A Collection of Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about A Collection of Ballads.

“Ye lied, ye lied, now, king,” he says,
“Altho’ a king and prince ye be! 
For I’ve loved naething in my life,
I weel dare say it, but honestie.

“Save a fat horse, and a fair woman,
Twa bonnie dogs to kill a deer;
But England shou’d have found me meal and mault,
Gif I had lived this hundred year.

“She shou’d have found me meal and mault,
And beef and mutton in all plentie;
But never a Scots wife cou’d have said,
That e’er I skaith’d her a puir flee.

“To seek het water beneath cauld ice,
Surely it is a great follie: 
I have ask’d grace at a graceless face,
But there is nane for my men and me.

“But had I kenn’d, ere I came frae hame,
How unkind thou wou’dst been to me,
I wou’d ha’e keepit the Border side,
In spite of all thy force and thee.

“Wist England’s king that I was ta’en,
Oh, gin a blythe man he wou’d be! 
For ance I slew his sister’s son,
And on his breast-bane brak a tree.”

John wore a girdle about his middle,
Embroider’d o’er with burning gold,
Bespangled with the same metal,
Maist beautiful was to behold.

There hang nine targats {8} at Johnnie’s hat,
An ilk ane worth three hundred pound: 
“What wants that knave that a king shou’d have,
But the sword of honour and the crown?

“Oh, where got thee these targats, Johnnie. 
That blink sae brawly {9} aboon thy brie?”
“I gat them in the field fechting, {10}
Where, cruel king, thou durst not be.

“Had I my horse and harness gude,
And riding as I wont to be,
It shou’d have been tauld this hundred year,
The meeting of my king and me!

“God be with thee, Kirsty, {11} my brother,
Lang live thou laird of Mangertoun! 
Lang may’st thou live on the Border side,
Ere thou see thy brother ride up and down!

“And God he with thee, Kirsty, my son,
Where thou sits on thy nurse’s knee! 
But an thou live this hundred year,
Thy father’s better thou’lt never be.

“Farewell, my bonnie Gilnock hall,
Where on Esk side thou standest stout! 
Gif I had lived but seven years mair,
I wou’d ha’e gilt thee round about.”

John murder’d was at Carlinrigg,
And all his gallant companie;
But Scotland’s heart was ne’er sae wae,
To see sae mony brave men die;

Because they saved their country dear
Frae Englishmen!  Nane were sae bauld
While Johnnie lived on the Border side,
Nane of them durst come near his hauld.

Ballad:  Edom O’ Gordon

It fell about the Martinmas,
When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o’ Gordon to his men,—­
“We maun draw to a hald. {12}

“And whatna hald shall we draw to,
My merry men and me? 
We will gae straight to Towie house,
To see that fair ladye.”

Project Gutenberg
A Collection of Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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