Page images



Ye lovers leal forbear to style

Your ladies fairest of the fair ;
A purer light is come on earth,

And they maun hope to shine nae mair.
There is a gem without compare,

The brightest e'er in crowns was set,
A lady fair, and sweet as rare,

Montgomery's matchless Margaret.
Her better nature far excels

Her noble birth and royal blood;
Fairest where all are fair, and full

Of native gifts and graces good-
The wit and wale of womanhood,

Mair sweet than roses newly wet
With thrice distilled dews- I wooed,

But won not matchless Margaret.
O mind me, Fortune, when you

Your idle crowns and sceptres down ;
O Love, make me seem in her sight

The noblest that's beneath the sun :
O lang I've loved but never won,

And wander'd till my locks were wet
In midnight dew-drops, musing on

My loved, my matchless Margaret.

[A modernized version by Allan Cupningham. For the original words see Laing's Edition of Montgomery's Poems, p. 161.]

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


This night is my departing night,

For here nae langer must I stay;
There's neither friend nor foe o' mine,

But wishes me away.

What I have done thro' lack of wit,

never, never can recall;
I hope ye're a' my friends as yet ;
Goodnight, and joy be with you


[“ These verses are said to have been composed by one of the Armstrongs, executed for the murder of Sir John Carmichael of Edrom, Warden of the Middle Marches."-Scott.

"The music of the most accomplished singer is dissonance to what I felt when an old dairy-maid sung me into tears with Johnie Arm. strong's Last Goodnight."-GOLDSMITH.

The above is printed from Sir Walter Scott's copy—there are many variations in lines and many fabrications of verses in different Ballad Books totally unworthy of being here inserted.]



Born 1612-Hanged 1650.

My dear and only love, I pray

That little world of thee
Be govern’d by no other sway,

But purest inonarchy;


For if confusion have a part,

Which virtuous souls abhor, I'll call a synod in my heart,

And never love thee more. As Alexander I will reign,

And I will reign alone, My thoughts did evermore disdain

A rival on my throne. He either fears his fate too much,

Or his deserts are small, Who dares not put it to the touch,

To gain or lose it all. But I will reign, and govern still,

And always give the law,
And have each subject at my will,

And all to stand in awe :
But 'gainst my batt'ries if I find

Thou storm or vex me sore,
As if thou set me as a blind,

I'll never love thee more. And in the empire of thy heart,

Where I should solely be, If others do pretend a part,

Or dare to share with me;
Or committees if thou erect,

Or go on such a score,
I'll smiling mock at thy neglect,

And never love thee more.
But if no faithless action stain

Thy love and constant word, I'll make thee famous by my pen,

And glorious by my sword.

I'll serve thee in such noble ways,

As ne'er was known before ;
I'll deck and crown thy head with bays,

And love thee more and more.

[From Watson's Collection, 1711.)



Fy let us a' to the bridal,

For there will be lilting there;
For Jock's to be married to Maggy,

The lass wi' the gowden hair.
And there will be lang-kail and porridge,

And bannocks o' barley-meal ;
And there will be good saut herring,

To relish a cog of good ale.

And there will be Sawney the sutor,

And Will wi’ the meikle mou'; And there will be Tam the blutter,

With Andrew the tinkler, I trow; And there will be bow-legged Robie,

With thumbless Katy's goodman ; And there will be blue-checked Dobie,

And Laurie the laird of the land.

« PreviousContinue »