For, trust me, I may not stay wi' thee.
"Adieu, fair Eskdale, up and down, Where my puir friends do dwell!
The bangisters will ding them down, 35 And will them sair compell.
But I'll avenge their feid mysell, When I come o'er the sea; Adieu, my ladye, and only joy!
For I may not stay wi' thee." 40
"Lord of the land,"--that ladye said, "O wad ye go wi' me, Unto my brother's stately tower, Where safest ye may be!
There Hamiltons, and Douglas baith, 45 Shall rise to succour thee."
"Thanks for thy kindness, fair my dame, But I may not stay wi' thee."
Then he tuik aff a gay gold ring, Thereat hang signets three; 50 "Hae, tak thee that, mine ain dear thing, And still hae mind o' me: But if thou take another lord, Ere I come ower the sea-- His life is but a three days' lease, 55 Though I may not stay wi' thee."
The wind was fair, the ship was clear, That good lord went away; And most part of his friends were there, To give him a fair convey. 60 They drank the wine, they didna spair, Even in that gude lord's sight-- Sae now he's o'er the floods sae gray, And Lord Maxwell has ta'en his Goodnight.
THE LADS OF WAMPHRAY
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, ii. 148.
"The reader will find, prefixed to the foregoing ballad, an account of the noted feud betwixt the families of Maxwell and Johnstone. The following song celebrates the skirmish, in 1593, betwixt the Johnstones and Crichtons, which led to the revival of the ancient quarrel betwixt Johnstone and Maxwell, and finally to the battle of Dryffe Sands, in which the latter lost his life. Wamphray is the name of a parish in Annandale. Lethenhall was the abode of Johnstone of Wamphray, and continued to be so till of late years. William Johnstone of Wamphray, called the Galliard, was a noted freebooter. A place, near the head of Teviotdale, retains the name of the Galliard's Faulds, (folds,) being a valley, where he used to secrete and divide his spoil, with his Liddesdale and Eskdale associates. His _nom de guerre_ seems to have been derived from the dance called the Galliard. The word is still used in Scotland, to express an active, gay, dissipated character. Willie of the Kirkhill, nephew to the Galliard, and his avenger, was also a noted Border robber. Previous to the battle of Dryffe Sands, so often mentioned, tradition reports, that Maxwell had offered a ten-pound-land to any of his party, who should bring him the head or hand of the Laird of Johnstone. This being reported to his antagonist, he answered, he had not a ten-pound-land to offer, but would give a five-merk-land to the man who should that day cut off the head or hand of Lord Maxwell. Willie of the Kirkhill, mounted upon a young grey horse, rushed upon the enemy, and earned the reward, by striking down their unfortunate chieftain, and cutting off his right hand."--SCOTT.
'Twixt Girth-head and the Langwood end,[L1]
Lived the Galliard, and the Galliard's men, But and the lads of Leverhay, That drove the Crichton's gear away.
It is the lads of Lethenha', 5 The greatest rogues amang them a'; But and the lads of Stefenbiggin, They broke the house in at the rigging.
The lads of Fingland, and Helbeck-hill, They were never for good, but aye for ill; 10 'Twixt the Staywood-bush and Langside-hill, They steal'd the broked cow and the branded bull.
It is the lads of the Girth-head, The deil's in them for pride and greed; For the Galliard, and the gay Galliard's men, 15 They ne'er saw a horse but they made it their ain.
The Galliard to Nithsdale is gane, To steal Sim Crichton's winsome dun; The Galliard is unto the stable gane, But instead of the dun, the blind he has ta'en. 20
"Now Simmy, Simmy of the Side, Come out and see a Johnstone ride!
Here's the bonniest horse in a' Nithside, And a gentle Johnstone aboon his hide."
Simmy Crichton's mounted then, 25 And Crichtons has raised mony a ane; The Galliard trow'd his horse had been wight, But the Crichtons beat him out o' sight.
As soon as the Galliard the Crichton saw, Behind the saugh-bush he did draw; 30 And there the Crichtons the Galliard hae ta'en, And nane wi' him but Willie alane.
"O Simmy, Simmy, now let me gang, And I'll never mair do a Crichton wrang!
O Simmy, Simmy, now let me be, 35 And a peck o' gowd I'll give to thee!
"O Simmy, Simmy, now let me gang, And my wife shall heap it with her hand!"
But the Crichtons wadna let the Galliard be, But they hang'd him hie upon a tree. 40
O think then Willie he was right wae, When he saw his uncle guided sae; "But if ever I live Wamphray to see, My uncle's death avenged shall be!"
Back to Wamphray he is gane, 45 And riders has raised mony a ane; Saying--"My lads, if ye'll be true, Ye shall a' be clad in the noble blue."
Back to Nithsdale they have gane, And awa' the Crichtons' nowt hae ta'en; 50 But when they cam to the Wellpath-head,[L51]
The Crichtons bade them light and lead.
And when they cam to the Biddes-burn, The Crichtons bade them stand and turn; And when they cam to the Biddes-strand, 55 The Crichtons they were hard at hand.
But when they cam to the Biddes-law, The Johnstones bade them stand and draw; "We've done nae ill, we'll thole nae wrang, But back to Wamphray we will gang." 60
And out spoke Willie of the Kirkhill, "Of fighting, lads, ye'se hae your fill;"
And from his horse Willie he lap, And a burnish'd brand in his hand he gat.
Out through the Crichtons Willie he ran, 65 And dang them down baith horse and man; O but the Johnstones were wondrous rude, When the Biddes-burn ran three days blood!
"Now, sirs, we have done a noble deed,-- We have revenged the Galliard's bleid; 70 For every finger of the Galliard's hand, I vow this day I've kill'd a man."
As they cam in at Evan-head, At Ricklaw-holm they spread abread;[L74]
"Drive on, my lads! it will be late; 75 We'll hae a pint at Wamphray gate.
"For where'er I gang, or e'er I ride, The lads of Wamphray are on my side; And of a' the lads that I do ken, A Wamphray lad's the king of men." 80
1-7. Leverhay, Stefenbiggin, Girth-head, &c., are all situated in the parish of Wamphray.--S.
51-53. The Wellpath is a pass by which the Johnstones were retreating to their fastnesses in Annandale. The Biddes-burn, where the skirmish took place betwixt the Johnstones and their pursuers, is a rivulet which takes its course among the mountains on the confines of Nithesdale and Annandale.--S.
74-76. Ricklaw-holm is a place upon the Evan-water, which falls into the Annan, below Moffat. Wamphray-gate was in those days an alehouse.--S.
THE FIRE OF FRENDRAUGHT.
From Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, p. 161.
"A mortal feud having arisen between the Laird of Frendraught [Sir James Chrichton] and the Laird of Rothiemay [William Gordon], both gentlemen of Banffshire, a rencontre took place, at which the retainers of both were present, on the 1st of January, 1630; when Rothiemay was killed, and several persons hurt on both sides. To stanch this bloody quarrel, the Marquis of Huntly, who was chief to both parties, and who had therefore a right to act as arbiter between them, ordered Frendraught to pay fifty thousand merks to Rothiemay's widow. In the ensuing September, Frendraught fell into another quarrel, in the course of which James Lesly, son to Lesly of Pitcaple, was shot through the arm. Soon after the last incident, Frendraught, having paid a visit to the Marquis of Huntly at the Bog of Gight, the Laird of Pitcaple came up with thirty armed men, to demand atonement for the wound of his son. Huntly acted in this case with great discretion. Without permitting the two lairds to come to a conference, he endeavored to persuade the complaining party that Frendraught was in reality innocent of his son's wound; and, as Pitcaple went away vowing vengeance, he sent Frendraught home under a strong escort, which was commanded by his son, the Viscount Aboyne, and by the young Laird of Rothiemay, son to him whom Frendraught had killed some months before. The party reached Frendraught Castle without being attacked by Pitcaple; when, Aboyne and Rothiemay offering to take leave of Frendraught and his lady, in order to return home, they were earnestly entreated by these individuals to remain a night, and postpone their return till to-morrow. Being with difficulty prevailed upon, the young Viscount and Rothiemay were well entertained, and after supper went cheerfully to bed. To continue the narrative in the words of Spalding--"The Viscount was laid in an bed in the Old Tower going off the hall, and standing upon a vault, wherein there was ane round hole, devised of old, just under Aboyne's bed. Robert Gordon, his servitor, and English Will, his page, were both laid in the same chamber. The Laird of Rothiemay, with some servants beside him, was laid in another chamber just above Aboyne's chamber; and in another room above that chamber, were laid George Chalmers of Noth, and George Gordon, another of the Viscount's servants; with them also was laid Captain Rolloch, then in Frendraught's own company. All being thus at rest, about midnight that dolorous tower took fire in so sudden and furious a manner, yea, and in ane clap, that the noble Viscount, the Laird of Rothiemay, English Will, Colonel Wat, another of Aboyne's servants, and other two, being six in number, were cruelly burnt and tormented to the death, without help or relief; the Laird of Frendraught, his lady, and haill household looking on, without moving or stirring to deliver them from the fury of this fearful fire, as was reported. Robert Gordon, called Sutherland Gordon, being in the Viscount's chamber, escaped this fire with the life. George Chalmers and Captain Rolloch, being in the third room, escaped this fire also, and, as was said, Aboyne might have saved himself also if he would have gone out of doors, which he would not do, but suddenly ran up stairs to Rothiemay's chamber, and wakened him to rise; and as he is awakening him, the timber passage and lofting of the chamber hastily takes fire, so that none of them could win down stairs again; so they turned to a window looking to the close, where they piteously cried many times, "Help! help! for God's cause!" The Laird and Lady, with their servants, all seeing and hearing the woeful crying, made no help or manner of helping; which they perceiving, cried oftentimes mercy at God's hands for their sins; syne clasped in each other's arms, and cheerfully suffered their martyrdom. Thus died this noble Viscount, of singular expectation, Rothiemay, a brave youth, and the rest, by this doleful fire, never enough to be deplored, to the great grief and sorrow of their kin, parents, and hail common people, especially to the noble Marquis, who for his good will got this reward.
No man can express the dolour of him and his lady, nor yet the grief of the Viscount's own dear lady, when it came to her ears, which she kept to her dying day, disdaining after the company of men all her life-time, following the love of the turtle dove.
'It is reported that upon the morn after this woeful fire, the Lady Frendraught, daughter to the Earl of Sutherland, and near cousin to the Marquis, backed in a white plaid, and riding on a small nag, having a boy leading her horse, without any more in her company, in this pitiful manner she came weeping and mourning to the Bog, desiring entry to speak with my lord; but this was refused; so she returned back to her own house, the same gate she came, comfortless.'--SPALDING'S _History of the Troubles in Scotland_.
"Suspicion formed two theories regarding the cause of the fire of Frendraught. The first was, that the Laird had wilfully set fire to the tower, for the purpose of destroying the young Laird of Rothiemay. The other was, that it originated in the revengeful feelings of the Laird of Pitcaple. In the first theory there is extremely little probability.
First, it could not have been premeditated; because the circumstance of Frendraught being accompanied home that day by Aboyne and Rothiemay, was entirely accidental. In the second place, there was no reason for Frendraught being inclined to murder Rothiemay, except that he grudged the payment of the fifty thousand merks to his mother; while there was every reason for his being inclined rather to befriend a youth whom he had already injured by occasioning the death of his father. In the third place, all Frendraught's family papers, with much gold and silver, both in money and plate, were consumed in the fire. And, in the fourth place, it is extremely improbable that any man of his rank should commit so deliberate and so atrocious an act of villainy. On the other hand, it seems by no means improbable that Pitcaple should have caused fire to be set to his enemy's house; a mode of reprisal which had been practised in the same district of country, as we have already seen, by a gentleman of only the preceding age. Pitcaple's men, moreover, had been heard to declare an intention of attempting some such enterprise against Frendraught; as was proved on the trial of a gentleman of the name of Meldrum, who was apprehended, condemned, and executed, for his alleged accession to their conspiracy."--CHAMBERS'S _Scottish Ballads_, p. 85.
This ballad was first printed in the _North Countrie Garland_, p. 4, and afterwards with a few slight corrections in Motherwell's _Minstrelsy_, having in both cases been furnished by Mr. C. K. Sharpe. The tragic story was celebrated by one Arthur Johnston, a contemporary scholar, in two Latin poems, the one entitled, _Querela Sophiae Hay, dominae de Melgeine, de morte mariti_, and the other, _De Johanne Gordonio, Vicecomite de Melgeine, el Johanne Gordonio de Rothemay, in arce Frendriaca combustis_ (Finlay, i. 67). In Herd's Collection (i. 199) is a modern piece on the subject called _Frennet Hall_, in the detestable style of the last century. This very feeble production is also to be found in Ritson's _Scottish Songs_ (ii. 31), Johnson's _Museum_, and elsewhere. But Ritson gives these few stanzas of an excellent old ballad, as remembered by the Rev. Mr. Boyd, the translator of Dante:
The reek it rose, and the flame it flew, And oh the fire augmented high, Until it came to Lord John's chamber-window, And to the bed where Lord John lay.
"O help me, help me, Lady Frennet!