They've stown the bridle off his steed, And they've put water in his lang gun; They've fixed his sword within the sheath, 55 That out again it winna come.
"Awaken ye, waken ye, Parcy Reed, Or by your enemies be ta'en; For yonder are the five Crosiers A-coming owre the Hingin-stane." 60
"If they be five, and we be four, Sae that ye stand alang wi' me, Then every man ye will take one, And only leave but two to me: We will them meet as brave men ought, 65 And make them either fight or flee."
"We mayna stand, we canna stand, We daurna stand alang wi' thee; The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, And they wad kill baith thee and we." 70
"O, turn thee, turn thee, Johnie Ha', O, turn thee, man, and fight wi' me; When ye come to Troughend again, My gude black naig I will gie thee; He cost full twenty pound o' gowd, 75 Atween my brother John and me."
"I mayna turn, I canna turn, I daurna turn and fight wi' thee; The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, And they wad kill baith thee and me." 80
"O, turn thee, turn thee, Willie Ha', O, turn thee, man, and fight wi' me; When ye come to Troughend again, A yoke o' owsen I'll gie thee."
"I mayna turn, I canna turn, 85 I daurna turn and fight wi' thee; The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, And they wad kill baith thee and me."
"O, turn thee, turn thee, Tommy Ha', O, turn now, man, and fight wi' me; 90 If ever we come to Troughend again, My daughter Jean I'll gie to thee."
"I mayna turn, I canna turn, I daurna turn and fight wi' thee; The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, 95 And they wad kill baith thee and me."
"O, shame upon ye, traitors a'!
I wish your hames ye may never see; Ye've stown the bridle off my naig, And I can neither fight nor flee. 100
"Ye've stown the bridle off my naig, And ye've put water i' my lang gun; Ye've fixed my sword within the sheath, That out again it winna come."
He had but time to cross himsel', 105 A prayer he hadna time to say, Till round him came the Crosiers keen, All riding graithed, and in array.
"Weel met, weel met, now, Parcy Reed, Thou art the very man we sought; 110 Owre lang hae we been in your debt, Now will we pay you as we ought.
"We'll pay thee at the nearest tree, Where we shall hang thee like a hound;"
Brave Parcy rais'd his fankit sword, 115 And fell'd the foremost to the ground.
Alake, and wae for Parcy Reed, Alake, he was an unarmed man; Four weapons pierced him all at once, As they assailed him there and than. 120
They fell upon him all at once, They mangled him most cruellie; The slightest wound might caused his deid, And they have gi'en him thirty-three.
They hacket off his hands and feet, 125 And left him lying on the lee.
"Now, Parcy Reed, we've paid our debt, Ye canna weel dispute the tale,"
The Crosiers said, and off they rade-- They rade the airt o' Liddesdale. 130
It was the hour o' gloamin' gray, When herds come in frae fauld and pen; A herd he saw a huntsman lie, Says he, "Can this be Laird Troughen'?"
"There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, 135 And some will ca' me Laird Troughen'; It's little matter what they ca' me, My faes hae made me ill to ken.
"There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, And speak my praise in tower and town; 140 It's little matter what they do now, My life-blood rudds the heather brown.
"There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, And a' my virtues say and sing; I would much rather have just now 145 A draught o' water frae the spring!"
The herd flung aff his clouted shoon, And to the nearest fountain ran; He made his bonnet serve a cup, And wan the blessing o' the dying man. 150
"Now, honest herd, ye maun do mair,-- Ye maun do mair as I ye tell; Ye maun bear tidings to Troughend, And bear likewise my last farewell.
"A farewell to my wedded wife, 155 A farewell to my brother John, Wha sits into the Troughend tower, Wi' heart as black as any stone.
"A farewell to my daughter Jean, A farewell to my young sons five; 160 Had they been at their father's hand, I had this night been man alive.
"A farewell to my followers a', And a' my neighbours gude at need; Bid them think how the treacherous Ha's 165 Betrayed the life o' Parcy Reed.
"The laird o' Clennel bears my bow, The laird o' Brandon bears my brand; Whene'er they ride i' the border side, They'll mind the fate o' the laird Troughend." 170
CAPTAIN CAR, OR, EDOM O' GORDON.
"This ballad is founded upon a real event, which took place in the north of Scotland in the year 1571, during the struggles between the party which held out for the imprisoned Queen Mary, and that which endeavoured to maintain the authority of her infant son, James VI. The person designated Edom o' Gordon was Adam Gordon of Auchindown, brother of the Marquis of Huntly, and his deputy as lieutenant of the north of Scotland for the Queen. This gentleman committed many acts of oppression on the clan Forbes, under colour of the Queen's authority, and in one collision with that family, killed Arthur, brother to Lord Forbes. He afterwards sent a party under one Captain Car, or Ker, to reduce the house of Towie, one of the chief seats of the name of Forbes. The proprietor of the mansion being from home, his lady, who was pregnant at the time, confiding too much in her sex and condition, not only refused to surrender, but gave Car some very opprobrious language over the walls, which irritated him so much that he set fire to the house, and burnt the whole inmates, amounting in all to thirty-seven persons. As Gordon never cashiered Car for this inhuman action, he was held by the public voice to be equally guilty, and accordingly [in one of the versions of the ballad] he is represented as the principal actor himself." (CHAMBERS's _Scottish Ballads_, p. 67.) It appears that the Forbeses afterwards attempted to assassinate Adam Gordon in the streets of Paris. See more of this Captain Ker under _The Battell of Balrinnes_, in the next volume.
The ballad was first printed by the Foulises at Glasgow, 1755, under the title of _Edom of Gordon_, as taken down by Sir David Dalrymple from the recitation of a lady. It was inserted in the _Reliques_, (i. 122,) "improved and enlarged," (or, as Ritson more correctly expresses the fact, "interpolated and corrupted,") by several stanzas from a fragment in Percy's manuscript, called _Captain Adam Carre_. Ritson published the following genuine and ancient copy, (_Ancient Songs_, ii. 38,) from a collection in the Cotton Library. He states that his MS. had received numerous alterations or corrections, all or most of which, as being evidently for the better, he had adopted into the text. We have added a copy of _Edom o' Gordon_ given in Ritson's _Scottish Songs_, and in the Appendix an inferior version of the story, called _Loudoun Castle_.
The names vary considerably in the different versions of this piece. The castle of Towie, or the house of Rothes, is here called the castle of Crecrynbroghe, in Percy's manuscript the castle of Brittonsborrow, and in the copy in the Appendix the locality is changed to Loudoun castle in Ayrshire. In like manner, Alexander Forbes is here turned into Lord Hamleton, and Captain Car is now called the lord of Easter-town and again the lord of Westerton-town.
In the _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. xci. Part 1, p. 451, will be found a modern ballad styled _Adam Gordon_, founded on the adventure of the freebooter of that name with Edward the First. Another on the same subject is given in Evans's _Old Ballads_, iv. 86.
It befell at Martynmas When wether waxed colde, Captaine Care saide to his men, "We must go take a holde."
"Haille, master, and wether you will, 5 And wether ye like it best."
"To the castle of Crecrynbroghe; And there we will take our reste.
"I knowe wher is a gay castle, Is build of lyme and stone, 10 Within 'there' is a gay ladie, Her lord is ryd from hom."
The ladie lend on her castle-walle, She loked upp and downe; There was she ware of an host of men, 15 Come riding to the towne.
"Come yow hether, my meri men all, And look what I do see; Yonder is ther an host of men, I musen who they bee." 20
She thought he had been her own wed lord, That had comd riding home; Then was it traitour Captaine Care, The lord of Ester-towne.
They were no soner at supper sett, 25 Then after said the grace, Or captaine Care and all his men Wer lighte aboute the place.
"Gyve over thi howsse, thou lady gay, And I will make the a bande; 30 To-nighte thoust ly wythin my arm, To-morrowe thou shall ere my lan[de]."
Then bespacke the eldest sonne, That was both whitt and redde, "O mother dere, geve over your howsse, 35 Or elles we shal be deade."
"I will not geve over my hous," she saithe, "Not for feare of my lyffe; It shal be talked throughout the land, The slaughter of a wyffe. 40
"Fetch me my pestilett, And charge me my gonne, That I may shott at the bloddy butcher, The lord of Easter-towne."
She styfly stod on her castle-wall, 45 And lett the pellettes flee, She myst the blody bucher, And slew other three.
"I will not geve over my hous," she saithe, "Netheir for lord nor lowne, 50 Nor yet for traitour Captaine Care, The lord of Easter-towne.