A Collection of Ballads
by Andrew Lang
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Transcribed by David Price, email

A Collection of Ballads


Sir Patrick Spens Battle Of Otterbourne Tam Lin Thomas The Rhymer "Sir Hugh; Or The Jew's Daughter" Son Davie! Son Davie! The Wife Of Usher's Well The Twa Corbies The Bonnie Earl Moray Clerk Saunders Waly, Waly Love Gregor; Or, The Lass Of Lochroyan The Queen's Marie Kinmont Willie Jamie Telfer The Douglas Tragedy The Bonny Hind Young Bicham The Loving Ballad Of Lord Bateman The Bonnie House O' Airly Rob Roy The Battle Of Killie-Crankie Annan Water The Elphin Nourrice Cospatrick Johnnie Armstrang Edom O' Gordon Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament Jock O The Side Lord Thomas And Fair Annet Fair Annie The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow Sir Roland Rose The Red And White Lily The Battle Of Harlaw—Evergreen Version Traditionary Version Dickie Macphalion A Lyke-Wake Dirge The Laird Of Waristoun May Colven Johnie Faa Hobbie Noble The Twa Sisters Mary Ambree Alison Gross The Heir Of Lynne Gordon Of Brackley Edward, Edward Young Benjie Auld Maitland The Broomfield Hill Willie's Ladye Robin Hood And The Monk Robin Hood And The Potter Robin Hood And The Butcher


When the learned first gave serious attention to popular ballads, from the time of Percy to that of Scott, they laboured under certain disabilities. The Comparative Method was scarcely understood, and was little practised. Editors were content to study the ballads of their own countryside, or, at most, of Great Britain. Teutonic and Northern parallels to our ballads were then adduced, as by Scott and Jamieson. It was later that the ballads of Europe, from the Faroes to Modern Greece, were compared with our own, with European Marchen, or children's tales, and with the popular songs, dances, and traditions of classical and savage peoples. The results of this more recent comparison may be briefly stated. Poetry begins, as Aristotle says, in improvisation. Every man is his own poet, and, in moments of stronge motion, expresses himself in song. A typical example is the Song of Lamech in Genesis—

"I have slain a man to my wounding, And a young man to my hurt."

Instances perpetually occur in the Sagas: Grettir, Egil, Skarphedin, are always singing. In Kidnapped, Mr. Stevenson introduces "The Song of the Sword of Alan," a fine example of Celtic practice: words and air are beaten out together, in the heat of victory. In the same way, the women sang improvised dirges, like Helen; lullabies, like the lullaby of Danae in Simonides, and flower songs, as in modern Italy. Every function of life, war, agriculture, the chase, had its appropriate magical and mimetic dance and song, as in Finland, among Red Indians, and among Australian blacks. "The deeds of men" were chanted by heroes, as by Achilles; stories were told in alternate verse and prose; girls, like Homer's Nausicaa, accompanied dance and ball play, priests and medicine-men accompanied rites and magical ceremonies by songs.

These practices are world-wide, and world-old. The thoroughly popular songs, thus evolved, became the rude material of a professional class of minstrels, when these arose, as in the heroic age of Greece. A minstrel might be attached to a Court, or a noble; or he might go wandering with song and harp among the people. In either case, this class of men developed more regular and ample measures. They evolved the hexameter; the laisse of the Chansons de Geste; the strange technicalities of Scandinavian poetry; the metres of Vedic hymns; the choral odes of Greece. The narrative popular chant became in their hands the Epic, or the mediaeval rhymed romance. The metre of improvised verse changed into the artistic lyric. These lyric forms were fixed, in many cases, by the art of writing. But poetry did not remain solely in professional and literary hands. The mediaeval minstrels and jongleurs (who may best be studied in Leon Gautier's Introduction to his Epopees Francaises) sang in Court and Camp. The poorer, less regular brethren of the art, harped and played conjuring tricks, in farm and grange, or at street corners. The foreign newer metres took the place of the old alliterative English verse. But unprofessional men and women did not cease to make and sing.

Some writers have decided, among them Mr. Courthope, that our traditional ballads are degraded popular survivals of literary poetry. The plots and situations of some ballads are, indeed, the same as those of some literary mediaeval romances. But these plots and situations, in Epic and Romance, are themselves the final literary form of marchen, myths and inventions originally POPULAR, and still, in certain cases, extant in popular form among races which have not yet evolved, or borrowed, the ampler and more polished and complex genres of literature. Thus, when a literary romance and a ballad have the same theme, the ballad may be a popular degradation of the romance; or, it may be the original popular shape of it, still surviving in tradition. A well-known case in prose, is that of the French fairy tales.

Perrault, in 1697, borrowed these from tradition and gave them literary and courtly shape. But Cendrillon or Chaperon Rouge in the mouth of a French peasant, is apt to be the old traditional version, uncontaminated by the refinements of Perrault, despite Perrault's immense success and circulation. Thus tradition preserves pre-literary forms, even though, on occasion, it may borrow from literature. Peasant poets have been authors of ballads, without being, for all that, professional minstrels. Many such poems survive in our ballad literature.

The material of the ballad may be either romantic or historical. The former class is based on one of the primeval invented situations, one of the elements of the Marchen in prose. Such tales or myths occur in the stories of savages, in the legends of peasants, are interwoven later with the plot in Epic or Romance, and may also inspire ballads. Popular superstitions, the witch, metamorphosis, the returning ghost, the fairy, all of them survivals of the earliest thought, naturally play a great part. The Historical ballad, on the other hand, has a basis of resounding fact, murder, battle, or fire-raising, but the facts, being derived from popular rumour, are immediately corrupted and distorted, sometimes out of all knowledge. Good examples are the ballads on Darnley's murder and the youth of James VI.

In the romantic class, we may take Tamlane. Here the idea of fairies stealing children is thoroughly popular; they also steal young men as lovers, and again, men may win fairy brides, by clinging to them through all transformations. A classical example is the seizure of Thetis by Peleus, and Child quotes a modern Cretan example. The dipping in milk and water, I may add, has precedent in ancient Egypt (in The Two Brothers), and in modern Senegambia. The fairy tax, tithe, or teind, paid to Hell, is illustrated by old trials for witchcraft, in Scotland. {1} Now, in literary forms and romance, as in Ogier le Danois, persons are carried away by the Fairy King or Queen. But here the literary romance borrows from popular superstition; the ballad has no need to borrow a familiar fact from literary romance. On the whole subject the curious may consult "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies," by the Reverend Robert Kirk of Aberfoyle, himself, according to tradition, a victim of the fairies.

Thus, in Tamlane, the whole donnee is popular. But the current version, that of Scott, is contaminated, as Scott knew, by incongruous modernisms. Burns's version, from tradition, already localizes the events at Carterhaugh, the junction of Ettrick and Yarrow. But Burns's version does not make the Earl of Murray father of the hero, nor the Earl of March father of the heroine. Roxburgh is the hero's father in Burns's variant, which is more plausible, and the modern verses do not occur. This ballad apparently owes nothing to literary romance.

In Mary Hamilton we have a notable instance of the Historical Ballad. No Marie of Mary Stuart's suffered death for child murder.

She had no Marie Hamilton, no Marie Carmichael among her four Maries, though a lady of the latter name was at her court. But early in the reign a Frenchwoman of the queen's was hanged, with her paramour, an apothecary, for slaying her infant. Knox mentions the fact, which is also recorded in letters from the English ambassador, uncited by Mr. Child. Knox adds that there were ballads against the Maries. Now, in March 1719, a Mary Hamilton, of Scots descent, a maid of honour of Catherine of Russia, was hanged for child murder (Child, vi. 383). It has therefore been supposed, first by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe long ago, later by Professor Child, and then by Mr. Courthope, that our ballad is of 1719, or later, and deals with the Russian, not the Scotch, tragedy.

To this we may reply (1) that we have no example of such a throwing back of a contemporary event, in ballads. (2) There is a version (Child, viii. 507) in which Mary Hamilton's paramour is a "pottinger," or apothecary, as in the real old Scotch affair. (3) The number of variants of a ballad is likely to be proportionate to its antiquity and wide distribution. Now only Sir Patrick Spens has so many widely different variants as Mary Hamilton. These could hardly have been evolved between 1719 and 1790, when Burns quotes the poem as an old ballad. (4) We have no example of a poem so much in the old ballad manner, for perhaps a hundred and fifty years before 1719. The style first degraded and then expired: compare Rob Roy and Killiecrankie, in this collection, also the ballads of Loudoun Hill, The Battle of Philiphaugh, and others much earlier than 1719. New styles of popular poetry on contemporary events as Sherriffmuir and Tranent Brae had arisen. (5) The extreme historic inaccuracy of Mary Hamilton is paralleled by that of all the ballads on real events. The mention of the Pottinger is a trace of real history which has no parallel in the Russian affair, and there is no room, says Professor Child, for the supposition that it was voluntarily inserted by reciter or copyist, to tally with the narrative in Knox's History.

On the other side, we have the name of Mary Hamilton occurring in a tragic event of 1719, but then the name does not uniformly appear in the variants of the ballad. The lady is there spoken of generally as Mary Hamilton, but also as Mary Myle, Lady Maisry, as daughter of the Duke of York (Stuart), as Marie Mild, and so forth. Though she bids sailors carry the tale of her doom, she is not abroad, but in Edinburgh town. Nothing can be less probable than that a Scots popular ballad-maker in 1719, telling the tale of a yesterday's tragedy in Russia, should throw the time back by a hundred and fifty years, should change the scene to Scotland (the heart of the sorrow would be Mary's exile), and, above all, should compose a ballad in a style long obsolete. This is not the method of the popular poet, and such imitations of the old ballad as Hardyknute show that literary poets of 1719 had not knowledge or skill enough to mimic the antique manner with any success.

We may, therefore, even in face of Professor Child, regard Mary Hamilton as an old example of popular perversion of history in ballad, not as "one of the very latest," and also "one of the very best" of Scottish popular ballads.

Rob Roy shows the same power of perversion. It was not Rob Roy but his sons, Robin Oig (who shot Maclaren at the plough-tail), and James Mohr (alternately the spy, the Jacobite, and the Hanoverian spy once more), who carried off the heiress of Edenbelly. Indeed a kind of added epilogue, in a different measure, proves that a poet was aware of the facts, and wished to correct his predecessor.

Such then are ballads, in relation to legend and history. They are, on the whole, with exceptions, absolutely popular in origin, composed by men of the people for the people, and then diffused among and altered by popular reciters. In England they soon won their way into printed stall copies, and were grievously handled and moralized by the hack editors.

No ballad has a stranger history than The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman, illustrated by the pencils of Cruikshank and Thackeray. Their form is a ludicrous cockney perversion, but it retains the essence. Bateman, a captive of "this Turk," is beloved by the Turk's daughter (a staple incident of old French romance), and by her released. The lady after seven years rejoins Lord Bateman: he has just married a local bride, but "orders another marriage," and sends home his bride "in a coach and three." This incident is stereotyped in the ballads and occurs in an example in the Romaic. {2}

Now Lord Bateman is Young Bekie in the Scotch ballads, who becomes Young Beichan, Young Bichem, and so forth, and has adventures identical with those of Lord Bateman, though the proud porter in the Scots version is scarcely so prominent and illustrious. As Motherwell saw, Bekie (Beichan, Buchan, Bateman) is really Becket, Gilbert Becket, father of Thomas of Canterbury. Every one has heard how HIS Saracen bride sought him in London. (Robert of Gloucester's Life and Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Percy Society. See Child's Introduction, IV., i. 1861, and Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. xv., 1827.) The legend of the dissolved marriage is from the common stock of ballad lore, Motherwell found an example in the state of Cantefable, alternate prose and verse, like Aucassin and Nicolette. Thus the cockney rhyme descends from the twelfth century.

Such are a few of the curiosities of the ballad. The examples selected are chiefly chosen for their romantic charm, and for the spirit of the Border raids which they record. A few notes are added in an appendix. The text is chosen from among the many variants in Child's learned but still unfinished collection, and an effort has been made to choose the copies which contain most poetry with most signs of uncontaminated originality. In a few cases Sir Walter Scott's versions, though confessedly "made up," are preferred. Perhaps the editor may be allowed to say that he does not merely plough with Professor Child's heifer, but has made a study of ballads from his boyhood.

This fact may exempt him, even in the eyes of too patriotic American critics, from "the common blame of a plagiary." Indeed, as Professor Child has not yet published his general theory of the Ballad, the editor does not know whether he agrees with the ideas here set forth.

So far the Editor had written, when news came of Professor Child's regretted death. He had lived to finish, it is said, the vast collection of all known traditional Scottish and English Ballads, with all accessible variants, a work of great labour and research, and a distinguished honour to American scholarship. We are not told, however, that he had written a general study of the topic, with his conclusions as to the evolution and diffusion of the Ballads: as to the influences which directed the selection of certain themes of Marchen for poetic treatment, and the processes by which identical ballads were distributed throughout Europe. No one, it is to be feared, is left, in Europe at least, whose knowledge of the subject is so wide and scientific as that of Professor Child. It is to be hoped that some pupil of his may complete the task in his sense, if, indeed, he has left it unfinished.

Ballad: Sir Patrick Spens

(Border Minstrelsy.)

The king sits in Dunfermline town, Drinking the blude-red wine o: "O whare will I get a skeely skipper To sail this new ship of mine o?"

O up and spake an eldern-knight, Sat at the king's right knee: "Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor That ever saild the sea."

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

"To Noroway, to Noroway, To Noroway oer the faem; The king's daughter of Noroway, 'Tis thou maun bring her hame."

The first word that Sir Patrick read, Sae loud, loud laughed he; The neist word that Sir Patrick read, The tear blinded his ee.

"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 hall, be it sleet, 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; They hae landed in Noroway, Upon a Wodensday.

They hadna been a week, a week In Noroway but twae, When that the lords o Noroway Began aloud to say:

"Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's goud, And a' our queenis fee." "Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud! Fu' loud I hear ye lie!

"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 merry-men a'! 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; And if we gang to sea, master, I fear we'll come to harm."

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

The ankers brak, and the top-masts lap, It was sic a deadly storm; And the waves cam o'er the broken ship, Till a' her sides were torn.

"O where will I get a gude sailor, To take my helm in hand, Till I get up to the tall top-mast; To see if I can spy land?"

"O here am I, a sailor gude, To take the helm in hand, Till you go up to the tall top-mast But I fear you'll ne'er spy land."

He hadna gane a step, a step, A step but barely ane, 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, And let na the sea come in."

They fetchd 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.

O laith, laith, were our gude Scots lords To weet their cork-heel'd shoon! But lang or a the play was play'd They wat their hats aboon,

And mony was the feather-bed That fluttered 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, A' for the sake of their true loves, For them they'll see na mair.

O lang, lang may the ladyes sit, Wi' their fans into their hand, Before they see Sir Patrick Spens 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 na mair.

O forty miles off Aberdeen, 'Tis fifty fathoms deep, And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens, Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.

Ballad: Battle Of Otterbourne

(Child, vol. vi.)

It fell about the Lammas tide, When the muir-men win their hay, The doughty Douglas bound him to ride Into England, to drive a prey.

He chose the Gordons and the Graemes, With them the Lindesays, light and gay; But the Jardines wald nor with him ride, And they rue it to this day.

And he has burn'd the dales of Tyne, And part of Bambrough shire: And three good towers on Reidswire fells, He left them all on fire.

And he march'd up to Newcastle, And rode it round about: "O wha's the lord of this castle? Or wha's the lady o't ?"

But up spake proud Lord Percy then, And O but he spake hie! "I am the lord of this castle, My wife's the lady gaye."

"If thou'rt the lord of this castle, Sae weel it pleases me! For, ere I cross the Border fells, The tane of us sall die."

He took a lang spear in his hand, Shod with the metal free, And for to meet the Douglas there, He rode right furiouslie.

But O how pale his lady look'd, Frae aff the castle wa', When down, before the Scottish spear, She saw proud Percy fa'.

"Had we twa been upon the green, And never an eye to see, I wad hae had you, flesh and fell; But your sword sall gae wi' mee."

"But gae ye up to Otterbourne, And wait there dayis three; And, if I come not ere three dayis end, A fause knight ca' ye me."

"The Otterbourne's a bonnie burn; 'Tis pleasant there to be; But there is nought at Otterbourne, To feed my men and me.

"The deer rins wild on hill and dale, The birds fly wild from tree to tree; But there is neither bread nor kale, To feed my men and me.

"Yet I will stay it Otterbourne, Where you shall welcome be; And, if ye come not at three dayis end, A fause lord I'll ca' thee."

"Thither will I come," proud Percy said, "By the might of Our Ladye!"— "There will I bide thee," said the Douglas, "My troth I plight to thee."

They lighted high on Otterbourne, Upon the bent sae brown; They lighted high on Otterbourne, And threw their pallions down.

And he that had a bonnie boy, Sent out his horse to grass, And he that had not a bonnie boy, His ain servant he was.

But up then spake a little page, Before the peep of dawn: "O waken ye, waken ye, my good lord, For Percy's hard at hand."

"Ye lie, ye lie, ye liar loud! Sae loud I hear ye lie; For Percy had not men yestreen, To dight my men and me.

"But I have dream'd a dreary dream, Beyond the Isle of Sky; I saw a dead man win a fight, And I think that man was I."

He belted on his guid braid sword, And to the field he ran; But he forgot the helmet good, That should have kept his brain.

When Percy wi the Douglas met, I wat he was fu fain! They swakked their swords, till sair they swat, And the blood ran down like rain.

But Percy with his good broad sword, That could so sharply wound, Has wounded Douglas on the brow, Till he fell to the ground.

Then he calld on his little foot-page, And said—"Run speedilie, And fetch my ain dear sister's son, Sir Hugh Montgomery.

"My nephew good," the Douglas said, "What recks the death of ane! Last night I dreamd a dreary dream, And I ken the day's thy ain.

"My wound is deep; I fain would sleep; Take thou the vanguard of the three, And hide me by the braken bush, That grows on yonder lilye lee.

"O bury me by the braken-bush, Beneath the blooming brier; Let never living mortal ken That ere a kindly Scot lies here."

He lifted up that noble lord, Wi the saut tear in his e'e; He hid him in the braken bush, That his merrie men might not see.

The moon was clear, the day drew near, The spears in flinders flew, But mony a gallant Englishman Ere day the Scotsmen slew.

The Gordons good, in English blood, They steepd their hose and shoon; The Lindesays flew like fire about, Till all the fray was done.

The Percy and Montgomery met, That either of other were fain; They swapped swords, and they twa swat, And aye the blood ran down between.

"Yield thee, now yield thee, Percy," he said, "Or else I vow I'll lay thee low!" "To whom must I yield," quoth Earl Percy, "Now that I see it must be so ?"

"Thou shalt not yield to lord nor loun, Nor yet shalt thou yield to me; But yield thee to the braken-bush, That grows upon yon lilye lee!"

"I will not yield to a braken-bush, Nor yet will I yield to a brier; But I would yield to Earl Douglas, Or Sir Hugh the Montgomery, if he were here."

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

This deed was done at Otterbourne, About the breaking of the day; Earl Douglas was buried at the braken bush, And the Percy led captive away.

Ballad: Tam Lin

(Child, Part II., p. 340, Burns's Version.)

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

There's nane that gaes by Carterhaugh But they leave him a wad, Either their rings, or green mantles, Or else their maidenhead.

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

When she came to Carterhaugh Tam Lin was at the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsel.

She had na pu'd a double rose, A rose but only twa, Till up then started young Tam Lin, Says, "Lady, thou's pu nae mae.

"Why pu's thou the rose, Janet, And why breaks thou the wand? Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh Withoutten my command?"

"Carterhaugh, it is my ain, My daddie gave it me; I'll come and gang by Carterhaugh, And ask nae leave at thee."

* * * * *

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

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

Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the chess, And out then cam the fair Janet, As green as onie grass.

Out then spak an auld grey knight, Lay oer the castle wa, And says, "Alas, fair Janet, for thee But we'll be blamed a'."

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

Out then spak her father dear, And he spak meek and mild; "And ever alas, sweet Janet," he says. "I think thou gaes wi child."

"If that I gae wi' child, father, Mysel maun bear the blame; There's neer a laird about your ha Shall get the bairn's name.

"If my love were an earthly knight, As he's an elfin grey, I wad na gie my ain true-love For nae lord that ye hae.

"The steed that my true-love rides on Is lighter than the wind; Wi siller he is shod before Wi burning gowd behind."

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

When she cam to Carterhaugh, Tam Lin was at the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsel.

She had na pu'd a double rose, A rose but only twa, Till up then started young Tam Lin, Says, "Lady, thou pu's nae mae.

"Why pu's thou the rose, Janet, Amang the groves sae green, And a' to kill the bonie babe That we gat us between?"

"O tell me, tell me, Tam Lin," she says, "For's sake that died on tree, If eer ye was in holy chapel, Or christendom did see?"

"Roxbrugh he was my grandfather, Took me with him to bide, And ance it fell upon a day That wae did me betide.

"And ance it fell upon a day, A cauld day and a snell, When we were frae the hunting come, That frae my horse I fell; The Queen o Fairies she caught me, In yon green hill to dwell.

"And pleasant is the fairy land, But, an eerie tale to tell, Ay at the end of seven years We pay a tiend to hell; I am sae fair and fu' o flesh I'm feared it be mysel.

"But the night is Halloween, lady, The morn is Hallowday; Then win me, win me, an ye will, For weel I wat ye may.

"Just at the mirk and midnight hour The fairy folk will ride, And they that wad their true love win, At Miles Cross they maun bide."

"But how shall I thee ken, Tam Lin, Or how my true-love know, Amang sae mony unco knights The like I never saw?"

"O first let pass the black, lady, And syne let pass the brown, But quickly run to the milk-white steed, Pu ye his rider down.

"For I'll ride on the milk-white steed, And ay nearest the town; Because I was an earthly knight They gie me that renown.

"My right hand will be gloyd, lady, My left hand will be bare, Cockt up shall my bonnet be, And kaimd down shall my hair; And thae's the takens I gie thee, Nae doubt I will be there.

"They'll turn me in your arms, lady, Into an esk and adder; But hold me fast, and fear me not, I am your bairn's father.

"They'll turn me to a bear sae grim, And then a lion bold; But hold me fast, and fear me not, As ye shall love your child.

"Again they'll turn me in your arms To a red het gaud of airn; But hold me fast, and fear me not, I'll do to you nae harm.

"And last they'll turn me in your arms Into the burning gleed; Then throw me into well water, O throw me in wi speed.

"And then I'll be your ain true-love, I'll turn a naked knight; Then cover me wi your green mantle, And cover me out o sight."

Gloomy, gloomy was the night, And eerie was the way, As fair Jenny in her green mantle To Miles Cross she did gae.

About the middle o' the night She heard the bridles ring; This lady was as glad at that As any earthly thing.

First she let the black pass by, And syne she let the brown; But quickly she ran to the milk-white steed, And pu'd the rider down,

Sae weel she minded whae he did say, And young Tam Lin did win; Syne coverd him wi her green mantle, As blythe's a bird in spring.

Out then spak the Queen o Fairies, Out of a bush o broom: "Them that has gotten young Tam Lin Has gotten a stately groom."

Out then spak the Queen o Fairies, And an angry woman was she; "Shame betide her ill-far'd face, And an ill death may she die, For she's taen awa the bonniest knight In a' my companie.

"But had I kend, Tam Lin," she says, "What now this night I see, I wad hae taen out thy twa grey e'en, And put in twa een o tree."

Ballad: Thomas The Rhymer

(Child, Part II., p. 317.)

True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank; A ferlie he spied wi' his ee; And there he saw a lady bright, Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

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

True Thomas he pulld aff his cap, And louted low down to his knee: "All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven! For thy peer on earth I never did see."

"O no, O no, Thomas," she said, "That name does not belang to me; I am but the queen of fair Elfland, That am hither come to visit thee.

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

"Betide me weal, betide me woe, That weird sall never daunton me; Syne he has kissed her rosy lips, All underneath the Eildon Tree.

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

She mounted on her milk-white steed, She's taen True Thomas up behind, And aye wheneer her bride rung, The steed flew swifter than the wind.

O they rade on, and farther on— The steed gaed swifter than the wind— Until they reached a desart wide, And living land was left behind.

"Light down, light down, now, True Thomas, And lean your head upon my knee; Abide and rest a little space, And I will shew you ferlies three.

"O see ye not yon narrow road, So thick beset with thorns and briers? That is the path of righteousness, Tho after it but few enquires.

"And see ye not that braid braid road, That lies across that lily leven? That is the path of wickedness, Tho some call it the road to heaven.

"And see not ye that bonny road, That winds about the fernie brae? That is the road to fair Elfland, Where thou and I this night maun gae.

"But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue, Whatever ye may hear or see, For, if you speak word in Elflyn land, Ye'll neer get back to your ain countrie."

O they rade on, and farther on, And they waded thro rivers aboon the knee, And they saw neither sun nor moon, But they heard the roaring of the sea.

It was mirk mirk night, and there was nae stern light, And they waded thro red blude to the knee; For a' the blude that's shed an earth Rins thro the springs o that countrie.

Syne they came on to a garden green, And she pu'd an apple frae a tree: "Take this for thy wages, True Thomas, It will give the tongue that can never lie."

"My tongue is mine ain," True Thomas said, "A gudely gift ye wad gie me! I neither dought to buy nor sell, At fair or tryst where I may be.

"I dought neither speak to prince or peer, Nor ask of grace from fair ladye:" "Now hold thy peace," the lady said, "For as I say, so must it be."

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

Ballad: "Sir Hugh; Or The Jew's Daughter"

(Child, vol. v.)

Four-and-twenty bonny boys Were playing at the ba, And by it came him sweet Sir Hugh, And he playd o'er them a'.

He kickd the ba with his right foot And catchd it wi his knee, And throuch-and-thro the Jew's window He gard the bonny ba flee.

He's doen him to the Jew's castell And walkd it round about; 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, "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."

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, And sae has she thro nine; She's laid him on a dressing-table, And stickit him like a swine.

And first came out the thick, thick blood, And syne came out the thin; And syne came out the bonny heart's blood; There was nae mair within.

She's rowd him in a cake o lead, Bade him lie still and sleep; She's thrown him in Our Lady's draw-well, 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.

She's taen her mantle her about, Her coffer by the hand, And she's gane out to seek her son, And wandered o'er the land.

She's doen her to the Jew's castell, Where a' were fast asleep: "Gin ye be there, my sweet Sir Hugh, 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."

Now Lady Maisry is gane hame, Make him a winding-sheet, And at the back o merry Lincoln, The dead corpse did her meet.

And a the bells o merry Lincoln Without men's hands were rung, And a' the books o merry Lincoln Were read without man's tongue, And neer was such a burial Sin Adam's days begun.

Ballad: Son Davie! Son Davie!


"What bluid's that on thy coat lap? Son Davie! Son Davie! What bluid's that on thy coat lap? And the truth come tell to me, O."

"It is the bluid of my great hawk, Mother lady, Mother lady! It is the bluid of my great hawk, And the truth I hae tald to thee, O."

"Hawk's bluid was ne'er sae red, Son Davie! Son Davie! Hawk's bluid was ne'er sae red, And the truth come tell to me, O."

"It is the bluid of my grey hound, Mother lady! Mother lady! It is the bluid of my grey hound, And it wudna rin for me, O."

"Hound's bluid was ne'er sae red, Son Davie! Son Davie! Hound's bluid was ne'er sae red, And the truth come tell to me, O."

"It is the bluid o' my brother John, Mother lady! Mother lady! It is the bluid o' my brother John, And the truth I hae tald to thee, O."

"What about did the plea begin? Son Davie! Son Davie!" "It began about the cutting o' a willow wand, That would never hae been a tree, O."

"What death dost thou desire to die? Son Davie! Son Davie! What death dost thou desire to die? And the truth come tell to me, O."

"I'll set my foot in a bottomless ship, Mother lady! mother lady! I'll set my foot in a bottomless ship, And ye'll never see mair o' me, O."

"What wilt thou leave to thy poor wife? Son Davie! Son Davie!" "Grief and sorrow all her life, And she'll never get mair frae me, O."

"What wilt thou leave to thy young son? Son Davie! son Davie!" "The weary warld to wander up and down, And he'll never get mair o' me, O."

"What wilt thou leave to thy mother dear? Son Davie! Son Davie!" "A fire o' coals to burn her wi' hearty cheer, And she'll never get mair o' me, O."

Ballad: The Wife Of Usher's Well

(Child, vol. iii.)

There lived a wife at Usher's Well, And a wealthy wife was she; She had three stout and stalwart sons, And sent them oer the sea,

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

* * * * *

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

The cock he hadna crawd but once, And clapp'd his wings at a', Whan the youngest to the eldest said, "Brother, we must awa.

"The cock doth craw, the day doth daw, The channerin worm doth chide; Gin we be mist out o our place, A sair pain we maun bide.

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

Ballad: The Twa Corbies

(Child, vol. i.)

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 the day?"

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

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

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

"Mony a one for him makes mane, But nane sall ken whae he is gane, Oer his white banes, when they are bare, The wind sall blaw for evermair."

Ballad: The Bonnie Earl Moray

(Child, vol. vi.)


Ye Highlands, and ye Lawlands Oh where have you been? They have slain the Earl of Murray, And they layd him on the green.

"Now wae be to thee, Huntly! And wherefore did you sae? I bade you bring him wi you, But forbade you him to slay."

He was a braw gallant, And he rid at the ring; And the bonny Earl of Murray, Oh he might have been a King!

He was a braw gallant, And he playd at the ba; And the bonny Earl of Murray, Was the flower amang them a'.

He was a braw gallant, And he playd at the glove; And the bonny Earl of Murray, Oh he was the Queen's love!

Oh lang will his lady Look oer the castle Down, Eer she see the Earl of Murray Come sounding thro the town! Eer she, etc.


"Open the gates and let him come in; He is my brother Huntly, he'll do him nae harm."

The gates they were opent, they let him come in, But fause traitor Huntly, he did him great harm.

He's ben and ben, and ben to his bed, And with a sharp rapier he stabbed him dead.

The lady came down the stair, wringing her hands: "He has slain the Earl o Murray, the flower o Scotland."

But Huntly lap on his horse, rade to the King: "Ye're welcome hame, Huntly, and whare hae ye been?

"Where hae ye been? and how hae ye sped?" "I've killed the Earl o Murray dead in his bed."

"Foul fa you, Huntly! and why did ye so? You might have taen the Earl o Murray, and saved his life too."

"Her bread it's to bake, her yill is to brew; My sister's a widow, and sair do I rue.

"Her corn grows ripe, her meadows grow green, But in bonnie Dinnibristle I darena be seen."

Ballad: Clerk Saunders

(Child, vol. iii.)

Clerk Saunders and may Margaret Walked ower yon garden green; And sad and heavy was the love That fell thir twa between.

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

"For in may come my seven bauld brothers, Wi' torches burning bright; They'll say,—'We hae but ae sister, And behold she's wi a knight!'"

"Then take the sword frae my scabbard, And slowly lift the pin; And you may swear, and save your aith. Ye never let Clerk Saunders in.

"And take a napkin in your hand, And tie up baith your bonny e'en, And you may swear, and save your aith, Ye saw me na since late yestreen."

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

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

Then out and spake the first o' them, "I bear the sword shall gar him die!" And out and spake the second o' them, "His father has nae mair than he!"

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

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

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

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

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

But he lay still, and sleeped sound, Albeit the sun began to sheen; She looked atween her and the wa', And dull and drowsie were his e'en.

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

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

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

"Are ye sleeping, Margaret?" he says, "Or are ye waking presentlie? Give me my faith and troth again, I wot, true love, I gied to thee."

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

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

"O, cocks are crowing a merry midnight, I wot the wild fowls are boding day; Give me my faith and troth again, And let me fare me on my way."

"Thy faith and troth thou sall na get, And our true love sall never twin, Until ye tell what comes of women, I wot, who die in strong traivelling?

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

"O, cocks are crowing a merry midnight, I wot the wild fowl are boding day; The psalms of heaven will soon be sung, And I, ere now, will be missed away."

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

"I thank ye, Marg'ret, I thank ye, Marg'ret; And aye I thank ye heartilie; Gin ever the dead come for the quick, Be sure, Mag'ret, I'll come for thee."

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

"Is there ony room at your head, Saunders? Is there ony room at your feet? Is there ony room at your side, Saunders, Where fain, fain I wad sleep?"

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

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

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

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

Then up and crew the milk-white cock, And up and crew the gray; Her lover vanish'd in the air, And she gaed weeping away.

Ballad: Waly, Waly


O waly, waly, up the bank, O waly, waly, down the brae. And waly, waly, yon burn side, Where I and my love wont to gae. I leaned my back unto an aik, An' thocht it was a trustie tree, But first it bow'd and syne it brak, Sae my true love did lichtly me.

O waly, waly, but love is bonnie A little time while it is new, But when it's auld it waxes cauld, And fades away like morning dew. O wherefore should I busk my head, O wherefore should I kame my hair, For my true love has me forsook, And says he'll never love me mair.

Now Arthur's Seat shall be my bed, The sheets shall ne'er be pressed by me, St. Anton's well shall be my drink, Since my true love has forsaken me. Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw, And shake the green leaves off the tree! O gentle Death, when wilt thou come? For of my life I am wearie!

'Tis not the frost that freezes fell, Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie, 'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry, But my love's heart's grown cauld to me. When we came in by Glasgow toun We were a comely sicht to see; My love was clad in the black velvet, And I mysel in cramasie.

But had I wist before I kist That love had been sae ill to win, I'd locked my heart in a case of gold, And pinned it wi' a siller pin. Oh, oh! if my young babe were born, And set upon the nurse's knee; And I myself were dead and gane, And the green grass growing over me!

Ballad: Love Gregor; Or, The Lass Of Lochroyan

(Child, Part III., p. 220.)

"O wha will shoe my fu' fair foot? And wha will glove my hand? And wha will lace my middle jimp, Wi' the new-made London band?

"And wha will kaim my yellow hair, Wi' the new made silver kaim? And wha will father my young son, Till Love Gregor come hame?"

"Your father will shoe your fu' fair foot, Your mother will glove your hand; Your sister will lace your middle jimp Wi' the new-made London band.

"Your brother will kaim your yellow hair, Wi' the new made silver kaim; And the king of heaven will father your bairn, Till Love Gregor come haim."

"But I will get a bonny boat, And I will sail the sea, For I maun gang to Love Gregor, Since he canno come hame to me."

O she has gotten a bonny boat, And sailld the sa't sea fame; She langd to see her ain true-love, Since he could no come hame.

"O row your boat, my mariners, And bring me to the land, For yonder I see my love's castle, Close by the sa't sea strand."

She has ta'en her young son in her arms, And to the door she's gone, And lang she's knocked and sair she ca'd, But answer got she none.

"O open the door, Love Gregor," she says, "O open, and let me in; For the wind blaws thro' my yellow hair, And the rain draps o'er my chin."

"Awa, awa, ye ill woman, You'r nae come here for good; You'r but some witch, or wile warlock, Or mer-maid of the flood."

"I am neither a witch nor a wile warlock, Nor mer-maid of the sea, I am Fair Annie of Rough Royal; O open the door to me."

"Gin ye be Annie of Rough Royal— And I trust ye are not she— Now tell me some of the love-tokens That past between you and me."

"O dinna you mind now, Love Gregor, When we sat at the wine, How we changed the rings frae our fingers? And I can show thee thine.

"O yours was good, and good enough, But ay the best was mine; For yours was o' the good red goud, But mine o' the diamonds fine.

"But open the door now, Love Gregor, O open the door I pray, For your young son that is in my arms Will be dead ere it be day."

"Awa, awa, ye ill woman, For here ye shanno win in; Gae drown ye in the raging sea, Or hang on the gallows-pin."

When the cock had crawn, and day did dawn, And the sun began to peep, Then up he rose him, Love Gregor, And sair, sair did he weep.

"O I dreamd a dream, my mother dear, The thoughts o' it gars me greet, That Fair Annie of Rough Royal Lay cauld dead at my feet."

"Gin it be for Annie of Rough Royal That ye make a' this din, She stood a' last night at this door, But I trow she wan no in."

"O wae betide ye, ill woman, An ill dead may ye die! That ye woudno open the door to her, Nor yet woud waken me."

O he has gone down to yon shore-side, As fast as he could fare; He saw Fair Annie in her boat, But the wind it tossd her sair.

And "Hey, Annie!" and "How, Annie! O Annie, winna ye bide?" But ay the mair that he cried "Annie," The braider grew the tide.

And "Hey, Annie!" and "How, Annie! Dear Annie, speak to me!" But ay the louder he cried "Annie," The louder roard the sea.

The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough, And dashd the boat on shore; Fair Annie floats on the raging sea, But her young son rose no more.

Love Gregor tare his yellow hair, And made a heavy moan; Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet, But his bonny young son was gone.

O cherry, cherry was her cheek, And gowden was her hair, But clay cold were her rosey lips, Nae spark of life was there,

And first he's kissd her cherry cheek, And neist he's kissed her chin; And saftly pressd her rosey lips, But there was nae breath within.

"O wae betide my cruel mother, And an ill dead may she die! For she turnd my true-love frae my door, When she came sae far to me."

Ballad: The Queen's Marie

(Child, vi., Border Minstrelsy.)

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, Wi ribbons on her breast; The king thought mair o Marie Hamilton, Than he listend to the priest.

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

She hadna been about the king's court A month, but barely one, Till she was beloved by a' the king's court, And the king the only man.

She hadna been about the king's court A month, but barely three, Till frae the king's court Marie Hamilton, Marie Hamilton durst na be.

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 rowd it in her apron, And set it on the sea: "Gae sink ye, or swim ye, bonny babe, Ye's get na mair o me."

Word is to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha, 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, And scarcely faen 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."

"O no, O no, my noble queen! Think no such thing to be! 'Twas but a stitch into my side, And sair it troubles me."

"Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton, 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; 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, 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."

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, Why look ye so on me? O, I am going to Edinburgh town, A rich wedding for to see!"

When she gaed up the Tolbooth stairs, The corks frae her heels did flee; And lang or eer she cam down again, She was condemned to die.

When she cam to the Netherbow Port, She laughed loud laughters three; But when she cam to the gallows-foot, The tears blinded her ee.

"Yestreen the queen had four Maries, The night she'll hae but three; There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaten, And Marie Carmichael, and me.

"O, often have I dressd 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 dressd my queen, 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, 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 wit, 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!

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

Ballad: Kinmont Willie

(Child, vol. vi.)

O have ye na heard o the fause Sakelde? O have ye na heard o the keen Lord Scroop? How they hae taen bauld Kinmont Willie, On Hairibee to hang him up?

Had Willie had but twenty men, But twenty men as stout as be, Fause Sakelde had never the Kinmont taen Wi eight score in his companie.

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

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

"My hands are tied; but my tongue is free, And whae will dare this deed avow? Or answer by the border law? Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch?"

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

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

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

He has taen the table wi his hand, He garrd the red wine spring on hie; "Now Christ's curse on my head," he said, "But avenged of Lord Scroope I'll be!

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

"And have they taen him, Kinmont Willie, Against the truce of Border tide? And forgotten that the bauld Bacleuch Is keeper here on the Scottish side?

"And have they een taen him, Kinmont Willie, Withouten either dread or fear, And forgotten that the bauld Bacleuch Can back a steed, or shake a spear?

"O were there war between the lands, As well I wot that there is none, I would slight Carlisle castell high, Tho it were builded of marble stone.

"I would set that castell in a low, And sloken it with English blood; There's nevir a man in Cumberland Should ken where Carlisle castell stood.

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

He has calld him forty marchmen bauld, I trow they were of his ain name, Except Sir Gilbert Elliot, calld The Laird of Stobs, I mean the same.

He has calld him forty marchmen bauld, Were kinsmen to the bauld Buccleuch, With spur on heel, and splent on spauld, And gleuves of green, and feathers blue.

There were five and five before them a', Wi hunting-horns and bugles bright; And five and five came wi Buccleuch, Like Warden's men, arrayed for fight.

And five and five, like a mason-gang, That carried the ladders lang and hie; And five and five, like broken men; And so they reached the Woodhouselee.

And as we crossd the Bateable Land, When to the English side we held, The first o men that we met wi, Whae sould it be but fause Sakelde!

"Where be ye gaun, ye hunters keen?" Quo fause Sakelde; "come tell to me!" "We go to hunt an English stag, Has trespassed on the Scots countrie."

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

"Where are ye gaun, ye mason-lads, Wi a' your ladders lang and hie?" "We gang to herry a corbie's nest, That wons not far frae Woodhouselee."

"Where be ye gaun, ye broken men?" Quo fause Sakelde; "come tell to me?" Now Dickie of Dryhope led that band, And the nevir a word o lear had he.

"Why trespass ye on the English side? Row-footed outlaws, stand!" quo he; The neer a word had Dickie to say, Sae he thrust the lance thro his fause bodie.

Then on we held for Carlisle toun, And at Staneshaw-bank the Eden we crossd; The water was great and meikle of spait, But the nevir a horse nor man we lost.

And when we reachd the Staneshaw-bank, The wind was rising loud and hie; And there the laird garrd leave our steeds, For fear that they should stamp and nie.

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

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

He has taen the watchman by the throat, He flung him down upon the lead: "Had there not been peace between our lands, Upon the other side thou hadst gaed.

"Now sound out, trumpets!" quo Buccleuch; "Let's waken Lord Scroope right merrilie!" Then loud the warden's trumpet blew "O whae dare meddle wi me?"

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

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

Wi coulters, and wi fore-hammers, We garrd the bars bang merrilie, Until we came to the inner prison, Where Willie o Kinmont he did lie.

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

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

Then Red Rowan has hente him up, The starkest man in Teviotdale: "Abide, abide now, Red Rowan, Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

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

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

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

"And mony a time," quo Kinmont Willie, "I've pricked a horse out oure the furs; But since the day I backed a steed I nevir wore sic cumbrous spurs!"

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

Buccleuch has turned to Eden Water, Even where it flowd frae bank to brim, And he has plunged in wi a' his band, And safely swam them thro the stream.

He turned him on the other side, And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he: "If ye like na my visit in merry England, In fair Scotland come visit me!"

All sore astonished stood Lord Scroope, He stood as still as rock of stane; He scarcely dared to trew his eyes, When thro the water they had gane.

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

Ballad: Jamie Telfer

(Child, vol. vi. Early Edition.)

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

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

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

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

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

The captain turned him round and leugh; Said—"Man, there's naething in thy house, But ae auld sword without a sheath, That hardly now wad fell a mouse!"

The sun was na up, but the moon was down, It was the gryming o' a new fa'n snaw, Jamie Telfer has run three myles a-foot, Between the Dodhead and the Stobs's Ha'

And whan he cam to the fair tower yate, He shouted loud, and cried weel hie, Till out bespak auld Gibby Elliot— "Wha's this that brings the fraye to me?"

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

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

Jamie has turned him round about, I wat the tear blinded his e'e— "I'll ne'er pay mail to Elliot again, And the fair Dodhead I'll never see!

"My hounds may a' rin masterless, My hawks may fly frae tree to tree; My lord may grip my vassal lands, For there again maun I never be."

He has turned him to the Tiviot side, E'en as fast as he could drie, Till he came to the Coultart Cleugh And there he shouted baith loud and hie.

Then up bespak him auld Jock Grieve— "Wha's this that brings the fray to me?" "It's I, Jamie Telfer o' the fair Dodhead, A harried man I trow I be.

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

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

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

And whan he cam to the Catslockhill, He shouted loud and weel cried he, Till out and spak him William's Wat— "O wha's this brings the fraye to me?"

"It's I, Jamie Telfer o' the fair Dodhead, A harried man I think I be! The captain of Bewcastle has driven my gear; For God's sake rise, and succour me!"

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

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

And whan they cam to Branksome Ha', They shouted a' baith loud and hie, Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch, Said—"Wha's this brings the fray to me?

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

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

"Gar warn the water, braid and wide, Gar warn it soon and hastily! They that winna ride for Telfer's kye, Let them never look in the face o' me!

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

"Ride by the gate at Priesthaughswire, And warn the Currors o' the Lee; As ye come down the Hermitage Slack, Warn doughty Willie o' Gorrinbery."

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

The gear was driven the Frostylee up, Frae the Frostylee unto the plain, Whan Willie has looked his men before, And saw the kye right fast driving.

"Wha drives thir kye?" 'gan Willie say, "To mak an outspeckle o' me?" "It's I, the captain o' Bewcastle, Willie; I winna layne my name for thee."

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

"I winna let the kye gae back, Neither for thy love, nor yet thy fear, But I will drive Jamie Telfer's kye, In spite of every Scot that's here."

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

But Willie was stricken ower the head, And through the knapscap the sword has gane; And Harden grat for very rage, Whan Willie on the ground lay slain.

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

"Revenge! revenge!" auld Wat 'gan cry; "Fye, lads, lay on them cruellie! We'll ne'er see Tiviotside again, Or Willie's death revenged shall be."

O mony a horse ran masterless, The splintered lances flew on hie; But or they wan to the Kershope ford, The Scots had gotten the victory.

John o' Brigham there was slain, And John o' Barlow, as I hear say; And thirty mae o' the captain's men, Lay bleeding on the grund that day.

The captain was run thro' the thick of the thigh— And broken was his right leg bane; If he had lived this hundred year, He had never been loved by woman again.

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

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

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

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

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

There was an auld wife ayont the fire, A wee bit o' the captain's kin— "Wha daur loose out the captain's kye, Or answer to him and his men?"

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

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

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

Ballad: The Douglas Tragedy

(Child, vol. ii. Early Edition.)

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

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

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

Lord William lookit o'er his left shoulder, To see what he could see, And there be spy'd her seven brethren bold, Come riding o'er the lee.

"Light down, light down, Lady Marg'ret," he said, "And hold my steed in your hand, Until that against your seven brothers bold, And your father I make a stand."—

She held his steed in her milk white hand, And never shed one tear, Until that she saw her seven brethren fa', And her father hard fighting, who loved her so dear.

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

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

"O chuse, O chuse, Lady Marg'ret," he said, "O whether will ye gang or bide?" "I'll gang, I'll gang, Lord William," she said, "For ye have left me no other guide."—

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

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

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

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

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

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

"O mak my bed, lady mother," he says, "O mak it braid and deep! And lay Lady Marg'ret close at my back, And the sounder I will sleep."—

Lord William was dead lang ere midnight, Lady Marg'ret lang ere day— And all true lovers that go thegither, May they have mair luck than they!

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

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

But by and rade the Black Douglas, And wow but he was rough! For he pull'd up the bonny brier, An flang't in St. Marie's Loch.

Ballad: The Bonny Hind

(Child, vol. ii.)

O May she comes, and may she goes, Down by yon gardens green, And there she spied a gallant squire As squire had ever been.

And may she comes, and may she goes, Down by yon hollin tree, And there she spied a brisk young squire, And a brisk young squire was he.

"Give me your green manteel, fair maid, Give me your maidenhead; Gif ye winna gie me your green manteel, Gi me your maidenhead."

He has taen her by the milk-white hand, And softly laid her down, And when he's lifted her up again Given her a silver kaim.

"Perhaps there may be bairns, kind sir, Perhaps there may be nane; But if you be a courtier, You'll tell to me your name."

"I am na courtier, fair maid, But new come frae the sea; I am nae courtier, fair maid, But when I court'ith thee.

"They call me Jack when I'm abroad, Sometimes they call me John; But when I'm in my father's bower Jock Randal is my name."

"Ye lee, ye lee, ye bonny lad, Sae loud's I hear ye lee! For I'm Lord Randal's yae daughter, He has nae mair nor me."

"Ye lee, ye lee, ye bonny may, Sae loud's I hear ye lee! For I'm Lord Randal's yae yae son, Just now come oer the sea."

She's putten her hand down by her spare And out she's taen a knife, And she has putn't in her heart's bluid, And taen away her life.

And he's taen up his bonny sister, With the big tear in his een, And he has buried his bonny sister Amang the hollins green.

And syne he's hyed him oer the dale, His father dear to see: "Sing O and O for my bonny hind, Beneath yon hollin tree!"

"What needs you care for your bonny hyn? For it you needna care; There's aught score hyns in yonder park, And five score hyns to spare.

"Fourscore of them are siller-shod, Of thae ye may get three;" "But O and O for my bonny hyn, Beneath yon hollin tree!"

"What needs you care for your bonny hyn? For it you needna care; Take you the best, gi me the warst, Since plenty is to spare."

"I care na for your hyns, my lord, I care na for your fee; But O and O for my bonny hyn, Beneath the hollin tree!"

"O were ye at your sister's bower, Your sister fair to see, Ye'll think na mair o your bonny hyn Beneath the hollin tree."

Ballad: Young Bicham

(Child, vol. ii.)

In London city was Bicham born, He longd strange countries for to see, But he was taen by a savage Moor, Who handld him right cruely.

For thro his shoulder he put a bore, An thro the bore has pitten a tree, And he's gard him draw the carts o wine, Where horse and oxen had wont to be.

He's casten [him] in a dungeon deep, Where he coud neither hear nor see; He's shut him up in a prison strong, An he's handld him right cruely.

O this Moor he had but ae daughter, I wot her name was Shusy Pye; She's doen her to the prison-house, And she's calld young Bicham one word by.

"O hae ye ony lands or rents, Or citys in your ain country, Coud free you out of prison strong, An coud maintain a lady free?"

O London city is my own, An other citys twa or three, Coud loose me out o prison strong, An could maintain a lady free."

O she has bribed her father's men Wi meikle goud and white money, She's gotten the key o the prison doors, And she has set Young Bicham free.

She's gi'n him a loaf o good white bread, But an a flask o Spanish wine, An she bad him mind on the ladie's love That sae kindly freed him out o pine.

"Go set your foot on good ship-board, An haste you back to your ain country, An before that seven years has an end, Come back again, love, and marry me."

It was long or seven years had an end She longd fu sair her love to see; She's set her foot on good ship-board, An turnd her back on her ain country.

She's saild up, so has she down, Till she came to the other side; She's landed at Young Bicham's gates, An I hop this day she sal be his bride.

"Is this Young Bicham's gates?" says she. "Or is that noble prince within?" "He's up the stair wi his bonny bride, An monny a lord and lady wi him."

"O has he taen a bonny bride, An has he clean forgotten me?" An sighing said that gay lady, "I wish I were in my ain country!"

She's pitten her ban in her pocket, An gin the porter guineas three; Says, "Take ye that, ye proud porter, An bid the bridegroom speak to me."

O whan the porter came up the stair, He's fa'n low down upon his knee: "Won up, won up, ye proud porter, And what makes a' this courtesy?"

"O I've been porter at your gates This mair nor seven years an three, But there is a lady at them now The like of whom I never did see.

"For on every finger she has a ring, An on the mid-finger she has three, An there's as meikle goud aboon her brow As woud buy an earldom o lan to me."

Then up it started Young Bicham, An sware so loud by Our Lady, "It can be nane but Shusy Pye That has come oor the sea to me."

O quickly ran he down the stair, O fifteen steps he has made but three, He's tane his bonny love in his arms An a wot he kissd her tenderly.

"O hae you tane a bonny bride? An hae you quite forsaken me? An hae ye quite forgotten her That gae you life an liberty?"

She's lookit oer her left shoulder To hide the tears stood in her ee; "Now fare thee well, Young Bicham," she says, "I'll strive to think nae mair on thee."

"Take back your daughter, madam," he says, "An a double dowry I'll gie her wi; For I maun marry my first true love, That's done and suffered so much for me."

He's tak his bonny love by the han, And led her to yon fountain stane; He's changed her name frae Shusy Pye, An he's cald her his bonny love, Lady Jane.

Ballad: The Loving Ballad Of Lord Bateman

(Child, vol. ii. Cockney copy.)

Lord Bateman was a noble lord, A noble lord of high degree; He shipped himself all aboard of a ship, Some foreign country for to see.

He sailed east, he sailed west, Until he came to famed Turkey, Where he was taken and put to prison, Until his life was quite weary.

All in this prison there grew a tree, O there it grew so stout and strong! Where he was chained all by the middle, Until his life was almost gone.

This Turk he had one only daughter, The fairest my two eyes eer see; She steal the keys of her father's prison, And swore Lord Bateman she would let go free.

O she took him to her father's cellar, And gave to him the best of wine; And every health she drank unto him Was "I wish, Lord Bateman, as you was mine."

"O have you got houses, have you got land, And does Northumberland belong to thee? And what would you give to the fair young lady As out of prison would let you go free?"

"O I've got houses and I've got land, And half Northumberland belongs to me; And I will give it all to the fair young lady As out of prison would let me go free."

"O in seven long years I'll make a vow For seven long years, and keep it strong, That if you'll wed no other woman, O I will wed no other man."

O she took him to her father's harbor, And gave to him a ship of fame, Saying, "Farewell, farewell to you, Lord Bateman, I fear I shall never see you again."

Now seven long years is gone and past, And fourteen days, well known to me; She packed up all her gay clothing, And swore Lord Bateman she would go see.

O when she arrived at Lord Bateman's castle, How boldly then she rang the bell! "Who's there? who's there?" cries the proud young porter, "O come unto me pray quickly tell."

"O is this here Lord Bateman's castle, And is his lordship here within?" "O yes, O yes," cries the proud young porter, "He's just now taking his young bride in."

"O bid him to send me a slice of bread, And a bottle of the very best wine, And not forgetting the fair young lady As did release him when close confine."

O away and away went this proud young porter, O away and away and away went he, Until he came to Lord Bateman's chamber, Where he went down on his bended knee.

"What news, what news, my proud young porter? What news, what news? come tell to me:" "O there is the fairest young lady As ever my two eyes did see.

"She has got rings on every finger, And on one finger she has got three; With as much gay gold about her middle As would buy half Northumberlee.

"O she bids you to send her a slice of bread, And a bottle of the very best wine, And not forgetting the fair young lady As did release you when close confine."

Lord Bateman then in passion flew, And broke his sword in splinters three, Saying, "I will give half of my father's land, If so be as Sophia has crossed the sea."

Then up and spoke this young bride's mother, Who never was heard to speak so free; Saying, "You'll not forget my only daughter, If so be Sophia has crossed the sea."

"O it's true I made a bride of your daughter, But she's neither the better nor the worse for me; She came to me with a horse and saddle, But she may go home in a coach and three."

Lord Bateman then prepared another marriage, With both their hearts so full of glee, Saying, "I will roam no more to foreign countries, Now that Sophia has crossed the sea."

Ballad: The Bonnie House O' Airly

(Child, vol. vii. Early Edition.)

It fell on a day, and a bonnie summer day, When the corn grew green and yellow, That there fell out a great dispute Between Argyle and Airly.

The Duke o' Montrose has written to Argyle To come in the morning early, An' lead in his men, by the back O' Dunkeld, To plunder the bonnie house o' Airly.

The lady look'd o'er her window sae hie, And O but she looked weary! And there she espied the great Argyle Come to plunder the bonnie house o' Airly.

"Come down, come down, Lady Margaret," he says, "Come down and kiss me fairly, Or before the morning clear daylight, I'll no leave a standing stane in Airly."

"I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle, I wadna kiss thee fairly, I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle, Gin you shouldna leave a standing stane Airly."

He has ta'en her by the middle sae sma', Says, "Lady, where is your drury?" "It's up and down by the bonnie burn side, Amang the planting of Airly."

They sought it up, they sought it down, They sought it late and early, And found it in the bonnie balm-tree, That shines on the bowling-green o' Airly,

He has ta'en her by the left shoulder, And O but she grat sairly, And led her down to yon green bank, Till he plundered the bonnie house o' Airly.

"O it's I hae seven braw sons," she says, "And the youngest ne'er saw his daddie, And altho' I had as mony mae, I wad gie them a' to Charlie.

"But gin my good lord had been at hame, As this night he is wi' Charlie, There durst na a Campbell in a' the west Hae plundered the bonnie house o' Airly.

Ballad: Rob Roy

(Child, vol. vi. Early Edition.)

Rob Roy from the Highlands cam, Unto the Lawlan' border, To steal awa a gay ladie To haud his house in order. He cam oure the lock o' Lynn, Twenty men his arms did carry; Himsel gaed in, an' fand her out, Protesting he would many.

"O will ye gae wi' me," he says, "Or will ye be my honey? Or will ye be my wedded wife? For I love you best of any." "I winna gae wi' you," she says, "Nor will I be your honey, Nor will I be your wedded wife; You love me for my money."

* * * * *

But he set her on a coal-black steed, Himsel lap on behind her, An' he's awa to the Highland hills, Whare her frien's they canna find her.

* * * * *

"Rob Roy was my father ca'd, Macgregor was his name, ladie; He led a band o' heroes bauld, An' I am here the same, ladie. Be content, be content, Be content to stay, ladie, For thou art my wedded wife Until thy dying day, ladie.

"He was a hedge unto his frien's, A heckle to his foes, ladie, Every one that durst him wrang, He took him by the nose, ladie. I'm as bold, I'm as bold, I'm as bold, an more, ladie; He that daurs dispute my word, Shall feel my guid claymore, ladie."

Ballad: The Battle Of Killie-Crankie

(Child, vol. vii. Early Edition.)

Clavers and his Highlandmen Came down upo' the raw, man, Who being stout, gave mony a clout; The lads began to claw then. With sword and terge into their hand, Wi which they were nae slaw, man, Wi mony a fearful heavy sigh, The lads began to claw then.

O'er bush, o'er bank, o'er ditch, o'er stark, She flang amang them a', man; The butter-box got many knocks, Their riggings paid for a' then. They got their paiks, wi sudden straiks, Which to their grief they saw, man: Wi clinkum, clankum o'er their crowns, The lads began to fa' then.

Hur skipt about, hur leapt about, And flang amang them a', man; The English blades got broken beads, Their crowns were cleav'd in twa then. The durk and door made their last hour, And prov'd their final fa', man; They thought the devil had been there, That play'd them sic a paw then.

The Solemn League and Covenant Came whigging up the hills, man; Thought Highland trews durst not refuse For to subscribe their bills then. In Willie's name, they thought nag ane Durst stop their course at a', man, But hur-nane-sell, wi mony a knock, Cry'd, "Furich—Whigs awa'," man.

Sir Evan Du, and his men true, Came linking up the brink, man; The Hogan Dutch they feared such, They bred a horrid stink then. The true Maclean and his fierce men Came in amang them a', man; Nane durst withstand his heavy hand. All fled and ran awa' then.

Oh' on a ri, Oh' on a ri, Why should she lose King Shames, man? Oh' rig in di, Oh' rig in di, She shall break a' her banes then; With furichinish, an' stay a while, And speak a word or twa, man, She's gi' a straike, out o'er the neck, Before ye win awa' then.

Oh fy for shame, ye're three for ane, Hur-nane-sell's won the day, man; King Shames' red-coats should be hung up, Because they ran awa' then. Had bent their brows, like Highland trows, And made as lang a stay, man, They'd sav'd their king, that sacred thing, And Willie'd ran awa' then.

Ballad: Annan Water

(Child, vol. ii. Early Edition.)

"Annan water's wading deep, And my love Annie's wondrous bonny; And I am laith she suld weet her feet, Because I love her best of ony.

"Gar saddle me the bonny black,— Gar saddle sune, and make him ready: For I will down the Gatehope-Slack, And all to see my bonny ladye."—

He has loupen on the bonny black, He stirr'd him wi' the spur right sairly; But, or he wan the Gatehope-Slack, I think the steed was wae and weary.

He has loupen on the bonny gray, He rade the right gate and the ready; I trow he would neither stint nor stay, For he was seeking his bonny ladye.

O he has ridden o'er field and fell, Through muir and moss, and mony a mire; His spurs o' steel were sair to bide, And fra her fore-feet flew the fire.

"Now, bonny grey, now play your part! Gin ye be the steed that wins my deary, Wi' corn and hay ye'se be fed for aye, And never spur sall make you wearie."

The gray was a mare, and a right good mare; But when she wan the Annan water, She couldna hae ridden a furlong mair, Had a thousand merks been wadded at her.

"O boatman, boatman, put off your boat! Put off your boat for gowden monie! I cross the drumly stream the night, Or never mair I see my honey."—

"O I was sworn sae late yestreen, And not by ae aith, but by many; And for a' the gowd in fair Scotland, I dare na take ye through to Annie."

The side was stey, and the bottom deep, Frae bank to brae the water pouring; And the bonny grey mare did sweat for fear, For she heard the water-kelpy roaring.

O he has pou'd aff his dapperpy coat, The silver buttons glanced bonny; The waistcoat bursted aff his breast, He was sae full of melancholy.

He has ta'en the ford at that stream tail; I wot he swam both strong and steady; But the stream was broad, and his strength did fail, And he never saw his bonny ladye.

"O wae betide the frush saugh wand! And wae betide the bush of brier! It brake into my true love's hand, When his strength did fail, and his limbs did tire.

"And wae betide ye, Annan water, This night that ye are a drumlie river! For over thee I'll build a bridge, That ye never more true love may sever."—

Ballad: The Elphin Nourrice

(C. K. Sharpe.)

I heard a cow low, a bonnie cow low, An' a cow low down in yon glen; Lang, lang will my young son greet, Or his mither bid him come ben.

I heard a cow low, a bonnie cow low, An' a cow low down in yon fauld; Lang, lang will my young son greet, Or is mither take him frae cauld.

Waken, Queen of Elfan, An hear your Nourrice moan. O moan ye for your meat, Or moan ye for your fee, Or moan ye for the ither bounties That ladies are wont to gie?

I moan na for my meat, Nor yet for my fee, But I mourn for Christened land— It's there I fain would be.

O nurse my bairn, Nourice, she says, Till he stan' at your knee, An' ye's win hame to Christen land, Whar fain it's ye wad be.

O keep my bairn, Nourice, Till he gang by the hauld, An' ye's win hame to your young son, Ye left in four nights auld.

Ballad: Cospatrick


Cospatrick has sent o'er the faem; Cospatrick brought his ladye hame; And fourscore ships have come her wi', The ladye by the green-wood tree.

There were twal' and twal' wi' baken bread, And twal' and twal' wi' gowd sae red, And twal' and twal' wi' bouted flour, And twal' and twal' wi' the paramour.

Sweet Willy was a widow's son, And at her stirrup he did run; And she was clad in the finest pall, But aye she loot the tears down fall.

"O is your saddle set awrye? Or rides your steed for you owre high? Or are you mourning, in your tide, That you suld be Cospatrick's bride?"

"I am not mourning, at this tide, That I suld he Cospatrick's bride; But I am sorrowing in my mood, That I suld leave my mother good."

"But, gentle boy, come tell to me, What is the custom of thy countrie?" "The custom thereof, my dame," he says, "Will ill a gentle ladye please.

"Seven king's daughters has our lord wedded, And seven king's daughters has our lord bedded; But he's cutted their breasts frae their breast-bane, And sent them mourning hame again.

"Yet, gin you're sure that you're a maid, Ye may gae safely to his bed; But gif o' that ye be na sure, Then hire some damsel o' your bour."

The ladye's called her bour-maiden, That waiting was unto her train. "Five thousand marks I'll gie to thee, To sleep this night with my lord for me."

When bells were rung, and mass was sayne, And a' men unto bed were gane, Cospatrick and the bonny maid, Into ae chamber they were laid.

"Now speak to me, blankets, and speak to me, bed, And speak, thou sheet, enchanted web; And speak, my sword, that winna lie, Is this a true maiden that lies by me?"

"It is not a maid that you hae wedded, But it is a maid that you hae bedded; It is a leal maiden that lies by thee, But not the maiden that it should be."

O wrathfully he left the bed, And wrathfully his claes on did; And he has ta'en him through the ha', And on his mother he did ca'.

"I am the most unhappy man, That ever was in Christen land? I courted a maiden, meik and mild, And I hae gotten naething but a woman wi' child."

"O stay, my son, into this ha', And sport ye wi' your merry men a'; And I will to the secret bour, To see how it fares wi' your paramour."

The carline she was stark and stare, She aff the hinges dang the dure. "O is your bairn to laird or loun, Or is it to your father's groom?"

"O hear me, mother, on my knee, Till my sad story I tell to thee: O we were sisters, sisters seven, We were the fairest under heaven.

"It fell on a summer's afternoon, When a' our toilsome work was done, We coost the kevils us amang, To see which suld to the green-wood gang.

"Ohon! alas, for I was youngest, And aye my weird it was the strongest! The kevil it on me did fa', Whilk was the cause of a' my woe.

"For to the green-wood I maun gae, To pu' the red rose and the slae; To pu' the red rose and the thyme, To deck my mother's bour and mine.

"I hadna pu'd a flower but ane, When by there came a gallant hinde, Wi' high colled hose and laigh colled shoon, And he seemed to be some king's son.

"And be I maid, or be I nae, He kept me there till the close o' day; And be I maid, or be I nane, He kept me there till the day was done.

"He gae me a lock o' his yellow hair, And bade me keep it ever mair; He gae me a carknet o' bonny beads, And bade me keep it against my needs.

"He gae to me a gay gold ring, And bade me keep it abune a' thing." "What did ye wi' the tokens rare, That ye gat frae that gallant there?"

"O bring that coffer unto me, And a' the tokens ye sall see." "Now stay, daughter, your bour within, While I gae parley wi' my son."

O she has ta'en her thro' the ha', And on her son began to ca': "What did ye wi' the bonny beads, I bade ye keep against your needs?

"What did you wi' the gay gold ring, I bade you keep abune a' thing?" "I gae them to a ladye gay, I met in green-wood on a day.

"But I wad gie a' my halls and tours, I had that ladye within my bours, But I wad gie my very life, I had that ladye to my wife."

"Now keep, my son, your ha's and tours; Ye have that bright burd in your bours; And keep, my son, your very life; Ye have that ladye to your wife."

Now, or a month was come and gane, The ladye bore a bonny son; And 'twas written on his breast-bane, "Cospatrick is my father's name."

Ballad: Johnnie Armstrang

Some speak of lords, some speak of lairds, And sic like men of high degree; Of a gentleman I sing a sang, Some time call'd Laird of Gilnockie.

The king he writes a loving letter, With his ain hand sae tenderlie, And he hath sent it to Johnnie Armstrang, To come and speak with him speedilie.

The Elliots and Armstrangs did convene, They were a gallant companie: "We'll ride and meet our lawful king, And bring him safe to Gilnockie.

"Make kinnen {3} and capon ready, then, And venison in great plentie; We'll welcome here our royal king; I hope he'll dine at Gilnockie!"

They ran their horse on the Langholm howm, And brake their spears with meikle main; The ladies lookit frae their loft windows— "God bring our men weel hame again!"

When Johnnie came before the king, With all his men sae brave to see, The king he moved his bonnet to him; He ween'd he was a king as well as he.

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

"Away, away, thou traitor strang! Out of my sight soon may'st thou be! I granted never a traitor's life, And now I'll not begin with thee."

"Grant me my life, my liege, my king! And a bonnie gift I'll gi'e to thee; Full four-and-twenty milk-white steeds, Were all foal'd in ae year to me.

"I'll gi'e thee all these milk-white steeds, That prance and nicher {4} at a spear; And as meikle gude Inglish gilt, {5} As four of their braid backs dow {6} bear."

"Away, away, thou traitor strang! Out of my sight soon may'st thou be! I granted never a traitor's life, And now I'll not begin with thee."

"Grant me my life, my liege, my king! And a bonnie gift I'll gi'e to thee: Gude four-and-twenty ganging {7} mills, That gang thro' all the year to me.

"These four-and-twenty mills complete, Shall gang for thee thro' all the year; And as meikle of gude red wheat, As all their happers dow to bear."

"Away, away, thou traitor strang! Out of my sight soon may'st thou be! I granted never a traitor's life, And now I'll not begin with thee."

"Grant me my life, my liege, my king! And a great gift I'll gi'e to thee: Bauld four-and-twenty sisters' sons Shall for thee fecht, tho' all shou'd flee."

"Away, away, thou traitor strang! Out of my sight soon may'st thou be! I granted never a traitor's life, And now I'll not begin with thee."

"Grant me my life, my liege, my king! And a brave gift I'll gi'e to thee: All between here and Newcastle town Shall pay their yearly rent to thee."

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