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Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II (of 3) by Walter Scott

Part 5 out of 6

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An edition of this ballad is current, under the title of "The Laird of
Ochiltree;" but the editor, since publication of this work, has been
fortunate enough to recover the following more correct and ancient copy,
as recited by a gentleman residing near Biggar. It agrees more nearly,
both in the name and in the circumstances, with the real fact, than the
printed ballad of Ochiltree.

In the year 1592, Francis Stuart, earl of Bothwell, was agitating his
frantic and ill-concerted attempts against the person of James VI.,
whom he endeavoured to surprise in the palace of Falkland. Through the
emulation and private rancour of the courtiers, he found adherents even
about the king's person; among whom, it seems, was the hero of our
ballad, whose history is thus narrated in that curious and valuable
chronicle, of which the first part has been published under the title
of "The Historie of "King James the Sext," and the second is now in the

"In this close tyme it fortunit, that a gentelman, callit Weymis of
Logye, being also in credence at court, was delatit as a traffekker with
Frances Erle Bothwell; and he being examinat before king and counsall,
confessit his accusation to be of veritie, that sundrie tymes he had
spokin with him, expresslie aganis the king's inhibitioun proclamit in
the contrare, whilk confession he subscryvit with his hand; and because
the event of this mater had sik a succes, it sall also be praysit be
my pen, as a worthie turne, proceiding frome honest chest loove and
charitie, whilk suld on na wayis be obscurit from the posteritie for the
gude example; and therefore I have thought gude to insert the same for a
perpetual memorie.

"Queen Anne, our noble princess, was servit with dyverss gentilwemen
of hir awin cuntrie, and naymelie with are callit Mres Margaret
Twynstoun,[A] to whome this gentilman, Weymes of Logye, bure great
honest affection, tending to the godlie band of marriage, the whilk was
honestlie requytet be the said gentilwoman, yea evin in his greatest
mister; for howsone she understude the said gentilman to be in distress,
and apperantlie be his confession to be puueist to the death, and she
having prevelege to ly in the queynis chalmer that same verie night of
his accusation, whare the king was also reposing that same night, she
came forth of the dur prevelie, bayth the prencis being then at quyet
rest, and past to the chalmer, whare the said gentilman was put
in custodie to certayne of the garde, and commandit thayme that
immediatelie he sould be broght to the king and queyne, whareunto thay
geving sure credence, obeyit. Bot howsone she was cum bak to the chalmer
dur, she desyrit the watches to stay till he sould cum furth agayne, and
so she closit the dur, and convoyit the gentilman to a windo', whare she
ministrat a long corde unto him to convoy himself doun upon; and sa,
be hir gude cheritable help, he happelie escapit be the subteltie of

[Footnote A: Twynelace, according to Spottiswoode.]


I will sing, if ye will hearken,
If ye will hearken unto me;
The king has ta'en a poor prisoner,
The wanton laird o' young Logie.

Young Logie's laid in Edinburgh chapel;
Carmichael's the keeper o' the key;
And may Margaret's lamenting sair,
A' for the love of young Logie.

"Lament, lament na, may Margaret,
"And of your weeping let me be;
"For ye maun to the king himsell,
"To seek the life of young Logie."

May Margaret has kilted her green cleiding,
And she has curl'd back her yellow hair--
"If I canna get young Logie's life,
"Fareweel to Scotland for evermair."

When she came before the king,
She knelit lowly on her knee--
"O what's the matter, may Margaret?
"And what needs a' this courtesie?"

"A boon, a boon, my noble liege,
"A boon, a boon, I beg o' thee!
"And the first boon that I come to crave,
"Is to grant me the life of young Logic."

"O na, O na, may Margaret,
"Forsooth, and so it manna be;
"For a' the gowd o' fair Scotland
"Shall not save the life of young Logie."

But she has stown the king's redding kaim,[A]
Likewise the queen her wedding knife;
And sent the tokens to Carmichael,
To cause young Logic get his life.

She sent him a purse o' the red gowd,
Another o' the white monie;
She sent him a pistol for each hand,
And bade him shoot when he gat free.

When he came to the tolbooth stair,
There he let his volley flee;
It made the king in his chamber start,
E'en in the bed where he might be.

"Gae out, gae out, my merrymen a',
"And bid Carmichael come speak to me;
"For I'll lay my life the pledge o' that,
"That yon's the shot o' young Logie."

When Carmichael came before the king,
He fell low down upon his knee;
The very first word that the king spake,
Was--"Where's the laird of young Logie?"

Carmichael turn'd him round about,
(I wot the tear blinded his eye)
"There came a token frae your grace,
"Has ta'en away the laird frae me."

"Hast thou play'd me that, Carmichael?"
"And hast thou play'd me that?" quoth he;
"The morn the justice court's to stand,
"And Logic's place ye maun supply."

Carmichael's awa to Margaret's bower,
Even as fast as he may drie--
"O if young Logie be within,
"Tell him to come and speak with me!"

May Margaret turned her round about,
(I wot a loud laugh laughed she)
"The egg is chipped, the bird is flown,
"Ye'll see na mair of young Logie."

The tane is shipped at the pier of Leith,
The tother at the Queen's Ferrie;
And she's gotten a father to her bairn,
The wanton laird of young Logie.

[Footnote A: _Redding kain_--Comb for the hair.]


_Carmichael's the keeper o' the key._--P. 344. v. 2.

Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael, the hero of the ballad, called the
Raid of the Reidswair, was appointed captain of the king's guard in
1588, and usually had the keeping of state criminals of rank.


This is a sort of charm, sung by the lower ranks of Roman Catholics, in
some parts of the north of England, while watching a dead body, previous
to interment. The tune is doleful and monotonous, and, joined to the
mysterious import of the words, has a solemn effect. The word _sleet_,
in the chorus, seems to be corrupted from _selt_, or salt; a quantity of
which, in compliance with a popular superstition, is frequently placed
on the breast of a corpse.

The mythologic ideas of the dirge are common to various creeds. The
Mahometan believes, that, in advancing to the final judgment seat, he
must traverse a bar of red-hot iron, stretched across a bottomless
gulph. The good works of each true believer, assuming a substantial
form, will then interpose betwixt his feet and this _"Bridge of Dread;"_
but the wicked, having no such protection, must fall headlong into the
abyss.--D'HERBELOT, _Bibiotheque Orientale_.

Passages, similar to this dirge, are also to be found in _Lady Culross's
Dream_, as quoted in the second Dissertation prefixed by Mr Pinkerton
to his _Select Scottish Ballads_, 2 vols. The dreamer journeys towards
heaven, accompanied and assisted by a celestial guide:

Through dreadful dens, which made my heart aghast,
He bare me up when I began to tire.
Sometimes we clamb o'er craggy mountains high.
And sometimes stay'd on uglie braes of sand:
They were so stay that wonder was to see;
But, when I fear'd, he held me by the hand.
Through great deserts we wandered on our way--
Forward we passed on narrow bridge of trie,
O'er waters great, which hediously did roar.

Again, she supposes herself suspended over an infernal gulph:

Ere I was ware, one gripped me at the last,
And held me high above a naming fire.
The fire was great; the heat did pierce me sore;
My faith grew weak.; my grip was very small;
I trembled fast; my fear grew more and more.

A horrible picture of the same kind, dictated probably by the author's
unhappy state of mind, is to be found in Brooke's _Fool of Quality_. The
dreamer, a ruined female, is suspended over the gulph of perdition by
a single hair, which is severed by a demon, who, in the form of her
seducer springs upwards from the flames.

The Russian funeral service, without any allegorical imagery, expresses
the sentiment of the dirge in language alike simple and noble.

"Hast thou pitied the afflicted, O man? In death shalt thou be pitied.
Hast thou consoled the orphan? The orphan will deliver thee.
Hast thou clothed the naked? The naked will procure thee
protection."--RICHARDSON'S _Anecdotes of Russia._

But the most minute description of the _Brig o' Dread_, occurs in the
legend of _Sir Owain_, No. XL. in the MS. Collection of Romances, W.
4.1. Advocates' Library, Edinburgh; though its position is not the same
as in the dirge, which may excite a suspicion that the order of the
stanzas in the latter has been transposed. Sir Owain, a Northumbrian
knight, after many frightful adventures in St Patrick's purgatory, at
last arrives at the bridge, which, in the legend, is placed betwixt
purgatory and paradise:

The fendes han the knight ynome,
To a stinkand water thai ben ycome,
He no seigh never er non swiche;
It stank fouler than ani hounde.
And maui mile it was to the grounde.
And was as swart as piche.

And Owain seigh ther ouer ligge
A swithe strong naru brigge:
The fendes seyd tho;
"Lo! sir knight, sestow this?
"This is the brigge of paradis,
"Here ouer thou must go.

"And we the schul with stones prowe,
"And the winde the schul ouer blow,
"And wirche the full wo;
"Thou no schalt tor all this unduerd,
"Bot gif thou falle a midwerd,
"To our fewes[A] mo.

"And when thou art adown yfalle,
"Than schal com our felawes alle,
"And with her hokes the hede;
"We schul the teche a newe play:
"Thou hast served ous mani a day,
"And into helle the lede."

Owain biheld the brigge smert,
The water ther under blac and swert,
And sore him gan to drede:
For of othing he tok yeme,
Never mot, in sonne beme,
Thicker than the fendes yede.

The brigge was as heigh as a tour,
And as scharpe as a rasour,
And naru it was also;
And the water that ther ran under,
Brend o' lighting and of thonder,
That thoght him michel wo.

Ther nis no clerk may write with ynke,
No no man no may bithink,
No no maister deuine;
That is ymade forsoth ywis.
Under the brigge of paradis,
Halvendel the pine.

So the dominical ous telle,
That is the pure entrae of helle,
Seine Poule berth witnesse;[A]
Whoso falleth of the brigge adown,
Of him nis no redempcioun,
Noither more nor lesse.

The fendes seyd to the knight tho,
"Ouer this brigge might thou nowght go,
"For noneskines nede;
"Fle peril sorwe and wo,
"And to that stede ther thou com fro,
"Wel fair we schul the lede."

Owain anon be gan bithenche,
Fram hou mani of the fendes wrenche,
God him saved hadde;
He sett his fot opon the brigge,
No feld he no scharpe egge,
No nothing him no drad.

When the fendes yseigh tho,
That he was more than half ygo,
Loude thai gun to crie;
"Alias! alias! that he was born!
"This ich night we have forlorn
"Out of our baylie."

[Footnote A: _Fewes_--Probably contracted for fellows.]

[Footnote B: The reader will probably search St Paul in vain, for the
evidence here referred to.]

The author of the _Legend of Sir Owain_, though a zealous catholic, has
embraced, in the fullest extent, the Talmudic doctrine of an earthly
paradise, distinct from the celestial abode of the just, and serving as
a place of initiation, preparatory to perfect bliss, and to the beatific
vision.--See the Rabbi Menasse ben Israel, in a treatise called
_Nishmath Chajim_, i.e. The Breath of Life.



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

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

The hero of the ballad was a knight of great bravery, called Scott,
who is said to have resided at Kirkhope, or Oakwood castle, and is, in
tradition, termed the Baron of Oakwood. The estate of Kirkhope belonged
anciently to the Scotts of Harden: Oakwood is still their property,
and has been so from time immemorial. The editor was therefore led to
suppose, that the hero of the ballad might have been identified with
John Scott, sixth son of the laird of Harden, murdered in Ettrick
Forest by his kinsmen, the Scotts of Gilmanscleugh (see notes to _Jamie
Telfer_, Vol. I. p. 152). This appeared the more probable, as the common
people always affirm, that this young man was treacherously slain, and
that, in evidence thereof, his body remained uncorrupted for many years;
so that even the roses on his shoes seemed as fresh as when he was first
laid in the family vault at Hassendean. But from a passage in Nisbet's
Heraldry, he now believes the ballad refers to a duel fought at
Deucharswyre, of which Annan's Treat is a part, betwixt John Scott of
Tushielaw and his brother-in-law Walter Scott, third son of Robert of
Thirlestane, in which the latter was slain.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Late at e'en, drinking the wine,
And ere they paid the lawing,
They set a combat them between,
To fight it in the dawing.

"O stay at hame, my noble lord!
"O stay at hame, my marrow!
"My cruel brother will you betray
"On the dowie houms of Yarrow."

"O fare ye weel, my ladye gaye!
"O fare ye weel, my Sarah!
"For I maun gae, though I ne'er return,
"Frae the dowie banks o' Yarrow.

She kissed his cheek, she kaimed his hair,
As oft she had done before, O;
She belted him with his noble brand,
And he's awa' to Yarrow.

As he gaed up the Tennies bank,
I wot he gaed wi' sorrow,
Till, down in a den, he spied nine arm'd men,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.

"O come ye here to part your land,
"The bonnie forest thorough?
"Or come ye here to wield your brand,
"On the dowie houms of Yarrow?"

"I come not here to part my land,
"And neither to beg nor borrow;
"I come to wield my noble brand,
"On the bonnie banks of Yarrow.

"If I see all, ye're nine to ane;
"And that's an unequal marrow;
"Yet will I fight, while lasts my brand,
"On the bonnie banks of Yarrow."

Four has he hurt, and five has slain,
On the bloody braes of Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,
And ran his bodie thorough.

"Gae hame, gae hame, good-brother[A] John,
"And tell your sister Sarah,
"To come and lift her leafu' lord;
"He's sleepin sound on Yarrow."----

"Yestreen I dream'd a dolefu' dream;
"I fear there will be sorrow!
"I dream'd, I pu'd the heather green,
"Wi' my true love, on Yarrow.

"O gentle wind, that bloweth south,
"From where my love repaireth,
"Convey a kiss from his dear mouth,
"And tell me how he fareth!

"But in the glen strive armed men;
"They've wrought me dole and sorrow;
"They've slain--the comeliest knight they've slain--
"He bleeding lies on Yarrow."

As she sped down yon high high hill,
She gaed wi' dole and sorrow,
And in the den spyed ten slain men,
On the dowie banks of Yarrow.

She kissed his cheek, she kaim'd his hair,
She search'd his wounds all thorough;
She kiss'd them, till her lips grew red,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.

"Now, haud your tongue, my daughter dear!
"For a' this breeds but sorrow;
"I'll wed ye to a better lord,
"Than him ye lost on Yarrow."

"O haud your tongue, my father dear!
"Ye mind me but of sorrow;
"A fairer rose did never bloom
"Than now lies cropp'd on Yarrow."

[Footnote A: _Good-brother_--Beau-frere, Brother-in-law.]



_This Ballad is published, partly from one, under this title, in Mrs_
BROWN'S _Collection, and partly from a MS. of some antiquity,_ penes
Edit.--_The stanzas appearing to possess mo st merit have been selected
from each copy._

"O waly, waly, my gay goss hawk,
"Gin your feathering be sheen!"
"And waly, waly, my master dear,
"Gin ye look pale and lean!

"O have ye tint, at tournament,
"Your sword, or yet your spear?
"Or mourn ye for the southern lass,
"Whom you may not win near?"

"I have not tint, at tournament,
"My sword, nor yet my spear;
"But sair I mourn for my true love,
"Wi' mony a bitter tear.

"But weel's me on ye, my gay goss hawk,
"Ye can baith speak and flee;
"Ye sall carry a letter to my love,
"Bring an answer back to me."

"But how sall I your true love find,
"Or how suld I her know?
"I bear a tongue ne'er wi' her spake,
"An eye that ne'er her saw."

"O weel sall ye my true love ken,
"Sae sune as ye her see;
"For, of a' the flowers of fair England,
"The fairest flower is she.

"The red, that's on my true love's cheik,
"Is like blood drops on the snaw;
"The white, that is on her breast bare,
"Like the down o' the white sea-maw.

"And even at my love's bour door
"There grows a flowering birk;
"And ye maun sit and sing thereon
"As she gangs to the kirk.

"And four-and-twenty fair ladyes
"Will to the mass repair;
"But weel may ye my ladye ken,
"The fairest ladye there."

Lord William has written a love letter,
Put it under his pinion gray;
And he is awa' to Southern land
As fast as wings can gae.

And even at that ladye's bour
There grew a flowering birk;
And he sat down and sang thereon
As she gaed to the kirk.

And weel he kent that ladye fair
Amang her maidens free;
For the flower, that springs in May morning,
Was not sae sweet as she.

He lighted at the ladye's yate,
And sat him on a pin;
And sang fu' sweet the notes o' love,
Till a' was cosh[A] within.

And first he sang a low low note,
And syne he sang a clear;
And aye the o'erword o' the sang
Was--"Your love can no win here."

"Feast on, feast on, my maidens a':
"The wine flows you amang:
"While I gang to my shot-window,
"And hear yon bonny bird's sang.

"Sing on, sing on, my bonny bird,
"The sang ye sung yestreen;
"For weel I ken, by your sweet singing,
"Ye are frae my true love sen'."

O first he sang a merry sang,
And syne he sang a grave;
And syne he peck'd his feathers gray,
To her the letter gave.

"Have there a letter from Lord William;
"He says he's sent ye three:
"He canna wait your love langer,
"But for your sake he'll die."

"Gae bid him bake his bridal bread,
"And brew his bridal ale;
"And I sall meet him at Mary's kirk
"Lang, lang ere it be stale."

The ladye's gane to her chamber,
And a moanfu' woman was she;
As gin she had ta'en a sudden brash,[B]
And were about to die.

"A boon, a boon, my father deir,
"A boon I beg of thee!"
"Ask not that paughty Scottish lord,
"For him you ne'er shall see.

"But, for your honest asking else,
"Wee! granted it shall be."
"Then, gin I die in Southern land,
"In Scotland gar bury me.

"And the first kirk that ye come to,
"Ye's gar the mass be sung;
"And the next kirk that ye come to,
"Ye's gar the bells be rung.

"And, when ye come to St Mary's kirk,
"Ye's tarry there till night."
And so her father pledged his word,
And so his promise plight.

She has ta'en her to her bigly bour
As fast as she could fare;
And she has drank a sleepy draught,
That she had mixed wi' care.

And pale, pale grew her rosy cheek,
That was sae bright of blee,
And she seemed to be as surely dead
As any one could be.

Then spak her cruel step-minnie,
"Take ye the burning lead,
"And drap a drap on her bosome,
"To try if she be dead."

They took a drap o' boiling lead,
They drap'd it on her breast;
"Alas! alas!" her father cried,
"She's dead without the priest."

She neither chatter'd with her teeth,
Nor shiver'd with her chin;
"Alas! alas!" her father cried,
"There is nae breath within."

Then up arose her seven brethren,
And hew'd to her a bier;
They hew'd it frae the solid aik,
Laid it o'er wi' silver clear.

Then up and gat her seven sisters,
And sewed to her a kell;
And every steek that they pat in
Sewed to a siller bell.

The first Scots kirk that they cam to,
They gar'd the bells be rung;
The next Scots kirk that they cam to,
They gar'd the mass be sung.

But when they cam to St Mary's kirk,
There stude spearmen, all on a raw;
And up and started Lord William,
The chieftane amang them a'.

"Set down, set down the bier," he said;
"Let me looke her upon:"
But as soon as Lord William touched her hand,
Her colour began to come.

She brightened like the lily flower,
Till her pale colour was gone;
With rosy cheik, and ruby lip,
She smiled her love upon.

"A morsel of your bread, my lord,
"And one glass of your wine:
"For I hae fasted these three lang days,
"All for your sake and mine.

"Gae hame, gae hame, my seven bauld brothers!
"Gae hame and blaw your horn!
"I trow you wad hae gien me the skaith,
"But I've gien you the scorn.

"Commend me to my grey father,
"That wish'd, my saul gude rest;
"But wae be to my cruel step-dame,
"Gar'd burn me on the breast."

"Ah! woe to you, you light woman!
"An ill death may you die!
"For we left father and sisters at hame
"Breaking their hearts for thee."

[Footnote A: _Cosh_--Quiet.]

[Footnote B: _Brash_--Sickness.]


_The red, that's on my true love's cheik,
Is like blood drops on the snaw._--P. 362. v, 5.

This simile resembles a passage in a MS. translation of an Irish Fairy
tale, called _The Adventures of Faravla, Princess of Scotland, and
Carral O'Daly, Son of Donogho More O'Daly, Chief Bard of Ireland._

"Faravla, as she entered her bower, cast her looks upon the earth, which
was tinged with the blood of a bird which a raven had newly killed;
'Like that snow,' said Faravla, 'was the complexion of my beloved, his
cheeks like the sanguine traces thereon; whilst the raven recals to my
memory the colour of his beautiful locks."

There is also some resemblance, in the conduct of the story, betwixt the
ballad and the tale just quoted. The Princess Faravla, being desperately
in love with Carral O'Daly, dispatches in search of him a faithful
confidant, who, by her magical art, transforms herself into a hawk, and,
perching upon the windows of the bard, conveys to him information of the
distress of the princess of Scotland.

In the ancient romance of _Sir Tristrem_, the simile of the "blood drops
upon snow" likewise occurs:

A bride bright thai ches
As blod open snoweing.


_There is a copy of this Ballad in Mrs_ BROWN'S _Collection. The Editor
has seen one, printed on a single sheet. The epithet, "Smith," implies,
probably, the sirname, not the profession, of the hero, who seems to
have been an outlaw There is, however, in Mrs_ BROWN'S _copy, a verse
of little merit here omitted, alluding to the implements of that

O wha wad wish the wind to blaw,
Or the green leaves fa' therewith?
Or wha wad, wish a lealer love
Than Brown Adam the smith?

But they hae banished him, Brown Adam,
Frae father and frae mother;
And they hae banished him, Brown Adam,
Frae sister and frae brother.

And they hae banished him, Brown Adam,
The flower o' a' his kin;
And he's bigged a hour in gude green-wood
Atween his ladye and him.

It fell upon a summer's day,
Brown Adam he thought lang;
And, for to hunt some venison,
To green-wood he wald gang.

He has ta'en his bow his arm o'er,
His bolts and arrows lang;
And he is to the gude green-wood
As fast as he could gang.

O he's shot up, and he's shot down,
The bird upon the brier;
And he's sent it hame to his ladye,
Bade her be of gude cheir.

O he's shot up, and he's shot down,
The bird upon the thorn;
And sent it hame to his ladye,
Said he'd be hame the morn.

When he cam to his ladye's bour door
He stude a little forbye,
And there he heard a fou fause knight
Tempting his gay ladye.

For he's ta'en out a gay goud ring,
Had cost him mony a poun',
"O grant me love for love, ladye,
"And this shall be thy own."

"I lo'e Brown Adam weel," she said;
"I trew sae does he me:
"I wadna gie Brown Adam's love
"For nae fause knight I see."

Out has he ta'en a purse o' gowd,
Was a' fou to the string,
"O grant me love for love, ladye,
"And a' this shall be thine."

"I lo'e Brown Adam weel," she says;
"I wot sae does he me:
"I wad na be your light leman
"For mair than ye could gie."

Then out he drew his lang bright brand,
And flashed it in her een;
"Now grant me love for love, ladye,
"Or thro' ye this sall gang!"
Then, sighing, says that ladye fair,
"Brown Adam tarries lang!"

Then in and starts him Brown Adam,
Says--"I'm just at your hand."
He's gar'd him leave his bonny bow,
He's gar'd him leave his brand,
He's gar'd him leave a dearer pledge--
Four fingers o' his right hand.



This ballad is published from tradition, with some conjectural
emendations. It is corrected by a copy in Mrs Brown's MS., from which
it differs in the concluding stanzas. Some verses are apparently

_Jellon_ seems to be the same name with _Jyllian_ or _Julian_. "Jyl of
Brentford's Testament" is mentioned in Warton's _History of Poetry,-
Vol. II. p. 40. The name repeatedly occurs in old ballads, sometimes as
that of a man, at other times as that of a woman. Of the former is
an instance in the ballad of _"Knight and the Shepherd's
Daughter,"--Reliques of Ancient Poetry,_ Vol. III. p. 72.

Some do call me Jack, sweetheart.
And some do call me _Jille_.

Witton Gilbert, a village four miles west of Durham, is, throughout the
bishopric, pronounced Witton Jilbert. We have also the common name of
Giles, always in Scotland pronounced Jill. For Gille, or Julianna, as
a female name, we have _Fair Gillian_ of Croyden, and a thousand
authorities. Such being the case, the editor must enter his protest
against the conversion of Gil Morrice, into child Maurice, an epithet
of chivalry. All the circumstances in that ballad argue, that the
unfortunate hero was an obscure and very young man, who had never
received the honour of knighthood. At any rate, there can be no reason,
even were internal evidence totally wanting, for altering a well known
proper name, which, till of late years, has been the uniform title of
the ballad.


O JELLON GRAME sat in Silverwood,[A]
He sharped his broad sword lang;
And he has call'd his little foot page
An errand for to gang.

"Win up, my bonny boy," he says,
"As quickly as ye may;
"For ye maun gang for Lillie Flower
"Before the break of day."

The boy has buckled his belt about,
And thro' the green-wood ran;
And he cam to the ladye's bower
Before the day did dawn.

"O sleep ye, wake ye, Lillie Flower?
"The red sun's on the rain:
"Ye're bidden come to Silverwood,
"But I doubt ye'll never win hame."

She hadna ridden a mile, a mile,
A mile but barely three,
Ere she cam to a new made grave,
Beneath a green aik tree.

O then up started Jellon Grame,
Out of a bush thereby;
"Light down, light down, now, Lillie Flower,
"For its here that ye maun lye."

She lighted aff her milk-white steed,
And kneel'd upon her knee;
"O mercy, mercy, Jellon Grame,
"For I'm no prepared to die!

"Your bairn, that stirs between my sides,
"Maun shortly see the light;
"But to see it weltering in my blood,
"Would be a piteous sight."

"O should I spare your life," he says,
"Until that bairn were born,
"Full weel I ken your auld father
"Would hang me on the morn."

"O spare my life, now, Jellon Grame!
"My father ye need na dread:
"I'll keep my babe in gude green-wood,
"Or wi' it I'll beg my bread."

He took no pity on Lillie Flower,
Tho' she for life did pray;
But pierced her thro' the fair body
As at his feet she lay.

He felt nae pity for Lillie Flower,
Where she was lying dead;
But he felt some for the bonny bairn,
That lay weltering in her bluid.

Up has he ta'en that bonny boy,
Given him to nurses nine;
Three to sleep, and three to wake,
And three to go between.

And he bred up that bonny boy,
Called him his sister's son;
And he thought no eye could ever see
The deed that he had done.

O so it fell, upon a day,
When hunting they might be,
They rested them in Silverwood,
Beneath that green aik tree.

And mony were the green-wood flowers
Upon the grave that grew,
And marvell'd much that bonny boy
To see their lovely hue.

"What's paler than the prymrose wan?
"What's redder than the rose?
"What's fairer than the lilye flower
"On this wee know[B] that grows?"

O out and answered Jellon Grame,
And he spak hastelie--
"Your mother was a fairer flower,
"And lies beneath this tree.

"More pale she was, when she sought my grace,
"Than prymrose pale and wan;
"And redder than rose her ruddy heart's blood,
"That down my broad sword ran."

Wi' that the boy has bent his bow,
It was baith stout and lang;
And thro' and thro' him, Jellon Grame,
He gar'd an arrow gang.

Says--"Lie ye there, now, Jellon Grame!
"My malisoun gang you wi'!
"The place my mother lies buried in
"Is far too good for thee."

[Footnote A: Silverwood, mentioned in this ballad, occurs in a medley
MS song, which seems to have been copied from the first edition of the
Aberdeen caurus, _penes_ John G. Dalyell, esq. advocate. One line only
is cited, apparently the beginning of some song:

Silverwood, gin ye were mine.]

[Footnote B: _Wee know_--Little hillock.]




Mr Lewis, in his _Tales of Wonder_, has presented the public with a copy
of this ballad, with additions and alterations. The editor has also seen
a copy, containing some modern stanzas, intended by Mr Jamieson, of
Macclesfield, for publication in his Collection of Scottish Poetry. Yet,
under these disadvantages, the editor cannot relinquish his purpose of
publishing the old ballad, in its native simplicity, as taken from Mrs
Brown of Faulkland's MS.

Those, who wish to know how an incantation, or charm, of the distressing
nature here described, was performed in classic days, may consult the
story of Galanthis's Metamorphosis, in Ovid, or the following passage in
Apuleius: _"Eadem (Saga scilicet quaedam), amatoris uxorem, quod in sibi
dicacule probrum dixerat, jam in sarcinam praegnationis, obsepto utero,
et repigrato faetu, perpetua praegnatione damnavit. Et ut cuncti
numerant, octo annorum onere, misella illa, velut elephantum paritura,
distenditur."_--APUL. Metam. lib. 1.

There is also a curious tale about a count of Westeravia, whom a
deserted concubine bewitched upon his marriage, so as to preclude all
hopes of his becoming a father. The spell continued to operate for
three years, till one day, the count happening to meet with his former
mistress, she maliciously asked him about the increase of his family.
The count, conceiving some suspicion from her manner, craftily answered,
that God had blessed him with three fine children; on which she
exclaimed, like Willie's mother in the ballad, "May Heaven confound
the old hag, by whose counsel I threw an enchanted pitcher into the
draw-well of your palace!" The spell being found, and destroyed, the
count became the father of a numerous family.--_Hierarchie of the
Blessed Angels,_ p. 474.


Willie's ta'en him o'er the faem,[A]
He's wooed a wife, and brought her hame;
He's wooed her for her yellow hair,
But his mother wrought her meikle care;

And meikle dolour gar'd her drie,
For lighter she can never be;
But in her bower she sits wi' pain,
And Willie mourns o'er her in vain.

And to his mother he has gane,
That vile rank witch, o' vilest kind!
He says--"My ladie has a cup,
Wi' gowd and silver set about,
This gudely gift sall be your ain,
And let her be lighter o' her young bairn."

"Of her young bairn she's never be lighter,
"Nor in her bour to shine the brighter;
"But she sall die, and turn to clay,
"And you shall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
"Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
"I wish my life were at an end!"

"Yet gae ye to your mother again,
"That vile rank witch, o' vilest kind!
"And say, your ladye has a steed,
"The like o' him's no in the land o' Leed.[B]

"For he is silver shod before,
"And he is gowden shod behind;
"At every tuft of that horse mane,
"There's a golden chess[C], and a bell to ring.
"This gudely gift sall be her ain,
"And let me be lighter o' my young bairn."

"Of her young bairn she's ne'er be lighter,
"Nor in her bour to shine the brighter;
"But she sall die, and turn to clay,
"And ye sall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
"Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
"I wish my life were at an end!"

"Yet gae ye to your mother again,
"That vile rank witch, o' rankest kind!
"And say, your ladye has a girdle,
"It is a' red gowd to the middle;

"And aye, at ilka siller hem
"Hang fifty siller bells and ten;
"This gudely gift sall be her ain,
"And let me be lighter o' my young bairn."

"Of her young bairn she's ne'er be lighter,
"Nor in your bour to shine the brighter;
"For she sall die, and turn to clay,
"And thou sall wed another may."

"Another may I'll never wed,
"Another may I'll never bring hame."
But, sighing, said that weary wight--
"I wish my days were at an end!"

Then out and spak the Billy Blind,[D]
(He spak ay in a gude time:)
"Yet gae ye to the market-place,
"And there do buy a loaf of wace;[E]
"Do shape it bairn and bairnly like,
"And in it twa glassen een you'll put;

"And bid her your boy's christening to,
"Then notice weel what she shall do;
"And do ye stand a little away,
"To notice weel what she may saye.

* * * * *

[_A stanza seems to be wanting. Willie is supposed to follow
the advice of the spirit.--His mother speaks._]

"O wha has loosed the nine witch knots,
"That were amang that ladye's locks?
"And wha's ta'en out the kaims o' care,
"That were amang that ladye's hair?

"And wha has ta'en downe that bush o' woodbine,
"That hung between her bour and mine?
"And wha has kill'd the master kid,
"That ran beneath that ladye's bed?
"And wha has loosed her left foot shee,
"And let that ladye lighter be?"

Syne, Willy's loosed the nine witch knots,
That were amang that ladye's locks;
And Willy's ta'en out the kaims o' care,
That were into that ladye's hair;
And he's ta'en down the bush o' woodbine,
Hung atween her bour and the witch carline;

And he has kill'd the master kid,
That ran beneath that ladye's bed;
And he has loosed her left foot shee,
And latten that ladye lighter be;
And now he has gotten a bonny son,
And meikle grace be him upon.

[Footnote A: _Faem_--The sea foam.]

[Footnote B: _Land o' Leed_--Perhaps Lydia.]

[Footnote C: _Chess_--Should probably be _jess_, the name of a hawk's

[Footnote D: _Billy-Blind_--A familiar genius, or propitious spirit,
somewhat similar to the _Brownie_. He is mentioned repeatedly in Mrs
Brown's Ballads, but I have not met with him any where else, although he
is alluded to in the rustic game of _Bogle_ (i.e. _goblin) Billy-Blind_.
The word is, indeed, used in Sir David Lindsay's plays, but apparently
in a different sense--

"Preists sall leid you like ane _Billy Blinde_."

PINKERTON'S _Scottish Poems_, 1792, Vol. II. p. 232.]

[Footnote E: _Wace_--Wax.]



This romantic ballad is taken from Mr Herd's MSS., with several
corrections from a shorter and more imperfect copy, in the same volume,
and one or two conjectural emendations in the arrangement of the
stanzas. The resemblance of the conclusion to the ballad, beginning,
"There came a ghost to Margaret's door," will strike every reader.--The
tale is uncommonly wild and beautiful, and apparently very ancient.
The custom of the passing bell is still kept up in many villages of
Scotland. The sexton goes through the town, ringing a small bell, and
announcing the death of the departed, and the time of the funeral.--The
three concluding verses have been recovered since the first edition
of this work; and I am informed by the reciter, that it was usual to
separate from the rest, that part of the ballad which follows the death
of the lovers, as belonging to another story. For this, however, there
seems no necessity, as other authorities give the whole as a complete



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 safe your aith,
"Ye never let Clerk Saunders in.

"And take a napkin in your hand,
"And tie up baith your bonny een;
"And you may swear, and safe 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 shining 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[A] 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 een.

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 lown
"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?"[B]

"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 mid-night,
"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, Marg'ret, I'll come for thee."

Its hosen and shoon, and gown alone,
She climbed 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?
"Or 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.

[Footnote A: _Striped_--Thrust.]

[Footnote B: _Traivelling_--Child-birth.]


_Weel set about wi' gillyflowers._--P. 394. v. 5.

From whatever source the popular ideas of heaven be derived, the mention
of gillyflowers is not uncommon. Thus, in the Dead Men's Song--

The fields about this city faire
Were all with roses set;
_Gillyflowers_, and carnations faire,
Which canker could not fret.
RITSON'S _Ancient Songs_, p. 288.

The description, given in the legend of _Sir Owain_, of the terrestrial
paradise, at which the blessed arrive, after passing through purgatory,
omits gillyflowers, though it mentions many others. As the passage is
curious, and the legend has never been published, many persons may not
be displeased to see it extracted--

Fair were her erbers with flowres,
Rose and lili divers colours,
Primrol and parvink;
Mint, feverfoy, and eglenterre
Colombin, and mo ther wer
Than ani man mai bithenke.

It berth erbes of other maner,
Than ani in erth groweth here,
Tho that is lest of priis;
Evermore thai grene springeth,
For winter no somer it no clingeth,
And sweeter than licorice.

_But plait a wand o' bonnie birk_, &c.--P. 396. v. 3.

The custom of binding the new-laid sod of the church-yard with osiers,
or other saplings, prevailed both in England and Scotland, and served to
protect the turf from injury by cattle, or otherwise. It is alluded to
by Gay, in the _What d'ye call it_--

Stay, let me pledge, 'tis my last earthly liquor,
When I am dead you'll bind my grave with _wicker_.

In the _Shepherd's Week_, the same custom is alluded to, and the cause

With _wicker rods_ we fenced her tomb around,
To ward, from man and beast, the hallowed ground,
Lest her new grave the parson's cattle raze,
For both his horse and cow the church-yard graze.
_Fifth Pastoral._



_There are two Ballads in Mr_ HERD'S _MSS. upon the following Story,
in one of which the unfortunate Knight is termed_ YOUNG HUNTIN. _A
Fragment, containing from the sixth to the tenth verse, has been
repeatedly published. The best verses are here selected from both
copies, and some trivial alterations have been adopted from tradition._

"O lady, rock never your young son young,
"One hour langer for me;
"For I have a sweetheart in Garlioch Wells,
"I love far better than thee.

"The very sole o' that ladye's foot
"Than thy face is far mair white."--
"But, nevertheless, now, Erl Richard,
"Ye will bide in ray bower a' night?"

She birled[A] him with the ale and wine,
As they sat down to sup;
A living man he laid him down,
But I wot he ne'er rose up.

Then up and spak the popinjay,
That flew aboun her head;
"Lady! keep weel your green cleiding
"Frae gude Erl Richard's bleid."

"O better I'll keep my green cleiding
"Frae gude Erl Richard's bleid,
"Than thou canst keep thy clattering toung,
"That trattles in thy head."

She has call'd upon her bower maidens,
She has call'd them ane by ane;
"There lies a deid man in my bour:
"I wish that he were gane!"

They hae booted him, and spurred him,
As he was wont to ride;--
A hunting-horn tied round his waist,
A sharp sword by his side;
And they hae had him to the wan water,
For a' men call it Clyde.

Then up and spak the popinjay,
That sat upon the tree--
"What hae ye done wi' Erl Richard?
"Ye were his gay ladye."

"Come down, come down, my bonny bird,
"And sit upon my hand;
"And thou sall hae a cage o' gowd,
"Where thou hast but the wand."

"Awa! awa! ye ill woman:
"Nae cage o' gowd for me;
"As ye hae dune to Erl Richard,
"Sae wad ye do to me."

She hadna cross'd a rigg o' land,
A rigg, but barely ane;
When she met wi' his auld father,
Came riding all alane.

"Where hae ye been, now, ladye fair,
"Where hae ye been sae late?"
"We hae been seeking Erl Richard,
"But him we canna get."

"Erl Richard kens a' the fords in Clyde,
"He'll ride them ane by ane,
"And though the night was ne'er sae mirk,
"Erl Richard will he hame."

O it fell anes, upon a day,
The king was boun' to ride;
And he has mist him, Erl Richard,
Should hae ridden on his right side.

The ladye turn'd her round about,
Wi' meikle mournfu' din--
"It fears me sair o' Clyde water,
"That he is drown'd therein."

"Gar douk, gar douk,"[B] the king he cried,
"Gar douk for gold and fee;
"O wha will douk for Erl Richard's sake,
"Or wha will douk for me?"

They douked in at ae weil-head,[C]
And out ay at the other;
"We can douk nae mair for Erl Richard,
"Although he were our brother."

It fell that, in that ladye's castle,
The king was boun' to bed;
And up and spake the popinjay,
That flew abune his head.

"Leave off your douking on the day,
"And douk upon the night;
"And where that sackless[D] knight lies slain,
"The candles will burn bright."

"O there's a bird within this bower,
"That sings baith sad and sweet;
"O there's a bird within your bower,
"Keeps me frae my night's sleep."

They left the douking on the day,
And douked upon the night;
And, where that sackless knight lay slain,
The candles burned bright.

The deepest pot in a' the linn,
They fand Erl Richard in;
A grene turf tyed across his breast,
To keep that gude lord down.

Then up and spake the king himsell,
When he saw the deadly wound--
"O wha has slain my right-hand man,
"That held my hawk and hound?"

Then up and spake the popinjay,
Says--"What needs a' this din?
"It was his light lemman took his life,
"And hided him in the linn."

She swore her by the grass, sae grene,
Sae did she by the corn,
She had na' seen him, Erl Richard,
Since Moninday at morn.

"Put na the wite on me," she said;
"It was my may Catherine."
Then they hae cut baith fern and thorn,
To burn that maiden in.

It wadna take upon her cheik,
Nor yet upon her chin;
Nor yet upon her yellow hair,
To cleanse the deadly sin.

The maiden touched the clay-cauld corpse,
A drap it never bled;
The ladye laid her hand on him,
And soon the 'ground was red.

Out they hae ta'en her, may Catherine,
And put her mistress in:
The flame tuik fast upon her cheik,
Tuik fast upon her chin,
Tuik fast upon her faire bodye--
She burn'd like hollins green.[E]

[Footnote A: _Birled_--Plied.]

[Footnote B: _Douk_--Dive.]

[Footnote C: _Weil-heid_--Eddy.]

[Footnote D: _Sackless_--Guiltless.]

[Footnote E: _Hollins green_--Green holly.]


_The candles burned bright._--P. 403. v. 4.

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

_The deepest pot in a' the linn._--P. 403. v. 5.

The deep holes, scooped in the rock by the eddies of a river, are called
_pots;_ the motion of the water having there some resemblance to a
boiling cauldron.

_Linn_, means the pool beneath a cataract.

_The maiden touched the clay-cauld corpse,
A drop it never bled._--P. 405. v. I.

This verse, which is restored from tradition, refers to a superstition
formerly received in most parts of Europe, and even resorted to, by
judicial authority, for the discovery of murder. In Germany, this
experiment was called _bahr-recht_, or the law of the bier; because,
the murdered body being stretched upon a bier, the suspected person was
obliged to put one hand upon the wound, and the other upon the mouth
of the deceased, and, in that posture, call upon heaven to attest his
innocence. If, during this ceremony, the blood gushed from the mouth,
nose, or wound, a circumstance not unlikely to happen in the course of
shifting or stirring the body, it was held sufficient evidence of the
guilt of the party.

The same singular kind of evidence, although reprobated by Mathaeus and
Carpzovius, was admitted in the Scottish criminal courts, at the short
distance of one century. My readers may be amused by the following

"The laird of Auchindrane (Muir of Auchindrane, in Ayrshire) was accused
of a horrid and private murder, where there were no witnesses, and which
the Lord had witnessed from heaven, singularly by his own hand, and
proved the deed against him. The corpse of the man being buried in
Girvan church-yard, as a man cast away at sea, and cast out there, the
laird of Colzean, whose servant he had been, dreaming of him in his
sleep, and that he had a particular mark upon his body, came and took up
the body, and found it to be the same person; and caused all that lived
near by come and touch the corpse, as is usual in such cases. All round
the place came but Auchindrane and his son, whom nobody suspected, till
a young child of his, Mary Muir, seeing the people examined, came in
among them; and, when she came near the dead body, it sprang out
in bleeding; upon which they were apprehended, and put to the
torture."--WODROW'S _History_, Vol. I. p. 513. The trial of Auchindrane
happened in 1611. He was convicted and executed.--HUME'S _Criminal Law_,
Vol. I. p. 428.

A yet more dreadful case was that of Philip Standfield, tried upon the
30th November, 1687, for cursing his father (which, by the Scottish law,
is a capital crime, _Act 1661, Chap_. 20), and for being accessory
to his murder. Sir James Standfield, the deceased, was a person of
melancholy temperament; so that, when his body was found in a pond near
his own house of Newmilns, he was at first generally supposed to have
drowned himself. But, the body having been hastily buried, a report
arose that he had been strangled by ruffians, instigated by his son
Philip, a profligate youth, whom be had disinherited on account of his
gross debauchery. Upon this rumour, the Privy Council granted warrant to
two surgeons of character, named Crawford and Muirhead, to dig up the
body, and to report the state in which they should find it. Philip
was present on this occasion, and the evidence of both surgeons bears
distinctly, that he stood for some time at a distance from the body
of his parent; but, being called upon to assist in stretching out
the corpse, he put his hand to the head, when the mouth and nostrils
instantly gushed with blood. This circumstance, with the evident
symptoms of terror and remorse, exhibited by young Standfield, seem to
have had considerable weight with the jury, and are thus stated in the
indictment: "That his (the deceased's) nearest relations being required
to lift the corpse into the coffin, after it had been inspected, upon
the said Philip Standfield touching of it (_according to God's usual
mode of discovering murder_), it bled afresh upon the said Philip; and
that thereupon he let the body fall, and fled from it in the greatest
consternation, crying, Lord have mercy upon me!" The prisoner was found
guilty of being accessory to the murder of his father, although there
was little more than strong presumptions against him. It is true, he was
at the same time separately convicted of the distinct crimes of having
cursed his father, and drank damnation to the monarchy and hierarchy.
His sentence, which was to have his tongue cut out, and hand struck off,
previous to his being hanged, was executed with the utmost rigour. He
denied the murder with his last breath. "It is," says a contemporary
judge, "a dark case of divination, to be remitted to the great day,
whether he was guilty or innocent. Only it is certain he
was a bad youth, and may serve as a beacon to all profligate
persons."--FOUNTAINHALL'S _Decisions_, Vol. I. p. 483.

While all ranks believed alike the existence of these prodigies, the
vulgar were contented to refer them to the immediate interference of the
Deity, or, as they termed it, God's revenge against murder. But those,
who, while they had overleaped the bounds of superstition, were still
entangled in the mazes of mystic philosophy, amongst whom we must
reckon many of the medical practitioners, endeavoured to explain the
phenomenon, by referring to the secret power of sympathy, which even
Bacon did not venture to dispute. To this occult agency was imputed the
cure of wounds, effected by applying salves and powders, not to
the wound itself, but to the sword or dagger, by which it had been
inflicted; a course of treatment, which, wonderful as it may at first
seem, was certainly frequently attended with signal success.[A] This,
however, was attributed to magic, and those, who submitted to such a
mode of cure, were refused spiritual assistance.

[Footnote A: The first part of the process was to wash the wound clean,
and bind it up so as to promote adhesion, and exclude the air. Now,
though the remedies, afterwards applied to the sword, could hardly
promote so desirable an issue, yet it is evident the wound stood a good
chance of healing by the operation of nature, which, I believe, medical
gentlemen call a cure by the first intention.]

The vulgar continue to believe firmly in the phenomenon of the murdered
corpse bleeding at the approach of the murderer. "Many (I adopt the
words of an ingenious correspondent) are the proofs advanced in
confirmation of the opinion, against those who are so hardy as to doubt
it; but one, in particular, as it is said to have happened in this
place, I cannot help repeating.

"Two young men, going a fishing in the river Yarrow, fell out; and so
high ran the quarrel, that the one, in a passion, stabbed the other to
the heart with a fish spear. Astonished "at the rash act, he hesitated
whether to fly, give himself up to justice, or conceal the crime; and,
in the end, fixed on the latter expedient, burying the body of his
friend very deep in the sands. As the meeting had been accidental, he
was never from gaiety to a settled melancholy. Time passed on for
the space of fifty years, when a smith, fishing near the same place,
discovered an uncommon and curious bone, which he put in his pocket,
and afterwards showed to some people in his smithy. The murderer being
present, now an old white-headed man, leaning on his staff, desired a
sight of the little bone; but how horrible was the issue! no sooner had
he touched it, than it streamed with purple blood. Being told where it
was found, he confessed the crime, was condemned, but was prevented, by
death, from suffering the punishment due to his crime.

"Such opinions, though reason forbids us to believe them, a few moments
reflection on the cause of their origin will teach us to revere. Under
the feudal system which prevailed, the rights of humanity were too often
violated, and redress very hard to be procured; thus an awful deference
to one of the leading attributes of Omnipotence begat on the mind,
untutored by philosophy, the first germ of these supernatural effects;
which was, by superstitious zeal, assisted, perhaps, by a few instances
of sudden remorse, magnified into evidence of indisputable guilt."



Lochroyan, whence this ballad probably derives its name, lies in
Galloway. The lover, who, if the story be real, may be supposed to have
been detained by sickness, is represented, in the legend, as confined by
Fairy charms in an enchanted castle situated in the sea. The ruins of
ancient edifices are still visible on the summits of most of those
small islands, or rather insulated rocks, which lie along the coast of
Ayrshire and Galloway; as Ailsa and Big Scaur.

This edition of the ballad obtained is composed of verses selected from
three MS. copies, and two from recitation. Two of the copies are in
Herd's MSS.; the third in that of Mrs Brown of Falkland.

A fragment of the original song, which is sometimes denominated _Lord
Gregory_, or _Love Gregory_, was published in Mr Herd's Collection,
1774, and, still more fully, in that of Laurie and Symington, 1792. The
story has been celebrated both by Burns and Dr Wolcott.


"O wha will shoe my bonny foot?
"And wha will glove my hand?
"And wha will lace my middle jimp
"W' a lang lang linen band?

"O wha will kame my yellow hair
"With a new made silver kame?
"And wha will father my young son
"Till Lord Gregory come hame?"

"Thy father will shoe thy bonny foot,
"Thy mother will glove thy hand,
"Thy sister will lace thy middle jimp,
"Till Lord Gregory come to land.

"Thy brother will kame thy yellow hair
"With a new made silver kame,
"And God will be thy bairn's father
"Till Lord Gregory come hame."

"But I will get a bonny boat,
"And I will sail the sea;
"And I will gang to Lord Gregory,
"Since he canna come hame to me."

Syne she's gar'd build a bonny boat,
To sail the salt salt sea:
The sails were o' the light-green silk,
The tows[A] o' taffety.

She hadna sailed but twenty leagues,
But twenty leagues and three,
When she met wi' a rank robber,
And a' his company.

"Now whether are ye the queen hersell,
"(For so ye weel might be)
"Or are ye the lass of Lochroyan,
"Seekin' Lord Gregory?"

"O I am neither the queen," she said,
"Nor sic I seem to be;
"But I am the lass of Lochroyan,
"Seekin' Lord Gregory."

"O see na thou yon bonny bower?
"Its a' covered o'er wi' tiu:
"When thou hast sailed it round about,
"Lord Gregory is within."

And when she saw the stately tower
Shining sae clear and bright,
Whilk stood aboon the jawing[B] wave,
Built on a rock of height;

Says--"Row the boat, my mariners,
"And bring me to the land!
"For yonder I see my love's castle
"Close by the salt sea strand."

She sailed it round, and sailed it round,
And loud, loud, cried she--
"Now break, now break, ye Fairy charms,
"And set my true love free!"

She's ta'en her young son in her arms,
And to the door she's gane;
And long she knocked, and sair she ca'd,
But answer got she nane.

"O open the door, Lord Gregory!
"O open, and let me in!
"For the wind blaws through my yellow hair,
"And the rain drops o'er my chin."

"Awa, awa, ye ill woman!
"Ye're no come here for good!
"Ye're but some witch, or wil warlock,
"Or mermaid o' the flood."

"I am neither witch, nor wil warlock,
"Nor mermaid o' the sea;
"But I am Annie of Lochroyan;
"O open the door to me!"

"Gin thou be Annie of Lochroyan,
"(As I trow thou binna she)
"Now tell me some o' the love tokens
"That past between thee and me."

"O dinna ye mind, Lord Gregory,
"As we sat at the wine,
"We chang'd the rings frae our fingers,
"And I can shew thee thine?

"O your's was gude, and gude enough,
"But ay the best was mine;
"For your's was o' the gude red gowd,
"But mine o' the diamond fine.

"And has na thou mind, Lord Gregory,
"As we sat on the hill,
"Thou twin'd me o' my maidenheid
"Right sair against my will?

"Now, open the door, Lord Gregory!
"Open the door, I pray!
"For thy young son is in my arms,
"And will be dead ere day."

"If thou be the lass of Lochroyan,
"(As I kenna thou be)
"Tell me some mair o' the love tokens
"Past between me and thee."

Fair Annie turned her round about--
"Weel! since that it be sae,
"May never woman, that has borne a son,
"Hae a heart sae fu' o' wae!

"Take down, take down, that mast o' gowd!
"Set up a mast o' tree!
"It disna become a forsaken lady.
"To sail sae royallie."

When the cock had crawn, and the day did dawn.
And the sun began to peep,
Then up and raise him, Lord Gregory,
And sair, sair did he weep.

"O I hae dreamed a dream, mother,
"I wish it may prove true!
"That the bonny lass of Lochroyan
"Was at the yate e'en now.

"O I hae dreamed a dream, mother,
"The thought o't gars me greet!
"That fair Annie o' Lochroyan
"Lay cauld dead at my feet."

"Gin it be for Annie of Lochroyan
"That ye make a' this din,
"She stood a' last night at your door,
"But I trow she wanna in."

"O wae betide ye, ill woman!
"An ill deid may ye die!
"That wadna open the door to her,
"Nor yet wad waken me."

O he's gane down to yon shore side
As fast as he could fare;
He saw fair Annie in the boat,
But the wind it tossed her sair.

"And hey Annie, and how Annie!
"O Annie, winna ye bide!"
But ay the mair 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 roared the sea.

The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough,
And dashed the boat on shore;
Fair Annie floated through the faem,
But the babie raise no more.

Lord Gregory tore his yellow hair,
And made a heavy moan;
Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet,
Her bonny young son was gone.

O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
And gowden was her hair;
But clay-cold were her rosy lips--
Nae spark o' life was there.

And first he kissed her cherry cheek,
And syne he kissed her chin,
And syne he kissed her rosy lips--
There was nae breath within.

"O wae betide my cruel mother!
"An ill death may she die!
"She turned my true love frae my door,
"Wha came sae far to me.

"O wae betide my cruel mother!
"An ill death may she die!
"She turned fair Annie frae my door,
"Wha died for love o' me."

[Footnote A: _Tows_--Ropes.]

[Footnote B: _Jawing_--Dashing.]



_This legendary Tale is given chiefly from Mrs_ BROWN'S _MS.
Accordingly, many of the rhymes arise from the Northern mode of
pronunciation; as_ dee _for_ do, _and the like.--Perhaps the Ballad may
have originally related to the history of the celebrated_ ROBIN HOOD;
_as mention is made of Barnisdale, his favourite abode._

O Rose the Red, and White Lilly,
Their mother deir was dead:
And their father has married an ill woman,
Wished them twa little guid.

But she had twa as gallant sons
As ever brake man's bread;
And the tane o' them lo'ed her, White Lilly,
And the tother Rose the Red.

O bigged hae they a bigly bour,
Fast by the roaring strand;
And there was mair mirth in the ladyes' bour,
Nor in a' their father's land.

But out and spake their step-mother,
As she stood a little forebye--
"I hope to live and play the prank,
"Sall gar your loud sang lie."

She's call'd upon her eldest son;
"Cum here, my son, to me:
"It fears me sair, my bauld Arthur,
"That ye maun sail the sea."

"Gin sae it maun be, my deir mother,
"Your bidding I maun dee;
"But, be never waur to Rose the Red,
"Than ye hae been to me."

She's called upon her youngest son;
"Cum here, my son, to me:
"It fears me sair, my Brown Robin,
"That ye maun sail the sea."

"Gin it fear ye sair, my mother deir,
"Your bidding I sall dee;
But, be never waur to White Lilly,

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