Obtained from recitation, in the West of Scotland. Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. 225.
There was a lass, as I heard say, Liv'd low doun in a glen; Her name was Catherine Johnstone, Weel known to many men.
Doun came the laird o' Lamington, 5 Doun from the South Countrie; And he is for this bonnie lass, Her bridegroom for to be.
He's ask'd her father and mother, The chief of a' her kin; 10 And then he ask'd the bonnie lass, And did her favour win.
Doun came an English gentleman, Doun from the English border; He is for this bonnie lass, 15 To keep his house in order.
He ask'd her father and mother, As I do hear them say; But he never ask'd the lass hersell, Till on her wedding day. 20
But she has wrote a long letter, And sealed it with her hand; And sent it to Lord Lamington, To let him understand.
The first line o' the letter he read, 25 He was baith glad and fain; But or he read the letter o'er, He was baith pale and wan.
Then he has sent a messenger, And out through all his land; 30 And four-and-twenty armed men Was all at his command.
But he has left his merry men all, Left them on the lee; And he's awa to the wedding house, 35 To see what he could see.
But when he came to the wedding house, As I do understand, There were four-and-twenty belted knights Sat at a table round. 40
They rose all to honour him, For he was of high renown; They rose all for to welcome him, And bade him to sit down.
O meikle was the good red wine 45 In silver cups did flow; But aye she drank to Lamington, For with him would she go.
O meikle was the good red wine In silver cups gaed round; 50 At length they began to whisper words, None could them understand.
"O came ye here for sport, young man, Or came ye here for play?
Or came ye for our bonnie bride, 55 On this her wedding day?"
"I came not here for sport," he said, "Neither did I for play; But for one word o' your bonnie bride, I'll mount and go away." 60
They set her maids behind her, To hear what they would say; But the first question he ask'd at her Was always answered nay; The next question he ask'd at her 65 Was, "Mount and come away?"
It's up the Couden bank, And doun the Couden brae; And aye she made the trumpet sound, It's a weel won play. 70
O meikle was the blood was shed Upon the Couden brae; And aye she made the trumpet sound, It's a' fair play.
Come, a' ye English gentlemen, 75 That is of England born, Come na doun to Scotland, For fear ye get the scorn.
They'll feed ye up wi' flattering words, And that's foul play; 80 And they'll dress you frogs instead of fish, Just on your wedding day.
BONNY BABY LIVINGSTON.
Jamieson's _Popular Ballads_, ii. 135, from Mrs. Brown's recitation.
_Barbara Livingston_, a shorter piece, with a different catastrophe, is given in the Appendix, from Motherwell's collection.
O bonny Baby Livingstone Gaed out to view the hay; And by it cam him Glenlyon, Staw bonny Baby away.
And first he's taen her silken coat, 5 And neist her satten gown; Syne row'd her in his tartan plaid, And happ'd her round and roun'.
He's mounted her upon a steed, And roundly rade away; 10 And ne'er loot her look back again The lee-lang simmer day.
He's carried her o'er yon hich hich hill, Intill a Highland glen, And there he met his brother John 15 Wi' twenty armed men.
And there were cows, and there were ewes, And there were kids sae fair; But sad and wae was bonny Baby, Her heart was fu' o' care. 20
He's taen her in his arms twa, And kist her cheek and chin; "I wad gi'e a' my flocks and herds, Ae smile frae thee to win."
"A smile frae me ye'se never win; 25 I'll ne'er look kind on thee; Ye've stown me awa frae a' my kin, Frae a' that's dear to me.
"Dundee, kind sir, Dundee, kind sir, Tak me to bonny Dundee; 30 For ye sall ne'er my favour win Till it ance mair I see."
"Dundee, Baby! Dundee, Baby!
Dundee ye ne'er shall see; But I will carry you to Glenlyon, 35 Where you my bride shall be.
"Or will ye stay at Achingour, And eat sweet milk and cheese; Or gang wi' me to Glenlyon, And there we'll live at our ease?" 40
"I winna stay at Achingour; I care neither for milk nor cheese; Nor gang wi' thee to Glenlyon; For there I'll ne'er find ease."
Then out it spak his brother John; 45 "If I were in your place, I'd send that lady hame again, For a' her bonny face.
"Commend me to the lass that's kind, Though nae sae gently born; 50 And, gin her heart I coudna win, To take her hand I'd scorn."
"O haud your tongue, my brother John; Ye wisna what ye say; For I hae lued that bonny face 55 This mony a year and day.
"I've lued her lang, and lued her weel, But her love I ne'er could win; And what I canna fairly gain, To steal I think nae sin." 60
Whan they cam to Glenlyon castle, They lighted at the yett; And out they cam, his three sisters, Their brother for to greet.
And they have taen her, bonny Baby, 65 And led her o'er the green; And ilka lady spak a word, But bonny Baby spake nane.
Then out it spak her, bonny Jane, The youngest o' the three: 70 "O lady, why look ye sae sad?
Come tell your grief to me."
"O wharefore should I tell my grief, Since lax I canna find?
I'm far frae a' my kin and friends, 75 And my love I left behind.
"But had I paper, pen, and ink, Afore that it were day, I yet might get a letter wrate, And sent to Johnie Hay. 80
"And gin I had a bonny boy, To help me in my need, That he might rin to bonny Dundee, And come again wi' speed!"
And they hae gotten a bonny boy 85 Their errand for to gang; And bade him run to Bonny Dundee, And nae to tarry lang.