And we were fifteen weel-made men,
Altho’ we were na bonny;
And we were a’ put down but ane,
For a fair young wanton lady.
Ballad: Hobbie Noble
(Child, vi. Early Edition.)
Foul fa’ the breast first treason bred in!
That Liddesdale may safely say:
For in it there was baith meat and drink,
And corn unto our geldings gay.
We were stout-hearted men and true,
As England it did often say;
But now we may turn our backs and fly,
Since brave Noble is seld away.
Now Hobie he was an English man,
And born into Bewcastle dale;
But his misdeeds they were sae great,
They banish’d him to Liddisdale.
At Kershope foot the tryst was set,
Kershope of the lilye lee;
And there was traitour Sim o’ the Mains,
With him a private companie.
Then Hobie has graith’d his body weel,
I wat it was wi’ baith good iron and steel;
And he has pull’d out his fringed grey,
And there, brave Noble, he rade him weel.
Then Hobie is down the water gane,
E’en as fast as he may drie;
Tho’ they shoud a’ brusten and broken their hearts,
Frae that tryst Noble he would na be.
“Weel may ye be, my feiries five!
And aye, what is your wills wi’ me?”
Then they cry’d a’ wi’ ae consent,
“Thou’rt welcome here, brave Noble, to me.
“Wilt thou with us in England ride,
And thy safe warrand we will be?
If we get a horse worth a hundred punds,
Upon his back that thou shalt be.”
“I dare not with you into England ride;
The Land-sergeant has me at feid:
I know not what evil may betide,
For Peter of Whitfield, his brother, is dead.
“And Anton Shiel he loves not me,
For I gat twa drifts o his sheep;
The great Earl of Whitfield loves me not,
For nae gear frae me he e’er could keep.
“But will ye stay till the day gae down,
Until the night come o’er the grund,
And I’ll be a guide worth ony twa,
That may in Liddesdale be fund?
“Tho’ dark the night as pitch and tar,
I’ll guide ye o’er yon hills fu’ hie;
And bring ye a’ in safety back,
If ye’ll be true and follow me.”
He’s guided them o’er moss and muir,
O’er hill and houp, and mony a down;
Til they came to the Foulbogshiel,
And there, brave Noble, he lighted down.
But word is gane to the Land-sergeant,
In Askirton where that he lay—
“The deer that ye hae hunted lang,
Is seen into the Waste this day.”
“Then Hobbie Noble is that deer!
I wat he carries the style fu’ hie;
Aft has he beat your slough-hounds back,
And set yourselves at little lee.
“Gar warn the bows of Hartlie-burn;
See they shaft their arrows on the wa’!
Warn Willeva and Spear Edom,
And see the morn they meet me a’.
“Gar meet me on the Rodric-haugh,
And see it be by break o’ day;
And we will on to Conscowthart-Green,
For there, I think, we’ll get our prey.”