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But whan the lady saw the fire

Cum flaming owr her heid, She weip'd, and kist her children twain;

My bairns we been but deid.”

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The Gordon than his bugil blew,

And said, “Awa, awa: Sen Towie House is a' in a flame, "I hauld it time to ga.'

O than bespied her ain deir lord,

As he cam owr the lee; He saw his castle in a blaze

Sae far as he cold see.

Then sair, O sair, his mind misgave,

And a' his heart was wae; “ Put on, put on, my wichty men,

“ Sae fast as ye can gae. “ Put on, put on, my wichty men,

“ Sae fast as ye can drie. “ He that is hindmost o' the thrang

“ Sall neir get gude o' me." Than sum they rode, and sum they ran,

Fu’ fast outowr the bent,
But eir the formost could win up

Baith lady and babes were brent.


wrang his hands, he rent his hair, And weipt in teinfu' mude: “ Ah traitors, for this cruel deid

“ Ye sall weip teirs o' bluid !” And after the Gordon he has gane,

Sae fast as he micht drie: And sune in his foul hartis bluid

He has wrekin his deir ladie.

The story upon which this Ballad is founded, is as follows—Sir Adam Gordon of Auchindowne, brother to the Earl of Huntly, was an active partisan for Queen Mary, under the shadow of whose authority, Bishop Spotswood says, he “committed divers oppressions, especially upon the Forbeses.” In 1571, he sent “one Captain Ker with a party on foot to summon the castle of Towie (or Tavoy as Spotswood calls it) in the queen's name. The owner, Alexander Forbes, was not at home, and his lady confiding too much in her sex, not only refused to surrender, but gave Ker very Injurious language; upon which, unreasonably transported with fury, he ordered his men to set fire to the castle, and barbarously burnt the unfortunate gentlewoman, with her whole family amounting to thirty-seven persons. Nor was he ever so much as cas for this inhuman action, which made Gordon share both in the scandal and the

The hand of a master is visible throughout this whole performance, and there are particular passages, inimitably touching, and tender. Í might adduce, as examples of the most powerful pathos, the lady's expostulation with her old servant setting fire to the house, the speech of the infant, sitting on the nurse's knee, "O mither deir, gi owr this house, for the reik it smithers me," &c. &c. but who telis another the sun is shining, when he illuminates earth and heaven with meridian splendour.


THERE came a ghost to Marg'ret's door,

With many a grievous groan,
And ay he tirled at the pin,

But answer made she none.
Is that my father Philip?

Or is't my brother John?
Or is't my true love Willie

From Scotland now come home?
'Tis not thy father Philip,

Nor yet thy brother John;
But 'tis thy true love Willie,

From Scotland new come home.
O sweet Margʻret ! O dear Marg’ret !

I pray thee speak to me,
Give me my faith and troth, Margʻret!

As I gave it to thee.
Thy faith and troth thou's never get,

Nor yet will I thee lend,

Till that thou come within my bower,

And kiss my cheek and chin.
If I should come within thy bower,

I am no earthly man;
And should I kiss thy rosy lips,

Thy days would not be lang.
O sweet Margʻret! O dear Marg'ret!

I pray thee speak to me;
Give me my faith and troth, Marg'ret!

As I gave it to thee.
Thy faith and troth thou's never get,

Nor yet will I thee lend,
Till you take me to yon kirk-yard,

And wed me with a ring.
My bones are buried in yon kirk-yard,

Afar beyond the sea;
And it is but my sp’rit, Margʻret,

That's now speaking to thee.
She stretched out her lily-white hand,

And for to do her best;
Hae, there's your faith and troth, Willie;

God send your saul good rest!
Now she has kilted her robes of green

A piece below her knee,
And a' the live long winter night

The dead corpse follow'd she.
Is there any room at your head, Willie,

Or any room at your feet,
Or any room at your side, Willie,

Wherein that I may creep?
There's no room at my head, Marg'ret,

There's no room at my feet,
There's no room at my side, Marg’ret,

My coffin's made so ineet.

Then up and crew the red cock,

And up then crew the gray,
'Tis time, 'tis time, my dear Marg'ret,

That you were going away.
No more the ghost to Margʻret said,

But, with a grievous groan,
Evanish'd in a cloud of mist,

And left her all alone.
O stay, my only true love, stay,

The constant Margʻret cry'd;
Wan grew her cheeks, she clos'd her een,

Stretch'd her soft limbs, and dy'd.

ANE BALLAT OF EVILL WYFFIS Be mirry bretheren ane and all,

And set all sturt on syd; And every ane togidder call

To God to be our gyd:
For als lang leivis the mirry man
As dois the wrech for ocht he can,
Quhen deid him streks, he wait nocht quhan,

And chairgis him to byd.
The riche then sall nocht sparit be,

Thoch thay haif gold and land;
Nor yit the fair for thair bewty;

Can nocht that chairge ganestand:
Thoch wicht or waik wald fle away,
No dowt bot all mon ransone pay,
Quhat place, or quhair, can no man say,

Be sie, or yit be land.
Quhairfoir my counsaill, brethir is,

That we togiddir sing,
And all to loif that Lord of bliss,

That is of hevinis king.


Quha knawis the secreit thochts and dowt
Of all our hairtes round about;
And he wha thinks him nevir so stout

Mone thoill that punissing.
Quhat man but stryf, in all his lyfe,
Dois test moir of deid's

Nor dois the man, quhilk on the sie

His leving seiks to
For quhen distress dois him oppress,
Than to the Lord for his redress,
Quha gaif command for all

To call and nocht refrain.
The myrriest man that leivis on lyfe

He sailis on the sie;
For he knawis nowdir sturt nor stryfe,

Bot blyth and mirry be.
Bot he that hes an evill wyfe
Hes sturt and sorrow all his lyfe:
And that man quhilk levis ay in strife

How can he mirry be?
Ane evill 'wyfe is the werst aucht

That ony man can haif;
For he may nevir sit in faucht,

Onless he be hir sklaif.
Bot of that sort I knaw nane uder
Bot owthir a kukald, or his bruder,
Fondlars and kukalds all togidder

May wiss thair wyfis in graif.
Becaus thair wyfis hes maistery

That thay dar nawayis cheip,
Bot gif it be in privity,

Quhan thair wyfis ar on sleip.
Ane mirry in thair cumpanie
Were to thame worth baith gold and fie;
Ane menstrall could nocht bocht be,

Thair mirth gif he could beit.

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