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A Scottish BALLAD,
-was printed at Glasgow, by Robert and Andrew Foulis, MDCCLV. 8.30. 12 pages. --We are indebted for its publication (with many other valuable things in theje volumes) to Sir David Dalrymple, Bart, who gave it as it was preserved in the memory of a lady, that is now dead.
The reader will here find it improved, and enlarged with Several fine stanzas, recovered from a fragment of the same ballad, in the Editor's folio MS. It is remarkable that the latter is intitled CAPTAIN ADAM CARRE, and is in the English idiom.
But whether the author was English or Scotch, the difference originally was not great. The English Ballads are generally of the North of England, the Scottish are of the South of Scotland, and of consequence the country, of Ballad-fingers was sometimes subject to one crown, and sometimes to the other, and most frequently to neither. Most of the finest old Scotch fongs have the scene laid within 20 miles of England; which is indeed all poetic ground, green bills, remains of woods, clear brooks. The pastoral scenes remain : Of the rude chivalry of former ages happily nething remains, but the ruins of the castles, where the more daring and successful robbers refided. The House, or Castle of the Rodes, stood about a measured mile south from Duns in Berwickshire : some of the ruins of it may be seen to this day. The GORDONS were anciently feated in the fame county: the two villages of East and West Gordon lie
about 10 miles from the castle of the Rodes *. Whether this ballad bath any foundation in fact, we have not been able to discover. It contains however but too just a picture of the violences practised in the feudal times all over Europe.
From the different titles of this ballad, it pould seem that the old ftrolling bards or minstrels (who gained a livelihood by reciting these poems) made no scruple of changing the names of the personages they introduced, to humour their bearers. For instance, if a Gordon's conduct was blameworthy in the opinion of that age, the obsequious minstrel would, when among Gordons, change the name to Car, whose clan or sept lay further west, and vice versa. In the third volume the reader will find a similar instance. See the song of Gil Morris, the hero of which had different names given him, perhaps from the same cause. It may
be proper to mention, that in the English copy, inAtead of the “ Castle of the Rodes, it is the “ Caple of Bittons-borrow,” (or
• Diałtours-borrow,” for it is very obscurely written), and “ Capt. Adam Carre” is called the “ Lord of Westerton-town.” “Uniformity required that the additional stanzas supplied from that copy should be clothed in the Scottish orthography and idiom : this has therefore been attempted, though perhaps imperfectly.
Quhen the wind blew schril and cauld,
We maun draw to a hauld.
* This ballad is well knozun in that neighbourhood, where it is intiiled ADAM O'GORDON. It may be objerved, that the famous freeboster, whom Edward I. fought with, band to hand, near Farnham, muas named ADAM GORDON,
And quhat a hauld fall we draw to,
My mirry men and me?
To see that fair ladie.
The lady ftude on hir castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down : There she was ware of a host of mea
Cum ryding towards the toun.
O see ze nat, my mirry men a’?
O see ze nat quhat I see? Methinks I fee a host of men:
I marveil quha they be.
She weend it had been hir luvely lord,
As he cam ryding hame ;
Quha reckt nae sin nor shame.
She had nae sooner bukit hirsel,
And putten on hir goun,
Were round about the toun.
They had nae sooner fupper fett,
grace, Till Edom o' Gordon and his
men; Were light about the place.
The lady ran up to hir towir head,
Sa fast as she could drie,
She could wi' him agree.
But quhan he see this lady saif,
And hir yates all locked fast,
And his hart was all aghaft.
Cum doun to me, ze lady gay,
Cum doun, cum doun to me:
To-morrow my bride fall be.
I winnae cum doun, ze fals Gordòn,
I wịnnae cum doun to thee;
That is fae far frae me.
Give owre zour house, ze lady fair,
Give owre zour house to me,
Bot and zour babies three.
I winnae give owre, ze false Gordòn,
To nae fik traitor as zee;
My lord fall make ze drie.
But reach my pistol, Glaud, my 'man,
And charge ze weil my gun:
My babes we been undone,
Set fire to the house, quo' fals Gordòn,
All wood wi' dule and ire : Fals lady, ze fall rue this deid,
As ze brenn in the fire.
Wae worth, wae worth ze, Jock my man,
I paid ze weil zour fee ;
Lets in the reek to me?
And ein wae worth ze, Jock my man,
I paid ze weil zour hire;
To me lets in the fire ?
* The two foregoing fanzas have been apparently modernized.