Prev Next

And some they raid, and some they ran, Fu fast out owr the plain, But lang, lang, eer he coud get up, They were a' deid and slain.

But mony were the mudie men 105 Lay gasping on the grien; For o' fifty men that Edom brought out There were but five ged heme.

And mony were the mudie men Lay gasping on the grien, 110 And mony were the fair ladys Lay lemanless at heme.

And round and round the waes he went, Their ashes for to view; At last into the flames he flew, 115 And bad the world adieu.

24. heart, _pronounced_ hearrut.

90. Then.

97. _Qy._ wight yemen?


These fragments appear to relate to the burning of Auchindown, a castle belonging to the Gordons, in vengeance for the death of William Mackintosh of the clan Chattan, which is said to have occurred at the castle of the Earl of Huntly. The event is placed in the year 1592.

After the Mackintoshes had executed their revenge, they were pursued by the Gordons, and overtaken in the Stapler, where "sixty of the clan Chattan were killed, and Willie Mackintosh, their leader, wounded." So says the not very trustworthy editor of the _Thistle of Scotland_.

Another fragment of four stanzas (containing nothing additional), is given by Whitelaw, _Book of Scottish Ballads_, p. 248.


From Finlay's _Scottish Ballads_, ii. 97.

As I came in by Fiddich-side, In a May morning, I met Willie Mackintosh An hour before the dawning.

"Turn again, turn again, 5 Turn again, I bid ye; If ye burn Auchindown, Huntly he will head ye."

"Head me, hang me, That sall never fear me; 10 I'll burn Auchindown Before the life leaves me."

As I came in by Auchindown, In a May morning, Auchindown was in a bleeze, 15 An hour before the dawning.

"Crawing, crawing, For my crowse crawing, I lost the best feather i' my wing, For my crowse crawing." 20


From _The Thistle of Scotland_, p. 106.

"Turn, Willie Mackintosh, Turn, I bid you, Gin ye burn Auchindown, Huntly will head you."

"Head me, or hang me, 5 That canna fley me, I'll burn Auchindown, Ere the life lea' me."

Coming down Dee-side In a clear morning, 10 Auchindown was in a flame, Ere the cock crawing.

But coming o'er Cairn Croom, And looking down, man, I saw Willie Mackintosh 15 Burn Auchindown, man.

"Bonny Willie Mackintosh, Whare left ye your men?"

"I left them in the Stapler, But they'll never come hame." 20

"Bonny Willie Mackintosh, Where now is your men?"

"I left them in the Stapler, Sleeping in their sheen."


_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, ii. 199.

"A. D. 1585, John Lord Maxwell, or, as he styled himself, Earl of Morton, having quarrelled with the Earl of Arran, reigning favourite of James VI., and fallen, of course, under the displeasure of the court, was denounced rebel. A commission was also given to the Laird of Johnstone, then Warden of the West Marches, to pursue and apprehend the ancient rival and enemy of his house. Two bands of mercenaries, commanded by Captains Cranstoun and Lammie, who were sent from Edinburgh to support Johnstone, were attacked and cut to pieces at Crawford-muir, by Robert Maxwell, natural brother to the chieftain; who, following up his advantage, burned Johnstone's Castle of Lochwood, observing, with savage glee, that he would give Lady Johnstone light enough by which 'to set her hood.' In a subsequent conflict, Johnstone himself was defeated, and made prisoner, and is said to have died of grief at the disgrace which he sustained.

"By one of the revolutions, common in those days, Maxwell was soon after restored to the King's favour in his turn, and obtained the wardenry of the West Marches. A bond of alliance was subscribed by him, and by Sir James Johnstone, and for some time the two clans lived in harmony. In the year 1593, however, the hereditary feud was revived on the following occasion. A band of marauders, of the clan Johnstone, drove a prey of cattle from the lands belonging to the Lairds of Crichton, Sanquhar, and Drumlanrig; and defeated, with slaughter, the pursuers, who attempted to rescue their property.--[See _The Lads of Wamphray_, post, p. 168.] The injured parties, being apprehensive that Maxwell would not cordially embrace their cause, on account of his late reconciliation with the Johnstones, endeavoured to overcome his reluctance, by offering to enter into bonds of manrent, and so to become his followers and liegemen; he, on the other hand, granting to them a bond of maintenance, or protection, by which he bound himself, in usual form, to maintain their quarrel against all mortals, saving his loyalty. Thus, the most powerful and respectable families in Dumfriesshire, became, for a time, the vassals of Lord Maxwell. This secret alliance was discovered to Sir James Johnstone by the Laird of Cummertrees, one of his own clan, though a retainer to Maxwell. Cummertrees even contrived to possess himself of the bonds of manrent, which he delivered to his chief. The petty warfare betwixt the rival barons was instantly renewed. Buccleuch, a near relation of Johnstone, came to his assistance with his clan, 'the most renowned freebooters, [says a historian,] the fiercest and bravest warriors among the Border tribes.' With Buccleuch also came the Elliots, Armstrongs, and Graemes. Thus reinforced, Johnstone surprised and cut to pieces a party of the Maxwells, stationed at Lochmaben. On the other hand, Lord Maxwell, armed with the royal authority, and numbering among his followers all the barons of Nithsdale, displayed his banner as the King's lieutenant, and invaded Annandale at the head of two thousand men. In those days, however, the royal auspices seem to have carried as little good fortune as effective strength with them. A desperate conflict, still renowned in tradition, took place at the Dryffe Sands, not far from Lockerby, in which Johnstone, although inferior in numbers, partly by his own conduct, partly by the valour of his allies, gained a decisive victory. Lord Maxwell, a tall man, and heavily armed, was struck from his horse in the flight, and cruelly slain, after the hand, which he stretched out for quarter, had been severed from his body. Many of his followers were slain in the battle, and many cruelly wounded, especially by slashes in the face, which wound was thence termed a 'Lockerby lick.' The Barons of Lag, Closeburn, and Drumlanrig, escaped by the fleetness of their horses; a circumstance alluded to in the following ballad.

"John, Lord Maxwell, with whose 'Goodnight' the reader is here presented, was son to him who fell at the battle of Dryffe Sands, and is said to have early avowed the deepest revenge for his father's death.

Such, indeed, was the fiery and untameable spirit of the man, that neither the threats nor entreaties of the King himself could make him lay aside his vindictive purpose; although Johnstone, the object of his resentment, had not only reconciled himself to the court, but even obtained the wardenry of the Middle Marches, in room of Sir John Carmichael, murdered by the Armstrongs. Lord Maxwell was therefore prohibited to approach the Border counties; and having, in contempt of that mandate, excited new disturbances, he was confined in the castle of Edinburgh. From this fortress, however, he contrived to make his escape; and, having repaired to Dumfriesshire, he sought an amicable interview with Johnstone, under a pretence of a wish to accommodate their differences. Sir Robert Maxwell, of Orchardstane, (mentioned in the ballad, verse 1,) who was married to a sister of Sir James Johnstone, persuaded his brother-in-law to accede to Maxwell's proposal."

So far Sir Walter Scott. The meeting took place on the 6th of April, 1608, in the presence of Sir Robert Maxwell, each party being accompanied by a single follower. While the chieftains were conferring together, Charles Maxwell, the attendant of Lord John, maliciously began an altercation with the servant of Johnstone, and shot him with a pistol, and Sir James, looking round at the report, was himself shot by Lord Maxwell in the back with two poisoned bullets.

The murderer escaped to France, but afterwards venturing to return to Scotland, was apprehended, brought to trial at Edinburgh, and beheaded on the 21st of May, 1613. We may naturally suppose that the _Goodnight_ was composed shortly after Lord Maxwell fled across the seas, certainly before 1613.

This ballad was first printed in the _Border Minstrelsy_ "from a copy in Glenriddel's MSS., with some slight variations from tradition."

"Adieu, madame, my mother dear, But and my sisters three!

Adieu, fair Robert of Orchardstane!

My heart is wae for thee.

Adieu, the lily and the rose, 5 The primrose fair to see!

Adieu, my ladye, and only joy!

For I may not stay with thee.

"Though I hae slain the Lord Johnstone, What care I for their feid? 10 My noble mind their wrath disdains,-- He was my father's deid.

Both night and day I labour'd oft Of him avenged to be; But now I've got what lang I sought, 15 And I may not stay with thee.

"Adieu, Drumlanrig! false wert aye-- And Closeburn in a band!

The Laird of Lag, frae my father that fled, When the Johnston struck aff his hand! 20 They were three brethren in a band-- Joy may they never see!

Their treacherous art, and cowardly heart, Has twined my love and me.

"Adieu, Dumfries, my proper place, 25 But and Carlaverock fair!

Adieu, my castle of the Thrieve, Wi' a' my buildings there!

Adieu, Lochmaben's gate sae fair, The Langholm-holm, where birks there be! 30 Adieu, my ladye, and only joy!

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.