Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west, And a little below the sun; And there he spied the dun deer sleeping, Aneath a buss o' brume.
Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap, 25 And he's woundit him in the side; And atween the water and the wud He laid the dun deer's pride.
They ate sae meikle o' the venison, And drank sae meikle o' the blude, 30 That Johnie and his twa gray hunds, Fell asleep in yonder wud.
By there cam a silly auld man, And a silly auld man was he; And he's aff to the proud foresters, 35 To tell what he did see.
"What news, what news, my silly auld man, What news? come tell to me;"
"Na news, na news," said the silly auld man, "But what my een did see. 40
"As I cam in by yon greenwud, And doun amang the scrogs, The bonniest youth that e'er I saw, Lay sleeping atween twa dogs.
"The sark that he had on his back, 45 Was o' the Holland sma'; And the coat that he had on his back, Was laced wi' gowd fu' braw."
Up bespak the first forester, The first forester of a'-- 50 "And this be Johnie o' Cocklesmuir, It's time we were awa."
Up bespak the niest forester, The niest forester of a'-- "And this be Johnie Cocklesmuir, 55 To him we winna draw."
The first shot that they did shoot, They woundit him on the thie; Up bespak the uncle's son,-- "The niest will gar him die." 60
"Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs, Stand stout and dinna flee; Stand fast, stand fast, my gude gray hunds, And we will mak them die."
He has killed six o' the proud foresters, 65 And wounded the seventh sair; He laid his leg out owre his steed, Says, "I will kill na mair."
THE SANG OF THE OUTLAW MURRAY.
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, i. 369.
"This ballad appears to have been composed about the reign of James V.
It commemorates a transaction supposed to have taken place betwixt a Scottish monarch and an ancestor of the ancient family of Murray of Philiphaugh, in Selkirkshire. The Editor is unable to ascertain the historical foundation of the tale; nor is it probable that any light can be thrown upon the subject, without an accurate examination of the family charter-chest....
"The merit of this beautiful old tale, it is thought, will be fully acknowledged. It has been, for ages, a popular song in Selkirkshire. The scene is by the common people supposed to have been the Castle of Newark upon Yarrow. This is highly improbable, because Newark was always a royal fortress. Indeed, the late excellent antiquarian, Mr. Plummer, Sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire, has assured the Editor that he remembered the _insignia_ of the unicorns, &c., so often mentioned in the ballad, in existence upon the old Tower of Hangingshaw, the seat of the Philiphaugh family; although, upon first perusing a copy of the ballad, he was inclined to subscribe to the popular opinion. The Tower of Hangingshaw has been demolished for many years. It stood in a romantic and solitary situation, on the classical banks of the Yarrow.
When the mountains around Hangingshaw were covered with the wild copse which constituted a Scottish forest, a more secure stronghold for an outlawed baron can scarcely be imagined.
"The tradition of Ettrick Forest bears, that the outlaw was a man of prodigious strength, possessing a baton or club, with which he laid _lee_ (_i. e._ waste) the country for many miles round; and that he was at length slain by Buccleuch, or some of his clan, at a little mount, covered with fir-trees, adjoining to Newark Castle, and said to have been a part of the garden. A varying tradition bears the place of his death to have been near to the house of the Duke of Buccleuch's gamekeeper, beneath the castle; and that the fatal arrow was shot by Scott of Haining, from the ruins of a cottage on the opposite side of Yarrow. There were extant, within these twenty years, some verses of a song on his death. The feud betwixt the Outlaw and the Scots, may serve to explain the asperity with which the chieftain of that clan is handled in the ballad.
"In publishing the following ballad, the copy principally resorted to is one apparently of considerable antiquity, which was found among the papers of the late Mrs. Cockburn of Edinburgh, a lady whose memory will be long honoured by all who knew her. Another copy, much more imperfect, is to be found in Glenriddel's MSS. The names are in this last miserably mangled, as is always the case when ballads are taken down from the recitation of persons living at a distance from the scenes in which they are laid. Mr. Plummer also gave the editor a few additional verses, not contained in either copy, which are thrown into what seemed their proper place. There is yet another copy in Mr. Herd's MSS., which has been occasionally made use of. Two verses are restored in the present edition, from the recitation of Mr. Mungo Park, whose toils during his patient and intrepid travels in Africa have not eradicated from his recollection the legendary lore of his native country."--S.
Since the above was printed, Mr. Aytoun has published still another copy of this piece, (_Ballads of Scotland_, ii. 129,) from a manuscript in the Philiphaugh charter-chest. I cannot assent to the praise bestowed by Scott on _The Outlaw Murray_. The story lacks point, and the style is affected--not that of the unconscious poet of the real _traditional_ ballad.
Ettricke Foreste is a feir foreste, In it grows manie a semelie trie; There's hart and hynd, and dae and rae, And of a' wilde bestis grete plentie.
There's a feir castelle, bigged wi' lyme and stane; O gin it stands not pleasauntlie! 6 In the fore front o' that castelle feir, Twa unicorns are bra' to see:
There's the picture of a knight, and a ladye bright, And the grene hollin abune their brie: 10 There an Outlaw kepis five hundred men, He keepis a royalle cumpanie.
His merryemen are a' in ae liverye clad, O' the Lincome grene sae gaye to see; He and his ladye in purple clad, 15 O gin they lived not royallie!
Word is gane to our nobil King, In Edinburgh where that he lay, That there was an Outlaw in Ettricke Foreste, Counted him nought, nor a' his courtrie gay. 20
"I make a vowe," then the gude King said, "Unto the man that deir bought me, I'se either be King of Ettricke Foreste, Or King of Scotlande that Outlaw sall be!"
Then spake the lord hight Hamilton, 25 And to the nobil King said he, "My sovereign prince, sum counsell take, First at your nobilis, syne at me.
"I redd ye, send yon braw Outlaw till, And see gif your man cum will he: 30 Desyre him cum and be your man, And hald of you yon Foreste frie.
"Gif he refuses to do that, We'll conquess baith his landis and he!
Or else, we'll throw his castell down, 35 And make a widowe o' his gaye ladye."
The King then call'd a gentleman, James Boyd (the Earle of Arran his brother was he);[L38]
When James he cam before the King, He knelit befor him on his kne. 40
"Wellcum, James Boyd!" said our nobil King, "A message ye maun gang for me; Ye maun hye to Ettricke Foreste, To yon Outlaw, where bydeth he.
"Ask him of whom he haldis his landis, 45 Or man, wha may his master be, And desyre him cum, and be my man, And hald of me yon Foreste frie.
"To Edinburgh to cum and gang, His safe warrant I sall gie; 50 And gif he refuses to do that, We'll conquess baith his landis and he.
"Thou mayst vow I'll cast his castell down, And mak a widowe o' his gaye ladye; I'll hang his merryemen, payr by payr, 55 In ony frith where I may them see."
James Boyd tuik his leave o' the nobil King, To Ettricke Foreste feir cam he; Down Birkendale Brae when that he cam, He saw the feir Foreste wi' his ee.[L60] 60
Baith dae and rae, and harte and hinde, And of a' wilde bestis great plentie; He heard the bows that bauldly ring,[L63]
And arrows whidderan' hym near bi.
Of that feir castell he got a sight; 65 The like he neir saw wi' his ee!
On the fore front o' that castell feir, Twa unicorns were gaye to see; The picture of a knight, and ladye bright, And the grene hollin abune their brie. 70
Thereat he spyed five hundred men, Shuting with bows on Newark Lee; They were a' in ae livery clad, O' the Lincome grene sae gaye to see.
His men were a' clad in the grene, 75 The knight was armed capapie, With a bended bow, on a milk-white steed, And I wot they rank'd right bonnilie: Thereby Boyd kend he was master man, And served him in his ain degre. 80
"God mot thee save, brave Outlaw Murray!
Thy ladye, and all thy chyvalrie!"
"Marry, thou's wellcum, gentleman, Some king's messenger thou seemis to be."
"The King of Scotlonde sent me here, 85 And, gude Outlaw, I am sent to thee; I wad wot of whom ye hald your landis, Or man, wha may thy master be?"
"Thir landis are MINE!" the Outlaw said; "I ken nae king in Christentie; 90 Frae Soudron I this foreste wan, When the King nor his knightis were not to see."
"He desyres you'l cum to Edinburgh, And hauld of him this foreste fre; And, gif ye refuse to do this, 95 He'll conquess baith thy landis and thee.
He hath vow'd to cast thy castell down, And mak a widowe o' thy gaye ladye;
"He'll hang thy merryemen, payr by payr, In ony frith where he may them finde." 100 "Ay, by my troth!" the Outlaw said, "Than wauld I thinke me far behinde.