Her mither raise out o' her bed, And ca'd on baith her women: "What ails ye, Annie, my dochter dear?
O Annie, was ye dreamin'?
"What dule disturb'd my dochter's sleep? 55 O tell to me, my Annie!"
She sighed right sair, and said nae mair, But, "O for Andrew Lammie!"
Her father beat her cruellie, Sae also did her mother; 60 Her sisters sair did scoff at her; But wae betide her brother!
Her brother beat her cruellie, Till his straiks they werena canny; He brak her back, and he beat her sides, 65 For the sake o' Andrew Lammie.
"O fie, O fie, my brother dear, The gentlemen 'll shame ye; The laird o' Fyvie he's gaun by, And he'll come in and see me. 70
And he'll kiss me, and he'll clap me, And he will speer what ails me; And I will answer him again, It's a' for Andrew Lammie."
Her sisters they stood in the door, 75 Sair griev'd her wi' their folly; "O sister dear, come to the door, Your cow is lowin on you."
"O fie, O fie, my sister dear, Grieve me not wi' your folly; 80 I'd rather hear the trumpet sound, Than a' the kye o' Fyvie.
"Love pines away, love dwines away, Love, love decays the body; For love o' thee now I maun die-- 85 Adieu to Andrew Lammie!"
But Tiftie's wrote a braid letter, And sent it into Fyvie, Saying, his daughter was bewitch'd By bonny Andrew Lammie. 90
"Now, Tiftie, ye maun gi'e consent, And lat the lassie marry."
"I'll never, never gi'e consent To the Trumpeter of Fyvie."
When Fyvie looked the letter on, 95 He was baith sad and sorry: Says--"The bonniest lass o' the country-side Has died for Andrew Lammie."
O Andrew's gane to the house-top O' the bonny house o' Fyvie; 100 He's blawn his horn baith loud and shill O'er the lawland leas o' Fyvie.
"Mony a time ha'e I walk'd a' night, And never yet was weary; But now I may walk wae my lane, 105 For I'll never see my deary.
"Love pines away, love dwines away, Love, love, decays the body: For the love o' thee, now I maun die-- I come, my bonny Annie!" 110
FAIR HELEN OF KIRCONNELL.
"The following very popular ballad has been handed down by tradition in its present imperfect state. The affecting incident on which it is founded is well known. A lady, of the name of Helen Irving, or Bell, (for this is disputed by the two clans,) daughter of the Laird of Kirconnell, in Dumfries-shire, and celebrated for her beauty, was beloved by two gentlemen in the neighbourhood. The name of the favoured suitor was Adam Fleming of Kirkpatrick; that of the other has escaped tradition: though it has been alleged that he was a Bell, of Blacket House. The addresses of the latter were, however, favoured by the friends of the lady, and the lovers were therefore obliged to meet in secret, and by night, in the churchyard of Kirconnell, a romantic spot, almost surrounded by the river Kirtle.
During one of these private interviews, the jealous and despised lover suddenly appeared on the opposite bank of the stream, and levelled his carabine at the breast of his rival. Helen threw herself before her lover, received in her bosom the bullet, and died in his arms. A desperate and mortal combat ensued between Fleming and the murderer, in which the latter was cut to pieces. Other accounts say, that Fleming pursued his enemy to Spain, and slew him in the streets of Madrid.
"The ballad, as now published, consists of two parts. The first seems to be an address, either by Fleming or his rival, to the lady; if, indeed, it constituted any portion of the original poem. For the Editor cannot help suspecting, that these verses have been the production of a different and inferior bard, and only adapted to the original measure and tune. But this suspicion being unwarranted by any copy he has been able to procure, he does not venture to do more than intimate his own opinion. The second part, by far the most beautiful, and which is unquestionably original, forms the lament of Fleming over the grave of fair Helen.
"The ballad is here given, without alteration or improvement, from the most accurate copy which could be recovered. The fate of Helen has not, however, remained unsung by modern bards. A lament, of great poetical merit, by the learned historian, Mr. Pinkerton, with several other poems on this subject, have been printed in various forms.[B]
"The grave of the lovers is yet shown in the churchyard of Kirconnell, near Springkell. Upon the tombstone can still be read--_Hic jacet Adamus Fleming_; a cross and sword are sculptured on the stone. The former is called by the country people, the gun with which Helen was murdered; and the latter the avenging sword of her lover. _Sit illis terra levis!_ A heap of stones is raised on the spot where the murder was committed; a token of abhorrence common to most nations." _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii.
[B] For Pinkerton's elegy, see his _Select Scottish Ballads_, i.
109; for Mayne's, the _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. 86, Part ii. 64.
Jamieson has enfeebled the story in _Popular Ballads_, i. 205, and Wordsworth's _Ellen Irwin_ hardly deserves more praise. ED.
Versions of the Second Part, (which alone deserves notice,) nearly agreeing with Scott's, are given in the Illustrations to the new edition of Johnson's _Museum_, p. 143, by Mr. Stenhouse, p. 210, by Mr. Sharpe. Inferior and fragmentary ones in Herd's _Scottish Songs_, i. 257; Johnson's _Museum_, 163; Ritson's _Scottish Song_, i. 145; Jamieson's _Popular Ballads_, i. 203.
O! sweetest sweet, and fairest fair, Of birth and worth beyond compare, Thou art the causer of my care, Since first I loved thee.
Yet God hath given to me a mind, 5 The which to thee shall prove as kind As any one that thou shalt find, Of high or low degree.
The shallowest water makes maist din, The deadest pool the deepest linn; 10 The richest man least truth within, Though he preferred be.
Yet, nevertheless, I am content, And never a whit my love repent, But think the time was a' weel spent, 15 Though I disdained be.
O! Helen sweet, and maist complete, My captive spirit's at thy feet!
Thinks thou still fit thus for to treat Thy captive cruelly? 20
O! Helen brave! but this I crave, Of thy poor slave some pity have, And do him save that's near his grave, And dies for love of thee.
I wish I were where Helen lies, Night and day on me she cries; O that I were where Helen lies, On fair Kirconnell Lee!
Curst be the heart that thought the thought, 5 And curst the hand that fired the shot, When in my arms burd Helen dropt, And died to succour me!
O think na ye my heart was sair, When my love dropt down and spak nae mair! 10 There did she swoon wi' meikle care, On fair Kirconnell Lee.
As I went down the water side, None but my foe to be my guide, None but my foe to be my guide, 15 On fair Kirconnell Lee;
I lighted down my sword to draw, I hacked him in pieces sma', I hacked him in pieces sma', For her sake that died for me. 20
O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I'll make a garland of thy hair, Shall bind my heart for evermair, Until the day I die.
O that I were where Helen lies! 25 Night and day on me she cries; Out of my bed she bids me rise, Says, "Haste and come to me!"--
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee, I were blest, 30 Where thou lies low, and takes thy rest, On fair Kirconnell Lee.
I wish my grave were growing green, A winding-sheet drawn ower my een, And I in Helen's arms lying, 35 On fair Kirconnell Lee.