First published on an octavo sheet, by Lady Jean Home, about the middle of the last century, and from this copy reprinted in Percy's _Reliques_, (ii. 227.) Buchan has a version (i. 15) twenty-five stanzas longer than the present, which is given in our Appendix. This ballad has been supposed to refer to the fate of the Earl of Murray, (see _post_, _The Bonny Earl of Murray_.) The additional circumstances furnished by Buchan's copy, however, have led Chambers to suggest that the unfortunate hero was Walter Stuart, second son of the Duke of Albany. In support of his conjecture, he adduces "the name, which may be a corruption of Walter; the mention of the Heading (beheading) Hill of Stirling, which is known to have been the very scene of Walter Stuart's execution; the relationship which Young Waters claims with the king; and the sympathy expressed by the people, in the last verse, for the fate of the young knight, which exactly tallies with what is told us by the Scottish historians, regarding the popular feeling expressed in favour of the numerous nobles and princes of his own blood, whom the king saw it necessary to sacrifice." We do not consider these coincidences sufficient to establish the historical character of the piece.
About Zule, quhen the wind blew cule, And the round tables began, A'! there is cum to our kings court Mony a well-favourd man.
The queen luikt owre the castle wa', 5 Beheld baith dale and down, And then she saw zoung Waters Cum riding to the town.
His footmen they did rin before, His horsemen rade behind; 10 Ane mantel of the burning gowd Did keip him frae the wind.
Gowden graith'd his horse before, And siller shod behind; The horse zoung Waters rade upon 15 Was fleeter than the wind.
But then spake a wylie lord, Unto the queen said he: "O tell me quha's the fairest face Rides in the company?" 20
"I've sene lord, and I've sene laird, And knights of high degree, Bot a fairer face than zoung Waters Mine eyne did never see."
Out then spaek the jealous king 25 (And an angry man was he): "O if he had been twice as fair, Zou micht have excepted me."
"Zou're neither laird nor lord," she says, "Bot the king that wears the crown; 30 There is not a knight in fair Scotland, Bot to thee maun bow down."
For a' that she could do or say, Appeasd he wade nae bee; Bot for the words which she had said, 35 Zoung Waters he maun dee.
They hae taen zoung Waters, and Put fetters to his feet; They hae taen zoung Waters, and Thrown him in dungeon deep. 40
"Aft I have ridden thro' Stirling town, In the wind bot and the weit; Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town Wi' fetters at my feet.
"Aft have I ridden thro' Stirling town, 45 In the wind bot and the rain; Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town Neir to return again."
They hae taen to the heiding-hill His zoung son in his craddle; 50 And they hae taen to the heiding-hill His horse bot and his saddle.
They hae taen to the heiding-hill His lady fair to see; And for the words the queen had spoke 55 Zoung Waters he did dee.
BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL.
Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. 44.
This, says Motherwell, "is probably a lament for one of the adherents of the house of Argyle, who fell in the battle of Glenlivat, stricken on Thursday, the third day of October, 1594 years." It is printed, somewhat differently, in Smith's _Scottish Minstrel_, v. 42. Finlay gives eight lines of this ballad in the Preface to his first volume, p. xxxiii.
Hie upon Hielands, And low upon Tay, Bonnie George Campbell Rade out on a day.
Saddled and bridled 5 And gallant rade he; Hame cam his gude horse, But never cam he!
Out cam his auld mither Greeting fu' sair, 10 And out cam his bonnie bride Rivin' her hair.
Saddled and bridled And booted rade he; Toom hame cam the saddle, 15 But never cam he!
"My meadow lies green, And my corn is unshorn; My barn is to big, And my babie's unborn." 20 Saddled and bridled And booted rade he; Toom hame cam the saddle, But never cam he!
The following is believed to be a correct account of the various printed forms of this extremely popular ballad. In the second edition of Herd's _Scottish Songs_ (1776) appeared a fragment of eighteen stanzas, called _Lammikin_, embellished in a puerile style by some modern hand. Jamieson published the story in a complete and authentic shape in his _Popular Ballads_, in 1806. Finlay's collection (1808) furnishes us with two more copies, the first of which (ii. 47) is made up in part of Herd's fragment, and the second (ii. 57) taken from a MS. "written by an old lady." Another was given, from recitation, in Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, (1827,) with the more intelligible title of _Lambert Linkin_. An English fragment, called _Long Lonkin_, taken down from the recitation of an old woman, is said to have been inserted by Miss Landon, in the _Drawing-Room Scrap-Book_, for 1837. This was republished in Richardson's _Borderer's Table-Book_, 1846, vol. viii. 410, and the editor of that miscellany, who ought to have learned to be skeptical in such matters, urges the circumstantial character of local tradition as strong evidence that the real scene of the cruel history was in Northumberland. Lastly, we have to note a version resembling Motherwell's, styled _Bold Rankin_, printed in _A New Book of Old Ballads_, (p. 73,) and in Whitelaw's _Book of Scottish Ballads_, (p.
246,) and an imperfect ballad (_Long Lankyn_) in _Notes and Queries_, New Series, ii. 324.
We have printed Jamieson's, Motherwell's, the longer of Finlay's versions, and the English fragment: the last two in the Appendix. The following is from Jamieson's _Popular Ballads_, i. 176. "This piece was transmitted to the Editor by Mrs. Brown."
"O pay me now, Lord Wearie; Come, pay me out o' hand."
"I canna pay you, Lamkin, Unless I sell my land."
"O gin ye winna pay me, 5 I here sall mak a vow, Before that ye come hame again, Ye sall ha'e cause to rue."
Lord Wearie got a bonny ship, To sail the saut sea faem; 10 Bade his lady weel the castle keep, Ay till he should come hame.
But the nourice was a fause limmer As e'er hung on a tree; She laid a plot wi' Lamkin, 15 Whan her lord was o'er the sea.
She laid a plot wi' Lamkin, When the servants were awa'; Loot him in at a little shot window, And brought him to the ha'. 20
"O whare's a' the men o' this house, That ca' me Lamkin?"
"They're at the barn well thrashing, 'Twill be lang ere they come in."
"And whare's the women o' this house, 25 That ca' me Lamkin?"
"They're at the far well washing; 'Twill be lang ere they come in."
"And whare's the bairns o' this house, That ca' me Lamkin?" 30 "They're at the school reading; 'Twill be night or they come hame."
O whare's the lady o' this house, That ca's me Lamkin?"
"She's up in her bower sewing, 35 But we soon can bring her down."
Then Lamkin's tane a sharp knife, That hang down by his gaire, And he has gi'en the bonny babe A deep wound and a sair. 40
Then Lamkin he rocked, And the fause nourice sang, Till frae ilkae bore o' the cradle The red blood out sprang.
Then out it spak the lady, 45 As she stood on the stair, "What ails my bairn, nourice, That he's greeting sae sair?
"O still my bairn, nourice; O still him wi' the pap!" 50 "He winna still, lady, For this, nor for that."
"O still my bairn, nourice; "O still him wi' the wand!"
"He winna still, lady, 55 For a' his father's land."
"O still my bairn, nourice, O still him wi' the bell!"