It's fifty miles to Sittingen's rocks, As ever was ridden or gane; And Earl Robert has wedded a wife, But he dare na bring her hame.
_And Earl Robert has wedded a wife_, &c. 5
His mother, she call'd to her waiting-maid: "O bring me a pint of wine, For I dinna weel ken what hour of this day That my son Earl Robert shall dine."
She's put it to her fause, fause cheek, But an' her fause, fause chin; 10 She's put it to her fause, fause lips; But never a drap went in.
But he's put it to his bonny cheek, Aye and his bonny chin; He's put it to his red rosy lips, 15 And the poison went merrily down.
"O where will I get a bonny boy, That will win hose and shoon,-- That will gang quickly to Sittingen's rocks, And bid my lady come?" 20
It's out then speaks a bonny boy, To Earl Robert was something akin: "Many a time have I run thy errand, But this day with the tears I'll rin."
O when he cam to Sittingen's rocks, 25 To the middle of a' the ha', There were bells a ringing, and music playing, And ladies dancing a'.
"What news, what news, my bonny boy, What news have ye to me? 30 Is Earl Robert in very good health, And the ladies of your countrie?"
"O Earl Robert's in very good health, And as weel as a man can be; But his mother this night has a drink to be druken, 35 And at it you must be."
She called to her waiting-maid, To bring her a riding weed; And she called to her stable groom, To saddle her milk-white steed. 40
But when she came to Earl Robert's bouir, To the middle of a' the ha', There were bells a ringing and sheets down hinging, And ladies murning a'.
"I've come for none of his gold," she said, 45 "Nor none of his white monie; Excepting a ring of his smallest finger, If that you will grant me."
"Thou'll no get none of his gold," she said.
"Nor none of his white monie; 50 Thou'll no get a ring of his smallest finger, Tho' thy heart should break in three."
She set her foot unto a stone, Her back unto a tree; She set her foot unto a stone, 55 And her heart did break in three!
The one was buried in Mary's kirk, The other in Mary's quier; Out of the one there grew a bush, From the other a bonnie brier. 60
And thir twa grew, and thir twa threw, Till thir twa craps drew near; So all the world may plainly see That they lov'd each other dear.
THE WEARY COBLE O' CARGILL.
From Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. 230.
"This local ballad, which commemorates some real event, is given from the recitation of an old woman, residing in the neighbourhood of Cambus Michael, Perthshire. It possesses the elements of good poetry, and, had it fallen into the hands of those who make no scruple of interpolating and corrupting the text of oral song, it might have been made, with little trouble, a very interesting and pathetic composition.
"Kercock and Balathy are two small villages on the banks of the Tay; the latter is nearly opposite Stobhall. According to tradition, the ill-fated hero of the ballad had a leman in each of these places; and it was on the occasion of his paying a visit to his Kercock love, that the jealous dame in Balathy Toun, from a revengeful feeling, scuttled the boat in which he was to recross the Tay to Stobhall." MOTHERWELL.
David Drummond's destinie, Gude man o' appearance o' Cargill; I wat his blude rins in the flude, Sae sair against his parents' will.
She was the lass o' Balathy toun, 5 And he the butler o' Stobhall; And mony a time she wauked late, To bore the coble o' Cargill.
His bed was made in Kercock ha', Of gude clean sheets and of the hay; 10 He wudna rest ae nicht therein, But on the prude waters he wud gae.
His bed was made in Balathy toun, Of the clean sheets and of the strae; But I wat it was far better made, 15 Into the bottom o' bonnie Tay.
She bored the coble in seven pairts, I wat her heart might hae been sae sair; For there she got the bonnie lad lost, Wi' the curly locks and the yellow hair. 20
He put his foot into the boat, He little thocht o' ony ill: But before that he was mid waters, The weary coble began to fill.
"Woe be to the lass o' Balathy toun, 25 I wat an ill death may she die; For she bored the coble in seven pairts, And let the waters perish me!
"O help, O help I can get nane, Nae help o' man can to me come!" 30 This was about his dying words, When he was choaked up to the chin.
"Gae tell my father and my mother, It was naebody did me this ill; I was a-going my ain errands, 35 Lost at the coble o' bonnie Cargill."
She bored the boat in seven pairts, I wat she bored it wi' gude will; And there they got the bonnie lad's corpse, In the kirk-shot o' bonnie Cargill. 40
O a' the keys o' bonnie Stobha', I wat they at his belt did hing; But a' the keys of bonnie Stobha', They now ly low into the stream.
A braver page into his age 45 Ne'er set a foot upon the plain; His father to his mother said, "O sae sune as we've wanted him!
"I wat they had mair luve than this, When they were young and at the scule; 50 But for his sake she wauked late, And bored the coble o' bonnie Cargill.
"There's ne'er a clean sark gae on my back, Nor yet a kame gae in my hair; There's neither coal nor candle licht 55 Shall shine in my bouer for ever mair.
"At kirk nor market I'se ne'er be at, Nor yet a blythe blink in my ee; There's ne'er a ane shall say to anither, That's the lassie gar'd the young man die." 60
Between the yetts o' bonnie Stobha', And the kirkstyle o' bonnie Cargill, There is mony a man and mother's son That was at my luve's burial.
OLD ROBIN OF PORTINGALE.
Percy's _Reliques of English Poetry_, iii. 88.
"From an ancient copy in the Editor's folio MS., which was judged to require considerable corrections.
"In the former edition the hero of this piece had been called Sir Robin, but that title not being in the MS. is now omitted.
"Giles, steward to a rich old merchant trading to Portugal, is qualified with the title of _Sir_, not as being a knight, but rather, I conceive, as having received an inferior order of priesthood." PERCY.
Let never again soe old a man Marrye soe yonge a wife, As did old Robin of Portingale; Who may rue all the dayes of his life.
For the mayors daughter of Lin, God wott 5 He chose her to his wife, And thought with her to have lived in love, But they fell to hate and strife.
They scarce were in their wed-bed laid, And scarce was hee asleepe, 10 But upp shee rose, and forth shee goes, To the steward, and gan to weepe.