Prev Next

But had I wist, before I kiss'd, That love had been sae ill to win, I'd lock'd my heart in a case of gold, 35 And pin'd it with a silver pin.

Oh, oh, if my young babe were born, And set upon the nurse's knee, And I my sell were dead and gane!

For a maid again I'll never be. 40


From the appendix to Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. v. An imperfect copy of this ballad was printed in Finlay's collection, vol. ii. p. 4; another, called the _Laird of Blackwood_, in Kinloch's, p. 60. Both of them may be seen at the end of this volume. Chambers has compiled a ballad in four parts from these three versions, another in manuscript, furnished by Kinloch, and the verses just given from Ramsay's _Miscellany_; and Aytoun, more recently, has made up a ballad from two copies obtained from recitation by Kinloch, and called it _The Marchioness of Douglas. Ballads of Scotland_, 2d ed. i. 135.

The circumstances which gave rise to the ballad are thus stated by Chambers: "James, second Marquis of Douglas, when aged twenty-four, married at Edinburgh, on the 7th of September, 1670, Lady Barbara Erskine, eldest daughter of John, ninth Earl of Mar. This lady is said to have been previously wooed, without success, by a gentleman of the name of Lowrie, who on account of his afterwards marrying Mariotte Weir, heiress of Blackwood, in Lanarkshire, was commonly called, according to the custom of Scotland, the Tutor, and sometimes the Laird, of Blackwood. Lowrie, who seems to have been considerably advanced in life at the time, was chamberlain or factor to the Marquis of Douglas; a circumstance which gave him peculiar facilities for executing an atrocious scheme of vengeance he had projected against the lady. By a train of proceedings somewhat similar to those of Iago, and in particular, by pretending to have discovered a pair of men's shoes underneath the Marchioness's bed, he completely succeeded in breaking up the affection of the unfortunate couple. Lord Douglas, who, though a man of profligate conduct, had hitherto treated his wife with some degree of politeness, now rendered her life so miserable, that she was obliged to seek refuge with her father. The earl came with a large retinue to carry her off, when, according to the ballad, as well as the tradition of the country, a most affecting scene took place. The Marquis himself was so much overcome by the parting of his wife and child--for she had now borne a son--that he expressed, even in that last hour, a desire of being reconciled to her. But the traitorous Lowrie succeeded in preventing him from doing so, by a well-aimed sarcasm at his weakness.... Regarding the ultimate fate of the Marchioness I am altogether ignorant. It is, however, very improbable that any reconciliation ever took place between her and her husband, such as is related in the ballad." _Scottish Ballads_, p.


O waly, waly up the bank, And waly, waly down the brae, And waly, waly by yon burn side, Where me and my lord was wont to gae.

Hey nonny nonnie, but love is bonnie, 5 A little while when it is new; But when love grows auld it grows mair cauld, And fades away like the morning dew.

I lean'd my back against an aik, I thocht it was a trustie tree; 10 But first it bowed, and syne it break, And sae did my fause luve to me.

My mother tauld me when I was young, That young man's love was ill to trow; But untill her I would give nae ear, 15 And alace my ain wand dings me now!

O wherefore need I busk my head?

O wherefore should I kaim my hair?

For my good lord has me forsook, And says he'll never love me mair. 20

Gin I had wist or I had kisst That young man's love was sae ill to win, I would hae lockt my hert wi' a key o' gowd, And pinn'd it wi' a siller pin.

An I had kent what I ken now, 25 I'd never crosst the water Tay, But stayed still at Athole's gates;-- He would have made me his lady gay.

When lords and lairds cam to this toun, And gentlemen o' a high degree, 30 I took my auld son in my arms, And went to my chamber pleasantlie.

But when lords and lairds come through this toun,[L33]

And gentlemen o' a high degree, I must sit alane intill the dark, 35 And the babie on the nurse's knee.

I had a nurse, and she was fair; She was a dearly nurse to me; She took my gay lord frae my side, And used him in her companie. 40

Awa, awa, thou fause Blackwood, Aye, and an ill death may thou die!

Thou wert the first and occasion last Of parting my gay lord and me.

When I lay sick, and very sick, 45 Sick I was and like to die, A gentleman, a friend of mine, He came on purpose to visit me; But Blackwood whisper'd in my lord's ear He was ower lang in chamber with me. 50

When I was sick, and very sick, Sick I was and like to die, I drew me near to my stairhead, And I heard my ain lord lichtly me.

"Come down, come down, O Jamie Douglas, 55 And drink the orange wine with me; I'll set thee on a chair of gold, And daut thee kindly on my knee."

"When sea and sand turn far inland, And mussels grow on ilka tree, 60 When cockle shells turn siller bells, I'll drink the orange wine wi' thee."

"What ails you at our youngest son, That sits upon the nurse's knee?

I'm sure he's never done any harm, 65 An it's not to his ain nurse and me."

If I had kent what I ken now, That love it was sae ill to win, I should ne'er hae wet my cherry cheek For onie man or woman's son. 70

When my father came to hear That my gay lord had forsaken me, He sent five score of his soldiers bright To take me safe to my ain countrie.

Up in the mornin' when I arose, 75 My bonnie palace for to lea', I whispered in at my lord's window, But the never a word he would answer me.

"Fare ye weel, then, Jamie Douglas, I need care as little as ye care for me; 80 The Earl of Mar is my father dear, And I soon will see my ain countrie.

"Ye thought that I was like yoursell, And loving ilk ane I did see; But here I swear by the heavens clear, 85 I never loved a man but thee."

Slowly, slowly rose I up, And slowly, slowly I cam down; And when he saw me sit in my coach, He made his drums and trumpets sound. 90

When I into my coach was set, My tenants all were with me tane; They set them down upon their knees, And they begg'd me to come back again.

It's "fare ye weel, my bonnie palace; 95 And fare ye weel, my children three: God grant your father may get mair grace, And love thee better than he has done me."

It's "fare ye weel, my servants all; And you, my bonnie children three: 100 God grant your father grace to be kind Till I see you safe in my ain countrie.

"But wae be to you, fause Blackwood, Aye, and ill death may you die!

Ye are the first, and I hope the last, 105 That put strife between my good lord and me."

When I came in through Edinburgh town, My loving father came to meet me, With trumpets sounding on every side; But it was no comfort at all to me: 110 For no mirth nor music sounds in my ear, Since the Earl of March has forsaken me.

"Hold your tongue, my daughter dear, And of your weeping pray let abee; For I'll send to him a bill of divorce, 115 And I'll get as good a lord to thee."

"Hold your tongue, my father dear, And of your scoffing pray let abee; I would rather hae a kiss of my ain lord's mouth As all the lords in the north countrie." 120

When she came to her father's land, The tenants a' cam her to see; Never a word she could speak to them, But the buttons aff her clothes did flee.[L124]

"The linnet is a bonnie bird, 125 And aften flees far frae its nest; So all the world may plainly see They 're far awa that I love best!"

She looked out at her father's window, To take a view of the countrie; 130 Who did she see but Jamie Douglas, And along with him her children three.

There came a soldier to the gate, And he did knock right hastilie: "If Lady Douglas be within, 135 Bid her come down and speak to me."

"O come away, my lady fair, Come away, now, alang with me: For I have hanged fause Blackwood At the very place where he told the lie." 140

33, cam.

124. See _Andrew Lammie_, vol. ii. 191.


Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.