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O LISTEN, gude peopell, to my tale,

Listen to quhat I tell to thee,
The King has taiken a poor prisoner,

The wanton Laird of Ochiltrie.

Quhen news came to our guidly Queen,

She sicht, and said richt mournfullie, O quhat will cum of Lady Margaret,

Quha beirs sick luve to Ochiltrie?

Lady Margaret tore hir yallow hair,

Quhen as the Queen told hir the saim: I wis that I had neir bin born,

Nor neir had known Ochiltries' naim.

Fie na, quoth the Queen, that maunna be,

Fie na, that maunna be; I'll fynd ze out a better way,

To saif the lyfe of Ochiltrie.

The Queen she trippet up the stair,

And lowly knielt upon her knie: The first boon quhich I cum to craive

Is the life of gentel Ochiltrie.

O if you had ask'd me castels and towirs,

I wad hae gin thaim, twa or thrie; Bot a' the monie in fair Scotland

Winna buy the lyfe of Ochiltrie.

The Queen sche trippet down the stair,

And down sche gade richt mournfullie, Its a' the monie in fair Scotland

Winna buy the lyfe of Ochiltrie.

Lady Margaret tore her yellow hair,

Quhen as the Queen tald hir the saimn; I'll tack a knife and end my lyfe,

And be in the grave as soon as him. Ah! na, fie! na, quoth the Queen,

Fie! na, fie! na, this maunna be; I'll set ze on a better way

To loose and set Ochiltrie frie.

The Queen she slippit up the stair,

And sche gaid up richt privatlie,
And sche has stoun the prison-keys,

and set Ochiltrie frie. And sches gien him a purse of gowd,

And another of whyt monie,
Sches gien him twa pistoles by's side,

Saying to him, Shute quhen ze win frie. And quhen he cam to the Queen's window, ;

Quhaten a joyfou shute gae he!
Peace be to our royal Queen,

peace be in her companie ! O quhaten a voice is that? quoth the King,

Quhaten a voice is that ? quoth he, Quhaten a voice is that? quoth the King, I think its the voice of Ochiltrie.

Call to me a' my gaolours,

Call thaim by thirtie and by thrie; Quhairfoir the morn at twelve a clock

Its hangit schall they ilk ane be. O didna ze send zour keyis to us?

Ze sent thaim by thirtie and by thrie, And wi' thaim sent a strait command,

To set at large zoung Ochiltrie.

Ah! na, fie! na, quoth the Queen,

Fie, my dear luve! this maunna be:
And iff ye're gawn to hang thaim a',

Indeed ze maun begin wi' me.
The tane was schippit at the pier of Leith,

The ither at the Queensferrie;
And now the Lady has gotten hir luve,

The winsome Laird of Ochiltrie.

No mention is made in biographical narrative of the author of this Ballad, and tradition is equally silent respecting him; but the following circumstances, which took place in 1592, when Bothwell was plotting against the king, related by Spotswood, have generally been supposed the foundation thereof.

“ At the same time, John Weymis, younger of Bogie, gentleman of his majesty's chamber, and in great favour both with the king and queen, was discovered to have the like dealings with Bothwell, and, being committed to the keeping of the guard, escaped by the policy of one

of the Dutch maids, with whom he entertained a secret love. The gentlewoman, named Mistress Margaret Twinslace, coming one night whilst the king and queen were in bed, to his keepers, shewed that the king called for the prisoner to ask him some questions. The keepers, suspecting nothing, for they knew her to be the principal maid in the chamber, conveyed him to the door of the bedchamber; and, making a stay without, as they were commanded, the gentlewoman did let him down at a window, by a cord that she had prepared. The keepers, waiting upon his return, stayed there till the morning, and then found themselves deceived. This, with the manner of the escape, ministered great occasion of laughter; and, not many days after, the king being pacified by the queen's means, he was pardoned, and took to wife the gentlewoman, who had, in this sort, hazarded her credit, for his safety."


LORD THOMAS and fair Annet,

Sat ae day on a hill;
Whan nicht was cum, and sun was sett,

They had not talkt their fill.
Lord Thomas said a word in jest,

Fair Annet took it ill;
A! I wull nevir wed a wife

Against my ain friends' wull.

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Gif ye wull nevir wed a wife,

A wife wull neir wed yee.
Sae he is hame to tell his mither,

And knelt upon his knee:
O rede, O rede, mither, he says,

A gude rede gie to mee:
O sall I tak the nut-browne bride,

And let fair Annet bee?

The nut-browne bride has gowd and gear,

Fair Annet she has gat nane;
And the little bewtie fair Annet haes,

O it wull soon be gane !
And he has till his brither gane:

Now, brither, rede ye mee;
A! sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,

And let fair Annet bee?

The nut-browne bride has oxen, brother,

The nut-browne bride has kye;
I wad hae ye marrie the nut-browne bride,

And cast fair Annet bye.
Her oxen may dye i' the house, Billie,

And her kye into the byre;
And I sall hae naething to mysell

Bot a fat fadge by the fyre.

And he has till his sister gane:

Now, sister, rede ye me;
O sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,

And set fair Annet free?.

Ise rede ye tak fair Annet, Thomas,

And let the browne bride alane; Lest you sould sigh, and say, .Alace!

What is this we brought hame?

No, I wull tak my mither's counsel,

And marrie me owt o' hand; And I wull tak the nut-browne bride;

Fair Annet may leive the land. Up then rose fair Annet's father

Twa hours or it wer day, And he has gane into the bower

Wherein fair Annet lay. Rise up, rise up,

fair Annet, he says, Put on your silken sheene; Let us gae to St. Marie's kirke,

And see that rich wedden,

My maides, gae to my dressing-room,

And dress to me my hair; Whair-eir yee laid a plait before,

See yee lay ten times mair. My maides, gae to my dressing-roome,

And dress to me my smock; The one half is o' the holland fine,

The other o'neidle-work.

The horse fair Annet rade upon,

He amblit like the wind, Wi' siller he was shod before,

Wi' burning gowd behind.
Four-and-twenty siller bells

Wer a tied till his mane,
Wi' ae tift o' the norland wind,

They tinkled ane by ane.
Four-and-twenty gude knichts

Rade by fair Annet's side, And four-and-twenty fair ladies,

As gin she had bin a bride.

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