could never be deemed fair to argue from those resemblances which give plausibility to a counterfeit to the spuriousness of the original, but in fact there is no resemblance in the two pieces. Hardyknute is recognized at once by an ordinary critic[Pg 149] to be a modern production, and is, notwithstanding the praise it has received, a tame and tiresome one besides. Sir Patrick Spence, on the other hand, if not ancient, has been always accepted as such by the most skilful judges, and is a solitary instance of a successful imitation, in manner and spirit, of the best specimens of authentic minstrelsy.[1]

It is not denied that this ballad has suffered, like others, by corruption and interpolations, and it is not, therefore, maintained that hats and cork-heeld shoon are of the 13th century.

We have assigned to Percy's copy the first place, because its brevity and directness give it a peculiar vigor. Scott's edition follows, made up from two MS. copies, (one of which has been printed in Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i. 157,) collated with several verses recited by a friend. Buchan's version, obtained from recitation, is in the Appendix. The variations in recited copies are numerous: some specimens are given by Motherwell, p. xlv.

The king sits in Dumferling[2] toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
"O quhar will I get guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?"[Pg 150]
Up and spak an eldern knicht,5
Sat at the kings richt kne:
"Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor,
That sails upon the se."
The king has written a braid letter,
And signd it wi' his hand,10
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,
Was walking on the sand.
The first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch lauched he:
The next line that Sir Patrick red,15
The teir blinded his ee.
"O quha is this has don this deid,
This ill deid don to me;
To send me out this time o' the zeir,
To sail upon the se?20
"Mak hast, mak haste, my mirry men all,
Our guid schip sails the morne."
"O say na sae, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.
"Late late yestreen I saw the new moone25
Wi' the auld moone in hir arme;
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,
That we will com to harme."[Pg 151]
O our Scots nobles wer richt laith
To weet their cork-heild schoone;30
Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd,
Thair hats they swam aboone.
O lang, lang, may their ladies sit
Wi' thair fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence35
Cum sailing to the land.
O lang, lang, may the ladies stand
Wi' thair gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for thair ain deir lords,
For they'll se thame na mair.40
Have owre, have owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom deip:
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence,
Wi' the Scots lords at his feit.

[1] This controversy has been recently re-opened by R. Chambers, The Romantic Scottish Ballads, their Epoch and Authorship, Edin. 1859; and in reply, The Romantic Scottish Ballads and the Lady Wardlaw Heresy, by Norval Clyne, Aberdeen, 1859.

[2] The palace of Dunfermline was the favorite residence of King Alexander III.

41-44. "It is true that the name of Sir Patrick Spens is not mentioned in history; but I am able to state that tradition has preserved it. In the little island of Papa Stronsay, one of the Orcadian group, lying over against Norway, there is a large grave or tumulus, which has been known to the inhabitants, from time immemorial, as 'The grave of Sir Patrick Spens.' The Scottish ballads were not early current in Orkney, a Scandinavian country; so it is very unlikely that the poem could have originated the name. The people know nothing beyond the traditional appellation of the spot, and they have no legend to tell." Aytoun, Ballads of Scotland, i. 2.—This passage is cited simply as a piece of external evidence to the antiquity of the legend of Sir Patrick Spens,—supposing the matter of fact to be well established, and the alleged tradition to be of long standing.


[Pg 152]

SIR PATRICK SPENS.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, i. 299.

In singing, the interjection O is added to the second and fourth lines.

The king sits in Dunfermline town,
Drinking the blude-red wine:
"O whare will I get a skeely skipper
To sail this new ship of mine?"
O up and spake an eldern knight,5
Sat at the king's right knee:
"Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the sea."
Our king has written a braid letter,
And sealed it with his hand,10
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the strand.
"To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway o'er the faem;
The king's daughter of Noroway,15
'Tis thou maun bring her hame!"[Pg 153]
The first word that Sir Patrick read,
Sae loud loud laughed he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read,
The tear blindit his e'e.20
"O wha is this has done this deed,
And tauld the king o' me,
To send us out at this time of the year,
To sail upon the sea?
"Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,25
Our ship must sail the faem;
The king's daughter of Noroway,
'Tis we must fetch her hame."
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn
Wi' a' the speed they may;30
They hae landed in Noroway
Upon a Wodensday.
They hadna been a week, a week,
In Noroway, but twae,
When that the lords o' Noroway35
Began aloud to say:
"Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's goud,
And a' our queenis fee."
"Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud!
[Pg 154]Fu' loud I hear ye lie!40
"For I brought as much white monie
As gane my men and me,—
And I brought a half-fou o' gude red goud
Out o'er the sea wi' me.
"Make ready, make ready, my merrymen a'!45
Our gude ship sails the morn."
"Now, ever alake! my master dear,
I fear a deadly storm!
"I saw the new moon, late yestreen,
Wi' the auld moon in her arm;50
And if we gang to sea, master,
I fear we'll come to harm."
They hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league, but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,55
And gurly grew the sea.
The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap,
It was sic a deadly storm;
And the waves came o'er the broken ship,
Till a' her sides were torn.60
"O where will I get a gude sailor,
To take my helm in hand,[Pg 155]
Till I get up to the tall topmast,
To see if I can spy land?"
"O here am I, a sailor gude,65
To take the helm in hand,
Till you go up to the tall topmast,—
But I fear you'll ne'er spy land."
He hadna gane a step, a step,
A step, but barely ane,70
When a bout flew out of our goodly ship,
And the salt sea it came in.
"Gae fetch a web o' the silken claith,
Another o' the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,75
And letna the sea come in."
They fetched a web o' the silken claith,
Another o' the twine,
And they wapped them roun' that gude ship's side,
But still the sea came in.80
"O laith laith were our gude Scots lords
To weet their cork-heeled shoon!
But lang or a' the play was played,
They wat their hats aboon.[Pg 156]
And mony was the feather-bed85
That flatter'd on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son
That never mair cam hame.
The ladyes wrang their fingers white,
The maidens tore their hair;90
A' for the sake of their true loves,
For them they'll see nae mair.
O lang lang may the ladyes sit,
Wi' their fans into their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens95
Come sailing to the strand!
And lang lang may the maidens sit,
Wi' their goud kaims in their hair,
A' waiting for their ain dear loves,
For them they'll see nae mair.100
O forty miles off Aberdeen
'Tis fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens
Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.

[Pg 157]

BOOK IV.


[Pg 159]

KING ESTMERE.

From Reliques of English Poetry, i. 65.

"This romantic legend," says Percy, "is given from two copies, one of them in the Editor's folio MS., but which contained very great variations." This second copy has been conjectured to be of Percy's own making, the ballad never having been heard of by any one else, out of his manuscript. Judging from the internal evidence, the alterations made in the printed text were not very serious.

King Easter and King Wester have appeared in the ballad of Fause Foodrage, (vol. iii. p. 40.) In another version of the same, they are called the Eastmure king and the Westmure king, (Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. lix.) There is also a tale cited in the Complaynt of Scotland, (i. 98,) of a king of Estmureland that married the daughter of the king of Westmureland. This is plausibly supposed by Ritson to have been a romance of Horn, in which case the two countries should mean England and Ireland. King Esmer is one of King Diderik's champions (in the Danish ballad, Kong Diderik og hans Kæmper), and the father of Svend Vonved (in Svend Vonved). In the Flemish and German romances of The Knight of the Swan, Essmer, or Esmerés, is one of the seven sons of Oriant, and in Le Dit de Flourence de Romme (Jubinal, Nouveau Recueil de Contes, etc., i. 88), Esmère is a Roman prince. (Grundtvig, i. 78, 236.) For the nonce, we are told[Pg 160] that King Estmere was an English prince, and we may, perhaps, infer from the eighth stanza that King Adland's dominions were on the same island. But no subject of inquiry can be more idle than the geography of the romances.

Hearken to me, gentlemen,
Come and you shall heare;
Ile tell you of two of the boldest brethren,
That ever born y-were.
The tone of them was Adler yonge,5
The tother was kyng Estmere;
They were as bolde men in their deedes
As any were, farr and neare.
As they were drinking ale and wine
Within kyng Estmeres halle,10
"When will ye marry a wyfe, brother,
A wyfe to gladd us all?"
Then bespake him kyng Estmere,
And answered him hartilye:
"I knowe not that ladye in any lande,15
That is able to marry with mee."
"Kyng Adland hath a daughter, brother,
Men call her bright and sheene;
If I were kyng here in your stead,
[Pg 161]That ladye shold be queene."20
Sayes, "Reade me, reade me, deare brother,
Throughout merry England,
Where we might find a messenger
Betweene us two to sende."
Sayes, "You shall ryde yourselfe, brother,25
Ile beare you companee;
Many throughe fals messengers are deceived,
And I feare lest soe shold wee."
Thus they renisht them to ryde
On twoe good renisht steedes,30
And when they came to kyng Adlands halle,
Of red golde shone their weedes.
And when they came to kyng Adlands halle,
Before the goodlye yate,
Ther they found good kyng Adland,35
Rearing himselfe theratt.
"Nowe Christ thee save, good kyng Adland,
Nowe Christ thee save and see:"
Sayd, "You be welcome, kyng Estmere,
Right hartilye to mee."40
"You have a daughter," sayd Adler yonge,
"Men call her bright and sheene;[Pg 162]
My brother wold marrye her to his wiffe,
Of Englande to be queene."
"Yesterdaye was att my dere daughter45
The king his sonne of Spayn;
And then she nicked him of naye;
I feare sheele do youe the same."
"The kyng of Spayne is a foule paynim,
And 'leeveth on Mahound,50
And pitye it were that fayre ladye
Shold marrye a heathen hound."
"But grant to me," sayes kyng Estmere,
"For my love I you praye,
That I may see your daughter dere55
Before I goe hence awaye."
"Althoughe itt is seven yeare and more
Syth my daughter was in halle,
She shall come downe once for your sake,
To glad my guestès alle."60
Downe then came that mayden fayre,
With ladyes lacede in pall,
And halfe a hondred of bolde knightes,
To bring her from bowre to hall,
And eke as manye gentle squieres,65
To waite upon them all.[Pg 163]
The talents of golde were on her head sette,
Hunge lowe downe to her knee;
And everye rynge on her small finger
Shone of the chrystall free.70
Sayes, "Christ you save, my deare madame,"
Sayes, "Christ you save and see:"
Sayes, "You be welcome, kyng Estmere,
Right welcome unto mee.
"And iff you love me, as you saye,75
So well and hartilee,
All that ever you are comen about
Soone sped now itt may bee."
Then bespake her father deare,
"My daughter, I saye naye;80
Remember well the kyng of Spayne,
What he sayd yesterdaye.
"He wold pull downe my halles and castles,
And reave me of my lyfe:
And ever I feare that paynim kyng,85
Iff I reave him of his wyfe."
"Your castles and your towres, father,
Are stronglye built aboute;
And therefore of that foule paynim
[Pg 164]Wee neede not stande in doubte.90
"Plyght me your troth nowe, kyng Estmere,
By heaven and your righte hande,
That you will marrye me to your wyfe,
And make me queene of your land."
Then kyng Estmere he plight his troth95
By heaven and his righte hand,
That he wolde marrye her to his wyfe,
And make her queene of his land.
And he tooke leave of that ladye fayre,
To goe to his owne countree,100
To fetche him dukes and lordes and knightes,
That marryed they might bee.
They had not ridden scant a myle,
A myle forthe of the towne,
But in did come the kynge of Spayne,105
With kempès many a one:
But in did come the kyng of Spayne,
With manye a grimme barone,
Tone day to marrye kyng Adlands daughter,
Tother daye to carrye her home.110
Then shee sent after kyng Estmere,
In all the spede might bee,[Pg 165]
That he must either returne and fighte,
Or goe home and lose his ladye.
One whyle then the page he went,115
Another whyle he ranne;
Till he had oretaken king Estmere,
Iwis he never blanne.
"Tydinges, tydinges, kyng Estmere!"
"What tydinges nowe, my boye?"120
"O tydinges I can tell to you,
That will you sore annoye.
"You had not ridden scant a myle,
A myle out of the towne,
But in did come the kyng of Spayne125
With kempès many a one:
"But in did come the kyng of Spayne
With manye a grimme barone,
Tone day to marrye kyng Adlands daughter,
Tother daye to carrye her home.130
"That ladye fayre she greetes you well,
And ever-more well by mee:
You must either turne againe and fighte,
Or goe home and lose your ladye."[Pg 166]
Sayes, "Reade me, reade me, deare brother,135
My reade shall ryse at thee,
Whiche way we best may turne and fighte,
To save this fayre ladye."
"Now hearken to me," sayes Adler yonge,
"And your reade must rise at me;140
I quicklye will devise a waye
To sette thy ladye free.
"My mother was a westerne woman,
And learned in gramarye,
And when I learned at the schole,145
Something shee taught itt me.
"There groweth an hearbe within this fielde,
And iff it were but knowne,
His color which is whyte and redd,
It will make blacke and browne.150
"His color which is browne and blacke,
Itt will make redd and whyte;
That sword is not in all Englande,
Upon his coate will byte.
"And you shal be a harper, brother,155
Out of the north countree;[Pg 167]
And Ile be your boye, so faine of fighte,
To beare your harpe by your knee.
"And you shall be the best harper
That ever tooke harpe in hand;160
And I will be the best singer
That ever sung in this land.
"Itt shal be written in our forheads,
All and in grammarye,
That we towe are the boldest men165
That are in all Christentye."
And thus they renisht them to ryde,
On towe good renish steedes;
And whan they came to king Adlands hall,
Of redd gold shone their weedes.170
And whan they came to kyng Adlands hall,
Untill the fayre hall yate,
There they found a proud porter,
Rearing himselfe theratt.
Sayes, "Christ thee save, thou proud porter,"175
Sayes, "Christ thee save and see:"
"Nowe you be welcome," sayd the porter,
"Of what land soever ye bee."
"We been harpers," sayd Adler yonge,
[Pg 168]"Come out of the northe countree;180
We beene come hither untill this place,
This proud weddinge for to see."
Sayd, "And your color were white and redd,
As it is blacke and browne,
Ild saye king Estmere and his brother185
Were comen untill this towne."
Then they pulled out a ryng of gold,
Layd itt on the porters arme:
"And ever we will thee, proud porter,
Thow wilt saye us no harme."190
Sore he looked on kyng Estmere,
And sore he handled the ryng,
Then opened to them the fayre hall yates,
He lett for no kind of thyng.
Kyng Estmere he light off his steede,195
Up att the fayre hall board;
The frothe that came from his brydle bitte
Light on kyng Bremors beard.
Sayes, "Stable thy steede, thou proud harper,
Go stable him in the stalle;200
Itt doth not beseeme a proud harper
To stable him in a kyngs halle."
"My ladd he is so lither," he sayd,
"He will do nought that's meete;[Pg 169]
And aye that I cold but find the man,205
Were able him to beate."
"Thou speakst proud words," sayd the paynim king,
"Thou harper, here to mee;
There is a man within this halle,
That will beate thy lad and thee."210
"O lett that man come downe," he sayd,
"A sight of him wold I see;
And whan hee hath beaten well my ladd,
Then he shall beate of mee."
Downe then came the kemperye man,215
And looked him in the eare;
For all the gold that was under heaven,
He durst not neigh him neare.
"And how nowe, kempe," sayd the kyng of Spayne,
"And how what aileth thee?"220
He sayes, "Itt is written in his forhead,
All and in gramarye,
That for all the gold that is under heaven,
I dare not neigh him nye."
Kyng Estmere then pulled forth his harpe,225
And played thereon so sweete:[Pg 170]
Upstarte the ladye from the kynge,
As hee sate at the meate.
"Now stay thy harpe, thou proud harper,
Now stay thy harpe, I say;230
For an thou playest as thou beginnest,
Thou'lt till my bride awaye."
He strucke upon his harpe agayne,
And playd both fayre and free;
The ladye was so pleasde theratt,235
She laught loud laughters three.
"Nowe sell me thy harpe," sayd the kyng of Spayne,
"Thy harpe and stryngs eche one,
And as many gold nobles thou shalt have,
As there be stryngs thereon."240
"And what wold ye doe with my harpe," he sayd,
Iff I did sell it yee?"
"To playe my wiffe and me a fitt,
When abed together we bee."
"Now sell me," quoth hee, "thy bryde soe gay,245
As shee sitts laced in pall,
And as many gold nobles I will give,
As there be rings in the hall."[Pg 171]
"And what wold ye doe with my bryde soe gay,
Iff I did sell her yee?250
More seemelye it is for her fayre bodye
To lye by mee than thee."
Hee played agayne both loud and shrille,
And Adler he did syng,
"O ladye, this is thy owne true love;255
Noe harper, but a kyng.
"O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
As playnlye thou mayest see;
And Ile rid thee of that foule paynim,
Who partes thy love and thee."260
The ladye looked, the ladye blushte,
And blushte and lookt agayne,
While Adler he hath drawne his brande,
And hath the Sowdan slayne.
Up then rose the kemperye men,265
And loud they gan to crye:
"Ah! traytors, yee have slayne our kyng,
And therefore yee shall dye."
Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde,
And swith he drew his brand;270
And Estmere he, and Adler yonge,
Right stiffe in stour can stand.[Pg 172]
And aye their swordes soe sore can byte,
Through helpe of gramarye,
That soone they have slayne the kempery men,275
Or forst them forth to flee.
Kyng Estmere tooke that fayre ladye,
And marryed her to his wiffe,
And brought her home to merrye England,
With her to leade his life.280

27. MS. Many a man ... is.

136. MS. ryde, but see v. 140.

v. 187.

Then they pulled out a ryng of gold,
Layd itt on the porters arme.

The rings so often used in ballads to conciliate the porter would seem to be not personal ornaments, but coins. For an account of Ring Money, see the paper of Sir William Betham, in the seventeenth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy.


[Pg 173]

SIR CAULINE.

From Reliques of English Poetry, i. 44.

"This old romantic tale," says Percy, "was preserved in the Editor's folio MS., but in so very defective and mutilated a condition, (not from any chasm in the MS., but from great omission in the transcript, probably copied from the faulty recitation of some illiterate minstrel,) that it was necessary to supply several stanzas in the first part, and still more in the second, to connect and complete the story."

Many of the interpolations acknowledged in such general terms might with some confidence be pointed out. Among them are certainly most, if not all, of the last twelve stanzas of the Second Part, which include the catastrophe to the story. It is difficult to believe that this charming romance had so tragic and so sentimental a conclusion.

The first part of this ballad is preserved in Scotland, under the title of King Malcolm and Sir Colvin, and is printed in our Appendix from Buchan's collection. In this, Sir Colvin weds the princess after his victory over the Elrick knight.[Pg 174]

THE FIRST PART.

In Ireland, ferr over the sea,
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge;
And with him a yong and comlye knighte,
Men call him Syr Cauline.
The kinge had a ladye to his daughter,5
In fashyon she hath no peere;
And princely wightes that ladye wooed
To be theyr wedded feere.
Syr Cauline loveth her best of all,
But nothing durst he saye,10
Ne descreeve his counsayl to no man,
But deerlye he lovde this may.
Till on a daye it so beffell
Great dill to him was dight;
The maydens love removde his mynd,15
To care-bed went the knighte.
One while he spred his armes him fro,
One while he spred them nye:
"And aye! but I winne that ladyes love,
[Pg 175]For dole now I mun dye."20
And whan our parish-masse was done,
Our kinge was bowne to dyne:
He sayes, "Where is Syr Cauline,
That is wont to serve the wyne?"
Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte,25
And fast his handes gan wringe:
"Syr Cauline is sicke, and like to dye,
Without a good leechinge."
"Fetche me downe my daughter deere,
She is a leeche fulle fine;30
Goe take him doughe and the baken bread,
And serve him with the wyne soe red:
Lothe I were him to tine."
Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes,
Her maydens followyng nye:35
"O well," she sayth, "how doth my lord?"
"O sicke, thou fayr ladye."
"Nowe ryse up wightlye, man, for shame,
Never lye soe cowardlee;
For it is told in my fathers halle40
You dye for love of mee."
"Fayre ladye, it is for your love
That all this dill I drye:
For if you wold comfort me with a kisse,[Pg 176]
Then were I brought from bale to blisse,45
No lenger wold I lye."
"Sir knighte, my father is a kinge,
I am his onlye heire;
Alas! and well you knowe, syr knighte,
I never can be youre fere."50
"O ladye, thou art a kinges daughter,
And I am not thy peere;
But let me doe some deedes of armes,
To be your bacheleere."
"Some deedes of armes if thou wilt doe,55
My bacheleere to bee,
(But ever and aye my heart wold rue,
Giff harm shold happe to thee,)
"Upon Eldridge hill there groweth a thorne,
Upon the mores brodinge;60
And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all nighte,
Untile the fayre morninge?
"For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle of mighte,
Will examine you beforne;
And never man bare life awaye,65
But he did him scath and scorne.
"That knighte he is a foul paynim,
And large of limb and bone;[Pg 177]
And but if heaven may be thy speede,
Thy life it is but gone."70
"Nowe on the Eldridge hilles Ile walke,
For thy sake, fair ladie;
And Ile either bring you a ready token,
Or Ile never more you see."
The lady has gone to her own chaumbere,75
Her maydens following bright;
Syr Cauline lope from care-bed soone,
And to the Eldridge hills is gone,
For to wake there all night.
Unto midnight, that the moone did rise,80
He walked up and downe;
Then a lightsome bugle heard he blowe
Over the bents soe browne;
Quoth hee, "If cryance come till my heart,
I am ffar from any good towne."85
And soone he spyde on the mores so broad
A furyous wight and fell;
A ladye bright his brydle led,
Clad in a fayre kyrtell:
And soe fast he called on Syr Cauline,90
"O man, I rede thee flye,
For but if cryance come till thy heart,
I weene but thou mun dye."[Pg 178]
He sayth, "No cryance comes till my heart,
Nor, in faith, I wyll not flee;95
For, cause thou minged not Christ before,
The less me dreadeth thee."
The Eldridge knighte, he pricked his steed;
Syr Cauline bold abode:
Then either shooke his trustye speare,100
And the timber these two children bare
Soe soone in sunder slode.
Then tooke they out theyr two good swordes,
And layden on full faste,
Till helme and hawberke, mail and sheelde,105
They all were well-nye brast.
The Eldridge knight was mickle of might,
And stiffe in stower did stande;
But Syr Cauline with an aukeward stroke
He smote off his right-hand;110
That soone he, with paine and lacke of bloud,
Fell downe on that lay-land.
Then up Syr Cauline lift his brande
All over his head so hye:
"And here I sweare by the holy roode,115
Nowe, caytiffe, thou shalt dye."[Pg 179]
Then up and came that ladye brighte,
Faste ringing of her hande:
"For the maydens love, that most you love,
Withhold that deadlye brande:120
"For the maydens love that most you love,
Now smyte no more I praye;
And aye whatever thou wilt, my lord,
He shall thy hests obaye."
"Now sweare to mee, thou Eldridge knighte,125
And here on this lay-land,
That thou wilt believe on Christ his laye,
And therto plight thy hand:
"And that thou never on Eldridge [hill] come
To sporte, gamon, or playe;130
And that thou here give up thy armes
Until thy dying daye."
The Eldridge knighte gave up his armes,
With many a sorrowfulle sighe;
And sware to obey Syr Caulines hest,135
Till the tyme that he shold dye.
And he then up, and the Eldridge knighte
Sett him in his saddle anone;
And the Eldridge knighte and his ladye,
[Pg 180]To theyr castle are they gone.140
Then he tooke up the bloudy hand,
That was so large of bone,
And on it he founde five ringes of gold,
Of knightes that had be slone.
Then he tooke up the Eldridge sworde,145
As hard as any flint;
And he tooke off those ringes five,
As bright as fyre and brent.
Home then pricked Syr Cauline,
As light as leafe on tree;150
I-wys he neither stint ne blanne,
Till he his ladye see.
Then downe he knelt upon his knee,
Before that lady gay:
"O ladye, I have bin on the Eldridge hills;155
These tokens I bring away."
"Now welcome, welcome, Syr Cauline,
Thrice welcome unto mee,
For now I perceive thou art a true knighte,
Of valour bolde and free."160
"O ladye, I am thy own true knighte,
Thy hests for to obaye;
And mought I hope to winne thy love!"—
No more his tonge colde say.[Pg 181]
The ladye blushed scarlette redde,165
And fette a gentill sighe:
"Alas! syr knight, how may this bee,
For my degree's soe highe?
"But sith thou hast hight, thou comely youth,
To be my batchilere,170
Ile promise, if thee I may not wedde,
I will have none other fere."
Then shee held forthe her liley-white hand
Towards that knighte so free;
He gave to it one gentill kisse,175
His heart was brought from bale to blisse,
The teares sterte from his ee.
"But keep my counsayl, Syr Cauline,
Ne let no man it knowe;
For, and ever my father sholde it ken,180
I wot he wolde us sloe."
From that daye forthe, that ladye fayre
Lovde Syr Cauline the knighte;
From that daye forthe, he only joyde
Whan shee was in his sight.185
Yea, and oftentimes they mette
Within a fayre arboure,
Where they, in love and sweet daliaunce,
Past manye a pleasaunt houre.

92, MS. For if.

94, No inserted.

[Pg 182]

THE SECOND PART.

Everye white will have its blacke,
And everye sweete its sowre:
This founde the Ladye Christabelle
In an untimely howre.
For so it befelle, as Syr Cauline5
Was with that ladye faire,
The kinge, her father, walked forthe
To take the evenyng aire:
And into the arboure as he went
To rest his wearye feet,10
He found his daughter and Syr Cauline
There sette in daliaunce sweet.
The kinge hee sterted forthe, i-wys,
And an angrye man was hee:
"Nowe, traytoure, thou shalt hange or drawe15
And rewe shall thy ladie."
Then forthe Syr Cauline he was ledde,
And throwne in dungeon deepe:
And the ladye into a towre so hye,
[Pg 183]There left to wayle and weepe.20
The queene she was Syr Caulines friend,
And to the kinge sayd shee:
"I praye you save Syr Caulines life,
And let him banisht bee."
"Now, dame, that traitor shall be sent25
Across the salt sea fome:
But here I will make thee a band,
If ever he come within this land,
A foule deathe is his doome."
All woe-begone was that gentil knight30
To parte from his ladye;
And many a time he sighed sore,
And cast a wistfulle eye:
"Faire Christabelle, from thee to parte,
Farre lever had I dye."35
Fair Christabelle, that ladye bright,
Was had forthe of the towre;
But ever shee droopeth in her minde,
As, nipt by an ungentle winde,
Doth some faire lillye flowre.40
And ever shee doth lament and weepe,
To tint her lover soe:
"Syr Cauline, thou little think'st on mee,
But I will still be true."
Manye a kinge, and manye a duke,45
And lorde of high degree,[Pg 184]
Did sue to that fayre ladye of love;
But never shee wolde them nee.
When manye a daye was past and gone,
Ne comforte she colde finde,50
The kynge proclaimed a tourneament,
To cheere his daughters mind.
And there came lords, and there came knights,
Fro manye a farre countrye,
To break a spere for theyr ladyes love,55
Before that faire ladye.
And many a ladye there was sette,
In purple and in palle;
But faire Christabelle, soe woe-begone,
Was the fayrest of them all.60
Then manye a knighte was mickle of might,
Before his ladye gaye;
But a stranger wight, whom no man knewe,
He wan the prize eche daye.
His acton it was all of blacke,65
His hewberke and his sheelde;
Ne noe man wist whence he did come,
Ne noe man knewe where he did gone,
When they came out the feelde.[Pg 185]
And now three days were prestlye past70
In feates of chivalrye,
When lo, upon the fourth morninge,
A sorrowfulle sight they see:
A hugye giaunt stiffe and starke,
All foule of limbe and lere,75
Two goggling eyen like fire farden,
A mouthe from eare to eare.
Before him came a dwarffe full lowe,
That waited on his knee;
And at his backe five heads he bare,80
All wan and pale of blee.
"Sir," quoth the dwarffe, and louted lowe,
"Behold that hend Soldain!
Behold these heads I beare with me!
They are kings which he hath slain.85
"The Eldridge knight is his own cousine,
Whom a knight of thine hath shent;[Pg 186]
And hee is come to avenge his wrong:
And to thee, all thy knightes among,
Defiance here hath sent.90
"But yette he will appease his wrath,
Thy daughters love to winne;
And, but thou yeelde him that fayre mayd,
Thy halls and towers must brenne.
"Thy head, syr king, must goe with mee,95
Or else thy daughter deere:
Or else within these lists soe broad,
Thou must finde him a peere."
The king he turned him round aboute,
And in his heart was woe:100
"Is there never a knighte of my round table
This matter will undergoe?
"Is there never a knighte amongst yee all
Will fight for my daughter and mee?
Whoever will fight yon grimme Soldan,105
Right fair his meede shall bee.
"For hee shall have my broad lay-lands,
And of my crowne be heyre;
And he shall winne fayre Christabelle
[Pg 187]To be his wedded fere."110
But every knighte of his round table
Did stand both still and pale;
For, whenever they lookt on the grim Soldan,
It made their hearts to quail.
All woe-begone was that fayre ladye,115
When she sawe no helpe was nye:
She cast her thought on her owne true-love,
And the teares gusht from her eye.
Up then sterte the stranger knighte,
Sayd, "Ladye, be not affrayd;120
Ile fight for thee with this grimme Soldan,
Thoughe he be unmacklye made.
"And if thou wilt lend me the Eldridge sworde,
That lyeth within thy bowre,
I truste in Christe for to slay this fiende,125
Thoughe he be stiff in stowre."
"Goe fetch him downe the Eldridge sworde,"
The kinge he cryde, "with speede:
Nowe, heaven assist thee, courteous knighte;
My daughter is thy meede."130
The gyaunt he stepped into the lists,
And sayd, "Awaye, awaye!
I sweare, as I am the hend Soldan,
Thou lettest me here all daye."[Pg 188]
Then forthe the stranger knight he came,135
In his blacke armoure dight:
The ladye sighed a gentle sighe,
"That this were my true knighte!"
And nowe the gyaunt and knight be mett
Within the lists soe broad;140
And now, with swordes soe sharpe of steele,
They gan to lay on load.
The Soldan strucke the knighte a stroke
That made him reele asyde:
Then woe-begone was that fayre ladye,145
And thrice she deeply sighde.
The Soldan strucke a second stroke,
And made the bloude to flowe:
All pale and wan was that ladye fayre,
And thrice she wept for woe.150
The Soldan strucke a third fell stroke,
Which brought the knighte on his knee:
Sad sorrow pierced that ladyes heart,
And she shriekt loud shriekings three.
The knighte he leapt upon his feete,155
All recklesse of the pain:
Quoth hee, "But heaven be now my speede,
Or else I shall be slaine."[Pg 189]
He grasped his sworde with mayne and mighte,
And spying a secrette part,160
He drave it into the Soldans syde,
And pierced him to the heart.
Then all the people gave a shoute,
Whan they sawe the Soldan falle:
The ladye wept, and thanked Christ165
That had reskewed her from thrall.
And nowe the kinge, with all his barons,
Rose uppe from offe his seate,
And downe he stepped into the listes
That curteous knighte to greete.170
But he, for payne and lacke of bloude,
Was fallen into a swounde,
And there, all walteringe in his gore,
Lay lifelesse on the grounde.
"Come downe, come downe, my daughter deare,175
Thou art a leeche of skille;
Farre lever had I lose halfe my landes
Than this good knighte sholde spille."
Downe then steppeth that fayre ladye,
To helpe him if she maye:180
But when she did his beavere raise,
"It is my life, my lord!" she sayes,
And shriekte and swound awaye.[Pg 190]
Sir Cauline juste lifte up his eyes,
When he heard his ladye crye:185
"O ladye, I am thine owne true love;
For thee I wisht to dye."
Then giving her one partinge looke,
He closed his eyes in death,
Ere Christabelle, that ladye milde,190
Begane to drawe her breathe.
But when she found her comelye knighte
Indeed was dead and gone,
She layde her pale, cold cheeke to his,
And thus she made her moane:195
"O staye, my deare and onlye lord,
For mee, thy faithfulle feere;
'Tis meet that I shold followe thee,
Who hast bought my love so deare."
Then fayntinge in a deadlye swoune,200
And with a deep-fette sighe
That burst her gentle heart in twayne,
Fayre Christabelle did dye.

69. "Syr Cauline here acts up to the genuine spirit of perfect chivalry. In old romances no incident is of more frequent occurrence than this, of knights already distinguished for feats of arms laying aside their wonted cognizances, and, under the semblance of stranger knights, manfully performing right worshipful and valiant deeds. How often is the renowned Arthur, in such exhibitions, obliged to exclaim, "O Jhesu, what knight is that arrayed all in grene (or as the case may be)? he justeth myghtily!" The Emperor of Almaine, in like manner, after the timely succor afforded him by Syr Gowghter, is anxious to learn the name of his modest but unknown deliverer." [So in the romance of Roswall and Lillian, &c.]—Motherwell.


[Pg 191]

FAIR ANNIE.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 252.

The story of Fair Annie is widely disseminated. The substance of it is found in the beautiful romance of Marie de France, the Lai le Frein, of which an ancient English translation is printed in Weber's Metrical Romances, i. 357. The Swedish and Danish ballads go under the same name of Fair Anna, and may be seen in Arwidsson's Svenska Fornsånger, i. 291; Geijer's Svenska Folk-Visor, i. 24; and Nyerup's Danske Viser, iv. 59. Jamieson has rendered the Danish ballad very skilfully, in the Scottish dialect, from Syv's edition of the Kæmpe Viser. In Dutch, the characters are Maid Adelhaid and King Alewijn (Hoffmann's Holländische Volkslieder, 164.) The story as we have found it in German is considerably changed. See Die wiedergefundene KŚnigstochter, in Des Knaben Wunderhorn, ii. 274, and Südeli, Uhland's Volkslieder, i. 273.

The Scottish versions of Fair Annie are quite numerous. A fragment of eight stanzas was published in Herd's collection, (Wha will bake my bridal bread, ed. 1776, i. 167.) Sir Walter Scott gave a[Pg 192] complete copy, from recitation in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Two other copies, also from oral tradition, were inserted by Jamieson in the Appendix to his Popular Ballads, (Lady Jane, ii. 371, Burd Helen, ii. 376,) and from these he constructed the edition of Lady Jane, printed at p. 73 of the same volume. Motherwell (Minstrelsy) affords still another variety, and Chambers has compiled a ballad from all these sources and a manuscript furnished by Mr. Kinloch, (Scottish Ballads, p. 186.)

In this collection we have adopted the versions of Scott and Motherwell, giving Jamieson's translation of Skjœn Anna in our Appendix.

"It's narrow, narrow, make your bed,
And learn to lie your lane;
For I'm gaun o'er the sea, Fair Annie,
A braw bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear;
Wi' you I ne'er got nane.
"But wha will bake my bridal bread,
Or brew my bridal ale?
And wha will welcome my brisk bride,
That I bring o'er the dale?"—10
"It's I will bake your bridal bread,
And brew your bridal ale;
And I will welcome your brisk bride,
That you bring o'er the dale."[Pg 193]
"But she that welcomes my brisk bride15
Maun gang like maiden fair;
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
And braid her yellow hair."—
"But how can I gang maiden-like,
When maiden I am nane?20
Have I not born seven sons to thee,
And am with child again?"—
She's ta'en her young son in her arms,
Another in her hand;
And she's up to the highest tower,25
To see him come to land.
"Come up, come up, my eldest son,
And look o'er yon sea-strand,
And see your father's new-come bride,
Before she come to land."—30
"Come down, come down, my mother dear,
Come frae the castle wa'!
I fear, if langer ye stand there,
Ye'll let yoursell down fa'."—
And she gaed down, and farther down,35
Her love's ship for to see;
And the topmast and the mainmast
Shone like the silver free.[Pg 194]
And she's gane down, and farther down,
The bride's ship to behold;40
And the topmast and the mainmast
They shone just like the gold.
She's ta'en her seven sons in her hand;
I wot she didna fail!
She met Lord Thomas and his bride,45
As they came o'er the dale.
"You're welcome to your house, Lord Thomas;
You're welcome to your land;
You're welcome, with your fair ladye,
That you lead by the hand.50
"You're welcome to your ha's, ladye,
Your welcome to your bowers;
You're welcome to your hame, ladye,
For a' that's here is yours."—
"I thank thee, Annie; I thank thee, Annie;55
Sae dearly as I thank thee;
You're the likest to my sister Annie,
That ever I did see.
"There came a knight out o'er the sea,
And steal'd my sister away;60
The shame scoup in his company,
And land where'er he gae!"[Pg 195]
She hang ae napkin at the door,
Another in the ha';
And a' to wipe the trickling tears,65
Sae fast as they did fa'.
And aye she served the lang tables
With white bread and with wine;
And aye she drank the wan water,
To had her colour fine.70
And aye she served the lang tables,
With white bread and with brown;
And ay she turn'd her round about,
Sae fast the tears fell down.
And he's ta'en down the silk napkin,75
Hung on a silver pin;
And aye he wipes the tear trickling
Adown her cheek and chin.
And aye he turn'd him round about,
And smiled amang his men,80
Says—"Like ye best the old ladye,
Or her that's new come hame?"—
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' men bound to bed,
Lord Thomas and his new-come bride,85
To their chamber they were gaed.[Pg 196]
Annie made her bed a little forbye,
To hear what they might say;
"And ever alas!" fair Annie cried,
"That I should see this day!90
"Gin my seven sons were seven young rats,
Running on the castle wa',
And I were a grey cat mysell,
I soon would worry them a'.
"Gin my seven sons were seven young hares,95
Running o'er yon lilly lee,
And I were a grew hound mysell,
Soon worried they a' should be."—
And wae and sad fair Annie sat,
And drearie was her sang;100
And ever, as she sobb'd and grat,
"Wae to the man that did the wrang!"—
"My gown is on," said the new-come bride,
"My shoes are on my feet,
And I will to fair Annie's chamber,105
And see what gars her greet.—
"What ails ye, what ails ye, Fair Annie,
That ye make sic a moan?
Has your wine barrels cast the girds,
[Pg 197]Or is your white bread gone?110
"O wha was't was your father, Annie,
Or wha was't was your mother?
And had you ony sister, Annie,
Or had you ony brother?"—
"The Earl of Wemyss was my father,115
The Countess of Wemyss my mother;
And a' the folk about the house,
To me were sister and brother."—
"If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
I wot sae was he mine;120
And it shall not be for lack o' gowd,
That ye your love sall tyne.
"For I have seven ships o' mine ain,
A' loaded to the brim;
And I will gie them a' to thee,125
Wi' four to thine eldest son.
But thanks to a' the powers in heaven
That I gae maiden hame!"

[Pg 198]

FAIR ANNIE.

Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 327. Obtained from recitation.

"Learn to mak your bed, Annie,
And learn to lie your lane;
For I maun owre the salt seas gang,
A brisk bride to bring hame.
"Bind up, bind up your yellow hair,5
And tye it in your neck;
And see you look as maiden-like
As the day that we first met."
"O how can I look maiden-like,
When maiden I'll ne'er be;10
When seven brave sons I've born to thee,
And the eighth is in my bodie?
"The eldest of your sons, my lord,
Wi' red gold shines his weed;[Pg 199]
The second of your sons, my lord,15
Rides on a milk-white steed.
"And the third of your sons, my lord,
He draws your beer and wine;
And the fourth of your sons, my lord,
Can serve you when you dine.20
"And the fift of your sons, my lord,
He can both read and write;
And the sixth of your sons, my lord,
Can do it most perfyte.
"And the sevent of your sons, my lord,25
Sits on the nurse's knee:
And how can I look maiden-like,
When a maid I'll never be?
"But wha will bake your wedding bread,
And brew your bridal ale?30
Or wha will welcome your brisk bride
That you bring owre the dale?"
"I'll put cooks in my kitchen,
And stewards in my hall,
And I'll have bakers for my bread,35
And brewers for my ale;
But you're to welcome my brisk bride
That I bring owre the dale."[Pg 200]
He set his feet into his ship,
And his cock-boat on the main;40
He swore it would be year and day
Or he returned again.
When year and day was past and gane,
Fair Annie she thocht lang;
And she is up to her bower head,45
To behold both sea and land.
"Come up, come up, my eldest son,
And see now what you see;
O yonder comes your father dear,
And your stepmother to be."50
"Cast off your gown of black, mother,
Put on your gown of brown,
And I'll put off my mourning weeds,
And we'll welcome him home."
She's taken wine into her hand,55
And she has taken bread,
And she is down to the water side
To welcome them indeed.
"You're welcome, my lord, you're welcome, my lord,
[Pg 201]You're welcome home to me;60
So is every lord and gentleman
That is in your companie.
"You're welcome, my lady, you're welcome, my lady,
You're welcome home to me;
So is every lady and gentleman65
That's in your companie."
"I thank you, my girl, I thank you, my girl,
I thank you heartily;
If I live seven years about this house,
Rewarded you shall be."70
She serv'd them up, she serv'd them down,
With the wheat bread and the wine;
But aye she drank the cauld water,
To keep her colour fine.
She serv'd them up, she serv'd them down,
With the wheat bread and the beer;75
But aye she drank the cauld water,
To keep her colour clear.
When bells were rung and mass was sung,
And all were boune for rest,80
Fair Annie laid her sons in bed,
And a sorrowfu' woman she was.[Pg 202]
"Will I go to the salt, salt seas,
And see the fishes swim?
Or will I go to the gay green wood,85
And hear the small birds sing?"
Out and spoke an aged man,
That stood behind the door,—
"Ye will not go to the salt, salt seas,
To see the fishes swim;90
Nor will ye go to the gay green wood,
To hear the small birds sing:
"But ye'll take a harp into your hand,
Go to their chamber door,
And aye ye'll harp and aye ye'll murn,95
With the salt tears falling o'er."
She's ta'en a harp into her hand,
Went to their chamber door,
And aye she harped and aye she murn'd,
With the salt tears falling o'er.100
Out and spak the brisk young bride,
In bride-bed where she lay,—
"I think I hear my sister Annie,
And I wish weel it may;
For a Scotish lord staw her awa,105
And an ill death may he die."[Pg 203]
"Wha was your father, my girl," she says,
"Or wha was your mother?
Or had you ever a sister dear,
Or had you ever a brother?"110
"King Henry was my father dear,
Queen Esther was my mother,
Prince Henry was my brother dear,
And Fanny Flower my sister."
"If King Henry was your father dear,115
And Queen Esther was your mother,
If Prince Henry was your brother dear,
Then surely I'm your sister.
"Come to your bed, my sister dear,
It ne'er was wrang'd for me,120
Bot an ae kiss of his merry mouth,
As we cam owre the sea."
"Awa, awa, ye forenoon bride,
Awa, awa frae me;
I wudna hear my Annie greet,125
For a' the gold I got wi' thee."
"There were five ships of gay red gold
Cam owre the seas with me;
It's twa o' them will tak me hame,
[Pg 204]And three I'll leave wi' thee.130
"Seven ships o' white monie
Came owre the seas wi' me;
Five o' them I'll leave wi' thee,
And twa will take me hame;
And my mother will make my portion up,135
When I return again."

[Pg 205]

CHILD WATERS.

First published by Percy from his folio MS., Reliques, iii. 94. Several traditionary versions have since been printed, of which we give Burd Ellen from Jamieson's, and in the Appendix, Lady Margaret from Kinloch's collection. Jamieson also furnishes a fragment, and Buchan, (Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 30,) a complete copy of another version of Burd Ellen, and Chambers (Scottish Ballads, 193,) makes up an edition from all the copies, which we mention here because he has taken some lines from a manuscript supplied by Mr. Kinloch.

Childe Waters in his stable stoode
And stroakt his milke-white steede;
To him a fayre yonge ladye came
As ever ware womans weede.
Sayes, "Christ you save, good Childe Waters,"5
[Pg 206]Sayes, "Christ you save and see;
My girdle of gold that was too longe,
Is now too short for mee.
"And all is with one childe of yours
I feele sturre at my side;10
My gowne of greene it is too straighte;
Before, it was too wide."
"If the child be mine, faire Ellen," he sayd,
"Be mine, as you tell mee,
Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire both,15
Take them your owne to bee.
"If the childe be mine, faire Ellen," he sayd,
"Be mine, as you doe sweare,
Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire both,
And make that child your heyre."20
Shee sayes, "I had rather have one kisse,
Childe Waters, of thy mouth,
Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both,
That lye by north and southe.
"And I had rather have one twinkling,25
Childe Waters, of thine ee,
Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both,
To take them mine owne to bee."[Pg 207]
"To morrowe, Ellen, I must forth ryde
Farr into the north countree;30
The fayrest lady that I can finde,
Ellen, must goe with mee."
"Thoughe I am not that ladye fayre,
Yet let me go with thee:
And ever I pray you, Childe Waters,35
Your foot-page let me bee."
"If you will my foot-page bee, Ellen,
As you doe tell to mee,
Then you must cut your gowne of greene
An inch above your knee:40
"Soe must you doe your yellowe lockes,
An inch above your ee;
You must tell no man what is my name;
My foot-page then you shall bee."
Shee, all the long daye Childe Waters rode,45
Ran barefoote by his syde,
Yet was he never soe courteous a knighte,
To say, "Ellen, will you ryde?"
Shee, all the long daye Childe Waters rode,
Ran barefoote thorow the broome,50
Yett was hee never soe courteous a knighte,
To say, "put on your shoone."[Pg 208]
"Ride softlye," shee sayd, "O Childe Waters:
Why doe you ryde so fast?
The childe, which is no mans but thine,55
My bodye itt will brast."
Hee sayth, "seest thou yond water, Ellen,
That flows from banke to brimme?"
"I trust to God, O Childe Waters,
You never will see me swimme."60
But when shee came to the water side,
She sayled to the chinne:
"Now the Lord of heaven be my speede,
For I must learne to swimme."
The salt waters bare up her clothes,65
Our Ladye bare up her chinne;
Childe Waters was a woe man, good Lord,
To see faire Ellen swimme!
And when shee over the water was,
Shee then came to his knee:70
Hee sayd, "Come hither, thou fayre Ellen,
Loe yonder what I see.
"Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
Of redd gold shines the yate:
Of twenty foure faire ladyes there,75
The fairest is my mate.[Pg 209]
"Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
Of redd golde shines the towre:
There are twenty four fayre ladyes there,
The fayrest is my paramoure."80
"I see the hall now, Childe Waters,
Of redd golde shines the yate:
God give you good now of yourselfe,
And of your worldlye mate.
"I see the hall now, Childe Waters,85
Of redd golde shines the towre:
God give you good now of yourselfe,
And of your paramoure."
There twenty four fayre ladyes were
A playing at the ball,90
And Ellen, the fayrest ladye there,
Must bring his steed to the stall.
There twenty four fayre ladyes were
A playinge at the chesse,
And Ellen, the fayrest ladye there,95
Must bring his horse to gresse.
And then bespake Childe Waters sister,
These were the wordes sayd shee:
"You have the prettyest page, brother,
[Pg 210]That ever I did see;100
"But that his bellye it is soe bigge,
His girdle stands soe hye;
And ever, I pray you, Childe Waters,
Let him in my chamber lye."
"It is not fit for a little foot-page,105
That has run throughe mosse and myre,
To lye in the chamber of any ladye,
That weares soe riche attyre.
"It is more meete for a little foot-page,
That has run throughe mosse and myre,110
To take his supper upon his knee,
And lye by the kitchen fyre."
Now when they had supped every one,
To bedd they tooke theyr waye:
He sayd, "Come hither, my little foot-page,115
And hearken what I saye.
"Goe thee downe into yonder towne,
And lowe into the streete;
The fayrest ladye that thou canst finde,
Hyre in mine armes to sleepe;120
And take her up in thine armes twaine,
For filing of her feete."
Ellen is gone into the towne,
And lowe into the streete;[Pg 211]
The fayrest ladye that shee colde finde,125
She hyred in his armes to sleepe;
And tooke her up in her armes twayne,
For filing of her feete.
"I praye you nowe, good Childe Waters,
Let mee lye at your feete;
For there is noe place about this house,130
Where I may saye a sleepe."
He gave her leave, and faire Ellen
Down at his beds feet laye;
This done the nighte drove on apace,135
And when it was neare the daye,
Hee sayd, "Rise up, my little foot-page,
Give my steede corne and haye;
And give him nowe the good black oats,
To carry mee better awaye."140
Up then rose the faire Ellen,
And gave his steede corne and hay;
And soe shee did the good black oates,
To carry him the better awaye.
She leaned her back to the manger side,145
And grievouslye did groane;
She leaned her back to the manger side,
And there shee made her moane.[Pg 212]
And that beheard his mother deare,
Shee heard her woefull woe:150
Shee sayd, "Rise up, thou Childe Waters,
And into thy stable goe.
"For in thy stable is a ghost,
That grievouslye doth grone;
Or else some woman laboures with childe,155
Shee is so woe-begone."
Up then rose Childe Waters soone,
And did on his shirte of silke;
And then he put on his other clothes,
On his bodye as white as milke.160
And when he came to the stable dore,
Full still there hee did stand,
That hee mighte heare his fayre Ellen,
Howe shee made her monand.
She sayd, "Lullabye, mine own dear childe,165
Lullabye, deare childe, deare;
I wolde thy father were a kinge,
Thy mothere layd on a biere."
"Peace nowe," hee sayd, "good, faire Ellen,
Bee of good cheere, I praye;170
And the bridale and the churchinge bothe
Shall bee upon one daye.

13, MS. be inne.

33, 34, supplied by Percy.

133, 134, supplied by Percy.

150, her woefull woe, Percy!


[Pg 213]

BURD ELLEN.

Printed from Mrs. Brown's recitation, in Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i. 117. We have restored the text by omitting some interpolations of the editor, and three concluding stanzas by the same, which, contrary to all authority, gave a tragic turn to the story.

Lord John stood in his stable door,
Said he was boun to ride;
Burd Ellen stood in her bower door,
Said she'd rin by his side.
He's pitten on his cork-heel'd shoon,5
And fast awa rade he;
She's clad hersel in page array,
And after him ran she:
Till they came till a wan water,
And folks do call it Clyde;10
Then he's lookit o'er his left shoulder,
Says, "Lady, will ye ride?"[Pg 214]
"O I learnt it wi' my bower woman,
And I learnt it for my weal,
Whanever I cam to wan water,15
To swim like ony eel."
But the firsten stap the lady stappit,
The water came till her knee;
"Ochon, alas!" said the lady,
"This water's o'er deep for me."20
The nexten stap the lady stappit,
The water came till her middle;
And sighin says that gay lady,
"I've wat my gouden girdle."
The thirden stap the lady stappit,25
The water came till her pap;
And the bairn that was in her twa sides
For cauld began to quake.
"Lie still, lie still, my ain dear babe;
Ye work your mother wae:30
Your father rides on high horse back,
Cares little for us twae."
O about the midst o' Clyde's water
There was a yeard-fast stane;
He lightly turn'd his horse about,35
And took her on him behin.[Pg 215]
"O tell me this now, good lord John,
And a word ye dinna lie,
How far it is to your lodgin,
Whare we this night maun be?"40
"O see na ye yon castell, Ellen,
That shines sae fair to see?
There is a lady in it, Ellen,
Will sinder you and me.
"There is a lady in that castell45
Will sinder you and I"—
"Betide me weal, betide me wae,
I sall gang there and try."
"My dogs shall eat the good white bread,
And ye shall eat the bran;50
Then will ye sigh, and say, alas!
That ever I was a man!"
"O I shall eat the good white bread,
And your dogs shall eat the bran;
And I hope to live to bless the day,55
That ever ye was a man."
"O my horse shall eat the good white meal,
And ye sall eat the corn;
Then will ye curse the heavy hour
[Pg 216]That ever your love was born."60
["O I shall eat the good white meal,
And your horse shall eat the corn;]
I ay sall bless the happy hour
That ever my love was born."
O four and twenty gay ladies65
Welcom'd lord John to the ha',
But a fairer lady than them a'
Led his horse to the stable sta.'
O four and twenty gay ladies
Welcom'd lord John to the green;70
But a fairer lady than them a'
At the manger stood alane.
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' men boun to meat,
Burd Ellen was at the bye-table75
Amang the pages set.
"O eat and drink, my bonny boy,
The white bread and the beer."—
"The never a bit can I eat or drink,
My heart's sae fu' o' fear."80
"O eat and drink, my bonny boy,
The white bread and the wine."[Pg 217]
"O how sall I eat or drink, master,
Wi' heart sae fu' o' pine?"
But out and spak lord John's mother,85
And a wise woman was she:
"Whare met ye wi' that bonny boy,
That looks sae sad on thee?
Sometimes his cheek is rosy red,
And sometimes deadly wan;90
He's liker a woman big wi' bairn,
Than a young lord's serving man."
"O it makes me laugh, my mother dear,
Sic words to hear frae thee;
He is a squire's ae dearest son,95
That for love has followed me.
"Rise up, rise up, my bonny boy,
Gi'e my horse corn and hay."—
"O that I will, my master dear,
As quickly as I may."100
She's ta'en the hay under her arm,
The corn intill her hand,
And she's gane to the great stable,
As fast as e'er she can.
"O room ye round, my bonny brown steeds,105
[Pg 218]O room ye near the wa';
For the pain that strikes me through my sides
Full soon will gar me fa'."
She lean'd her back against the wa';
Strong travel came her on;110
And e'en amang the great horse feet
Burd Ellen brought forth her son.
Lord Johnis mither intill her bower
Was sitting all alane,
When, in the silence o' the nicht,115
She heard Burd Ellen's mane.
"Won up, won up, my son," she says,
"Gae see how a' does fare;
For I think I hear a woman's groans,
And a bairnie greetin' sair."120
O hastily he gat him up,
Staid neither for hose nor shoon,
And he's doen him to the stable door
Wi' the clear light o' the moon.
He strack the door hard wi' his foot,125
Sae has he wi' his knee,
And iron locks and iron bars
Into the floor flung he:
"Be not afraid, Burd Ellen," he says,
[Pg 219]"There's nane come in but me.130
"Tak up, tak up my bonny young son;
Gar wash him wi' the milk;
Tak up, tak up my fair lady,
Gar row her in the silk.
"And cheer thee up, Burd Ellen," he says,135
"Look nae mair sad nor wae;
For your marriage and your kirkin too
Sall baith be in ae day."

61, 62, according to Jamieson, the same as vv. 54, 55, but here formed on their model, from 57, 58.


[Pg 220]

ERLINTON.

First published in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, ii. 351,—"from the collation of two copies obtained from recitation."

Erlinton and The Child of Elle are corrupt varieties of The Douglas Tragedy. The passage referred to in vol. ii. p. 114, is remarked on in a note at the end of the ballad.

Erlinton had a fair daughter;
I wat he weird her in a great sin,
For he has built a bigly bower,
An' a' to put that lady in.
An' he has warn'd her sisters six,5
An' sae has he her brethren se'en,
Outher to watch her a' the night,
Or else to seek her morn an e'en.
She hadna been i' that bigly bower,
Na not a night, but barely ane,10
Till there was Willie, her ain true love,
Chapp'd at the door, cryin', "Peace within!"[Pg 221]
"O whae is this at my bower door,
That chaps sae late, or kens the gin?"
"O it is Willie, your ain true love,15
I pray you rise an' let me in!"
"But in my bower there is a wake,
An' at the wake there is a wane;
But I'll come to the green-wood the morn,
Whar blooms the brier, by mornin' dawn."20
Then she's gane to her bed again,
Where she has layen till the cock crew thrice,
Then she said to her sisters a',
"Maidens, 'tis time for us to rise."
She pat on her back her silken gown,25
An' on her breast a siller pin,
An' she's ta'en a sister in ilka hand,
An' to the green-wood she is gane.
She hadna walk'd in the green-wood,
Na not a mile but barely ane,30
Till there was Willie, her ain true love,
Wha frae her sisters has her ta'en.
He took her sisters by the hand,
He kiss'd them baith, an' sent them hame,
An' he's ta'en his true love him behind,35
And through the green-wood they are gane.[Pg 222]
They hadna ridden in the bonnie green-wood,
Na not a mile but barely ane,
When there came fifteen o' the boldest knights,
That ever bare flesh, blood, or bane.40
The foremost was an aged knight,
He wore the grey hair on his chin:
Says, "Yield to me thy lady bright,
An' thou shalt walk the woods within."
"For me to yield my lady bright45
To such an aged knight as thee,
People wad think I war gane mad,
Or a' the courage flown frae me."
But up then spake the second knight,
I wat he spake right boustouslie:50
"Yield me thy life, or thy lady bright,
Or here the tane of us shall die."
"My lady is my warld's meed;
My life I winna yield to nane;
But if ye be men of your manhead,55
Ye'll only fight me ane by ane."
He lighted aff his milk-white steed,
An' gae his lady him by the head,
Say'n, "See ye dinna change your cheer,
[Pg 223]Untill ye see my body bleed."60
He set his back unto an aik,
He set his feet against a stane,
An' he has fought these fifteen men,
An' kill'd them a' but barely ane;
For he has left that aged knight,65
An' a' to carry the tidings hame.
When he gaed to his lady fair,
I wat he kiss'd her tenderlie:
"Thou art mine ain love, I have thee bought;
Now we shall walk the green-wood free."70

53, Should we not read warld's mate?

Note to v. 59, 60.

"Say'n, 'See ye dinna change your cheer,
Untill ye see my body bleed.'"

As has been remarked (vol. ii. p. 114), Erlinton retains an important, and even fundamental trait of the older forms of the story, which is not found in any other of the English versions of the Douglas Tragedy. It was a northern superstition that to call a man by name while he was engaged in fight was a fatal omen, and hence a phrase, "to name-to-death." To avert this danger, Ribolt, in nearly all the Scandinavian ballads, entreats Guldborg not to pronounce his name, even if she sees him bleeding or struck down. In her agony at seeing the last of her brothers about to be slain, Guldborg forgets her lover's injunction, calls on him by name to stop, and thus brings about the catastrophe. Ignorant reciters have either dropped the corresponding passage in the English ballad, or (as in this case) have so corrupted it, that its significance is only to be made out by comparison with the ancient copies.


[Pg 224]

THE CHILD OF ELLE.

"From a fragment in the Editor's folio MS., which, though extremely defective and mutilated, appeared to have so much merit, that it excited a strong desire to attempt the completion of the story. The reader will easily discover the supplemental stanzas by their inferiority, and at the same time be inclined to pardon it, when he considers how difficult it must be to imitate the affecting simplicity and artless beauties of the original." Percy, Reliques, i. 113. (See vol. ii. p. 114.)

It must be acknowledged that this truly modest apology was not altogether uncalled for. So extensive are Percy's alterations and additions, that the reader will have no slight difficulty in detecting the few traces that are left of the genuine composition. Nevertheless, Sir Walter Scott avers that the corrections are "in the true style of Gothic embellishment!"

On yonder hill a castle standes,
With walles and towres bedight,
And yonder lives the Child of Elle,
A younge and comely knighte.[Pg 225]
The Child of Elle to his garden wente,5
And stood at his garden pale,
Whan, lo! he beheld fair Emmelines page
Come trippinge downe the dale.
The Child of Elle he hyed him thence,
Ywis he stoode not stille,10
And soone he mette faire Emmelines page
Come climbing up the hille.
"Nowe Christe thee save, thou little foot-page,
Now Christe thee save and see!
Oh telle me how does thy ladye gaye,15
And what may thy tydinges bee?"
"My lady shee is all woe-begone,
And the teares they falle from her eyne;
And aye she laments the deadlye feude
Betweene her house and thine."20
"And here shee sends thee a silken scarfe,
Bedewde with many a teare,
And biddes thee sometimes thinke on her,
Who loved thee so deare.
"And here shee sends thee a ring of golde,25
The last boone thou mayst have,
And biddes thee weare it for her sake,
Whan she is layde in grave.[Pg 226]
"For, ah! her gentle heart is broke,
And in grave soone must shee bee,30
Sith her father hath chose her a new, new love,
And forbidde her to think of thee.
"Her father hath brought her a carlish knight,
Sir John of the north countraye,
And within three dayes shee must him wedde,35
Or he vowes he will her slaye."
"Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,
And greet thy ladye from mee,
And telle her that I, her owne true love,
Will dye, or sette her free.40
"Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,
And let thy fair ladye know,
This night will I bee at her bowre-windowe,
Betide me weale or woe."
The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne,45
He neither stint ne stayd,
Untill he came to fair Emmelines bowre,
Whan kneeling downe he sayd:
"O ladye, Ive been with thy own true love,
And he greets thee well by mee;50
This night will he bee at thy bowre-windowe,
And dye or sette thee free."[Pg 227]
Nowe daye was gone, and night was come,
And all were fast asleepe,
All save the ladye Emmeline,55
Who sate in her bowre to weepe:
And soone shee heard her true loves voice
Lowe whispering at the walle:
"Awake, awake, my deare ladye,
Tis I, thy true love, call.60
"Awake, awake, my ladye deare,
Come, mount this faire palfraye:
This ladder of ropes will lette thee downe,
Ile carrye thee hence awaye."
"Nowe nay, nowe nay, thou gentle knight,65
Nowe nay, this may not bee;
For aye sould I tint my maiden fame,
If alone I should wend with thee."
"O ladye, thou with a knight so true
Mayst safelye wend alone;70
To my ladye mother I will thee bringe,
Where marriage shall make us one."
"My father he is a baron bolde,
Of lynage proude and hye;
And what would he saye if his daughter75
Awaye with a knight should fly?[Pg 228]
"Ah! well I wot, he never would rest,
Nor his meate should doe him no goode,
Till he had slayne thee, Child of Elle,
And seene thy deare hearts bloode."80
"O ladye, wert thou in thy saddle sette,
And a little space him fro,
I would not care for thy cruel father,
Nor the worst that he could doe.
"O ladye, wert thou in thy saddle sette,85
And once without this walle,
I would not care for thy cruel father,
Nor the worst that might befalle."
Faire Emmeline sighed, faire Emmeline wept,
And aye her heart was woe:90
At length he seizde her lilly-white hand,
And downe the ladder he drewe.
And thrice he claspde her to his breste,
And kist her tenderlie:
The teares that fell from her fair eyes,95
Ranne like the fountayne free.
Hee mounted himselfe on his steede so talle,
And her on a faire palfraye,
And slung his bugle about his necke,
[Pg 229]And roundlye they rode awaye.100
All this beheard her owne damselle,
In her bed whereas shee ley;
Quoth shee, "My lord shall knowe of this,
Soe I shall have golde and fee.
"Awake, awake, thou baron bolde!105
Awake, my noble dame!
Your daughter is fledde with the Childe of Elle,
To doe the deede of shame."
The baron he woke, the baron he rose,
And called his merrye men all:110
"And come thou forth, Sir John the knighte;
The ladye is carried to thrall."
Fair Emmeline scant had ridden a mile,
A mile forth of the towne,
When she was aware of her fathers men115
Come galloping over the downe.
And foremost came the carlish knight,
Sir John of the north countraye:
"Nowe stop, nowe stop, thou false traitoure,
Nor carry that ladye awaye.120
"For she is come of hye lynage,
And was of a ladye borne,
And ill it beseems thee, a false churles sonne,
To carrye her hence to scorne."[Pg 230]
"Nowe loud thou lyest, Sir John the knight,125
Nowe thou doest lye of mee;
A knight mee gott, and a ladye me bore,
Soe never did none by thee.
"But light nowe downe, my ladye faire,
Light downe, and hold my steed,130
While I and this discourteous knighte
Doe trye this arduous deede.
"But light now downe, my deare ladye,
Light downe, and hold my horse;
While I and this discourteous knight135
Doe trye our valours force."
Fair Emmeline sighde, fair Emmeline wept,
And aye her heart was woe,
While twixt her love and the carlish knight
Past many a baleful blowe.140
The Child of Elle hee fought soe well,
As his weapon he wavde amaine,
That soone he had slaine the carlish knight,
And layde him upon the plaine.
And nowe the baron, and all his men145
Full fast approached nye:
Ah! what may ladye Emmeline doe?
Twere now no boote to flye.[Pg 231]
Her lover he put his horne to his mouth,
And blew both loud and shrill,150
And soone he saw his owne merry men
Come ryding over the hill.
"Nowe hold thy hand, thou bold baron,
I pray thee, hold thy hand,
Nor ruthless rend two gentle hearts,155
Fast knit in true loves band.
"Thy daughter I have dearly lovde
Full long and many a day;
But with such love as holy kirke
Hath freelye sayd wee may.160
"O give consent shee may be mine,
And blesse a faithfull paire;
My lands and livings are not small,
My house and lynage faire.
"My mother she was an earles daughter,165
And a noble knyght my sire——"
The baron he frownde, and turnde away
With mickle dole and ire.
Fair Emmeline sighde, faire Emmeline wept,
And did all tremblinge stand;170
At lengthe she sprange upon her knee,
And held his lifted hand.[Pg 232]
"Pardon, my lorde and father deare,
This faire yong knyght and mee:
Trust me, but for the carlish knyght,175
I never had fled from thee.
"Oft have you callde your Emmeline
Your darling and your joye;
O let not then your harsh resolves
Your Emmeline destroye."180
The baron he stroakt his dark-brown cheeke,
And turnde his heade asyde,
To wipe awaye the starting teare,
He proudly strave to hyde.
In deepe revolving thought he stoode,185
And musde a little space;
Then raisde faire Emmeline from the grounde,
With many a fond embrace.
"Here take her, Child of Elle," he sayd,
And gave her lillye hand;190
"Here take my deare and only child,
And with her half my land.
"Thy father once mine honour wrongde,
In dayes of youthful pride;
Do thou the injurye repayre195
In fondnesse for thy bride.[Pg 233]
"And as thou love her and hold her deare,
Heaven prosper thee and thine;
And nowe my blessing wend wi' thee,
My lovelye Emmeline."200

[Pg 234]

SIR ALDINGAR.

Of this very remarkable ballad two copies have been printed in English, Sir Aldingar, from the Percy MS. (Reliques, ii. 53), "with conjectural emendations and the insertion of some additional stanzas," and Sir Hugh Le Blond, by Scott, from recitation. The corresponding Danish ballad, Ravengaard og Memering, first published by Grundtvig, is extant in not less than five copies, the oldest derived from a MS. of the middle of the 16th century, the others from recent recitations. With these Grundtvig has given an Icelandic version, from a MS. of the 17th century, another in the dialect of the Faroe Islands, and a third half Danish, half Faroish, both as still sung by the people. The ballad was also preserved, not long ago, in Norway.—Danmarks Gamle Folkeviser, i. 177-213, ii. 640-645.

All these ballads contain a story one and the same in the essential features—a story which occurs repeatedly in connection with historical personages, in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, as well as England,—and which has also furnished the theme for various modern romances, poems, and tragedies.[Pg 235] The connection of the different forms of the legend has been investigated by the Danish editor at considerable length and with signal ability; and we shall endeavor to present the principal results of his wide research in the few pages which our narrow limits allow us to give to such questions.

The names of the characters in the Danish ballads are Henry (called Duke of Brunswick and of Schleswig in the oldest), Gunild (of Spires, called also Gunder), Ravengaard, and Memering. To these correspond, in the English story, King Henry, Queen Eleanor, Sir Aldingar (the resemblance of this name to Ravengaard will be noted), and a boy, to whom no name is assigned. Eleanor, it hardly need be remarked, is a queen's name somewhat freely used in ballads (see vol. vi. 209, and vol. vii. 291), and it is possible that the consort of Henry II. is here intended, though her reputation both in history and in song hardly favors that supposition.

The occurrence of Spires in the old Danish ballad would naturally induce us to look for the origin of the story in the annals of the German emperors of the Franconian line, who held their court at Spires, and are most of them buried in the cathedral at that place. A very promising clue is immediately found in the history of King (afterwards Emperor) Henry III., son of the Emperor Conrad II. Salicus. This Henry was married, in the year 1036, to Gunhild, daughter of Canute the Great. An English chronicler, William of Malmesbury, writing in the first half of the 12th century, tells us that after this princess had lived many years in honorable wedlock, she was accused of adultery. Being forced to clear herself by wager of battle,[Pg 236] she found in all her retinue no one who was willing to risk a combat with her accuser, a man of gigantic stature, save a little boy whom she had brought with her from England. The issue of the duel established her innocence,—her diminutive champion succeeding by some miracle in ham-stringing his huge adversary; but it is alleged that the queen refused to return to her husband, and passed the rest of a long life in a monastery.[3]

A Norman-French Life of Edward the Confessor, written about 1250, repeats this story, and adds the champion's name.[4]

"A daughter had the king,
Who was not so beautiful as clever.
Gunnild her name; and he gave her
To him who with love had asked for her,—
The noble Emperor Henry.
She remained not long with him,
Because by felons, who had no reason
To blame her calumniously,
She was charged with shame:
To the Emperor was she accused.
According to the custom of the empire,[Pg 237]
It behoved her to clear herself from shame
By battle; and she takes much trouble
To find one to be her champion:
But finds no one, for very huge was
The accuser,—as a giant.
But a dwarf, whom she had brought up,
Undertook the fight with him.
At the first blow he hamstrung him;
At the second he cut off his feet.
Mimecan was the dwarf's name,
Who was so good a champion,
As the history, which is written,
Says of him. The lady was freed from blame,
But the lady the emperor
No more will have as her lord."

Finally, John Brompton, writing two hundred years after William of Malmesbury, repeats his account, and gives the names of both the combatants,—"a youth called Mimicon, and a man of gigantic size, by name Roddyngar" (Raadengard = the Danish Ravengaard).

The story of William of Malmesbury and the rest, though it is sufficiently in accordance with the Danish and English ballads, is in direct opposition to the testimony of contemporary German chroniclers, who represent Queen Gunhild as living on the best terms with her husband, and instead of growing old in God's service in a nunnery, as dying of the plague in Italy two years after her marriage, and hardly twenty years of age. It is manifest, therefore, that the English chroniclers derived their accounts from ballads current at their day,[5] which, as they were not founded on any[Pg 238] real passages in the life of Gunhild, require us to look a little further for their origin.

The empress Gunhild was called by the German chroniclers of her day by various names—as Cunihild, Chunihild, Chunelind, and Cunigund, which last name she is said to have assumed at her coronation. This change of Gunhild's name accounts for the unfounded scandals which were in circulation about her in her native land, scarcely a hundred years after her death. Cunigund, wife of Henry III., was in fact confounded with a contemporary German queen and empress, St. Cunigund, widow of the Emperor Henry II. This mistake, which has been made more than once, will be acknowledged to be a very natural one (especially for foreigners), when it is considered that both queens not only bore the same name, but were married each to an emperor of the same name (Henry), both of whom again were sons of Conrads.[6]

Referring now to the history of St. Cunigund, we read in the papal bull of Innocent III., by which she was canonized in the year 1200, that "she consecrated[Pg 239] her virginity to the Lord, and preserved it intact,—so that when at one time by the instigation of the enemy of mankind a suspicion had been raised against her, she, to prove her innocence, walked with bare feet over burning ploughshares, and came off unscathed." Again, we read in a slightly more recent German chronicle, as follows: "The Devil, who hates all the righteous, and is ever seeking to bring them to shame, stirred up the Emperor against his wife, persuading him, through a certain duke, that in contempt of her husband she had committed adultery with another man. The empress offered to undergo an ordeal, and a great many bishops came to see it carried out. Whereupon seven glowing ploughshares were laid on the ground, over which the empress was forced to walk in bare feet, to attest her innocence, ... which, when the king saw, he prostrated himself before her with all his nobles." Adalbert's Life of St. Henry (which is, at the latest, of the 12th century), agreeing in all essentials with these accounts, adds an important particular, explaining how it was that the Devil brought the queen's honor into question, namely, that he was seen by many to go in and out of her private chamber, in the likeness of a handsome young man.—St. Cunigund is said to have undergone the ordeal at Bamberg, in the year 1017. The story, however, is without foundation, not being mentioned by any contemporary writers, but first appearing in various legends, towards the year 1200.

But St. Cunigund is by no means the first German empress of whom the story under consideration is told. A writer contemporary with her, who has nothing to say about the miracle just recounted, relates some[Pg 240]thing very similar of another empress, one hundred and thirty years earlier, namely, of Richardis, wife of Charles III. The tale runs that this Charles, in the year 887, accused his queen of unlawful connection with a Bishop. Her Majesty offered to subject herself to the Judgment of God, either by duel or by the ordeal of burning ploughshares. It is not said that either test was applied, but only that the queen retired into a cloister which she had herself founded. This is the contemporary account. A century and a half later we are told that an ordeal by water was actually undergone, which again is changed by later writers into an ordeal by fire,—the empress passing through the flames in a waxed garment, without receiving the least harm; in memory of which, a day was kept, five centuries after, in honor of St. Richardis, in the monastery to which she withdrew.

Several other similar cases might be mentioned, but it will suffice to refer to only one more, more ancient than any of those already cited. Paulus Diaconus (who wrote about the year 800) relates that a Lombard queen, Gundiberg (of the 7th century), having been charged with infidelity, one of her servants asked permission of the king to fight in the lists for his mistress's honor, and conquered his antagonist in the presence of all the people. The same story is told, more in detail, by Aimoin, a somewhat more recent writer, of another Gundeberg, likewise of the 7th century. A Lombard nobleman makes insolent proposals to his queen, and meets with a most emphatic repulse. Upon this he goes to the king with a story that the queen has been three days conspiring to poison her husband, and put her accomplice in his place. The[Pg 241] tale is believed, and the queen shut up in prison. The Frankish king, a relation of the injured woman, remonstrates on the injustice of condemnation without trial, and the king consents to submit the question to a duel. The champion of innocence is victorious, and the real criminal is condignly punished. This form of the legend, the oldest of all that have been cited, approaches very near to the Danish and English ballads.

Our conclusion would therefore be, with Grundtvig, that the ballads of Sir Aldingar, Ravengaard and Memering, and the rest, are of common derivation with the legends of St. Cunigund, Gundeberg, &c., and that all these are offshoots of a story which, "beginning far back in the infancy of the Gothic race and their poetry, is continually turning up, now here and now there, without having a proper home in any definite time or assignable place." Many circumstances corroborative of this view might be added, but we must content ourselves with obviating a possible objection. An invariable feature in the story is the judicium Dei by which the innocence of the accused wife is established, but there is much difference in the various forms of the legend as to the kind of ordeal employed, and some minds may here find difficulty. A close observation, however, will show such a connection between the different accounts as to prove an original unity. Even the earlier legends of St. Cunigund do not agree on this point; one makes her to have walked over burning ploughshares, another to have carried red-hot iron in her hands. The Icelandic copy of the ballad has both of these: the queen "carries iron and walks on steel"; and there is also a "judgment by[Pg 242] iron bands." All these three tests are found in the Faroe ballad, which brings in Memering besides, and thus furnishes a transition to the Danish, which says nothing about the trial by fire, and has only the duel. Finally the English ballad completes the circle with the pile at which the queen was to be burned, in case she should not be able to prove her innocence by the duel.

At a time uncertain, but earlier than the 14th century, this legend was transplanted into the literature of Southern Europe. It is found in various Spanish chronicles, the earliest the Historia de Cataluña of Bernardo Desclot, written about 1300; also in a Provençal and a French chronicle of the 17th century. In most of these the part of the queen's champion is assigned to the well-known Raimund Berengar, Count of Barcelona, who, in the year 1113, took Majorca from the Moors. The popularity of the story is further proved by the Spanish romance, El Conde de Barcelona y la Emperatriz de Alemania; the French romance L'Histoire de Palanus, Comte de Lyon; and a novel of Bandello, the 44th of the Second Part. This last was re-written and published in 1713, with slight changes, as an original tale, by Mme de Fontaines (Histoire de la Comtesse de Savoie), whence Voltaire borrowed materials for two of his tragedies, Tancrède and Artémire.

By the circuitous route of Spain the story returns to England in a romance of the 15th century, The Erle of Tolous (Ritson, Metr. Rom. iii. p. 93). Nearly related with this romance is the German story-book (derived from the French) on which Hans Sachs founded his tragedy, Der Ritter Golmi mit der Herzo[Pg 243]gin auss Britanien. Another German popular story-book, Hirlanda, exhibits a close resemblance to our ballad of Sir Aldingar.[7]

"This old fabulous legend is given from the editor's folio MS., with conjectural emendations, and the insertion of some additional stanzas to supply and complete the story. It has been suggested to the editor that the author of the poem seems to have had in his eye the story of Gunhilda, who is sometimes called Eleanor (?), and was married to the emperor (here called king) Henry."—Percy.

[3] "Although there are seven centuries between William and our times," says Grundtvig, "and the North Sea between Jutland and the land of his birth, it almost seems as if he had taken his account from the very ballad which is at this day sung on the little island of Fuur in the Lym Fiord."

[4] We have substituted this paragraph instead of a later chronicle cited by Grundtvig. The translation is that of the English editor: Lives of Edward the Confessor (p. 39, 193), recently published by authority of the British government.

[5] William of Malmesbury refers to ballads which were made on the splendid nuptial procession, by which Gunhild was conducted to the ship that was to bear her to her husband, as still sung about the streets in his time.

[6] An argument in confirmation of what is here said is afforded by a German annalist of the 14th century, who states, under the date 1038, that the empress Cunigund died the 3d of March, and was buried at Spires. Now St. Cunigund actually did die the 3d of March, and that day is dedicated to her in the Roman calendar, but the year was 1040, and she was buried at Bamberg, while Gunhild died in 1038 (July 18), and was buried in the monastery of Limburg, near Spires.

[7] In v. of his Introduction to Ravengaard og Memering, Grundtvig seeks to show that this ballad, though independent in its origin, was at one time, like many others, woven into the great South-Gothic epic of Diderik of Bern, and then, having divided the legend into two portions,—the Accusation and its Cause, the Vindication and its Mode,—he, in vi. vii. traces out with wonderful learning and penetration the extensive ramifications of the first part, taken by itself, through the romance of the Middle Ages. The whole essay is beyond praise.


Our king he kept a false stewarde,
Sir Aldingar they him call;
A falser steward than he was one,
Servde not in bower nor hall.
He wolde have layne by our comelye queene,5
Her deere worshippe to betraye;
Our queene she was a good woman,
And evermore said him naye.[Pg 244]
Sir Aldingar was wrothe in his mind,
With her hee was never content,10
Till traiterous meanes he colde devyse,
In a fyer to have her brent.
There came a lazar to the kings gate,
A lazar both blinde and lame;
He tooke the lazar upon his backe,15
Him on the queenes bed has layne.
"Lye still, lazar, wheras thou lyest,
Looke thou goe not hence away;
Ile make thee a whole man and a sound
In two howers of the day."20
Then went him forth Sir Aldingar,
And hyed him to our king:
"If I might have grace, as I have space,
Sad tydings I could bring."
"Say on, say on, Sir Aldingar,25
Saye on the soothe to mee."
"Our queene hath chosen a new, new love,
And shee will have none of thee.
"If shee had chosen a right good knight,
The lesse had beene her shame;30
But she hath chose her a lazar man,
A lazar both blinde and lame."[Pg 245]
"If this be true, thou Aldingar,
The tyding thou tellest to me,
Then will I make thee a rich, rich knight,35
Rich both of golde and fee.
"But if it be false, Sir Aldingar,
As God nowe grant it bee!
Thy body, I sweare by the holye rood,
Shall hang on the gallows tree."40
He brought our king to the queenes chamber,
And opend to him the dore:
"A lodlye love," King Harry says,
"For our queene," dame Elinore!
"If thou were a man, as thou art none,45
Here on my sword thoust dye;
But a payre of new gallowes shall be built,
And there shalt thou hang on hye."
Forth then hyed our king, iwysse,
And an angry man was hee,50
And soone he found queene Elinore,
That bride so bright of blee.
"Now God you save, our queene, madame,
And Christ you save and see!
Here you have chosen a newe, newe love,55
And you will have none of mee.[Pg 246]
"If you had chosen a right good knight,
The lesse had been your shame;
But you have chose you a lazar man,
A lazar both blinde and lame.60
"Therfore a fyer there shall be built,
And brent all shalt thou bee."—
"Now out, alacke!" said our comly queene,
"Sir Aldingar's false to mee.
"Now out, alacke!" sayd our comlye queene,65
"My heart with griefe will brast:
I had thought swevens had never been true,
I have proved them true at last.
"I dreamt in my sweven on Thursday eve,
In my bed wheras I laye,70
I dreamt a grype and a grimlie beast
Had carryed my crowne awaye;
"My gorgett and my kirtle of golde,
And all my faire head-geere;
And he wold worrye me with his tush,75
And to his nest y-beare:
"Saving there came a little gray hawke,
A merlin him they call,
Which untill the grounde did strike the grype,
[Pg 247]That dead he downe did fall.80
"Giffe I were a man, as now I am none,
A battell wold I prove,
To fight with that traitor Aldingar:
Att him I cast my glove.
"But seeing Ime able noe battell to make,85
My liege, grant me a knight
To fight with that traitor, Sir Aldingar,
To maintaine me in my right."
"Now forty dayes I will give thee
To seeke thee a knight therin:90
If thou find not a knight in forty dayes,
Thy bodye it must brenn."
Then shee sent east, and shee sent west,
By north and south bedeene;
But never a champion colde she find,95
Wolde fight with that knight soe keene.
Now twenty dayes were spent and gone,
Noe helpe there might be had;
Many a teare shed our comelye queene,
And aye her hart was sad.100
Then came one of the queenes damselles,
And knelt upon her knee:
Cheare up, cheare up, my gracious dame,
I trust yet helpe may be.[Pg 248]
"And here I will make mine avowe,105
And with the same me binde,
That never will I return to thee,
Till I some helpe may finde."
Then forth she rode on a faire palfraye,
Oer hill and dale about;110
But never a champion colde she finde,
Wolde fighte with that knight so stout.
And nowe the daye drewe on apace,
When our good queene must dye;
All woe-begone was that fair damselle,115
When she found no helpe was nye.
All woe-begone was that faire damselle,
And the salt teares fell from her eye;
When lo! as she rode by a rivers side,
She met with a tinye boye.120
A tinye boy she mette, God wot,
All clad in mantle of golde;
He seemed noe more in mans likenesse,
Then a childe of four yeere olde.
"Why grieve you, damselle faire?" he sayd,125
"And what doth cause you moane?"
The damsell scant wolde deigne a looke,
But fast she pricked on.[Pg 249]
"Yet turne againe, thou faire damselle,
And greete thy queene from mee;130
When bale is at hyest, boote is nyest;
Nowe helpe enoughe may bee.
"Bid her remember what she dreamt,
In her bedd wheras shee laye;
How when the grype and the grimly beast135
Wolde have carried her crowne awaye,
"Even then there came the little gray hawke,
And saved her from his clawes:
Then bidd the queene be merry at hart,
For heaven will fende her cause."140
Back then rode that fair damselle,
And her hart it lept for glee:
And when she told her gracious dame,
A gladd woman then was shee.
But when the appointed day was come,145
No helpe appeared nye;
Then woeful woeful was her hart,
And the teares stood in her eye.
And nowe a fyer was built of wood,
And a stake was made of tree;150
And now queene Elinor forth was led,
A sorrowful sight to see.[Pg 250]
Three times the herault he waved his hand,
And three times spake on hye;
"Giff any good knight will fende this dame,155
Come forth, or shee must dye."
No knight stood forth, no knight there came,
No helpe appeared nye;
And now the fyer was lighted up,
Queene Elinor she must dye.160
And now the fyer was lighted up,
As hot as hot might bee;
When riding upon a little white steed,
The tinye boye they see.
"Away with that stake, away with those brands,165
And loose our comelye queene:
I am come to fight with Sir Aldingar,
And prove him a traitor keene."
Forth then stood Sir Aldingar;
But when he saw the chylde,170
He laughed, and scoffed, and turned his backe,
And weened he had been beguylde.
"Now turne, now turne thee, Aldingar,
And eyther fighte or flee;
I trust that I shall avenge the wronge,175
Thoughe I am so small to see."[Pg 251]
The boye pulld forth a well good sworde,
So gilt it dazzled the ee;
The first stroke stricken at Aldingar
Smote off his leggs by the knee.180
"Stand up, stand up, thou false traitor,
And fighte upon thy feete,
For, and thou thrive as thou beginst,
Of height wee shall be meete."
"A priest, a priest," sayes Aldingar,185
"While I am a man alive;
"A priest, a priest," sayes Aldingar,
"Me for to houzle and shrive.
"I wolde have laine by our comlie queene,
But shee wolde never consent;190
Then I thought to betraye her unto our kinge,
In a fyer to have her brent.
"There came a lazar to the kings gates,
A lazar both blind and lame;
I tooke the lazar upon my backe,195
And on her bedd had him layne.
"Then ranne I to our comlye king,
These tidings sore to tell:
But ever alacke!" sayes Aldingar,
[Pg 252]"Falsing never doth well.200
"Forgive, forgive me, queene, madame,
The short time I must live:"
"Nowe Christ forgive thee, Aldingar,
As freely I forgive."
"Here take thy queene, our King Harrye,205
And love her as thy life,
For never had a king in Christentye
A truer and fairer wife."
King Harrye ran to claspe his queene,
And loosed her full sone;210
Then turnd to look for the tinye boye:—
The boye was vanisht and gone.
But first he had touchd the lazar man,
And stroakt him with his hand;
The lazar under the gallowes tree215
All whole and sounde did stand.
The lazar under the gallowes tree
Was comelye, straight, and tall;
King Henrye made him his head stewarde,
To wayte withinn his hall.220

[Pg 253]

SIR HUGH LE BLOND.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 51.

"The tradition, upon which the ballad is founded, is universally current in the Mearns; and the Editor is informed, that, till very lately, the sword, with which Sir Hugh le Blond was believed to have defended the life and honour of the Queen, was carefully preserved by his descendants, the Viscounts of Arbuthnot. That Sir Hugh of Arbuthnot lived in the thirteenth century, is proved by his having, 1282, bestowed the patronage of the church of Garvoch upon the Monks of Aberbrothwick, for the safety of his soul.—Register of Aberbrothwick, quoted by Crawford in Peerage.

"I was favoured with the following copy of Sir Hugh le Blond, by K. Williamson Burnet, Esq. of Monboddo, who wrote it down from the recitation of an old woman,[Pg 254] long in the service of the Arbuthnot family. Of course, the diction is very much humbled, and it has, in all probability, undergone many corruptions; but its antiquity is indubitable, and the story, though indifferently told, is in itself interesting. It is believed that there have been many more verses." Scott.

The birds sang sweet as ony bell,
The world had not their make,
The Queen she's gone to her chamber,
With Rodingham to talk.
"I love you well, my Queen, my dame,5
'Bove land and rents so clear,
And for the love of you, my Queen,
Would thole pain most severe."—
"If well you love me, Rodingham,
I'm sure so do I thee:10
I love you well as any man,
Save the King's fair bodye."—
"I love you well, my Queen, my dame;
'Tis truth that I do tell:
And for to lye a night with you,15
The salt seas I would sail."—
"Away, away, O Rodingham!
You are both stark and stoor;
Would you defile the King's own bed,
[Pg 255]And make his Queen a whore?20
"To-morrow you'd be taken sure,
And like a traitor slain;
And I'd be burned at a stake,
Although I be the Queen."—
He then stepp'd out at her room door,25
All in an angry mood:
Until he met a leper-man,
Just by the hard way-side.
He intoxicate the leper-man,
With liquors very sweet:30
And gave him more and more to drink,
Until he fell asleep.
He took him in his armis twa,
And carried him along,
Till he came to the Queen's own bed,35
And there he laid him down.
He then stepp'd out of the Queen's bower,
As swift as any roe,
'Till he came to the very place
Where the King himself did go.40
The King said unto Rodingham,
"What news have you to me?"—
He said, "Your Queen's a false woman,
As I did plainly see."[Pg 256]
He hasten'd to the Queen's chamber,45
So costly and so fine,
Until he came to the Queen's own bed,
Where the leper-man was lain.
He looked on the leper-man,
Who lay on his Queen's bed;50
He lifted up the snaw-white sheets,
And thus he to him said:—
"Plooky, plooky, are your cheeks,
And plooky is your chin,
And plooky are your armis twa,55
My bonny Queen's layne in.
"Since she has lain into your arms,
She shall not lye in mine;
Since she has kiss'd your ugsome mouth,
She never shall kiss mine."—60
In anger he went to the Queen,
Who fell upon her knee;
He said, "You false, unchaste woman,
What's this you've done to me?"
The Queen then turn'd herself about,65
The tear blinded her ee—
"There's not a knight in a' your court
Dare give that name to me."[Pg 257]
He said, "'Tis true that I do say;
For I a proof did make:70
You shall be taken from my bower,
And burned at a stake.
"Perhaps I'll take my word again,
And may repent the same,
If that you'll get a Christian man75
To fight that Rodingham."—
"Alas! alas!" then cried our Queen,
"Alas, and woe to me!
There's not a man in all Scotland
Will fight with him for me."—80
She breathed unto her messengers,
Sent them south, east, and west;
They could find none to fight with him,
Nor enter the contest.
She breathed on her messengers,85
She sent them to the north;
And there they found Sir Hugh le Blond,
To fight him he came forth.
When unto him they did unfold
The circumstance all right,90
He bade them go and tell the Queen,
That for her he would fight.[Pg 258]
The day came on that was to do
That dreadful tragedy;
Sir Hugh le Blond was not come up95
To fight for our ladye.
"Put on the fire," the monster said:
"It is twelve on the bell."
"'Tis scarcely ten, now," said the King;
"I heard the clock mysell."—100
Before the hour the Queen is brought,
The burning to proceed;
In a black velvet chair she's set,
A token for the dead.
She saw the flames ascending high,105
The tears blinded her ee:
"Where is the worthy knight," she said,
"Who is to fight for me?"—
Then up and spak the King himsell,
"My dearest, have no doubt,110
For yonder comes the man himsell,
As bold as e'er set out."—
They then advanced to fight the duel
With swords of temper'd steel,
Till down the blood of Rodingham115
Came running to his heel.[Pg 259]
Sir Hugh took out a lusty sword,
'Twas of the metal clear,
And he has pierced Rodingham
Till's heart-blood did appear.120
"Confess your treachery, now," he said,
"This day before you die!"—
"I do confess my treachery,
I shall no longer lye:
"I like to wicked Haman am,125
This day I shall be slain."—
The Queen was brought to her chamber,
A good woman again.
The Queen then said unto the King,
"Arbattle's near the sea;130
Give it unto the northern knight,
That this day fought for me."
Then said the King, "Come here, Sir Knight,
And drink a glass of wine;
And, if Arbattle's not enough,135
To it we'll Fordoun join."

135. Arbattle is the ancient name of the barony of Arbuthnot. Fordun has long been the patrimony of the same family. S.


[Pg 260]

THE KNIGHT, AND SHEPHERD'S DAUGHTER.

"This ballad (given from an old black-letter copy, with some corrections) was popular in the time of Queen Elizabeth, being usually printed with her picture before it, as Hearne informs us in his preface to Gul. Neubrig, Hist. Oxon, 1719, 8vo. vol. i. p. lxx. It is quoted in Fletcher's comedy of the Pilgrim, act 4, sc. 2." Percy's Reliques, iii. 114.

The Scottish ballad corresponding to Percy's has been printed by Kinloch, p. 25. Besides this, however, there are three other Scottish versions, superior to the English in every respect, and much longer. They are Earl Richard, Motherwell, p. 377; (also in Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 81;) a ballad with the same title in Kinloch's collection, p. 15; and Earl Lithgow, Buchan, ii. 91. In all these, the futile attempts of the knight to escape marrying the lady, and the devices by which she aggravates his reluctance to enter into the match, are managed with no little humour. We give Motherwell's edition a place next to Percy's, and refer the reader for Kinloch's to the Appendix.[Pg 261]

There was a shepherds daughter
Came tripping on the waye,
And there by chance a knighte shee mett,
Which caused her to staye.
"Good morrowe to you, beauteous maide,"5
These words pronounced hee;
"O I shall dye this daye," he sayd,
"If Ive not my wille of thee."
"The Lord forbid," the maide replyd,
"That you shold waxe so wode!"10
But for all that shee could do or saye,
He wold not be withstood.
"Sith you have had your wille of mee,
And put me to open shame,
Now, if you are a courteous knighte,15
Tell me what is your name?"
"Some do call mee Jacke, sweet heart,
And some do call mee Jille;
But when I come to the kings faire courte,
[Pg 262]They calle me Wilfulle Wille."20
He sett his foot into the stirrup,
And awaye then he did ride;
She tuckt her girdle about her middle,
And ranne close by his side.
But when she came to the brode water,25
She sett her brest and swamme;
And when she was got out againe,
She tooke to her heels and ranne.
He never was the courteous knighte,
To saye, "Faire maide, will ye ride?"30
And she was ever too loving a maide
To saye, "Sir knighte, abide."
When she came to the kings faire courte,
She knocked at the ring;
So readye was the king himself35
To let this faire maide in.
"Now Christ you save, my gracious liege,
Now Christ you save and see;
You have a knighte within your courte
This daye hath robbed mee."40
"What hath he robbed thee of, sweet heart?
Of purple or of pall?
Or hath he took thy gaye gold ring
From off thy finger small?"[Pg 263]
"He hath not robbed mee, my liege,45
Of purple nor of pall;
But he hath gotten my maidenhead,
Which grieves mee worst of all."
"Now if he be a batchelor,
His bodye Ile give to thee;50
But if he be a married man,
High hanged he shall bee."
He called downe his merrye men all,
By one, by two, by three;
Sir William used to bee the first,55
But nowe the last came hee.
He brought her downe full fortye pounde,
Tyed up withinne a glove:
"Faire maid, Ile give the same to thee;
Go, seeke thee another love."60
"O Ile have none of your gold," she sayde,
"Nor Ile have none of your fee;
But your faire bodye I must have,
The king hath granted mee."
Sir William ranne and fetchd her then65
Five hundred pound in golde,
Saying, "Faire maide, take this to thee,
Thy fault will never be tolde."[Pg 264]
"Tis not the gold that shall mee tempt,"
These words then answered shee,70
"But your own bodye I must have,
The king hath granted mee."
"Would I had drunke the water cleare,
When I did drinke the wine,
Rather than any shepherds brat75
Shold bee a ladye of mine!
"Would I had drank the puddle foule,
When I did drink the ale,
Rather than ever a shepherds brat
Shold tell me such a tale!"80
"A shepherds brat even as I was,
You mote have let mee bee;
I never had come to the kings faire courte,
To crave any love of thee."
He sett her on a milk-white steede,85
And himself upon a graye;
He hung a bugle about his necke,
And soe they rode awaye.
But when they came unto the place,
Where marriage-rites were done,90
She proved herself a dukes daughter,
And he but a squires sonne.[Pg 265]
"Now marrye me, or not, sir knight,
Your pleasure shall be free:
If you make me ladye of one good towne,95
Ile make you lord of three."
"Ah! cursed bee the gold," he sayd;
"If thou hadst not been trewe,
I shold have forsaken my sweet love,
And have changed her for a newe."100
And now their hearts being linked fast,
They joyned hand in hande:
Thus he had both purse, and person too,
And all at his commande.

11, 12, Percy's.


[Pg 266]

EARL RICHARD (B).

Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 377. From recitation.

Earl Richard once on a day,
And all his valiant men so wight,
He did him down to Barnisdale,
Where all the land is fair and light.
He was aware of a damosel,5
I wot fast on she did her bound,
With towers of gold upon her head,
As fair a woman as could be found.
He said, "Busk on you, fair ladye,
The white flowers and the red;10
For I would give my bonnie ship,
To get your maidenhead."
"I wish your bonnie ship rent and rive,
And drown you in the sea;[Pg 267]
For all this would not mend the miss15
That ye would do to me."
"The miss is not so great, ladye,
Soon mended it might be.
"I have four-and-twenty mills in Scotland,
Stands on the water Tay;20
You'll have them, and as much flour
As they'll grind in a day."
"I wish your bonnie ship rent and rive,
And drown you in the sea;
For all that would not mend the miss25
That ye would do for me."
"The miss is not so great, lady,
Soon mended it will be.
"I have four-and-twenty milk-white cows,
All calved in a day;30
You'll have them, and as much hained grass
As they all on can gae."
"I wish your bonnie ship rent and rive,
And drown ye in the sea;
For all that would not mend the miss35
That ye would do to me."
"The miss is not so great, ladye,
Soon mended it might be.[Pg 268]
"I have four-and-twenty milk-white steeds,
All foaled in one year;40
You'll have them, and as much red gold
As all their backs can bear."
She turned her right and round about,
And she swore by the mold,
"I would not be your love," said she,45
"For that church full of gold."
He turned him right and round about,
And he swore by the mass,
Says,—"Lady, ye my love shall be,
And gold ye shall have less."50
She turned her right and round about,
And she swore by the moon,
"I would not be your love," says she,
"For all the gold in Rome."
He turned him right and round about,55
And he swore by the moon,
Says,—"Lady, ye my love shall be,
And gold ye shall have none."
He caught her by the milk-white hand,
And by the grass-green sleeve;60
And there has taken his will of her,
Wholly without her leave.[Pg 269]
The lady frowned and sadly blushed,
And oh! but she thought shame:
Says,—"If you are a knight at all,65
You surely will tell me your name."
"In some places they call me Jack,
In other some they call me John;
But when into the Queen's Court,
Oh then Lithcock it is my name."70
"Lithcock! Lithcock!" the lady said,
And oft she spelt it over again;
"Lithcock! it's Latin," the lady said,
"Richard's the English of that name."
The Knight he rode, the lady ran,75
A live long summer's day;
Till they came to the wan water
That all men do call Tay.
He set his horse head to the water,
Just thro' it for to ride;80
And the lady was as ready as him
The waters for to wade.
For he had never been as kind-hearted
As to bid the lady ride;[Pg 270]
And she had never been so low-hearted85
As for to bid him bide.
But deep into the wan water
There stands a great big stone;
He turned his wight horse head about,
Said, "Lady fair, will ye loup on?"90
She's taken the wand was in her hand,
And struck it on the foam,
And before he got the middle stream,
The lady was on dry land.
"By help of God and our Lady,95
My help lyes not in your hand.
"I learned it from my mother dear,—
Few is there that has learned better—
When I came to a deep water,
I can swim thro' like ony otter.100
"I learned it from my mother dear,—
I find I learned it for my weel;
When I came to a deep water,
I can swim thro' like ony eel."
"Turn back, turn back, you lady fair,105
You know not what I see;
There is a lady in that castle,
That will burn you and me."[Pg 271]
"Betide me weal, betide me wae,
That lady will I see."110
She took a ring from her finger,
And gave't the porter for his fee:
Says, "Tak you that, my good porter,
And bid the Queen speak to me."
And when she came before the Queen,115
There she fell low down on her knee:
Says, "There is a knight into your court,
This day has robbed me."
"O has he robbed you of your gold,
Or has he robbed you of your fee?"120
"He has not robbed me of my gold,
He has not robbed me of my fee;
He has robbed me of my maidenhead,
The fairest flower of my bodie."
"There is no knight in all my court,125
That thus has robbed thee,
But you'll have the truth of his right hand,
Or else for your sake he'll die,
Tho' it were Earl Richard, my own brother;
And oh forbid that it be!"130
Then, sighing, said the lady fair,
"I wot the samen man is he."[Pg 272]
The Queen called on her merry men,
Even fifty men and three;
Earl Richard used to be the first man,135
But now the hindmost was he.
He's taken out one hundred pounds,
And told it in his glove:
Says, "Tak you that, my lady fair,
And seek another love."140
"Oh no, oh no," the lady cried,
"That's what shall never be;
I'll have the truth of your right hand,
The Queen it gave to me."
"I wish I had drunk of your water, sister,145
When I did drink your wine;
That for a carle's fair daughter,
It does gar me dree all this pine."
"May be I am a carle's daughter,
And may be never nane;150
When ye met me in the green wood,
Why did you not let me alane?"
"Will you wear the short clothes,
Or will you wear the side;
Or will you walk to your wedding,155
Or will you till it ride?"[Pg 273]
"I will not wear the short clothes,
But I will wear the side;
I will not walk to my wedding,
But I to it will ride."160
When he was set upon the horse,
The lady him behind,
Then cauld and eerie were the words
The twa had them between.
She said, "Good e'en, ye nettles tall,165
Just there where ye grow at the dike;
If the auld carline my mother was here,
Sae weel's she would your pates pike.
"How she would stap you in her poke,
I wot at that she wadna fail;170
And boil ye in her auld brass pan,
And of ye mak right gude kail.
"And she would meal you with millering
That she gathers at the mill,
And mak you thick as any daigh;175
And when the pan was brimful,
"Would mess you up in scuttle dishes,
Syne bid us sup till we were fou;
Lay down her head upon a poke,
[Pg 274]Then sleep and snore like any sow."180
"Away! away! you bad woman,
For all your vile words grieveth me;
When ye heed so little for yourself,
I'm sure ye'll heed far less for me.
"I wish I had drunk your water, sister,185
When that I did drink of your wine;
Since for a carle's fair daughter,
It aye gars me dree all this pine."
"May be I am a carle's daughter,
And may be never nane;190
When ye met me in the good green wood,
Why did you not let me alane?
"Gude e'en, gude e'en, ye heather berries,
As ye're growing on yon hill;
If the auld carle and his bags were here,195
I wot he would get meat his fill.
"Late, late at night I knit our pokes,
With even four-and-twenty knots;
And in the morn at breakfast time,
I'll carry the keys of an earl's locks.200
"Late, late at night I knit our pokes,
With even four-and-twenty strings;
And if you look to my white fingers,
They have as many gay gold rings."[Pg 275]
"Away! away! ye ill woman,205
And sore your vile words grieveth me;
When you heed so little for yourself,
I'm sure ye'll heed far less for me.
"But if you are a carle's daughter,
As I take you to be,210
How did you get the gay clothing,
In green wood ye had on thee?"
"My mother she's a poor woman,
She nursed earl's children three;
And I got them from a foster sister,215
For to beguile such sparks as thee."
"But if you be a carle's daughter,
As I believe you be,
How did ye learn the good Latin,
In green wood ye spoke to me?"220
"My mother she's a mean woman,
She nursed earl's children three;
I learned it from their chapelain,
To beguile such sparks as ye."
When mass was sung, and bells were rung,225
And all men boune for bed,
Then Earl Richard and this ladye
In ane bed they were laid.[Pg 276]
He turned his face to the stock,
And she hers to the stane;230
And cauld and dreary was the luve
That was thir twa between.
Great was the mirth in the kitchen,
Likewise intill the ha';
But in his bed lay Earl Richard,235
Wiping the tears awa'.
He wept till he fell fast asleep,
Then slept till licht was come;
Then he did hear the gentlemen
That talked in the room:240
Said,—"Saw ye ever a fitter match,
Betwixt the ane and ither;
The King o' Scotland's fair dochter,
And the Queen of England's brither?"
"And is she the King o' Scotland's fair dochter?245
This day, oh, weel is me!
For seven times has my steed been saddled,
To come to court with thee;
And with this witty lady fair,
How happy must I be!"250

75 et seq. This passage has something in common with Child Waters and Burd Ellen.


[Pg 277]

THE GAY GOSS-HAWK.

From Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 151.

"This Ballad is published, partly from one under this title, in Mrs. Brown's collection, and partly from a MS. of some antiquity, penes Edit. The stanzas appearing to possess most merit have been selected from each copy."—Scott.

Annexed is another version from Motherwell's collection. A third, longer than either, is furnished by Buchan, Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 245, The Scottish Squire.

"O waly, waly, my gay goss-hawk,
Gin your feathering be sheen!"
"And waly, waly, my master dear,
Gin ye look pale and lean!
"O have ye tint, at tournament,5
Your sword, or yet your spear?
Or mourn ye for the southern lass,
Whom ye may not win near?"[Pg 278]
"I have not tint, at tournament,
My sword nor yet my spear;10
But sair I mourn for my true love,
Wi' mony a bitter tear.
"But weel's me on ye, my gay goss-hawk,
Ye can baith speak and flee;
Ye sall carry a letter to my love,15
Bring an answer back to me."
"But how sall I your true love find,
Or how suld I her know?
I bear a tongue ne'er wi' her spake,
An eye that ne'er her saw."20
"O weel sall ye my true love ken,
Sae sune as ye her see;
For, of a' the flowers of fair England,
The fairest flower is she.
"The red, that's on my true love's cheek,25
Is like blood-drops on the snaw;
The white, that is on her breast bare,
Like the down o' the white sea-maw
"And even at my love's bouer-door
There grows a flowering birk;30
And ye maun sit and sing thereon
As she gangs to the kirk.[Pg 279]
"And four-and-twenty fair ladyes
Will to the mass repair;
But weel may ye my ladye ken,35
The fairest ladye there."
Lord William has written a love-letter,
Put it under his pinion gray;
And he is awa to southern land
As fast as wings can gae.40
And even at the ladye's bour
There grew a flowering birk;
And he sat down and sung thereon
As she gaed to the kirk.
And weel he kent that ladye fair45
Amang her maidens free;
For the flower that springs in May morning
Was not sae sweet as she.
He lighted at the ladye's yate,
And sat him on a pin;50
And sang fu' sweet the notes o' love,
Till a' was cosh within.
And first he sang a low, low note,
And syne he sang a clear;
And aye the o'erword o' the sang55
Was—"Your love can no win here."[Pg 280]
"Feast on, feast on, my maidens a',
The wine flows you amang,
While I gang to my shot-window,
And hear yon bonny bird's sang.60
"Sing on, sing on, my bonny bird,
The sang ye sung yestreen;
For weel I ken, by your sweet singing,
Ye are frae my true love sen."
O first he sang a merry sang,65
And syne he sang a grave;
And syne he pick'd his feathers gray,
To her the letter gave.
"Have there a letter from Lord William;
He says he's sent ye three;70
He canna wait your love langer,
But for your sake he'll die."—
"Gae bid him bake his bridal bread,
And brew his bridal ale;
And I shall meet him at Mary's kirk,75
Lang, lang ere it be stale."
The lady's gane to her chamber,
And a moanfu' woman was she;
As gin she had ta'en a sudden brash,
[Pg 281]And were about to die.80
"A boon, a boon, my father deir,
A boon I beg of thee!"—
"Ask not that paughty Scottish lord,
For him you ne'er shall see:
"But, for your honest asking else,85
Weel granted it shall be."—
"Then, gin I die in Southern land,
In Scotland gar bury me.
"And the first kirk that ye come to,
Ye's gar the mass be sung;90
And the next kirk that ye come to,
Ye's gar the bells be rung.
"And when you come to St. Mary's kirk,
Ye's tarry there till night."
And so her father pledg'd his word,95
And so his promise plight.
She has ta'en her to her bigly bour
As fast as she could fare;
And she has drank a sleepy draught,
That she had mix'd wi' care.100
And pale, pale, grew her rosy cheek,
That was sae bright of blee,
And she seem'd to be as surely dead
As any one could be.[Pg 282]
Then spake her cruel step-minnie,105
"Tak ye the burning lead,
And drap a drap on her bosome,
To try if she be dead."
They took a drap o' boiling lead,
They drapp'd it on her breast;110
"Alas! alas!" her father cried,
"She's dead without the priest."
She neither chatter'd with her teeth,
Nor shiver'd with her chin;
"Alas! alas!" her father cried,115
"There is nae breath within."
Then up arose her seven brethren,
And hew'd to her a bier;
They hew'd it frae the solid aik,
Laid it o'er wi' silver clear.120
Then up and gat her seven sisters,
And sewed to her a kell;
And every steek that they put in
Sewed to a siller bell.
The first Scots kirk that they cam to,125
They garr'd the bells be rung;
The next Scots kirk that they cam to,
They garr'd the mass be sung.[Pg 283]
But when they cam to St. Mary's kirk,
There stude spearmen all on a raw;130
And up and started Lord William,
The chieftane amang them a.'
"Set down, set down the bier," he said,
"Let me look her upon:"
But as soon as Lord William touch'd her hand,135
Her colour began to come.
She brightened like the lily flower,
Till her pale colour was gone;
With rosy cheek, and ruby lip,
She smiled her love upon.140
"A morsel of your bread, my lord,
And one glass of your wine;
For I hae fasted these three lang days,
All for your sake and mine.—
"Gae hame, gae hame, my seven bauld brothers,145
Gae hame and blaw your horn!
I trow ye wad hae gi'en me the skaith,
But I've gi'en you the scorn.
"Commend me to my grey father,
That wished my saul gude rest;150
But wae be to my cruel step-dame,
Garr'd burn me on the breast."[Pg 284]
"Ah! woe to you, you light woman!
An ill death may ye die!
For we left father and sisters at hame155
Breaking their hearts for thee."

v. 26. This simile resembles a passage in a MS. translation of an Irish Fairy tale, called The Adventures of Faravla, Princess of Scotland, and Carral O'Daly, Son of Donogho More O'Daly, Chief Bard of Ireland. "Faravla, as she entered her bower, cast her looks upon the earth, which was tinged with the blood of a bird which a raven had newly killed: 'Like that snow,' said Faravla, 'was the complexion of my beloved, his cheeks like the sanguine traces thereon; whilst the raven recalls to my memory the colour of his beautiful locks.'" There is also some resemblance in the conduct of the story, betwixt the ballad and the tale just quoted. The Princess Faravla, being desperately in love with Carral O'Daly, despatches in search of him a faithful confidante, who, by her magical art, transforms herself into a hawk, and, perching upon the windows of the bard, conveys to him information of the distress of the Princess of Scotland. Scott.


[Pg 285]

THE JOLLY GOSHAWK.

Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 353.

"O well is me, my jolly goshawk,
That ye can speak and flee;
For ye can carry a love-letter
To my true love from me."
"O how can I carry a letter to her,5
When her I do not know?
I bear the lips to her never spak,
And the eyes that her never saw."
"The thing of my love's face that's white
Is that of dove or maw;10
The thing of my love's face that's red
Is like blood shed on snaw.
"And when you come to the castel,
Light on the bush of ash;[Pg 286]
And sit you there and sing our loves,15
As she comes from the mass.
"And when she gaes into the house,
Sit ye upon the whin;
And sit you there and sing our loves,
As she goes out and in."20
And when he flew to that castel,
He lighted on the ash;
And there he sat and sung their loves,
As she came from the mass.
And when she went into the house,25
He flew unto the whin;
And there he sat and sung their loves,
As she went out and in.
"Come hitherward, my maidens all,
And sip red wine anon,30
Till I go to my west window,
And hear a birdie's moan."
She's gane unto her west window,
And fainly aye it drew;
And soon into her white silk lap35
The bird the letter threw.
"Ye're bidden send your love a send,
For he has sent you twa;[Pg 287]
And tell him where he can see you,
Or he cannot live ava."40
"I send him the rings from my white fingers,
The garlands off my hair;
I send him the heart that's in my breast:
What would my love have mair?
And at the fourth kirk in fair Scotland,45
Ye'll bid him meet me there."
She hied her to her father dear,
As fast as gang could she:
"An asking, an asking, my father dear,
An asking ye grant me,—50
That, if I die in fair England,
In Scotland gar bury me.
"At the first kirk of fair Scotland,
You cause the bells be rung;
At the second kirk of fair Scotland,55
You cause the mass be sung;
"At the third kirk of fair Scotland,
You deal gold for my sake;
And at the fourth kirk of fair Scotland,
Oh there you'll bury me at!60
"And now, my tender father dear,
This asking grant you me:"[Pg 288]
"Your asking is but small," he said,
"Weel granted it shall be."

[The lady asks the same boon and receives a similar answer, first from her mother, then from her sister, and lastly from her seven brothers.]

Then down as dead that lady drapp'd,65
Beside her mother's knee;
Then out it spak an auld witch wife,
By the fire-side sat she:
Says,—"Drap the het lead on her cheek,
And drap it on her chin,70
And drap it on her rose red lips,
And she will speak again:
For much a lady young will do,
To her true love to win."
They drapp'd the het lead on her cheek,75
So did they on her chin;
They drapp'd it on her red rose lips,
But they breathed none again.
Her brothers they went to a room,
To make to her a bier;80
The boards of it were cedar wood,
And the plates on it gold so clear.[Pg 289]
Her sisters they went to a room,
To make to her a sark;
The cloth of it was satin fine,85
And the steeking silken wark.
"But well is me, my jolly goshawk,
That ye can speak and flee;
Come shew to me any love tokens
That you have brought to me."90
"She sends you the rings from her fingers,
The garlands from her hair;
She sends you the heart within her breast:
And what would you have mair?
And at the fourth kirk of fair Scotland,95
She bids you meet her there."
"Come hither, all my merry young men,
And drink the good red wine;
For we must on to fair England,
To free my love from pine."100
At the first kirk of fair Scotland,
They gart the bells be rung;
At the second kirk of fair Scotland,
They gart the mass be sung.
At the third kirk of fair Scotland,105
They dealt gold for her sake;[Pg 290]
And the fourth kirk of fair Scotland
Her true love met them at.
"Set down, set down the corpse," he said,
"Till I look on the dead;110
The last time that I saw her face,
She ruddy was and red;
But now, alas, and woe is me!
She's wallowed like a weed."
He rent the sheet upon her face,115
A little aboon her chin;
With lily white cheek, and lemin' eyne,
She lookt and laugh'd to him.
"Give me a chive of your bread, my love,
A bottle of your wine;120
For I have fasted for your love,
These weary lang days nine;
There's not a steed in your stable,
But would have been dead ere syne.
"Gae hame, gae hame, my seven brothers,125
Gae hame and blaw the horn;
For you can say in the South of England,
Your sister gave you a scorn.
"I came not here to fair Scotland,
[Pg 291]To lye amang the meal;130
But I came here to fair Scotland,
To wear the silks so weel.
"I came not here to fair Scotland,
To lye amang the dead;
But I came here to fair Scotland,135
To wear the gold so red."

[Pg 294]

APPENDIX.


[Pg 295]

YOUNG HUNTING. See p. 3.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 118.

Lady Maisry forth from her bower came,
And stood on her tower head;
She thought she heard a bridle ring,
The sound did her heart guid.
She thought it was her first true love,5
Whom she loved ance in time;
But it was her new love, Hunting,
Come frae the hunting o' the hyn'.
"Gude morrow, gude morrow, Lady Maisry,
God make you safe and free!10
I'm come to take my last farewell,
And pay my last visit to thee."
"O stay, O stay then, young Hunting,
O stay with me this night;
Ye shall ha'e cheer, an' charcoal clear,15
And candles burning bright."
"Have no more cheer, you lady fair,
An hour langer for me;[Pg 296]
I have a lady in Garmouth town
I love better than thee."20
"O if your love be changed, my love,
Since better canno' be,
Nevertheless, for auld lang syne,
Ye'll stay this night wi' me.
"Silver, silver shall be your wage,25
And gowd shall be your fee;
And nine times nine into the year,
Your weed shall changed be.
"Will ye gae to the cards or dice,
Or to a tavern fine?30
Or will ye gae to a table forebye,
And birl baith beer and wine?"
"I winna gang to the cards nor dice,
Nor to a tavern fine;
But I will gang to a table forebye,35
And birl baith beer and wine."
Then she has drawn for young Hunting
The beer but and the wine,
Till she got him as deadly drunk
As ony unhallowed swine.40
Then she's ta'en out a trusty brand,
That hang below her gare;
Then she's wounded him, young Hunting,
A deep wound and a sair.
Then out it speaks her comrade,45
Being in the companie:[Pg 297]
"Alas! this deed that ye ha'e done,
Will ruin baith you and me."
"Heal well, heal well, you Lady Katharine,
Heal well this deed on me;50
The robes that were shapen for my bodie,
They shall be sewed for thee."
"Tho' I wou'd heal it never sae well,
And never sae well," said she,
"There is a God above us baith,55
That can baith hear and see."
They booted him and spurred him,
As he'd been gaun to ride;
A hunting-horn about his neck,
A sharp sword by his side.60
And they rode on, and farther on,
All the lang summer's tide,
Until they came to wan water,
Where a' man ca's it Clyde.
The deepest pot in Clyde's water,65
There they flang him in,
And put a turf on his breast bane,
To had young Hunting down.
O out it speaks a little wee bird,
As she sat on the brier:70
"Gae hame, gae hame, ye Lady Maisry,
And pay your maiden's hire."[Pg 298]
"O I will pay my maiden's hire,
And hire I'll gi'e to thee;
If ye'll conceal this fatal deed,75
Ye's ha'e gowd for your fee."
Then out it speaks a bonny bird,
That flew aboon their head;
"Keep well, keep well your green claithing
Frae ae drap o' his bluid."80
"O I'll keep well my green claithing
Frae ae drap o' his bluid,
Better than I'll do your flattering tongue,
That flutters in your head.
"Come down, come down, my bonny bird,85
Light down upon my hand;
For ae gowd feather that's in your wing,
I wou'd gi'e a' my land."
"How shall I come down, how can I come down,
How shall I come down to thee?90
The things ye said to young Hunting,
The same ye're saying to me."
But it fell out on that same day,
The king was going to ride,
And he call'd for him, young Hunting,95
For to ride by his side.
Then out it speaks the little young son,
Sat on the nurse's knee,
"It fears me sair," said that young babe,
[Pg 299]"He's in bower wi' yon ladie."100
Then they ha'e call'd her, Lady Katharine,
And she sware by the thorn,
That she saw not him, young Hunting,
Sin' yesterday at morn.
Then they ha'e call'd her, Lady Maisry,105
And she sware by the moon,
That she saw not him, young Hunting,
Sin' yesterday at noon.
"He was playing him at the Clyde's water,
Perhaps he has fa'en in:"110
The king he call'd his divers all,
To dive for his young son.
They div'd in thro' the wan burn-bank,
Sae did they out thro' the other:
"We'll dive nae mair," said these young men,115
"Suppose he were our brother."
Then out it spake a little bird,
That flew aboon their head:
"Dive on, dive on, ye divers all,
For there he lies indeed.120
"But ye'll leave aff your day diving,
And ye'll dive in the night;
The pot where young Hunting lies in,
The candles they'll burn bright.
"There are twa ladies in yon bower,125
And even in yon ha',
And they ha'e kill'd him, young Hunting,
And casten him awa'.[Pg 300]
"They booted him and spurred him,
As he'd been gaun to ride;130
A hunting horn tied round his neck,
A sharp sword by his side.
"The deepest pot o' Clyde's water,
There they flang him in,
Laid a turf on his breast bane,135
To had young Hunting down."
Now they left aff their day diving,
And they dived on the night;
The pot that young Hunting lay in,
The candles were burning bright.140
The king he call'd his hewers all,
To hew down wood and thorn,
For to put up a strong bale-fire,
These ladies for to burn.
And they ha'e ta'en her, Lady Katharine,145
And they ha'e pitten her in;
But it wadna light upon her cheek,
Nor wou'd it on her chin,
But sang the points o' her yellow hair,
For healing the deadly sin.150
Then they ha'e ta'en her, Lady Maisry,
And they ha'e put her in:
First it lighted on her cheek,
And syne upon her chin,
And sang the points o' her yellow hair,155
And she burnt like keckle-pin.

65, And the.

66, And there. See 133, 134.


[Pg 301]

YOUNG WATERS.—See p. 88.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. p. 15.

It fell about the gude Yule time,
When caps and stoups gaed roun',
Down it came him young Waters,
To welcome James, our king.
The great, the great, rade a' together,5
The sma' came a' behin';
But wi' young Waters, that brave knight,
There came a gay gatherin'.
The horse young Waters rade upon,
It cost him hunders nine;10
For he was siller shod before,
And gowd graith had behin'.
At ilka tippit o' his horse mane
There hang a siller bell;
The wind was loud, the steed was proud,15
And they gae a sindry knell.
The king he lay ower's castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down;
And he beheld him, young Waters,
[Pg 302]Come riding to the town.20
He turn'd him right and round about,
And to the queen said he,—
"Who is the bravest man, my dame,
That ever your een did see?"
"I've seen lairds, and I've seen lords,25
And knights o' high degree;
But a braver man than young Waters
My e'en did never see."
He turn'd him right and roun' about,
And ane angry man was he;30
"O wae to you, my dame, the queen;
Ye might ha'e excepted me!"
"Ye are nae laird, ye are nae lord,
Ye are the king that wears the crown;
There's nae a lord in fair Scotland,35
But unto you maun a' bow down."
"O lady, for your love choicing,
Ye shall win to your will;
The morn, or I eat or drink,
Young Waters I'll gar kill."40
And nevertheless, the king cou'd say,
"Ye might ha'e excepted me;
Yea for yea," the king cou'd say,
"Young Waters he shall die.
"Likewise for your ill-wyled words45
Ye sall ha'e cause to mourn;
Gin ye hadna been sae big wi' child,
Ye on a hill su'd burn."[Pg 303]
Young Waters came before the King,
Fell low down on his knee;50
"Win up, win up, young Waters,
What's this I hear o' thee?"
"What ails the king at me," he said,
"What ails the king at me?"
"It is tauld me the day, sir knight,55
Ye've done me treasonie."
"Liars will lie on sell gude men,
Sae will they do on me;
I wudna wish to be the man
That liars on wudna lie."60
Nevertheless, the king cou'd say,
"In prison strang gang ye;
O yea for yea," the king cou'd say,
"Young Waters, ye shall die."
Syne they ha'e ta'en him, young Waters,65
Laid him in prison strang,
And left him there wi' fetters boun',
Making a heavy mane.
"Aft ha'e I ridden thro' Striveling town
Thro' heavy wind and weet;70
But ne'er rade I thro' Striveling town
Wi' fetters on my feet.
"Aft ha'e I ridden thro' Striveling town,
Thro' heavy wind and rain;
But ne'er rade I thro' Striveling town75
But thought to ridden't again."[Pg 304]
They brought him to the heading-hill,
His horse, bot and his saddle;
And they brought to the heading-hill
His young son in his cradle.80
And they brought to the heading-hill,
His hounds intill a leish;
And they brought till the heading-hill,
His gos-hawk in a jess.
King James he then rade up the hill,85
And mony a man him wi',
And called on his trusty page,
To come right speedilie.
"Ye'll do' ye to the Earl o' Mar,
For he sits on yon hill;90
Bid him loose the brand frae his bodie,
Young Waters for to kill."
"O gude forbid," the Earl he said,
"The like su'd e'er fa' me,
My bodie e'er su'd wear the brand95
That gars young Waters die."
Then he has loos'd his trusty brand,
And casten't in the sea;
Says, "Never lat them get a brand,
Till it come back to me."100
The scaffold it prepared was,
And he did mount it hie;
And a' spectators that were there,
The saut tears blint their e'e.[Pg 305]
"O had your tongues, my brethren dear,105
And mourn nae mair for me;
Ye're seeking grace frae a graceless face,
For there is nane to gie.
"Ye'll tak' a bit o' canvas claith,
And pit it ower my ee;110
And Jack, my man, ye'll be at hand,
The hour that I su'd die.
"Syne aff ye'll tak' my bluidy sark,
Gie it fair Margaret Grahame;
For she may curse the dowie dell115
That brought King James him hame.
"Ye'll bid her mak' her bed narrow,
And mak' it naeways wide;
For a brawer man than young Waters
Will ne'er streek by her side.120
"Bid her do weel to my young son,
And gie him nurses three;
For gin he live to be a man,
King James will gar him die."
He call'd upon the headsman then,125
A purse o' gowd him gae;
Says, "Do your office, headsman, boy,
And mak' nae mair delay."
"O head me soon, O head me clean,
And pit me out o' pine;130
For it is by the king's command;
Gang head me till his min'.[Pg 306]
"Tho' by him I'm condemn'd to die,
I'm lieve to his ain kin;
And for the truth, I'll plainly tell,135
I am his sister's son."
"Gin ye're my sister's son," he said,
"It is unkent to me."
"O mindna ye on your sister Bess,
That lives in the French countrie?"140
"Gin Bess then be your mither dear,
As I trust well she be,
Gae hame, gae hame, young Waters,
Ye'se ne'er be slain by me."
But he lay by his napkin fine,145
Was saft as ony silk,
And on the block he laid his neck,
Was whiter than the milk.
Says, "Strike the blow, ye headsman, boy,
And that right speedilie;150
It's never be said here gaes a knight,
Was ance condemn'd to die."
The head was ta'en frae young Waters,
And mony tears for him shed;
But mair did mourn for fair Margaret,155
As raving she lyes mad.

[Pg 307]

LAMMIKIN. See p. 94.

Finlay's Scottish Ballads, ii. 47.

Lammikin was as gude a mason
As ever hewed a stane;
He biggit Lord Weire's castle,
But payment gat he nane.
"Sen ye winna gie me my guerdon, lord,5
Sen ye winna gie me my hire,
This gude castle, sae stately built,
I sall gar rock wi' fire.
"Sen ye winna gie me my wages, lord,
Ye sall hae cause to rue:"10
And syne he brewed a black revenge,
And syne he vowed a vow.
The Lammikin sair wroth, sair wroth,
Returned again to Downe;
But or he gaed, he vow'd and vow'd,15
The castle should sweep the ground.[Pg 308]
"O byde at hame, my gude Lord Weire,
I weird ye byde at hame;
Gang na to this day's hunting,
To leave me a' alane.20
"Yae night, yae night, I dreamt this bower
O red, red blude was fu';
Gin ye gang to this black hunting,
I sall hae cause to rue."
"Wha looks to dreams, my winsome dame?25
Nae cause hae ye to fear:"
And syne he kindly kissed her cheek,
And syne the starting tear.
Now to the gude green-wood he's gane,
She to her painted bower;30
But first she closed the windows and doors
Of the castle, ha', and tower.
They steeked doors, they steeked yetts,
Close to the cheek and chin;
They steeked them a' but a wee wicket,35
And Lammikin crap in.
"Where are the lads o' this castle?"
Says the Lammikin;
"They are a' wi Lord Weire, hunting,"
The false nourice did sing.40
"Where are the lasses o' this castle?"
Says the Lammikin;
"They are a' out at the washing,"
The false nourice did sing.[Pg 309]
"But where's the lady o' this castle?"45
Says the Lammikin;
"She is in her bower sewing,"
The false nourice did sing.
"Is this the bairn o' this house?"
Says the Lammikin;50
"The only bairn Lord Weire aughts,"
The false nourice did sing.
Lammikin nipped the bonnie babe,
While loud false nourice sings;
Lammikin nipped the bonnie babe,55
Till high the red blude springs.
"Still my bairn, nourice,
O still him if ye can:"
"He will not still, madam,
For a' his father's lan'."60
"O gentle nourice, still my bairn,
O still him wi' the keys:"
"He will not still, fair lady,
Let me do what I please."
"O still my bairn, kind nourice,65
O still him wi' the ring:"
"He will not still, my lady,
Let me do any thing."
"O still my bairn, gude nourice,
O still him wi' the knife:"70
"He will not still, dear mistress mine,
Gin I'd lay down my life."[Pg 310]
"Sweet nourice, loud, loud cries my bairn,
O still him wi' the bell:"
"He will not still, dear lady,75
Till ye cum down yoursell."
The first step she stepped,
She stepped on a stane,
The next step she stepped,
She met the Lammikin.80
And when she saw the red, red blude,
A loud skriech skrieched she:
"O monster, monster, spare my child,
Who never skaithed thee!
"O spare, if in your bluidy breast85
Abides not heart of stane!
O spare, an' ye sall hae o' gold
That ye can carry hame!"
"I carena for your gold," he said,
"I carena for your fee:90
I hae been wranged by your lord,
Black vengeance ye sall drie.
"Here are nae serfs to guard your haa's,
Nae trusty spearmen here;
In yon green wood they sound the horn,95
And chace the doe and deer.
"Tho merry sounds the gude green wood
Wi' huntsmen, hounds, and horn,
Your lord sall rue ere sets yon sun
[Pg 311]He has done me skaith and scorn."100
"O nourice, wanted ye your meat,
Or wanted ye your fee,
Or wanted ye for any thing,
A fair lady could gie?"
"I wanted for nae meat, ladie,105
I wanted for nae fee;
But I wanted for a hantle
A fair lady could gie."
Then Lammikin drew his red, red sword,
And sharped it on a stane,110
And through and through this fair ladie,
The cauld, cauld steel is gane.
Nor lang was't after this foul deed,
Till Lord Weire cumin' hame,
Thocht he saw his sweet bairn's bluid115
Sprinkled on a stane.
"I wish a' may be weel," he says,
"Wi' my ladie at hame;
For the rings upon my fingers
Are bursting in twain."120
But mair he look'd, and dule saw he,
On the door at the trance,
Spots o' his dear ladys bluid
Shining like a lance.
"There's bluid in my nursery,125
There's bluid in my ha',
There's bluid in my fair lady's bower,
An' that's warst of a'."[Pg 312]
O sweet, sweet sang the birdie,
Upon the bough sae hie,130
But little cared false nourice for that,
For it was her gallows tree.
Then out he set, and his braw men
Rode a' the country roun';
Ere lang they faud the Lammikin135
Had sheltered near to Downe.
They carried him a' airts o' wind,
And mickle pain had he,
At last before Lord Weire's gate
They hanged him on the tree.140

[Pg 313]

LONG LONKIN. See p. 94.

From Richardson's Borderer's Table-Book, viii. 410.

The lord said to his ladie,
As he mounted his horse,
"Beware of Long Lonkin
That lies in the moss."
The lord said to his ladie,5
As he rode away,
"Beware of Long Lonkin
That lies in the clay."
"What care I for Lonkin,
Or any of his gang?10
My doors are all shut
And my windows penned in."
There are six little windows,
And they were all shut,
But one little window,15
And that was forgot.[Pg 314]
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
And at that little window
Long Lonkin crept in.
"Where's the lord of the hall?"
Says the Lonkin;20
"He's gone up to London,"
Says Orange to him.
"Where's the men of the hall?"
Says the Lonkin;
"They're at the field ploughing,"25
Says Orange to him.
"Where's the maids of the hall?"
Says the Lonkin;
"They're at the well washing,"
Says Orange to him.30
"Where's the ladies of the hall?"
Says the Lonkin;
"They're up in their chambers,"
Says Orange to him.
"How shall we get them down?"35
Says the Lonkin;
"Prick the babe in the cradle,"
Says Orange to him.
"Rock well my cradle,
And bee-ba my son;40
Ye shall have a new gown
When the lord he comes home."[Pg 315]
Still she did prick it,
And bee-ba she cried;
"Come down, dearest mistress,45
And still your own child."
"O still my child, Orange,
Still him with a bell;"
"I can't still him, ladie,
Till you come down yoursell."50
* * * * * *
"Hold the gold basin,
For your heart's blood to run in,"
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
"To hold the gold basin,
It grieves me full sore;
Oh kill me, dear Lonkin,55
And let my mother go."
* * * * * *

[Pg 316]

THE LAIRD OF WARISTOUN. See p. 107.

"John Kincaid, Laird of Waristoun, (an estate situated between the city of Edinburgh and the sea, towards Leith,) was murdered, on the 2d of July, 1600, by a man named Robert Weir, who was employed to do so by his wife, Jean Livingstone, daughter of the Laird of Dunipace. The unfortunate woman, who thus became implicated in a crime so revolting to humanity, was only twenty-one years of age at the time. It is probable from some circumstances, that her husband was considerably older than herself, and also that their marriage was any thing but one of love. It is only alleged, however, that she was instigated to seek his death by resentment for some bad treatment on his part, and, in particular, for a bite which he had inflicted on her arm. There was something extraordinary in the deliberation with which this wretched woman approached the awful gulf of crime. Having resolved on the means to be employed in the murder, she sent for a quondam servant of her father, Robert Weir, who lived in the neighbouring city. He came to the place of Waristoun, to see her; but, for some unexplained reason was not admitted. She again sent for him, and he again went. Again he was not admitted.[Pg 317] At length, on his being called a third time, he was introduced to her presence. Before this time she had found an accomplice in the nurse of her child. It was then arranged, that Weir should be concealed in a cellar till the dead of night, when he should come forth and proceed to destroy the laird as he lay in his chamber. The bloody tragedy was acted precisely in accordance with this plan. Weir was brought up, at midnight, from the cellar to the hall by the lady herself, and afterwards went forward alone to the laird's bedroom. As he proceeded to his bloody work, she retired to her bed, to wait the intelligence of her husband's murder. When Weir entered the chamber, Waristoun awoke with the noise, and leant inquiringly over the side of the bed. The murderer then leapt upon him; the unhappy man uttered a great cry; Weir gave him several dreadful blows on vital parts, particularly one on the flank vein. But as the laird was still able to cry out, he at length saw fit to take more effective measures: he seized him by the throat with both hands, and compressing that part with all his force, succeeded, after a few minutes, in depriving him of life. When the lady heard her husband's first death-shout, she leapt out of bed, in an agony of mingled horror and repentance, and descended to the hall: but she made no effort to countermand her mission of destruction. She waited patiently till Weir came down to inform her that all was over.

"Weir made an immediate escape from justice; but Lady Waristoun and the nurse were apprehended before the deed was half a day old. Being caught, as the Scottish law terms it, red-hand,—that is, while still bearing unequivocal marks of guilt, they were[Pg 318] immediately tried by the magistrates of Edinburgh, and sentenced to be strangled and burnt at a stake. The lady's father, the Laird of Dunipace, was a favourite of King James VI., and he made all the interest he could with his majesty to procure a pardon; but all that could be obtained from the king, was an order that the unhappy lady should be executed by decapitation, and that at such an early hour in the morning as to make the affair as little of a spectacle as possible.

"The space intervening between her sentence and her execution was only thirty-seven hours; yet, in that little time, Lady Waristoun contrived to become converted from a blood-stained and unrelenting murderess into a perfect saint on earth. One of the then ministers of Edinburgh has left an account of her conversion, which was lately published, and would be extremely amusing, were it not for the disgust which seizes the mind on beholding such an instance of perverted religion. She went to the scaffold with a demeanour which would have graced a martyr. Her lips were incessant in the utterance of pious exclamations. She professed herself confident of everlasting happiness. She even grudged every moment which she spent in this world, as so much taken from that sum of eternal felicity which she was to enjoy in the next. The people who came to witness the last scene, instead of having their minds inspired with salutary horror for her crime, were engrossed in admiration of her saintly behaviour, and greedily gathered up every devout word which fell from her tongue. It would almost appear from the narrative of the clergyman, that her fate was rather a matter of envy than of any other feeling. Her execution took place at four in[Pg 319] the morning of the 5th of July, at the Watergate, near Holyroodhouse; and at the same hour her nurse was burnt on the castle-hill. It is some gratification to know, that the actual murderer, Weir, was eventually seized and executed, though not till four years after."

Chambers's Scottish Ballads, p. 129.


From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 56.

My mother was an ill woman,
In fifteen years she married me;
I hadna wit to guide a man,
Alas! ill counsel guided me.
O Warriston, O Warriston,5
I wish that ye may sink for sin;
I was but bare fifteen years auld,
Whan first I enter'd your yates within.
I hadna been a month married,
Till my gude lord went to the sea;10
I bare a bairn ere he came hame,
And set it on the nourice knee.
But it fell ance upon a day,
That my gude lord return'd from sea;
Then I did dress in the best array,15
As blythe as ony bird on tree.
I took my young son in my arms,
Likewise my nourice me forebye,
And I went down to yon shore side,
[Pg 320]My gude lord's vessel I might spy.20
My lord he stood upon the deck,
I wyte he hail'd me courteouslie;
"Ye are thrice welcome, my lady gay,
Whase aught that bairn on your knee?"
She turn'd her right and round about,25
Says, "Why take ye sic dreads o' me?
Alas! I was too young married,
To love another man but thee."
"Now hold your tongue, my lady gay,
Nae mair falsehoods ye'll tell to me;30
This bonny bairn is not mine,
You've loved another while I was on sea."
In discontent then hame she went,
And aye the tear did blin' her e'e;
Says, "Of this wretch I'll be revenged,35
For these harsh words he's said to me."
She's counsell'd wi' her father's steward,
What way she cou'd revenged be;
Bad was the counsel then he gave,—
It was to gar her gude lord dee.40
The nourice took the deed in hand,
I wat she was well paid her fee;
She kiest the knot, and the loop she ran,
Which soon did gar this young lord dee.
His brother lay in a room hard by,45
Alas! that night he slept too soun';
But then he waken'd wi a cry,
"I fear my brother's putten down.[Pg 321]
"O get me coal and candle light,
And get me some gude companie;"50
But before the light was brought,
Warriston he was gart dee.
They've ta'en the lady and fause nourice,
In prison strong they ha'e them boun';
The nourice she was hard o' heart,55
But the bonny lady fell in swoon.
In it came her brother dear,
And aye a sorry man was he;
"I wou'd gie a' the lands I heir,
O bonny Jean, to borrow thee."60
"O borrow me brother, borrow me,—
O borrow'd shall I never be;
For I gart kill my ain gude lord,
And life is nae pleasure to me."
In it came her mother dear,65
I wyte a sorry woman was she;
"I wou'd gie my white monie and gowd,
O bonny Jean, to borrow thee."
"Borrow me mother, borrow me,—
O borrow'd shall I never be;70
For I gart kill my ain gude lord,
And life's now nae pleasure to me."
Then in it came her father dear,
I wyte a sorry man was he;
Says, "Ohon, alas! my bonny Jean,75
If I had you at hame wi' me.[Pg 322]
"Seven daughters I ha'e left at hame,
As fair women as fair can be;
But I wou'd gi'e them ane by ane,
O bonny Jean, to borrow thee."80
"O borrow me father, borrow me,—
O borrow'd shall I never be;
I that is worthy o' the death,
It is but right that I shou'd dee."
Then out it speaks the king himsell,85
And aye as he steps in the fleer;
Says, "I grant you your life, lady,
Because you are of tender year."
"A boon, a boon, my liege the king,
The boon I ask, ye'll grant to me:"90
"Ask on, ask on, my bonny Jean,
Whate'er ye ask it's granted be."
"Cause take me out at night, at night,
Lat not the sun upon me shine;
And take me to yon heading hill,95
Strike aff this dowie head o' mine.
"Ye'll take me out at night, at night,
When there are nane to gaze and see;
And ha'e me to yon heading hill,
And ye'll gar head me speedilie."100
They've ta'en her out at nine at night,
Loot not the sun upon her shine;
And had her to yon heading hill,
And headed her baith neat and fine.[Pg 323]
Then out it speaks the king himsell,105
I wyte a sorry man was he;
"I've travell'd east, I've travell'd west,
And sailed far beyond the sea,
But I never saw a woman's face
I was sae sorry to see dee.110
"But Warriston was sair to blame,
For slighting o' his lady so;
He had the wyte o' his ain death,
And bonny lady's overthrow."

[Pg 324]

MARY HAMILTON. See p. 113.

A "North Country" version from Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 252. The Editor furnishes the two following stanzas of another copy:—

My father is the Duke of Argyle,
My mother's a lady gay,
And I mysel am a daintie dame,
And the king desired me.
He shaw'd me up, he shaw'd me doun,
He shaw'd me to the ha',
He shaw'd me to the low cellars,
And that was warst of a'.

In one of Motherwell's copies, and in Buchan's, the heroine calls herself daughter of the Duke of York.

"Whan I was a babe, and a very little babe,
And stood at my mither's knee,
Nae witch nor warlock did unfauld
The death I was to dree.[Pg 325]
"But my mither was a proud woman,5
A proud woman and a bauld;
And she hired me to Queen Mary's bouer
When scarce eleven years auld.
"O happy, happy, is the maid,
That's born of beauty free!10
It was my dimpling rosy cheeks
That's been the dule o' me;
And wae be to that weirdless wicht,
And a' his witcherie."
Word's gane up and word's gane doun,15
And word's gane to the ha',
That Mary Hamilton was wi' bairn,
And na body ken'd to wha.
But in and cam the Queen hersel,
Wi' gowd plait on her hair;—20
Says, "Mary Hamilton, whare is the babe
That I heard greet sae sair?"
"There is na babe within my bouer,
And I hope there ne'er will be;
But it's me wi' a sair and sick colic,25
And I'm just like to dee."
But they looked up, they looked down,
Atween the bowsters and the wa',
It's there they got a bonnie lad-bairn,
But it's life it was awa'.30
"Rise up, rise up, Mary Hamilton,
Rise up, and dress ye fine,[Pg 326]
For you maun gang to Edinbruch,
And stand afore the nine.
"Ye'll no put on the dowie black,35
Nor yet the dowie brown;
But ye'll put on the robes o' red,
To sheen thro' Edinbruch town."
"I'll no put on the dowie black,
Nor yet the dowie brown;40
But I'll put on the robes o' red,
To sheen thro' Edinbruch town."
As they gaed thro' Edinbruch town,
And down by the Nether-bow,
There war monie a lady fair45
Siching and crying, "Och how!"
"O weep na mair for me, ladies,
Weep na mair for me;
Yestreen I killed my ain bairn,
The day I deserve to dee.50
"What need ye hech! and how! ladies,
What need ye how! for me;
Ye never saw grace at a graceless face,—
Queen Mary has nane to gie."
"Gae forward, gae forward," the Queen she said,
[Pg 327]"Gae forward, that ye may see;55
For the very same words that ye hae said,
Sall hang ye on the gallows tree."
As she gaed up the Tolbooth stairs,
She gied loud lauchters three;60
But or ever she cam down again,
She was condemn'd to dee.
"O tak example frae me, Maries,
O tak example frae me,
Nor gie your luve to courtly lords,65
Nor heed their witchin' ee.
"But wae be to the Queen hersel,
She micht hae pardon'd me;
But sair she's striven for me to hang
Upon the gallows tree.70
"Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The nicht she'll hae but three;
There was Mary Beatoun, Mary Seaton,
And Mary Carmichael, and me.
"Aft hae I set pearls in her hair,75
Aft hae I lac'd her gown,
And this is the reward I now get,
To be hang'd in Edinbruch town!
"O a' ye mariners, far and near,
That sail ayont the faem,80
O dinna let my father and mither ken,
But what I am coming hame.
"O a' ye mariners, far and near,
That sail ayont the sea,[Pg 328]
Let na my father and mither ken,85
The death I am to dee.
"Sae, weep na mair for me, ladies,
Weep na mair for me,
The mither that kills her ain bairn,
Deserves weel for to dee."90
* * * * * * * *

34. Anciently the supreme criminal court of Scotland was composed of nine members, viz. the Justiciar, or Justice General, and his eight Deputes. Kinloch.


[Pg 329]

MARY HAMILTON. See p 113.

Maidment's North Countrie Garland, p. 19.

Then down cam Queen Marie
Wi' gold links in her hair,
Saying, "Marie mild, where is the child,
That I heard greet sair sair?"
"There was nae child wi' me, madam,5
There was nae child wi' me;
It was but me in a sair cholic,
When I was like to die."
"I'm not deceived," Queen Marie said,
"No, no, indeed, not I!10
So Marie mild, where is the child?
For sure I heard it cry."
She turned down the blankets fine,
Likewise the Holland sheet,
And underneath, there strangled lay15
A lovely baby sweet.[Pg 330]
"O cruel mother," said the Queen,
"Some fiend possessed thee;
But I will hang thee for this deed,
My Marie tho' thou be!"20
* * * * * *
When she cam to the Nether-Bow Port,
She laugh't loud laughters three;
But when she cam to the gallows foot,
The saut tear blinded her ee.
"Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,25
The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael and me.
"Ye mariners, ye mariners,
That sail upon the sea,30
Let not my father or mother wit
The death that I maun die.
"I was my parents' only hope,
They ne'er had ane but me;
They little thought when I left hame,35
They should nae mair me see!"

[Pg 331]

SIR HUGH, OR THE JEW'S DAUGHTER.
See p. 136.

From Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 51; taken down from recitation.

Yesterday was brave Hallowday,
And, above all days of the year,
The schoolboys all got leave to play,
And little Sir Hugh was there.
He kicked the ball with his foot,5
And kepped it with his knee,
And even in at the Jew's window
He gart the bonnie ba' flee.
Out then came the Jew's daughter,—
"Will ye come in and dine?"10
"I winna come in and I canna come in
Till I get that ball of mine.
"Throw down that ball to me, maiden,
Throw down the ball to me."
"I winna throw down your ball, Sir Hugh,15
Till ye come up to me."
She pu'd the apple frae the tree,
It was baith red and green,
She gave it unto little Sir Hugh,
[Pg 332]With that his heart did win.20
She wiled him into ae chamber,
She wiled him into twa,
She wiled him into the third chamber,
And that was warst o't a'.
She took out a little penknife,25
Hung low down by her spare,
She twined this young thing o' his life,
And a word he ne'er spak mair.
And first came out the thick, thick blood,
And syne came out the thin,30
And syne came out the bonnie heart's blood,—
There was nae mair within.
She laid him on a dressing table,
She dress'd him like a swine,
Says, "Lie ye there, my bonnie Sir Hugh,35
Wi' ye're apples red and green!"
She put him in a case of lead,
Says, "Lie ye there and sleep!"
She threw him into the deep draw-well
Was fifty fathom deep.40
A schoolboy walking in the garden
Did grievously hear him moan,
He ran away to the deep draw-well
And fell down on his knee.
Says, "Bonnie Sir Hugh, and pretty Sir Hugh,45
I pray you speak to me;
If you speak to any body in this world,
I pray you speak to me."[Pg 333]
When bells were rung and mass was sung,
And every body went hame,50
Then every lady had her son,
But Lady Helen had nane.
She rolled her mantle her about,
And sore, sore did she weep;
She ran away to the Jew's castle,55
When all were fast asleep.
She cries, "Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir Hugh,
I pray you speak to me;
If you speak to any body in this world,
I pray you speak to me."60
"Lady Helen, if ye want your son,
I'll tell ye where to seek;
Lady Helen, if ye want your son,
He's in the well sae deep."
She ran away to the deep draw-well,65
And she fell down on her knee;
Saying, "Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir Hugh,
I pray ye speak to me;
If ye speak to any body in the world,
I pray ye speak to me."70
"Oh! the lead it is wondrous heavy, mother,
The well it is wondrous deep;
The little penknife sticks in my throat,
And I downa to ye speak.
But lift me out o' this deep draw-well,75
And bury me in yon churchyard;[Pg 334]
"Put a Bible at my head," he says,
"And a testament at my feet,
And pen and ink at every side,
And I'll lie still and sleep.80
"And go to the back of Maitland town,
Bring me my winding sheet;
For it's at the back of Maitland town
That you and I shall meet."
O the broom, the bonny, bonny broom,85
The broom that makes full sore,
A woman's mercy is very little,
But a man's mercy is more.

[Pg 335]

SIR HUGH. See p. 136.

From Hume's Sir Hugh of Lincoln, p. 35; obtained from recitation, in Ireland.

'Twas on a summer's morning,
Some scholars were playing at ball;
When out came the Jew's daughter
And lean'd her back against the wall.
She said unto the fairest boy,5
"Come here to me, Sir Hugh."
"No! I will not," said he,
"Without my playfellows too."
She took an apple out of her pocket,
And trundled it along the plain;10
And who was readiest to lift it,
Was little Sir Hugh, again.
She took him by the milk-white han',
An' led him through many a hall,
Until they came to one stone chamber,15
Where no man might hear his call.
She sat him in a goolden chair,
And jagg'd him with a pin;
And called for a goolden cup
[Pg 336]To houl' his heart's blood in.20
She tuk him by the yellow hair,
An' also by the feet;
An' she threw him in the deep draw well,
It was fifty fadom deep.
Day bein' over, the night came on,25
And the scholars all went home;
Then every mother had her son,
But little Sir Hugh's had none.
She put her mantle about her head,
Tuk a little rod in her han',30
An' she says, "Sir Hugh, if I fin' you here,
I will bate you for stayin' so long."
First she went to the Jew's door,
But they were fast asleep;
An' then she went to the deep draw-well,35
That was fifty fadom deep.
She says, "Sir Hugh, if you be here,
As I suppose you be,
If ever the dead or quick arose,
Arise and spake to me."40
Yes, mother dear, I am here,
I know I have staid very long;
But a little penknife was stuck in my heart,
Till the stream ran down full strong.
And mother dear, when you go home,45
Tell my playfellows all,
That I lost my life by leaving them
When playing that game of ball.[Pg 337]
And ere another day is gone,
My winding-sheet prepare,50
And bury me in the green churchyard
Where the flowers are bloomin' fair.
Lay my Bible at my head,
My testament at my feet;
The earth and worms shall be my bed,55
Till Christ and I shall meet.

[Pg 338]

SIR PATRICK SPENS. See p. 147.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 1.

The King sits in Dunfermline town,
A-drinking at the wine;
Says, "Where will I get a good skipper
Will sail the saut seas fine?"
Out it speaks an eldren knight5
Amang the companie,—
"Young Patrick Spens is the best skipper
That ever sail'd the sea."
The king he wrote a braid letter,
And seal'd it wi' his ring;10
Says, "Ye'll gi'e that to Patrick Spens:
See if ye can him find."
He sent this, not wi' an auld man,
Nor yet a simple boy,
But the best o' nobles in his train15
This letter did convoy.
When Patrick look'd the letter upon
A light laugh then ga'e he;
But ere he read it till an end,
[Pg 339]The tear blinded his e'e.20
"Ye'll eat and drink, my merry men a',
An' see ye be weell thorn;
For blaw it weet, or blaw it wind,
My guid ship sails the morn."
Then out it speaks a guid auld man,25
A guid death mat he dee,—
"Whatever ye do, my guid master,
Tak' God your guide to bee.
"For late yestreen I saw the new moon,
The auld moon in her arm."30
"Ohon, alas!" says Patrick Spens,
"That bodes a deadly storm.
"But I maun sail the seas the morn,
And likewise sae maun you;
To Noroway, wi' our king's daughter,—35
A chosen queen she's now.
"But I wonder who has been sae base,
As tauld the king o' mee:
Even tho' hee ware my ae brither,
An ill death mat he dee."40
Now Patrick he rigg'd out his ship,
And sailed ower the faem;
But mony a dreary thought had hee,
While hee was on the main.
They hadna sail'd upon the sea45
A day but barely three,
Till they came in sight o' Noroway,
It's there where they must bee.[Pg 340]
They hadna stayed into that place
A month but and a day,50
Till he caus'd the flip in mugs gae roun',
And wine in cans sae gay.
The pipe and harp sae sweetly play'd,
The trumpets loudly soun';
In every hall where in they stay'd,55
Wi' their mirth did reboun'.
Then out it speaks an auld skipper,
An inbearing dog was hee,—
"Ye've stay'd ower lang in Noroway,
Spending your king's monie."60
Then out it speaks Sir Patrick Spens,—
"O how can a' this bee?
I ha'e a bow o' guid red gowd
Into my ship wi' mee.
"But betide me well, betide me wae,65
This day I'se leave the shore;
And never spend my king's monie
'Mong Noroway dogs no more."
Young Patrick hee is on the sea,
And even on the faem,70
Wi' five-an-fifty Scots lords' sons,
That lang'd to bee at hame.
They hadna sail'd upon the sea
A day but barely three,
Till loud and boistrous grew the wind,75
And stormy grew the sea.[Pg 341]
"O where will I get a little wee boy
Will tak' my helm in hand,
Till I gae up to my tapmast,
And see for some dry land?"80
He hadna gane to his tapmast
A step but barely three;
Ere thro' and thro' the bonny ship's side,
He saw the green haw sea.
"There are five-an-fifty feather beds85
Well packed in ae room;
And ye'll get as muckle guid canvas
As wrap the ship a' roun';
"Ye'll pict her well, and spare her not,
And mak' her hale and soun'."90
But ere he had the word well spoke
The bonny ship was down.
O laith, laith were our guid lords' sons
To weet their milk-white hands;
But lang ere a' the play was ower95
They wat their gowden bands.
O laith, laith were our Scots lords' sons
To weet their coal-black shoon;
But lang ere a' the play was ower
They wat their hats aboon.100
It's even ower by Aberdour
It's fifty fathoms deep,
And yonder lies Sir Patrick Spens,
And a's men at his feet.[Pg 342]
It's even ower by Aberdour,105
There's mony a craig and fin,
And yonder lies Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi' mony a guid lord's son.
Lang, lang will the ladyes look
Into their morning weed,110
Before they see young Patrick Spens
Come sailing ower the fleed.
Lang, lang will the ladyes look
Wi' their fans in their hand,
Before they see him, Patrick Spens,115
Come sailing to dry land.

[Pg 343]

LORD LIVINGSTON.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 39.

It fell about the Lammas time,
When wightsmen won their hay;
A' the squires in merry Linkum,
Went a' forth till a play.
They play'd until the evening tide,5
The sun was gaeing down;
A lady thro' plain fields was bound,
A lily leesome thing.
Two squires that for this lady pledged,
In hopes for a renown;10
The one was call'd the proud Seaton,
The other Livingston.
"When will ye, Michaell o' Livingston,
Wad for this lady gay?"
"To-morrow, to-morrow," said Livingston,15
"To-morrow, if you may."[Pg 344]
Then they hae wadded their wagers,
And laid their pledges down;
To the high castle o' Edinbro'
They made them ready boun'.20
The chamber that they did gang in,
There it was daily dight;
The kipples were like the gude red gowd,
As they stood up in hight;
And the roof-tree like the siller white,25
And shin'd like candles bright.
The lady fair into that ha'
Was comely to be seen;
Her kirtle was made o' the pa',
Her gowns seem'd o' the green.30
Her gowns seem'd like green, like green,
Her kirtle o' the pa';
A siller wand intill her hand,
She marshall'd ower them a'.
She gae every knight a lady bright,35
And every squire a may;
Her own sell chose him, Livingston,
They were a comely tway.
Then Seaton started till his foot,
The fierce flame in his e'e:40
"On the next day, wi' sword in hand,
On plain fields, meet ye me."
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' man bound for bed;[Pg 345]
Lord Livingston and his fair dame45
In bed were sweetly laid.
The bed, the bed, where they lay in,
Was cover'd wi' the pa';
A covering o' the gude red gowd,
Lay nightly ower the twa.50
So they lay there, till on the morn
The sun shone on their feet;
Then up it raise him, Livingston,
To draw to him a weed.
The first an' weed that he drew on,55
Was o' the linen clear;
The next an' weed that he drew on,
It was a weed o' weir.
The niest an' weed that he drew on,
Was gude iron and steel;60
Twa gloves o' plate, a gowden helmet,
Became that hind chiel weel.
Then out it speaks that lady gay,
A little forbye stood she;
"I'll dress mysell in men's array,65
Gae to the fields for thee."
"O God forbid," said Livingston,
"That e'er I dree the shame;
My lady slain in plain fields,
And I coward knight at hame!"70
He scarcely travelled frae the town
A mile but barely twa,[Pg 346]
Till he met wi' a witch woman,
I pray to send her wae.
"This is too gude a day, my lord,75
To gang sae far frae town;
This is too gude a day, my lord,
On field to make you boun'.
"I dream'd a dream concerning thee,
O read ill dreams to guid!80
Your bower was full o' milk-white swans,
Your bride's bed full o' bluid."
"O bluid is gude," said Livingston,
"To bide it whoso may;
If I be frae yon plain fields,85
Nane knew the plight I lay."
Then he rade on to plain fields,
As swift's his horse cou'd hie;
And there he met the proud Seaton,
Come boldly ower the lee.90
"Come on to me now, Livingston,
Or then take foot and flee;
This is the day that we must try
Who gains the victorie."
Then they fought with sword in hand,95
Till they were bluidy men;
But on the point o' Seaton's sword
Brave Livingston was slain.
His lady lay ower castle wa',
[Pg 347]Beholding dale and down,100
When Blenchant brave, his gallant steed,
Came prancing to the town.
"O where is now my ain gude lord,
He stays sae far frae me?"
"O dinna ye see your ain gude lord,105
Stand bleeding by your knee?"
"O live, O live, Lord Livingston,
The space o' ae half hour;
There's nae a leech in Edinbro' town
But I'll bring to your door."110
"Awa' wi' your leeches, lady," he said,
"Of them I'll be the waur;
There's nae a leech in Edinbro' town,
That can strong death debar.
"Ye'll take the lands o' Livingston,115
And deal them liberallie;
To the auld that may not, the young that cannot,
And blind that does na see;
And help young maidens' marriages,
That has nae gear to gie."120
"My mother got it in a book,
The first night I was born,
I wou'd be wedded till a knight,
And him slain on the morn.
"But I will do for my love's sake125
What ladies woudna thole;
Ere seven years shall hae an end,
Nae shoe's gang on my sole.[Pg 348]
"There's never lint gang on my head,
Nor kame gang in my hair,130
Nor ever coal nor candle light,
Shine in my bower mair."
When seven years were near an end,
The lady she thought lang;
And wi' a crack her heart did brake,135
And sae this ends my sang.

[Pg 349]

CLERK TAMAS.

Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 43.

Clerk Tamas lov'd her, fair Annie,
As well as Mary lov'd her son;
But now he hates her, fair Annie,
And hates the lands that she lives in.
"Ohon, alas!" said fair Annie,5
"Alas! this day I fear I'll die;
But I will on to sweet Tamas,
And see gin he will pity me."
As Tamas lay ower his shott-window,
Just as the sun was gaen down,10
There he beheld her, fair Annie,
As she came walking to the town.
"O where are a' my well-wight men,
I wat that I pay meat and fee,
For to lat a' my hounds gang loose,15
To hunt this vile whore to the sea!"[Pg 350]
The hounds they knew the lady well,
And nane o' them they wou'd her bite;
Save ane that is ca'd Gaudy-where,
I wat he did the lady smite.20
"O wae mat worth ye, Gaudy-where,
An ill reward this is to me;
For ae bit that I gae the lave,
I'm very sure I've gi'en you three.
"For me, alas! there's nae remeid,25
Here comes the day that I maun die;
I ken ye lov'd your master well,
And sae, alas for me, did I!"
A captain lay ower his ship window,
Just as the sun was gaen down;30
There he beheld her, fair Annie,
As she was hunted frae the town.
"Gin ye'll forsake father and mither,
And sae will ye your friends and kin,
Gin ye'll forsake your lands sae broad,35
Then come and I will take you in."
"Yes, I'll forsake baith father and mither,
And sae will I my friends and kin,
Yes, I'll forsake my lands sae broad,
And come, gin ye will take me in."40
Then a' thing gaed frae fause Tamas,
And there was naething byde him wi';
Then he thought lang for Arrandella,
It was fair Annie for to see.[Pg 351]
"How do ye now, ye sweet Tamas?45
And how gaes a' in your countrie?"
"I'll do better to you than ever I've done,
Fair Annie, gin ye'll come an' see."
"O Guid forbid," said fair Annie,
"That e'er the like fa' in my hand;50
Wou'd I forsake my ain gude lord,
And follow you, a gae-through-land?
"Yet nevertheless now, sweet Tamas,
Ye'll drink a cup o' wine wi' me;
And nine times in the live lang day,55
Your fair claithing shall changed be."
Fair Annie pat it till her cheek,
Sae did she till her milk-white chin,
Sae did she till her flattering lips,
But never a drap o' wine gaed in.60
Tamas pat it till his cheek,
Sae did he till his dimpled chin;
He pat it till his rosy lips,
And then the well o' wine gaed in.
"These pains," said he, "are ill to bide;65
Here is the day that I maun die;
O take this cup frae me, Annie,
For o' the same I am weary."
"And sae was I, o' you, Tamas,
When I was hunted to the sea;70
But I'se gar bury you in state,
Which is mair than ye'd done to me."

[Pg 352]

JOHN THOMSON AND THE TURK.

From Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. ix. The same in Buchan's collection, ii. 159.

John Thomson fought against the Turks
Three years, intill a far countrie;
And all that time, and something mair,
Was absent from his gay ladie.
But it fell ance upon a time,5
As this young chieftain sat alane,
He spied his lady in rich array,
As she walk'd ower a rural plain.
"What brought ye here, my lady gay,
So far awa from your ain countrie?10
I've thought lang, and very lang,
And all for your fair face to see."
For some days she did with him stay,
Till it fell ance upon a day,
"Fareweel, for a time," she said,15
"For now I must boun hame away."[Pg 353]
He's gi'en to her a jewel fine,
Was set with pearl and precious stane;
Says, "My love, beware of these savages bold
That's in your way as ye gang hame.20
"Ye'll tak the road, my lady fair,
That leads you fair across the lea:
That keeps you from wild Hind Soldan,
And likewise from base Violentrie."
Wi' heavy heart thir twa did pairt,25
She mintet as she wuld gae hame;
Hind Soldan by the Greeks was slain,
But to base Violentrie she's gane.
When a twelvemonth had expired,
John Thomson he thought wondrous lang,30
And he has written a braid letter,
And sealed it weel wi' his ain hand.
He sent it with a small vessel
That there was quickly gaun to sea;
And sent it on to fair Scotland,35
To see about his gay ladie.
But the answer he received again,—
The lines did grieve his heart right sair:
Nane of her friends there had her seen,
For a twelvemonth and something mair.40
Then he put on a palmer's weed,
And took a pike-staff in his hand;
To Violentrie's castell he hied;
But slowly, slowly he did gang.[Pg 354]
When within the hall he came,45
He jooked and couch'd out ower his tree:
"If ye be lady of this hall,
Some of your good bountith gie me."
"What news, what news, palmer," she said,
"And from what countrie cam ye?"50
"I'm lately come from Grecian plains,
Where lies some of the Scots armie."
"If ye be come from Grecian plains,
Some mair news I will ask of thee,—
Of one of the chieftains that lies there,55
If he has lately seen his gay ladie."
"It is twa months, and something mair,
Since we did pairt on yonder plain;
And now this knight has began to fear
One of his foes he has her ta'en."60
"He has not ta'en me by force nor slight;
It was a' by my ain free will;
He may tarry into the fight,
For here I mean to tarry still.
"And if John Thomson ye do see,65
Tell him I wish him silent sleep;
His head was not so coziely,
Nor yet sae weel, as lies at my feet."
With that he threw aff his strange disguise,
Laid by the mask that he had on;70
Said, "Hide me now, my lady fair,
For Violentrie will soon be hame."[Pg 355]
"For the love I bore thee ance,
I'll strive to hide you, if I can:"
Then she put him down in a dark cellar75
Where there lay many a new slain man.
But he hadna in the cellar been,
Not an hour but barely three,
Then hideous was the noise he heard,
When in at the gate cam Violentrie.80
Says, "I wish you well, my lady fair,
It's time for us to sit to dine;
Come, serve me with the good white bread,
And likewise with the claret wine.
"That Scots chieftain, our mortal fae,85
Sae aft frae the field has made us flee,
Ten thousand zechins this day I'll give
That I his face could only see."
"Of that same gift wuld ye give me,
If I wuld bring him unto thee?90
I fairly hold you at your word;—
Come ben, John Thomson, to my lord."
Then from the vault John Thomson came,
Wringing his hands most piteouslie:
"What would ye do," the Turk he cried,95
"If ye had me as I hae thee?"
"If I had you as ye have me,
I'll tell ye what I'd do to thee;
I'd hang you up in good greenwood,
[Pg 356]And cause your ain hand wale the tree.100
"I meant to stick you with my knife
For kissing my beloved ladie:"
"But that same weed ye've shaped for me,
It quickly shall be sewed for thee."
Then to the wood they baith are gane;105
John Thomson clamb frae tree to tree;
And aye he sighed and said, "Och hone!
Here comes the day that I must die."
He tied a ribbon on every branch,
Put up a flag his men might see;110
But little did his false faes ken
He meant them any injurie.
He set his horn unto his mouth,
And he has blawn baith loud and schill:
And then three thousand armed men115
Cam tripping all out ower the hill.
"Deliver us our chief," they all did cry;
"It's by our hand that ye must die;"
"Here is your chief," the Turk replied,
With that fell on his bended knee.120
"O mercy, mercy, good fellows all,
Mercy I pray you'll grant to me;"
"Such mercy as ye meant to give,
Such mercy we shall give to thee."
This Turk they in his castel burnt,125
That stood upon yon hill so hie;
John Thomson's gay ladie they took
And hanged her on yon greenwood tree.

[Pg 357]

LORD THOMAS STUART.

From Maidment's North Countrie Garland, p. 1.

Thomas Stuart was a lord,
A lord of mickle land;
He used to wear a coat of gold,
But now his grave is green.
Now he has wooed the young countess,5
The Countess of Balquhin,
An' given her for a morning gift,
Strathboggie and Aboyne.
But women's wit is aye willful,
Alas! that ever it was sae;10
She longed to see the morning gift
That her gude lord to her gae.
When steeds were saddled an' weel bridled,
An' ready for to ride,
There came a pain on that gude lord,15
His back, likewise his side.
He said, "Ride on, my lady fair,
May goodness be your guide;
For I'm sae sick an' weary that
[Pg 358]No farther can I ride."20
Now ben did come his father dear,
Wearing a golden band;
Says, "Is there nae leech in Edinburgh,
Can cure my son from wrang?"
"O leech is come, an' leech is gane,25
Yet, father, I'm aye waur;
There's not a leech in Edinbro'
Can death from me debar.
"But be a friend to my wife, father,
Restore to her her own;30
Restore to her my morning gift,
Strathboggie and Aboyne.
"It had been gude for my wife, father,
To me she'd born a son;
He would have got my land an' rents,35
Where they lie out an' in.
"It had been gude for my wife, father,
To me she'd born an heir;
He would have got my land an' rents,
Where they lie fine an' fair."40
The steeds they strave into their stables,
The boys could'nt get them bound;
The hounds lay howling on the leech,
'Cause their master was behind.
"I dreamed a dream since late yestreen,45
I wish it may be good,
That our chamber was full of swine,
An' our bed full of blood.[Pg 359]
"I saw a woman come from the West,
Full sore wringing her hands,50
And aye she cried, 'Ohon alas!
My good lord's broken bands.'
"As she came by my good lord's bower,
Saw mony black steeds an' brown;
I'm feared it be mony unco lords55
Havin' my love from town."
As she came by my gude lord's bower,
Saw mony black steeds an' grey;
"I'm feared its mony unco lords
Havin' my love to the clay."60

[Pg 360]

THE SPANISH VIRGIN.

From Percy's Reliques, iii. 316.

The three following pieces are here inserted merely as specimens of a class of tales, horrible in their incidents but feeble in their execution, of which whole dreary volumes were printed and read about two centuries ago. They were all of them, probably, founded on Italian novels.

"The subject of this ballad is taken from a folio collection of tragical stories, entitled, The Theatre of God's Judgments, by Dr. Beard and Dr. Taylor, 1642. Pt. 2, p. 89. The text is given (with corrections) from two copies; one of them in black-letter in the Pepys Collection. In this every stanza is accompanied with the following distich by way of burden:

Oh jealousie! thou art nurst in hell:
Depart from hence, and therein dwell."

All tender hearts, that ake to hear
Of those that suffer wrong;
All you that never shed a tear,
Give heed unto my song.
Fair Isabella's tragedy5
My tale doth far exceed:
Alas, that so much cruelty
In female hearts should breed![Pg 361]
In Spain a lady liv'd of late,
Who was of high degree;10
Whose wayward temper did create
Much woe and misery.
Strange jealousies so filled her head
With many a vain surmize,
She thought her lord had wrong'd her bed,15
And did her love despise.
A gentlewoman passing fair
Did on this lady wait;
With bravest dames she might compare;
Her beauty was compleat.20
Her lady cast a jealous eye
Upon this gentle maid,
And taxt her with disloyaltye,
And did her oft upbraid.
In silence still this maiden meek25
Her bitter taunts would bear,
While oft adown her lovely cheek
Would steal the falling tear.
In vain in humble sort she strove
Her fury to disarm;30
As well the meekness of the dove
The bloody hawke might charm.
Her lord, of humour light and gay,
And innocent the while,
As oft as she came in his way,35
Would on the damsell smile.[Pg 362]
And oft before his lady's face,
As thinking her her friend,
He would the maiden's modest grace
And comeliness commend.40
All which incens'd his lady so,
She burnt with wrath extreame;
At length the fire that long did glow,
Burst forth into a flame.
For on a day it so befell,45
When he was gone from home,
The lady all with rage did swell,
And to the damsell come.
And charging her with great offence
And many a grievous fault,50
She bade her servants drag her thence,
Into a dismal vault,
That lay beneath the common-shore,—
A dungeon dark and deep,
Where they were wont, in days of yore,55
Offenders great to keep.
There never light of chearful day
Dispers'd the hideous gloom;
But dank and noisome vapours play
Around the wretched room:60
And adders, snakes, and toads therein,
As afterwards was known,
Long in this loathsome vault had bin,
And were to monsters grown.[Pg 363]
Into this foul and fearful place,65
The fair one innocent
Was cast, before her lady's face;
Her malice to content.
This maid no sooner enter'd is,
But strait, alas! she hears70
The toads to croak, and snakes to hiss:
Then grievously she fears.
Soon from their holes the vipers creep,
And fiercely her assail,
Which makes the damsel sorely weep,75
And her sad fate bewail.
With her fair hands she strives in vain
Her body to defend;
With shrieks and cries she doth complain,
But all is to no end.80
A servant listning near the door,
Struck with her doleful noise,
Strait ran his lady to implore;
But she'll not hear his voice.
With bleeding heart he goes agen85
To mark the maiden's groans;
And plainly hears, within the den,
How she herself bemoans.
Again he to his lady hies,
With all the haste he may;90
She into furious passion flies,
And orders him away.[Pg 364]
Still back again does he return
To hear her tender cries;
The virgin now had ceas'd to mourn,95
Which fill'd him with surprize.
In grief, and horror, and affright,
He listens at the walls
But finding all was silent quite,
He to his lady calls.100
"Too sure, O lady," now quoth he,
"Your cruelty hath sped;
Make haste, for shame, and come and see;
I fear the virgin's dead."
She starts to hear her sudden fate,105
And does with torches run;
But all her haste was now too late,
For death his worst had done.
The door being open'd, strait they found
The virgin stretch'd along;110
Two dreadful snakes had wrapt her round,
Which her to death had stung.
One round her legs, her thighs, her waist,
Had twin'd his fatal wreath;
The other close her neck embrac'd,115
And stopt her gentle breath.
The snakes being from her body thrust,
Their bellies were so fill'd,
That with excess of blood they burst,
[Pg 365]Thus with their prey were kill'd.120
The wicked lady, at this sight,
With horror strait ran mad;
So raving dy'd, as was most right,
'Cause she no pity had.
Let me advise you, ladies all,125
Of jealousy beware:
It causeth many a one to fall,
And is the devil's snare.

[Pg 366]

THE LADY ISABELLA'S TRAGEDY.

"This ballad is given from an old black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, collated with another in the British Museum, H. 263, folio. It is there entitled, The Lady Isabella's Tragedy, or the Step-Mother's Cruelty; being a relation of a lamentable and cruel murther, committed on the body of the Lady Isabella, the only daughter of a noble Duke, &c. To the tune of The Lady's Fall. To some copies are annexed eight more modern stanzas, entitled, The Dutchess's and Cook's Lamentation." Percy's Reliques, iii. 199.

The copy in Durfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, v. 53, is nearly verbatim the same.

There was a lord of worthy fame,
And a hunting he would ride,
Attended by a noble traine
Of gentrye by his side.
And while he did in chase remaine,5
To see both sport and playe,
His ladye went, as she did feigne,
Unto the church to praye.
This lord he had a daughter deare,
Whose beauty shone so bright,10
She was belov'd, both far and neare,
Of many a lord and knight.[Pg 367]
Fair Isabella was she call'd,
A creature faire was shee;
She was her fathers only joye;15
As you shall after see.
Therefore her cruel step-mother
Did envye her so much,
That daye by daye she sought her life,
Her malice it was such.20
She bargain'd with the master-cook
To take her life awaye;
And taking of her daughter's book,
She thus to her did saye:—
"Go home, sweet daughter, I thee praye,25
Go hasten presentlie,
And tell unto the master-cook
These wordes that I tell thee.
"And bid him dresse to dinner streight
That faire and milk-white doe30
That in the parke doth shine so bright,
There's none so faire to showe."
This ladye fearing of no harme,
Obey'd her mothers will;
And presentlye she hasted home,35
Her pleasure to fulfill.
She streight into the kitchen went,
Her message for to tell;
And there she spied the master-cook,
[Pg 368]Who did with malice swell.40
"Nowe, master-cook, it must be soe,
Do that which I thee tell:
You needes must dresse the milk-white doe,
Which you do knowe full well."
Then streight his cruell bloodye hands,45
He on the ladye layd;
Who quivering and shaking stands,
While thus to her he sayd:
"Thou art the doe that I must dresse;
See here, behold my knife;50
For it is pointed presently
To ridd thee of thy life."
"O then," cried out the scullion-boye,
As loud as loud might bee,
"O save her life, good master-cook,55
And make your pyes of mee!
"For pityes sake do not destroye
My ladye with your knife;
You know shee is her father's joye;
For Christes sake save her life!"60
"I will not save her life," he sayd,
"Nor make my pyes of thee;
Yet if thou dost this deed bewraye,
Thy butcher I will bee."
Now when this lord he did come home65
For to sitt down and eat,
He called for his daughter deare,
To come and carve his meat.[Pg 369]
"Now sit you downe," his ladye sayd,
"O sit you downe to meat;70
Into some nunnery she is gone;
Your daughter deare forget."
Then solemnlye he made a vowe
Before the companie,
That he would neither eat nor drinke,75
Until he did her see.
O then bespake the scullion-boye.
With a loud voice so hye;
"If now you will your daughter see,
My lord, cut up that pye:80
"Wherein her fleshe is minced small,
And parched with the fire;
All caused by her step-mother,
Who did her death desire.
"And cursed bee the master-cook,85
O cursed may he bee!
I proffered him my own heart's blood,
From death to set her free."
Then all in blacke this lord did mourne,
And for his daughters sake,90
He judged her cruell step-mother
To be burnt at a stake.
Likewise he judg'd the master-cook
In boiling lead to stand.
And made the simple scullion-boye95
The heire of all his land.

[Pg 370]

THE CRUEL BLACK.

A Collection of Old Ballads, (1723,) ii. 152: also Evans's Old Ballads, iii. 232. Entered in the Stationers' Registers, 1569-70. A writer in the British Bibliographer, (iv. 182,) has pointed out that this is only one of Bandello's novels versified. The novel is the 21st of the Third Part, (London, 1792.)

A lamentable Ballad of the tragical End of a gallant Lord and virtuous Lady; together with the untimely Death of their two Children: wickedly performed by a Heathenish and Blood-thirsty Black-a-moor, their Servant; the like of which Cruelty and Murder was never before heard of.

In Rome a nobleman did wed
A virgin of great fame;
A fairer creature never did
Dame Nature ever frame:
By whom he had two children fair,5
Whose beauty did excel;
They were their parents only joy,
They lov'd them both so well.
The lord he lov'd to hunt the buck,
[Pg 371]The tiger, and the boar;10
And still for swiftness always took
With him a black-a-moor:
Which black-a-moor within the wood
His lord he did offend,
For which he did him then correct,15
In hopes he would amend.
The day it grew unto an end;
Then homewards he did haste,
Where with his lady he did rest,
Until the night was past.20
Then in the morning he did rise,
And did his servants call;
A hunting he provides to go:
Straight they were ready all
To cause the toyl the lady did25
Intreat him not to go:
"Alas, good lady," then quoth he,
"Why art thou grieved so?
Content thyself, I will return
With speed to thee again."30
"Good father," quoth the little babes,
"With us here still remain."
"Farewel, dear children, I will go
A fine thing for to buy;"
But they, therewith nothing content,35
Aloud began to cry.
The mother takes them by the hand,
Saying, "Come, go with me
Unto the highest tower, where
[Pg 372]Your father you shall see."40
The black-a-moor, perceiving now,
Who then did stay behind,
His lord to be a hunting gone,
Began to call to mind:
"My master he did me correct,45
My fault not being great;
Now of his wife I'll be reveng'd,
She shall not me intreat."
The place was moated round about;
The bridge he up did draw;50
The gates he bolted very fast;
Of none he stood in awe.
He up into the tower went,
The lady being there;
Who, when she saw his countenance grim,55
She straight began to fear.
But now my trembling heart it quakes
To think what I must write;
My senses all begin to fail,
My soul it doth affright.60
Yet must I make an end of this
Which here I have begun,
Which will make sad the hardest heart,
Before that I have done.
This wretch unto the lady went,65
And her with speed did will,
His lust forthwith to satisfy,
His mind for to fulfil.
The lady she amazed was,
[Pg 373]To hear the villain speak;70
"Alas," quoth she, "what shall I do?
With grief my heart will break."
With that he took her in his arms;
She straight for help did cry;
"Content yourself, lady," he said,75
"Your husband is not nigh:
The bridge is drawn, the gates are shut,
Therefore come lie with me,
Or else I do protest and vow,
Thy butcher I will be."80
The crystal tears ran down her face,
Her children cried amain,
And sought to help their mother dear,
But all it was in vain;
For that egregious filthy rogue85
Her hands behind her bound,
And then perforce with all his might,
He threw her on the ground.
With that she shriek'd, her children cried,
And such a noise did make,90
That town-folks, hearing her laments,
Did seek their parts to take:
But all in vain; no way was found
To help the lady's need,
Who cried to them most piteously,95
"O help! O help with speed!"
Some run into the forest wide,
Her lord home for to call;[Pg 374]
And they that stood still did lament
This gallant lady's fall.100
With speed her lord came posting home;
He could not enter in;
His lady's cries did pierce his heart;
To call he did begin:
"O hold thy hand, thou savage moor,105
To hurt her do forbear,
Or else be sure, if I do live,
Wild horses shall thee tear."
With that the rogue ran to the wall,
He having had his will,110
And brought one child under his arm,
His dearest blood to spill.
The child, seeing his father there,
To him for help did call:
"O father! help my mother dear,115
We shall be killed all."
Then fell the lord upon his knee,
And did the moor intreat,
To save the life of this poor child,
Whose fear was then so great.120
But this vile wretch the little child
By both the heels did take
And dash'd his brains against the wall,
Whilst parent's hearts did ake:
That being done, straightway he ran125
The other child to fetch,
And pluck'd it from the mother's breast,
Most like a cruel wretch.[Pg 375]
Within one hand a knife he brought,
The child within the other;130
And holding it over the wall,
Saying, "Thus shall die thy mother,"
With that he cut the throat of it;
Then to the father he did call,
To look how he the head did cut,135
And down the head did fall.
This done, he threw it down the wall
Into the moat so deep;
Which made the father wring his hands,
And grievously to weep.140
Then to the lady went this rogue,
Who was near dead with fear,
Yet this vile wretch most cruelly
Did drag her by the hair;
And drew her to the very wall,145
Which when her lord did see,
Then presently he cried out,
And fell upon his knee:
Quoth he, "If thou wilt save her life,
Whom I do love so dear,150
I will forgive thee all is past,
Though they concern me near.
"O save her life, I thee beseech;
O save her, I thee pray,
And I will grant thee what thou wilt155
Demand of me this day."
"Well," quoth the moor, "I do regard
The moan that thou dost make:[Pg 376]
If thou wilt grant me what I ask,
I'll save her for thy sake."160
"O save her life, and then demand
Of me what thing thou wilt."
"Cut off thy nose, and not one drop
Of her blood shall be spilt."
With that the lord presently took165
A knife within his hand,
And then his nose he quite cut off,
In place where he did stand.
"Now I have bought my lady's life,"
He to the moor did call;170
"Then take her," quoth this wicked rogue,
And down he let her fall.
Which when her gallant lord did see,
His senses all did fail;
Yet many sought to save his life,175
But nothing could prevail.
When as the moor did see him dead,
Then did he laugh amain
At them who for their gallant lord
And lady did complain:180
Quoth he, "I know you'll torture me,
If that you can me get,
But all your threats I do not fear,
Nor yet regard one whit.
"Wild horses shall my body tear,185
I know it to be true,[Pg 377]
But I prevent you of that pain:"
And down himself he threw.
Too good a death for such a wretch,
A villain void of fear!190
And thus doth end as sad a tale
As ever man did hear.

[Pg 378]

BOOK IV.


KING MALCOLM AND SIR COLVIN.
See p. 173.

From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 6.

There ance liv'd a king in fair Scotland,
King Malcolm called by name;
Whom ancient history gives record,
For valour, worth, and fame.
And it fell ance upon a day,5
The king sat down to dine;
And then he miss'd a favourite knight,
Whose name was Sir Colvin.
But out it speaks another knight,
Ane o' Sir Colvin's kin;10
"He's lyin' in bed, right sick in love,
All for your daughter Jean."
"O waes me," said the royal king,
"I'm sorry for the same;
She maun take bread and wine sae red,15
Give it to Sir Colvin."[Pg 379]
Then gently did she bear the bread,
Her page did carry the wine,
And set a table at his bed;—
"Sir Colvin, rise and dine."20
"O well love I the wine, lady,
Come frae your lovely hand;
But better love I your fair body,
Than all fair Scotland's strand."
"O hold your tongue now, Sir Colvin,25
Let all your folly be;
My love must be by honour won,
Or nane shall enjoy me.
"But on the head o' Elrick's hill,
Near by yon sharp hawthorn,30
Where never a man with life e'er came,
Sin our sweet Christ was born;—
"O ye'll gang there and walk a' night,
And boldly blaw your horn;
With honour that ye do return,35
Ye'll marry me the morn."
Then up it raise him, Sir Colvin,
And dress'd in armour keen;
And he is on to Elrick's hill,
Without light of the meen.40
At midnight mark the meen upstarts;
The knight walk'd up and down;
While loudest cracks o' thunder roar'd,
Out ower the bent sae brown.[Pg 380]
Then by the twinkling of an e'e45
He spied an armed knight;
A fair lady bearing his brand,
Wi' torches burning bright.
Then he cried high, as he came nigh,
"Coward, thief, I bid you flee!50
There is not ane comes to this hill,
But must engage wi' me.
"Ye'll best take road before I come,
And best take foot and flee;
Here is a sword baith sharp and broad,55
Will quarter you in three."
Sir Colvin said, "I'm not afraid
Of any here I see;
You hae not ta'en your God before;
Less dread hae I o' thee."60
Sir Colvin then he drew his sword,
His foe he drew his brand;
And they fought there on Elrick's hill
Till they were bluidy men.
The first an' stroke the knight he strake,65
Gae Colvin a slight wound;
The next an' stroke Lord Colvin strake,
Brought's foe unto the ground.
"I yield, I yield," the knight he said,
"I fairly yield to thee;70
Nae ane came e'er to Elrick-hill
E'er gain'd such victorie.[Pg 381]
"I and my forbears here did haunt
Three hundred years and more;
I'm safe to swear a solemn oath,75
We were never beat before."
"An asking," said the lady gay,
"An asking ye'll grant me:"
"Ask on, ask on," said Sir Colvin,
"What may your asking be?"80
"Ye'll gie me hame my wounded knight,
Let me fare on my way;
And I'se ne'er be seen on Elrick's hill,
By night, nor yet by day;
And to this place we'll come nae mair,85
Cou'd we win safe away;
"To trouble any Christian one
Lives in the righteous law,
We'll come nae mair unto this place,
Cou'd we win safe awa'."90
"O ye'se get hame your wounded knight,
Ye shall not gang alane;
But I maun hae a wad o' him,
Before that we twa twine."
Sir Colvin being a book-learn'd man,95
Sae gude in fencing tee,
He's drawn a stroke behind his hand,
And followed in speedilie.
Sae fierce a stroke Sir Colvin's drawn,
[Pg 382]And followed in speedilie,100
The knight's brand and sword hand
In the air he gar'd them flee.
It flew sae high into the sky,
And lighted on the ground;
The rings that were on these fingers105
Were worth five hundred pound.
Up he has ta'en that bluidy hand,
Set it before the king;
And the morn it was Wednesday,
When he married his daughter Jean.110

[Pg 383]

SKIŒN ANNA; FAIR ANNIE, See p. 191.

Translated in Jamieson's Popular Ballads, ii. 103, from Syv's Kjœmpe Viser. See another copy in Nyerup's Danske Viser, iv. 59.

The reivers they wad a stealing gang,
To steal sae far frae hame;
And stown ha'e they the king's daughter,
Fair Annie hight by name.
They've carried her into fremmit lands,5
To a duke's son of high degree;
And he has gie'n for Fair Annie
Mickle goud and white money.
And eight lang years o' love sae leal
Had past atween them twae;10
And now a bonny bairntime
O' seven fair sons had they.
That lord he was of Meckelborg land,
Of princely blood and stemme;
And for his worth and curtesy15
That lord a king became.[Pg 384]
But little wist that noble king,
As little his barons bald,
That it was the king of England's daughter,
Had sae to him been sald!20
And eight lang years sae past and gane,
Fair Annie now may rue;
For now she weets in fremmit lands
Anither bride he'll wooe.
Fair Annie's till his mither gane;25
Fell low down on her knee;
"A boon, a boon, now lady mither,
Ye grant your oys and me!
"If ever ye kist, if ever ye blest,
And bade them thrive and thee,30
O save them now frae scaith and scorn,
O save your oys and me!
"Their father's pride may yet relent;
His mither's rede he'll hear;
Nor for anither break the heart35
That ance to him was dear.
"He had my love and maiden pride;
I had nae mair to gi'e;
He well may fa' a brighter bride,
But nane that lo'es like me."40
"A brighter bride he ne'er can fa';
A richer well he may;
But daughter dearer nor Fair Annie,
His mither ne'er can ha'e."[Pg 385]
That princess stood her son before:45
"My lord the king," said she,
"Fy on the lawless life ye lead,
Dishonour'd as ye be!
"Its Annie's gude, and Annie's fair,
And dearly she lo'es thee;50
And the brightest gems in a' your crown
Your seven fair sons wad be.
"Her love, her life, her maiden fame,
Wi' you she shar'd them a';
Now share wi' her your bridal bed;55
Her due she well may fa'."
"To my bridal bed, my mither dear,
Fair Annie ne'er can win;
I coft her out of fremmit lands,
Nor ken her kith or kin."60
And he's gard write a braid letter,
His wedding to ordein;
And to betrothe anither bride
To be his noble queen.
Fair Annie up at her bower window65
Heard a' that knight did say:
"O God, my heavenly Father! gif
My heart mat brast in twae!"
Fair Annie stood at her bower window,
And heard that knight sae bald:70
"O God, my heavenly Father! gif
I mat my dearest hald!"[Pg 386]
That lord is to Fair Annie gane:
Says, "Annie, thou winsome may,
O whatten a gude gift will ye gi'e75
My bride on her bridal day?"
"I'll gi'e her a gift, and a very gude gift,
And a dear-bought gift to me;
For I'll gi'e her my seven fair sons,
Her pages for to be."80
"O that is a gift, but nae gude gift,
Frae thee, Fair Annie, I ween;
And ye maun gi'e some richer gift
Befitting a noble queen."
"I'll gi'e her a gift, and a dear, dear gift,85
And a gift I brook wi' care;
For I'll gi'e her my dearest life,
That I dow brook nae mair."
"O that is a gift, but a dowie gift,
Now, Annie, thou winsome may;90
Ye maun gi'e her your best goud girdle,
Her gude will for to ha'e."
"Oh na, that girdle she ne'er shall fa';
That I can never bear;
The luckless morn I gave you a',95
Ye gae me that girdle to wear."
That lord before his bride gan stand:
"My noble bride and queen!
O whatten a gift to my lemman Annie
[Pg 387]Will now by you be gi'en?"100
"I'll gi'e her a gift, and a very gude gift,
My lord the king," said she;
"For I'll gi'e her my auld shoe to wear,
Best fitting her base degree."
"O that is a gift, but nae gude gift,105
My noble bride and queen;
And ye maun gi'e her anither gift,
If you'll my favour win."
"Then I'll gi'e her a very gude gift,
My lord the king," said she;110
"I'll gie her my millers seven, that lig
Sae far ayont the sea.
"Well are they fed, well are they clad,
And live in heal and weal;
And well they ken to measure out115
The wheat, but and caneel."
Fair Annie says, "My noble lord,
This boon ye grant to me;
Let me gang up to the bridal bower,
Your young bride for to see."120
"O gangna, Annie, gangna, there,
Nor come that bower within;
Ye maunna come near that bridal bower,
Wad ye my favour win."
Fair Annie is till his mither gane:125
"O lady mither," said she,
"May I gang to the bridal bower,
My lord's new bride to see?"[Pg 388]
"That well ye may," his mither said;
But see that ye're buskit bra',130
And clad ye in your best cleading,
Wi' your bower maidens a'."
Fair Annie she's gaen to the bower,
Wi' heart fu' sair and sad;
Wi' a' her seven sons her before,135
In the red scarlet clad.
Fair Annie's taen a silver can,
Afore the bride to skink;
And down her cheeks the tears ay run,
Upon hersell to think.140
The bride gan stand her lord before:
"Now speak, and dinna spare;
Whare is this fair young lady frae?
Whareto greets she sae sair?"
"O hear ye now, dear lady mine,145
The truth I tell to thee;
It is but a bonny niece of mine,
That is come o'er the sea."
"O wae is me, my lord," she says,
"To hear you say sic wrang;150
It can be nane but your auld lemman;
God rede whare she will gang!"
"Then till her sorrow, and till her wae,
I'll tell the truth to thee;
For she was sald frae fremmit lands,155
For mickle goud to me.[Pg 389]
"Her bairntime a' stand her before,
Her seven young sons sae fair;
And they maun now your pages be,
That maks her heart sae sair."160
"A little sister ance I had,
A sister that hight Ann;
By reivers she was stown awa',
And sald in fremmit land.
"She was a bairn when she was stown,165
Yet in her tender years;
And sair her parents mourn'd for her,
Wi' mony sighs and tears.
"Art thou fair Annie, sister mine,
Thou noble violet flower?170
Her mither never smil'd again
Frae Annie left her bower!
"O thou art she! a sister's heart
Wants nane that tale to tell!
And there he is, thy ain true lord;175
God spare ye lang and well!"
And gladness through the palace spread,
Wi' mickle game and glee;
And blythe were a' for fair Annie,
Her bridal day to see.180
And now untill her father's land
This young bride she is gane;
And her sister Annie's youngest son
She hame wi' her has ta'en.

[Pg 390]

LADY MARGARET. See p. 205.

From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 180.

"The corn is turning ripe, Lord John,
The nuts are growing fu',
And ye are bound for your ain countrie;
Fain wad I go wi' you."
"Wi me, Marg'ret, wi me, Marg'ret,5
What wad ye do wi' me?
I've mair need o' a pretty little boy,
To wait upon my steed."
"It's I will be your pretty little boy,
To wait upon your steed;10
And ilka town that we come to,
A pack of hounds I'll lead."
"My hounds will eat o' the bread o' wheat,
And ye of the bread of bran:
And then you will sit and sigh,15
That e'er ye loed a man."[Pg 391]
The first water that they cam to,
I think they call it Clyde,
He saftly unto her did say,—
"Lady Marg'ret, will ye ride?"20
The first step that she steppit in,
She steppit to the knee;
Says, "Wae be to ye, waefu' water,
For through ye I maun be."
The second step that she steppit in,25
She steppit to the middle,
And sigh'd, and said, Lady Margaret,
"I've stain'd my gowden girdle."
The third step that she steppit in,
She steppit to the neck;30
The pretty babe within her sides,
The cauld it garr'd it squake.
"Lie still my babe, lie still my babe,
Lie still as lang's ye may,
For your father rides on horseback high,35
Cares little for us twae."
It's whan she cam to the other side,
She sat doun on a stane;
Says, "Them that made me, help me now,
For I am far frae hame.40
"How far is it frae your mither's bouer,
Gude Lord John tell to me?"
"It's therty miles, Lady Margaret,
It's therty miles and three:[Pg 392]
And ye'se be wed to ane o' her serving men,45
For ye'se get na mair o' me."
Then up bespak the wylie parrot,
As it sat on the tree;—
"Ye lee, ye lee, Lord John," it said,
"Sae loud as I hear ye lee.50
"Ye say it's thirty miles frae your mither's bouer,
Whan it's but barely three;
And she'll ne'er be wed to a serving man,
For she'll be your ain ladie."
* * * * * *
Monie a lord and fair ladie55
Met Lord John in the closs,
But the bonniest face amang them a',
Was hauding Lord John's horse.
Monie a lord and gay ladie
Sat dining in the ha',60
But the bonniest face that was there,
Was waiting on them a'.
O up bespak Lord John's sister,
A sweet young maid was she:
"My brither has brought a bonnie young page,65
His like I ne'er did see;
But the red flits fast frae his cheek,
And the tear stands in his ee."
But up bespak Lord John's mither,
[Pg 393]She spak wi' meikle scorn:70
"He's liker a woman gret wi' bairn,
Than onie waiting-man."
"It's ye'll rise up, my bonnie boy,
And gie my steed the hay:"—
"O that I will, my dear master,75
As fast as I can gae."
She took the hay aneath her arm,
The corn intil her hand;
But atween the stable door and the staw,
Lady Marg'ret made a stand.80
* * * * * *
"O open the door, Lady Margaret,
O open and let me in;
I want to see if my steed be fed,
Or my grey hounds fit to rin."
"I'll na open the door, Lord John," she said,85
"I'll na open it to thee,
Till ye grant to me my ae request,
And a puir ane it's to me.
"Ye'll gie to me a bed in an outhouse,
For my young son and me,90
And the meanest servant in a' the place,
To wait on him and me."
"I grant, I grant, Lady Marg'ret," he said,
"A' that, and mair frae me,
The very best bed in a' the place
To your young son and thee:95
And my mither, and my sister dear,
To wait on him and thee.[Pg 394]
"And a' thae lands, and a' thae rents,
They sall be his and thine;100
Our wedding and our kirking day,
They sall be all in ane."
And he has tane Lady Margaret,
And row'd her in the silk;
And he has tane his ain young son,105
And wash'd him in the milk.

[Pg 395]

EARL RICHARD (B). See p. 260.

From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 15.

There was a shepherd's dochter
Kept sheep on yonder hill;
Bye cam a knicht frae the king's court,
And he wad hae his will.
Whan he had got his wills o' her,5
His will as he has tane;
"Wad ye be sae gude and kind,
As tell to me your name?"
"Some ca's me Jock, some ca's me John,
Some disna ken my name;10
But whan I'm in the king's court,
Mitchcock is my name."
"Mitchcock! hey!" the lady did say,
And spelt it oure again;
"If that's your name in the Latin tongue,15
Earl Richard is your name!"
O jumpt he upon his horse,
And said he wad gae ride;
Kilted she her green claithing,
[Pg 396]And said she wad na bide.20
And he was never sae discreet,
As bid her loup on and ride;
And she was ne'er sae meanly bred,
As for to bid him bide.
And whan they cam to yon water,25
It was running like a flude;
"I've learnt it in my mither's bouer,
I've learnt it for my gude,
That I can soum this wan water,
Like a fish in a flude.30
"I've learnt it in my father's bouer,
Ive learnt it for my better,
And I will soum this wan water,
As tho' I was ane otter."
"Jump on behind, ye weill-faur'd may,35
Or do ye chuse to ride?"
"No, thank ye, sir," the lady said,
"I wad rather chuse to wyde;"
And afore that he was 'mid-water,
She was at the ither side.40
"Turn back, turn back, ye weill-faur'd may,
My heart will brak in three;"
"And sae did mine, on yon bonnie hill-side,
Whan ye wad na let me be."
"Whare gat ye that gay claithing,45
This day I see on thee?"
"My mither was a gude milk-nurse,
And a gude nourice was she,[Pg 397]
She nurs'd the Earl o' Stockford's ae dochter,
And gat a' this to me."50
Whan she cam to the king's court,
She rappit wi' a ring;
Sae ready was the king himsel'
To lat the lady in.
"Gude day, gude day, my liege the king,55
Gude day, gude day, to thee;"
"Gude day," quo' he, "my lady fair,
What is't ye want wi' me?"
"There is a knicht into your court,
This day has robbed me;"60
"O has he tane your gowd," he says,
"Or has he tane your fee?"
"He has na tane my gowd," she says,
"Nor yet has he my fee;
But he has tane my maiden-head,65
The flow'r o' my bodie."
"O gin he be a single man,
His body I'll gie thee;
But gin he be a married man,
I'll hang him on a tree."70
Then out bespak the queen hersel',
Wha sat by the king's knee:
"There's na a knicht in a' our court
Wad hae dune that to thee,
Unless it war my brither, Earl Richard,75
And forbid it, it war he!"[Pg 398]
"Wad ye ken your fause love,
Amang a hundred men?"
"I wad," said the bonnie ladie,
"Amang five hundred and ten."80
The king made a' his merry men pass,
By ane, by twa, and three;
Earl Richard us'd to be the first man,
But was hindmost man that day.
He cam hauping on ae foot,85
And winking wi' ae ee;
"Ha! ha!" cried the bonnie ladie,
"That same young man are ye."
He has pou'd out a hundred pounds,
Weel lockit in a glove;90
"Gin ye be a courteous may,
Ye'll chose anither love."
"What care I for your hundred pounds?
Nae mair than ye wad for mine;
What's a hundred pounds to me,95
To a marriage wi' a king!
"I'll hae nane o' your gowd,
Nor either o' your fee;
But I will hae your ain bodie,
The king has grantit me."100
"O was ye gentle gotten, maid?
Or was ye gentle born?
Or hae ye onie gerss growin'?
Or hae ye onie corn?[Pg 399]
"Or hae ye onie lands or rents105
Lying at libertie?
Or hae ye onie education,
To dance alang wi' me?"
"I was na gentle gotten, madam,
Nor was I gentle born;110
Neither hae I gerss growin',
Nor hae I onie corn.
"I hae na onie lands or rents,
Lying at libertie;
Nor hae I onie education,115
To dance along wi' thee."
Whan the marriage it was oure,
And ilk ane took their horse,—
"It never sat a beggar's brat,
At na knicht's back to be."120
He lap on ae milk-white steed,
And she lap on anither,
And syne the twa rade out the way
Like sister and like brither.
The ladie met wi' a beggar-wife,125
And gied her half o' crown—
"Tell a' your neebours whan ye gae hame,
That Earl Richard's your gude-son."
"O haud your tongue, ye beggar's brat,
My heart will brak in three;"130
"And sae did mine on yon bonnie hill-side,
Whan ye wad na lat me be."[Pg 400]
Whan she cam to yon nettle-dyke—
"An my auld mither was here,
Sae weill as she wad ye pou;135
She wad boil ye weill, and butter ye weill,
And sup till she war fou,
Syne laye her head upo' her dish doup,
And sleep like onie sow."
And whan she cam to Tyne's water,140
She wylilie did say—
"Fareweil, ye mills o' Tyne's water,
With thee I bid gude-day.
"Fareweil, ye mills o' Tyne's water,
To you I bid gude-een;145
Whare monie a time I've fill'd my pock,
At mid-day and at een."
"Hoch! had I drank the well-water,
Whan first I drank the wine,
Never a mill-capon150
Wad hae been a love o' mine."
Whan she cam to Earl Richard's house,
The sheets war Hollan' fine;
"O haud awa thae linen sheets,
And bring to me the linsey clouts,155
I hae been best used in."
"O haud your tongue, ye beggar's brat,
My heart will brak in three;"
"And sae did mine on yon bonnie hill-side,
[Pg 401]Whan ye wadna lat me be."160
"I wish I had drank the well-water,
Whan first I drank the beer;
That ever a shepherd's dochter
Shou'd hae been my only dear!"
"Ye'll turn about, Earl Richard,165
And mak some mair o' me:
An ye mak me lady o' ae puir plow,
I can mak you laird o' three."
"If ye be the Earl o' Stockford's dochter,
As I've some thouchts ye be,170
Aft hae I waited at your father's yett,
But your face I ne'er could see."
Whan they cam to her father's yett,
She tirled on the pin;
And an auld belly-blind man was sittin' there,175
As they were entering in:—
"The meetest marriage," the belly-blind did cry,
"Atween the ane and the ither;
Atween the Earl o' Stockford's ae dochter,
And the Queen o' England's brither."180

[Pg 403]

GLOSSARY.

Figures placed after words denote the pages in which they occur.

[8] It "meant a certain species of aperture, generally circular, which used to be common in the stair-cases of old wooden houses in Scotland, and some specimens of which are yet to be seen in the Old Town of Edinburgh. It was calculated to save glass in those parts of the house where light was required, but where there was no necessity for the exclusion of the air."—Chambers.

Not always certainly, since persons are sometimes said to be lying at the shot window.

Transcriber's Notes

Page iii: changed "Kinlock" to "Kinloch" (27 b. Laird of Wariestoun, [Kinloch])

Page v: changed "Malcom" to "Malcolm" (King Malcolm and Sir Colvin)

Page 29; line 62: changed "this" to "thir" (Till thir twa craps drew near;)

Page 207; line 34: deleted closing quotation mark (Yet let me go with thee:)

Page 219; linenote: changed line reference from "62, 63" to "61, 62"

Page 226; line 34: changed "countrayc" to "countraye" (Sir John of the north countraye)

Page 245; line 48: added closing quotation mark (And there shalt thou hang on hye.")

Page 294; line 16: added closing quotation mark (And candles burning bright.")

Page 303; lines 53, 54: added missing quotation marks ("What ails the king at me," he said, "What ails the king at me?")

Page 303; line 57: added opening quotation mark ("Liars will lie on sell gude men,)

Page 317: changed "Wier" to "Weir" (Weir was brought up, at midnight, from the cellar)

Page 336; line 32: changed closing single quote to double quote (I will bate you for stayin' so long.")

Page 345; line 71: changed "taavelled" to "travelled" (He scarcely travelled frae the town)

Page 359; line 52: removed opening single quote (My good lord's broken bands.')

Page 397; line 60: changed closing single quote to double (This day has robbed me;")






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