« PreviousContinue »
JOHNIE OF BREADISLEE.
“If I be guilty," said Hughie the Græme,
“Of me my friends shall have small talk;" And he has louped fifteen feet and three,
Though his hands they were tied behind his back. He looked over his left shoulder,
And for to see what he might see; There was he aware of his auld father,
Came tearing his hair most piteouslie. “O hald your tongue, my father,” he says,
“And see that ye dinpa weep for me! For they may ravish me o' my life,
But they canna banish me fro' Heaven hie. “Fair ye weel, fair Maggie, my wife!
The last time we came ower the muir, 'Twas thou hereft me of my life,
And wi’ the Bishop thou play'd the whore.' “Here, Johnie Armstrang, take thou my sword,
That is made o' the metal sae fine;
Remember the death of Hughie the Græme.”
JOHNIE OF BREADISLEE.
AN ANCIENT NITHSDALE BALLAD.
Johnie rose up in a May morning,
Callid for water to wash his hands"Gar loose to me the gude graie dogs,
That are bound wi' iron bands.”_ When Johnie's mother gat word o' that,
Her bands for dule she wrang60 Johnie! for my benison,
To the greenwood dinna gang! “Eneugh ye hae o' gude wheat bread,
And eneugh o' the blood-red wine;
I pray ye, stir frae hame.”-
His arrows, ane by ane;
To hunt the dun deer down.
And in by the benty line,
Aneath a bush of ling.'
And he wounded her on the side;
His hounds they laid her pride.
That he's had out her liver and lungs;
As if they had been earl's sons. They eat sae much o' the venison,
And drank sae much o' the blude, That Johnie and a' his bluidy hounds,
Feli asleep as they had been dead. And by there came a silly auld carle,
An ill death mote he die! For he's awa’ to Hislinton,
Where the Seven Foresters did lie. “What news, what news, ye gray-headed carle,
What news bring ye to me?”“ I bring nae news," said the gray-headed carle,
" Save what these eyes did see. “As I came down by Merriemass,
And down among the scroggs, The bonniest childe that ever I saw
Lay sleeping amang his dogs.
Was o' the Holland fine;
Was o' the lincome twine.
The hero of this ballad appears to have been an outlaw and deer-stealer-probably one of the broken men residing upon the Border. There are several different copies, in one of which the principal personage is called Johnie of Cockielaw. The stanzas of greatest merit have been selected from each copy. It is sometimes said, that this outlaw possessed the old Castle of Morton, in Dumfries-shire, now ruinous :-“Near to this castle there was a park, built by Sir Thomas Randolph, on the face of a very great and high hill; so artificially, that, by the advantage of the hill, all wild beasts, such as deers, harts, and roes, and hares, did easily leap in, but could not get out again; and if any other cattle, such as cows, sheep, or goats, did voluntarily leap in, or were forced to do it, it is doubled if their owners were permitted to get them out again.” Account of Presbytery of Penpont, apud Marfarlane's MSS. Such a park would form a convenient domain to an outlaw's castle, and the mention of Durrisdeer, a neighbouring parish, adds weight to the tradition. I have seen on a mountain near Callendar, a sort of pinfold, composed of immense rocks, piled upon each other, which, I was told, was anciently constructed for the abovementioned purpose. The mountain is thence called Vah var, or the Cove of the Giant.
i or the morality of Robert Aldridge, Bishop of Carlisle, we know but little ; but his political and religious faith were of a stretching and accoinmodating texture. Anthony a Wood observes, that there were many changes in his time, both in church and state; but that the worthy prclate retained his office and preserinents during them all.
9 Border-Anc. Songs. 3 Ling-Leath. á Bryllle-To cut up venison. Sec the Ancient ballad of Chery Chace, v. 8.
5 Scroggs-Stunied trees.
“ But wae betyde that silly auld carle !
An ill death shall he die !
Shall be his morning's fee.”
And his gude graie dogs are slain; And his bodie lies dead in Durrisdeer,
And his hunting it is done. 3
The Ballad was published in the first edition of this work, under the title of “The Laird of Laminton. It is now given in a more perfect state, from several recited copies. The residence of the lady, and the scene of the affray at her bridal, is said, by old people, to have been upon the banks of the Cadden, near to where it joins the Tweed.-Others say the skirmish was fought near Traquair, and KATHARINE JANFArie's dwelling was in the glen about three miles above Traquair House. 4
" The buttons that were on bis sleeve
Were o' the goud sae gude:
Their mouths were dyed wi' blude.”-
The heid man ower them a'-
Nae nearer will we draw.”_
(His sister's son was he,)
We soon shall gar him die!”-
They wounded him on the knee;
" The next will gar him die.” Johnie's set bis back against an aik,
His fute against a stane ;
He has slain them a' but ane.
But and his collar bane;
Bade bim carry the tidings hame. “O is there nae a bonnie bird,
Can sing as I can say ;
?"-" The starling flew to his mother's window stane,
It whistled and it sang;
Was—" Johnie tarries lang!”
Another o’the slae-thorn tree,
At fetching o'er Johnie.
And fast her tears did fa'-
Frae the hunting to bide awa'. “ Aft hae I brought to Breadislee,
The less gearand the mair, But I ne'er brought to Breadislee,
What grieved my heart sae sair.
There was a may, and a weel-far'd may,
Lived high up in yon glen :
She was courted by mony men.
Up frae the Lawland Border ;
A' mounted in good order.
And he told na ane o' her kin; But he whisper'd the bonnie lassie hersell,
And has her favour won.
But out then cam Lord Lochinvar, 5
Out frae the English Border, All for to court this bonny may,
Weel mounted, and in order. He told her father, he told her mother,
And a' the lave o' her kin; But he told na the bonnie may hersell,
Till on her wedding e'en.
Beneath a bush o' brume, brume, Beneath a bush o' brume."
* (Perhaps here should be inserted the beautiful stanza prewerved by Finlay, so descriptive, as he remarks, of the languor of death :
“There's no a bird in a'this forest
Will do as meikle for me,
MOTIERWELL, P. 22. ) ? Gear-Usually signifies goods, but here spoil.
3! Mr. Motherwell has printed some stanzas of perhaps a more ancient set of this ballad-e. g. 5. 2.-" Jobpie looh it east, and Johnle lookit west,
And it's lang before the sun, sud;
V. 5.-" It's down, and it's down, and it's down, down,
And it's down among the scrogs, scrogs;
Asleep amang their dogs."-P. 23. ] 4 [ At page 225 of Motherwell, the reader will find another ver. sion of this ballad, in which the heroine bears not the name of Janfarie but Johnstone, and her lover is, as in the first edition of the Minstrelsy, the Laird of Lamington-i. e. Baillie of Lamminglon, in Clydesdale, the head of that ancient name.-ED.)
5 (Gordon of Lochinvar, head of a powerful branch of that name, afterwards Viscounts of Lochinvar.)
She sent to the Lord o' Lauderdale,
Gin he wad come and see;
Well answer'd she suld be.
Right quickly through the land,
To be at his command.
Beheld baith dale and down,
With riders mony a one.
Upon her wedding day;
To see him in array !
Or come ye here to play?
Upon the wedding day?"-
“ I come na here to play; I'll but lead a dance wi' the bonny bride,
And mount, and go my way.” It is a glass of the blood-red wine
Was filled up them between,
Wha her true love had been.
And by the grass-green sleeve;
At her kinsmen speir'd na leave.
Now take her if you may !
We'll call it but foul play.”
A' clad in the Johnstone grey;5
By the strong hand, if they may. Some o' them were right willing men,
But they were na willing a';
And four-and-twenty Leader lads
Bid them mount and ride awa'. Then whingers flew frae gentles' sides,
And swords flew frae the shea's,
Ran down the lily braes.
And down by Caddon brae;
“O wae's me for foul play !”6 My blessing on your heart, sweet thing!
Wae to your wilfu' will! There's mony a gallant gentleman
Wbae’s bluid ye have garr’d to spill. Now a' you lords of fair England,
And that dwell by the English Border, Come never here to seek a wife,
For fear of sic disorder.
Till on your wedding day;
And play ye foul foul play,
THE LAIRD O' LOGIE.
An edition of this ballad is current, under the title of “The Laird of Ochiltree ; ” but the Editor, since the first 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
[" Then spoke the bride's falber, bis band on bis sword,
Lady Heron's Songs, Marmion, Canto V.)
Ibid.) (“The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight look it up, Ile quaffed off tbe wine, and he threw down the cup. See looked down to blush, and she looked up lo sigb, With a smile on ber lips, and a tear in ber eye."
Ibid.) ["One tonch to her hand, and one word in her ear, Wben they reach'd the ball door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croupe the fair lady be swung, So light to the saddle before her be sprung!
'She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ;
Ibid.) 5 Johnstone Grey-The livery of the ancient family of Johnslone. (This circumstance appears to support the Clydesdale copy, which gives Katharine the surname of Johnstone, I incline to suspect that she was a Johnstone of Vamphray, and that Katharine o' Wamphray had been blundered, by the Eltrick reciters, into Katharine Jeffrey, vulgarly pronounced Janfray.-ED.) 6
["It's up the Cowden bank
And down the Cowden brae:
It's a weel won play,
Opon tbe Cowden brae,
MOTHERWELL, P. 220
“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 curld back her yellow hair"If I canna get young Logie's life,
Farewell to Scotland for evermair."
When she came before the King,
She knelit lowly on her knee“ () what's the matter, may Margaret?
And what needs a' this courtesie?”
published under the title of “The Historie of King James the Sext."
“In this close tyme it fortunit, that a gentleman, 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 sundry tymes he had spokin with him, expresslie aganis the King's inhibitioun proclamit in the contrare, whilk confession he subscryvit with his band; and because the event of this mater bad sik a success, it sall also be praysit be my pen, as a worthie turne, proceiding from honest chest love 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 ane callit Mres. Margaret Twynstoun,' to whome this gentilman, Weymes of Lohye, bure great honest affection, tending to the godlie band of mar„ riage, the wbilk was honestlie requytet be the said gentilwoman, yea even in his greatest mister;" for howsone she understude the said gentilman to be in distress, and apperantlie be his confession to be puneist 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 furth of the dure 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 they geving sure credence, obeyit. But howsone she was cum back 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 love."
"A boon. a boon, my noble liege,
A boon, a boon, I beg o' thee!
Is to grant me the life of young Logie.”“O na, O na, may Margaret,
Forsooth, and so it mauna 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,
Likewise the Queen her wedding knife, And sent the tokens to Carmichael,
To cause young Logie get his life.
Another o' the white monie ;
And bade him shoot when he gat free.
There he let his volley slee :
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.”—
He fell low down upon his knee :
Was--- Where's the laird of young Logie?"Carmichael turn'd him round about,
(I wot the tear blinded his ee,) " 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 Logie's place ye maun supplie."
THE LAIRD O' LOGIE.
I will sing, if ye will hearken,
If ye will hearken unto me;
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.
· Twynlace, according to Spottiswoode. · Mister-necessity.
* Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael, the hero of the ballad called the Raid of the Reidswire, was appointed captain of the king's guard in 1588, and usually had the keeping of state criminals of rank.
4 [ After slanza 2d, Mr. Motherwell inserts, from recitation, the following :
" May Margaret sits in the Queen's bouir
Kincking her fingers ane by ane;
Or that ere she heard of Logie's name."-P. 56.-ED.) 3 Redding kaim-Comb for the hair.
Scottish Ballads, 2 vols. The dreamer journeys towards heaven, accompanied and assisted by a celestial guide :
Carmichael's awa to Margaret's bower,
Even as fast as he may dree“O if young Logie be within,
Tell him to come and speak with me!"May Margaret turn'd her round about,
(I wot a loud laugh laughed she,) “The egg is chipp'd, the bird is flown,
Ye'll see nae 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.
“ Through dreadful dens, which made my heart aghast,
He bare me up when I began lo lire.
Again, she supposes herself suspended over an infernal gulf:
“ Ere I was ware, one gripp'd me at the last, A LYKE-WAKE DIRGE.
And held me high above a flaming fire.
The fire was great; the heat did pierce me sore; This is a sort of charın sung by the lower ranks of
My faith grew weak; my grip was very small;
I trembled fast; my fear grew more and more. Roman Catholics in some parts of the north of England, while watching a dead body, previous to inter
A horrible picture of the same kind, dictated proment. The tune is doleful and monotonous, and, bably by the author's unbappy state of mind, is to joined to the mysterious import of the words, has a
be found in Brooke's Fool of Quality. The dreamer, solemn effect. The word sleet, in the chorus, seems
a ruined female, is suspended over the gulf of perto be corrupted from selt, or salt; a quantity of dition by a single hair, which is severed by a demon, which, in compliance with a popular superstition, is who, in the form of her seducer, springs upwards frequently placed on the breast of a corpse.
from the flames. The late Mr. Ritson found an illustration of this
The Russian funeral service, without any allegodirge in a MS. of the Cotton Library, containing an account of Cleveland, in Yorkshire, in the reign of in language alike simple and noble. “Hast thou
rical imagery, expresses the sentiment of the dirge Queen Elizabeth. It was kindly communicated to the Editor by Mr. Frank, Mr. Ritson's executor, and pitied the afflicted, O man? In death shalt thou be
pitied. Hast thou consoled the orphan? The orruns thus :-“When any dieth, certaine women sing a song to the dead bodie, recyting the journey that phan will deliver thee. Hast thou clothed the naked? the partye deceased must goe; and they are of beliefe The naked will procure thee protection.” -RICHARD
son's Anecdotes of Russia. (such is their fondnesse) that once in their lives, it is
But the most minute description of the Brig o' good to give a pair of new shoes to a poor man, for
Dread occurs in the legend of Sir Owain, No. XL. as much as, after this life, they are to pass barefoote
in the MS. Collection of Romances, W. 4. 1. Advoa , except by the meryte of the almes aforesaid they have cates’ Library, Edinburgh : though its position is not
excite a suspiredemed the forfeyte ; for, at the edge of the launde, an oulde man shall meet them with the same shoes cion that the order of the stanzas in the latter has
been transposed. Sir Owain, a Northumbrian knight, that were given by the partie when he was lyving ;
after and, after he hath shodde them, dismisseth them to
many frightful adventures in St. Patrick's purgo through thick and thin, without scratch or scalle.” gatory, at last arrives at the bridge, which, in the
legend, is placed betwixt purgatory and paradise :--Julius, F. VI. 459. The mythologic ideas of the dirge are common to
“ The fendes han the knight ynome,' various creeds. The Mahometan believes, that, in
To a stinkand water thai ben ycome, advancing to the final judgment-seat, he must tra
He no seigh never er non swiche;
It stank fouler than ani hounde, verse a bar of red-hot iron, stretched across a bot
And mani mile it was to the grounde, tomless gulf. The good works of each true believer,
And was as swart as piche. assuming a substantial form, will then interpose
" And Owain seigh ther ouer ligge betwixt his feet and this “ Bridge of Dread;" but
A swithe strong naru brigge: the wicked, having no such protection, must fall
The sendes seyd tho ; 3
'Lo! Sir Knight, seslow 4 this? headlong into the abyss.—D'HERBELOT, Bibliothèque
This is the brigge of paradis, Orientale.
Here over thou must go. Passages, similar to this dirge, are also to be found
""And we thee schal with stones prowe, in Lady Culross's Dream, as quoted in the second
And the winde ihee scbal over blow. Dissertation prefixed by Mr. Pinkerton to his Select
And wirche thee full wo;
" Ynome-took. - Seigh never er-saw never before. -3 Tho-then.- Seslow-sec'st thou.