JOHN THOMSON AND THE TURK.
From Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, Appendix, p. ix. The same in Buchan's collection, ii. 159.
John Thomson fought against the Turks Three years, intill a far countrie; And all that time, and something mair, Was absent from his gay ladie.
But it fell ance upon a time, 5 As this young chieftain sat alane, He spied his lady in rich array, As she walk'd ower a rural plain.
"What brought ye here, my lady gay, So far awa from your ain countrie? 10 I've thought lang, and very lang, And all for your fair face to see."
For some days she did with him stay, Till it fell ance upon a day, "Fareweel, for a time," she said, 15 "For now I must boun hame away."
He's gi'en to her a jewel fine, Was set with pearl and precious stane; Says, "My love, beware of these savages bold That's in your way as ye gang hame. 20
"Ye'll tak the road, my lady fair, That leads you fair across the lea: That keeps you from wild Hind Soldan, And likewise from base Violentrie."
Wi' heavy heart thir twa did pairt, 25 She mintet as she wuld gae hame; Hind Soldan by the Greeks was slain, But to base Violentrie she's gane.
When a twelvemonth had expired, John Thomson he thought wondrous lang, 30 And he has written a braid letter, And sealed it weel wi' his ain hand.
He sent it with a small vessel That there was quickly gaun to sea; And sent it on to fair Scotland, 35 To see about his gay ladie.
But the answer he received again,-- The lines did grieve his heart right sair: Nane of her friends there had her seen, For a twelvemonth and something mair. 40
Then he put on a palmer's weed, And took a pike-staff in his hand; To Violentrie's castell he hied; But slowly, slowly he did gang.
When within the hall he came, 45 He jooked and couch'd out ower his tree: "If ye be lady of this hall, Some of your good bountith gie me."
"What news, what news, palmer," she said, "And from what countrie cam ye?" 50 "I'm lately come from Grecian plains, Where lies some of the Scots armie."
"If ye be come from Grecian plains, Some mair news I will ask of thee,-- Of one of the chieftains that lies there, 55 If he has lately seen his gay ladie."
"It is twa months, and something mair, Since we did pairt on yonder plain; And now this knight has began to fear One of his foes he has her ta'en." 60
"He has not ta'en me by force nor slight; It was a' by my ain free will; He may tarry into the fight, For here I mean to tarry still.
"And if John Thomson ye do see, 65 Tell him I wish him silent sleep; His head was not so coziely, Nor yet sae weel, as lies at my feet."
With that he threw aff his strange disguise, Laid by the mask that he had on; 70 Said, "Hide me now, my lady fair, For Violentrie will soon be hame."
"For the love I bore thee ance, I'll strive to hide you, if I can:"
Then she put him down in a dark cellar 75 Where there lay many a new slain man.
But he hadna in the cellar been, Not an hour but barely three, Then hideous was the noise he heard, When in at the gate cam Violentrie. 80
Says, "I wish you well, my lady fair, It's time for us to sit to dine; Come, serve me with the good white bread, And likewise with the claret wine.
"That Scots chieftain, our mortal fae, 85 Sae aft frae the field has made us flee, Ten thousand zechins this day I'll give That I his face could only see."
"Of that same gift wuld ye give me, If I wuld bring him unto thee? 90 I fairly hold you at your word;-- Come ben, John Thomson, to my lord."
Then from the vault John Thomson came, Wringing his hands most piteouslie: "What would ye do," the Turk he cried, 95 "If ye had me as I hae thee?"
"If I had you as ye have me, I'll tell ye what I'd do to thee; I'd hang you up in good greenwood, And cause your ain hand wale the tree. 100
"I meant to stick you with my knife For kissing my beloved ladie:"
"But that same weed ye've shaped for me, It quickly shall be sewed for thee."
Then to the wood they baith are gane; 105 John Thomson clamb frae tree to tree; And aye he sighed and said, "Och hone!
Here comes the day that I must die."
He tied a ribbon on every branch, Put up a flag his men might see; 110 But little did his false faes ken He meant them any injurie.
He set his horn unto his mouth, And he has blawn baith loud and schill: And then three thousand armed men 115 Cam tripping all out ower the hill.
"Deliver us our chief," they all did cry; "It's by our hand that ye must die;"
"Here is your chief," the Turk replied, With that fell on his bended knee. 120
"O mercy, mercy, good fellows all, Mercy I pray you'll grant to me;"
"Such mercy as ye meant to give, Such mercy we shall give to thee."
This Turk they in his castel burnt, 125 That stood upon yon hill so hie; John Thomson's gay ladie they took And hanged her on yon greenwood tree.
LORD THOMAS STUART.
From Maidment's _North Countrie Garland_, p. 1.
Thomas Stuart was a lord, A lord of mickle land; He used to wear a coat of gold, But now his grave is green.
Now he has wooed the young countess, 5 The Countess of Balquhin, An' given her for a morning gift, Strathboggie and Aboyne.
But women's wit is aye willful, Alas! that ever it was sae; 10 She longed to see the morning gift That her gude lord to her gae.
When steeds were saddled an' weel bridled, An' ready for to ride, There came a pain on that gude lord, 15 His back, likewise his side.
He said, "Ride on, my lady fair, May goodness be your guide; For I'm sae sick an' weary that No farther can I ride." 20
Now ben did come his father dear, Wearing a golden band; Says, "Is there nae leech in Edinburgh, Can cure my son from wrang?"
"O leech is come, an' leech is gane, 25 Yet, father, I'm aye waur; There's not a leech in Edinbro'
Can death from me debar.
"But be a friend to my wife, father, Restore to her her own; 30 Restore to her my morning gift, Strathboggie and Aboyne.