"But will ye stay till the day gae down, Until the night come o'er the grund, And I'll be a guide worth ony twa That may in Liddisdale be fund.
"Tho' dark the night as pick and tar, 45 I'll guide ye o'er yon hills fu' hie, And bring ye a' in safety back, If you'll be true and follow me."
He's guided them o'er moss and muir, O'er hill and houp, and mony a down; 50 Til they came to the Foulbogshiel, And there, brave Noble, he lighted down.
Then word is gane to the Land-sergeant, In Askirton where that he lay--[L54]
"The deer that ye hae hunted lang 55 Is seen into the Waste this day."
"Then Hobie Noble is that deer!
I wat he carries the style fu' hie; Aft has he beat your slough-hounds back, And set yourselves at little lee. 60
"Gar warn the bows of Hartlie-burn, See they shaft their arrows on the wa'!
Warn Willeva, and Spear Edom,[L63]
And see the morn they meet me a'.
"Gar meet me on the Rodrie-haugh, 65 And see it be by break o' day; And we will on to Conscowthart-Green, For there, I think, we'll get our prey."
Then Hobie Noble has dream'd a dream, In the Foulbogsheil where that he lay; 70 He thought his horse was 'neath him shot, And he himself got hard away.
The cocks could crow, and the day could dawn, And I wat so even down fell the rain; If Hobie had no waken'd at that time, 75 In the Foulbogshiel he had been tane or slain.
"Get up, get up, my feiries five!
For I wat here makes a fu' ill day; And the warst cloak of this companie,[L79]
I hope shall cross the Waste this day." 80
Now Hobie thought the gates were clear; But, ever alas! it was not sae: They were beset wi' cruel men and keen, That away brave Noble could not gae.
"Yet follow me, my feiries five, 85 And see of me ye keep good ray; And the worst cloak of this companie[L87]
I hope shall cross the Waste this day."
There was heaps of men now Hobie before, And other heaps was him behind, 90 That had he been as wight as Wallace was, Away brave Noble he could not win.
Then Hobie he had but a laddies sword, But he did more than a laddies deed; In the midst of Conscouthart-Green, 95 He brake it o'er Jersawigham's head.
Now they have tane brave Hobie Noble, Wi' his ain bowstring they band him sae; And I wat heart was ne'er sae sair, As when his ain five band him on the brae. 100
They have tane him for West Carlisle; They ask'd him if he knew the way; Whate'er he thought, yet little he said; He knew the way as well as they.
They hae tane him up the Ricker-gate;[L105] 105 The wives they cast their windows wide, And ilka wife to anither can say, "That's the man loos'd Jock o' the Side!"
"Fy on ye, women! why ca' ye me man?
For it's nae man that I'm used like; 110 I'm but like a forfoughen hound, Has been fighting in a dirty syke."
Then they hae tane him up thro' Carlisle town, And set him by the chimney fire; They gave brave Noble a wheat loaf to eat, 115 And that was little his desire.
Then they gave him a wheat loaf to eat And after that a can o' beer; Then they cried a', wi' ae consent, "Eat, brave Noble, and make good cheer. 120
"Confess my lord's horse, Hobie," they say, "And the morn in Carlisle thou's no die;"
"How shall I confess them?" Hobie says, "For I never saw them with mine eye."
Then Hobie has sworn a fu' great aith-- 125 By the day that he was gotten or born, He never had onything o' my lord's, That either eat him grass or corn.
"Now fare thee weel, sweet Mangerton![L129]
For I think again I'll ne'er thee see: 130 I wad betray nae lad alive, For a' the goud in Christentie.
"And fare thee weel, now Liddisdale, Baith the hie land and the law!
Keep ye weel frae traitor Mains! 135 For goud and gear he'll sell ye a'.
"I'd rather be ca'd Hobie Noble, In Carlisle, where he suffers for his faut, Before I were ca'd traitor Mains, That eats and drinks of meal and maut." 140
13. Kershope-burn, where Hobbie met his treacherous companions, falls into the Liddel, from the English side, at a place called Turnersholm, where, according to tradition, tourneys and games of chivalry were often solemnized.--S.
15. The Mains was anciently a Border-keep, near Castletown, on the north side of the Liddel, but is now totally demolished.--S.
38. For twa drifts of his sheep I gat.--P. M.
39. Whitfield is explained by Mr. Ellis of Otterbourne to be a large and rather wild manorial district in the extreme southwest part of Northumberland; the proprietor of which might be naturally called the Lord, though not _Earl_ of Whitfield. I suspect, however, that the reciters may have corrupted the _great_ Ralph Whitfield into Earl of Whitfield. Sir Matthew Whitfield of Whitfield, was Sheriff of Northumberland in 1433, and the estate continued in the family from the reign of Richard II. till about fifty years since.--S.
54. Askerton is an old castle, now ruinous, situated in the wilds of Cumberland, about seventeen miles north-east of Carlisle, amidst that mountainous and desolate tract of country bordering upon Liddesdale, emphatically termed the Waste of Bewcastle.--S.
63-67. Willeva and Speir Edom are small districts in Bewcastledale, through which also the Hartlie-burn takes its course.
Conscouthart-Green, and Rodrie-haugh, and the Foulbogshiel, are the names of places in the same wilds, through which the Scottish plunderers generally made their raids upon England.--S.
79, 87. clock.
105. A street in Carlisle.
129. Of the Castle of Mangertoun, so often mentioned in these ballads, there are very few vestiges. It was situated on the banks of the Liddell, below Castletoun.--S.
JAMIE TELFER OF THE FAIR DODHEAD.
From _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, ii. 3.
"There is another ballad, under the same title as the following, in which nearly the same incidents are narrated, with little difference, except that the honour of rescuing the cattle is attributed to the Liddesdale Elliots, headed by a chief, there called Martin Elliot of the Preakin Tower, whose son, Simon, is said to have fallen in the action.
It is very possible, that both the Teviotdale Scotts, and the Elliots, were engaged in the affair, and that each claimed the honour of the victory.
"The Editor presumes, that the Willie Scott, here mentioned, must have been a natural son of the Laird of Buccleuch."--S.
It fell about the Martinmas tyde, When our Border steeds get corn and hay, The Captain of Bewcastle hath bound him to ryde, And he's ower to Tividale to drive a prey.
The first ae guide that they met wi', 5 It was high up in Hardhaughswire;[L6]
The second guide that they met wi', It was laigh down in Borthwick water.
"What tidings, what tidings, my trusty guide?"