I never ettled harm to thee; And if my father slew my lord, Forget the deed and rescue me."
He looked east, he looked west, To see if any help was nigh; At length his little page he saw, Who to his lord aloud did cry.
"Loup doun, loup doun, my master dear!
What though the window's dreigh and hie?
I'll catch you in my arms twa, And never a foot from you I'll flee."
"How can I loup, you little page, How can I leave this window hie?
Do you not see the blazing low, And my twa legs burnt to my knee?"
The eighteenth of October, A dismal tale to hear, How good Lord John and Rothiemay Was both burnt in the fire.
When steeds was saddled and well bridled, 5 And ready for to ride, Then out it came her, false Frendraught, Inviting them to bide.
Said,--"Stay this night untill we sup, The morn untill we dine; 10 'Twill be a token of good 'greement 'Twixt your good Lord and mine."
"We'll turn again," said good Lord John;-- "But no," said Rothiemay,-- "My steed's trapan'd, my bridle's broken, 15 I fear the day I'm fey."
When mass was sung, and bells was rung, And all men bound for bed, Then good Lord John and Rothiemay In one chamber was laid. 20
They had not long cast off their cloaths, And were but now asleep, When the weary smoke began to rise, Likewise the scorching heat.
"O waken, waken, Rothiemay! 25 O waken, brother dear!
And turn you to our Saviour; There is strong treason here."
When they were dressed in their cloaths, And ready for to boun, 30 The doors and windows was all secur'd, The roof-tree burning down.
He did him to the wire-window, As fast as he could gang; Says,--"Wae to the hands put in the stancheons, 35 For out we'll never win."
When he stood at the wire-window, Most doleful to be seen, He did espy her, Lady Frendraught, Who stood upon the green. 40
Cried,--"Mercy, mercy, Lady Frendraught!
Will ye not sink with sin?
For first your husband killed my father, And now you burn his son."
O then out spoke her, Lady Frendraught, 45 And loudly did she cry,-- "It were great pity for good Lord John, But none for Rothiemay.
But the keys are casten in the deep draw well, Ye cannot get away." 50
While he stood in this dreadful plight, Most piteous to be seen, There called out his servant Gordon, As he had frantic been.
"O loup, O loup, my dear master, 55 O loup and come to me!
I'll catch you in my arms two; One foot I will not flee.
"O loup, O loup, my dear master, O loup and come away! 60 I'll catch you in my arms two, But Rothiemay may lie."
"The fish shall never swim in the flood, Nor corn grow through the clay, Nor the fiercest fire that ever was kindled 65 Twin me and Rothiemay.
"But I cannot loup, I cannot come, I cannot win to thee; My head's fast in the wire-window, My feet burning from me. 70
"My eyes are seething in my head, My flesh roasting also, My bowels are boiling with my blood; Is not that a woeful woe?
"Take here the rings from my white fingers 75 That are so long and small, And give them to my lady fair, Where she sits in her hall.
"So I cannot loup, I cannot come, I cannot loup to thee; 80 My earthly part is all consumed, My spirit but speaks to thee."
Wringing her hands, tearing her hair, His lady she was seen, And thus addressed his servant Gordon, 85 Where he stood on the green.
"O wae be to you, George Gordon, An ill death may you die!
So safe and sound as you stand there, And my lord bereaved from me." 90
"I bad him loup, I bad him come, I bad him loup to me; I'd catch him in my arms two, A foot I should not flee. &c.
"He threw me the rings from his white fingers, 95 Which were so long and small, To give to you, his lady fair, Where you sat in your hall." &c.
Sophia Hay, Sophia Hay, O bonny Sophia was her name,-- 100 Her waiting maid put on her cloaths, But I wot she tore them off again.
And aft she cried, "Ohon! alas, alas!
A sair heart's ill to win; I wan a sair heart when I married him, 105 And the day it's well return'd again."
THE BONNIE HOUSE O' AIRLY.
Finlay's _Scottish Ballads_, ii. 31.
The Earl of Airly, a nobleman zealously attached to the cause of King Charles, withdrew from Scotland in order to avoid subscribing the Covenant, leaving his eldest son Lord Ogilvie at home. The Committee of Estates, hearing that Airly had fled the country, directed the Earls of Montrose and Kinghorn to take possession of his castle, but in this, owing to the exceeding strength of the place, they did not succeed.
Subsequently the Earl of Argyle, a personal enemy of the Earl of Airly, was charged with the same commission, and raised an army of five thousand men to carry out his trust. Lord Ogilvie was unable to hold out against such a force, and abandoned his father's stronghold, which, as well as his own residence of Forthar, was plundered and utterly destroyed by Argyle. Lady Ogilvie is said to have been pregnant at the time of the burning of Forthar, and to have undergone considerable danger before she could find proper refuge. She never had, however, more than one son, though she is endowed with no fewer than ten by the ballads. According to one account, the event here celebrated took place in 1639; another assigns it to 1640. (Napier's _Montrose and the Covenanters_, i. 533.)
The _Bonnie House of Airly_ was first printed in Finlay's _Scottish Ballads_. Other copies are given in Cromek's _Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song_, p. 225; Smith's _Scottish Minstrel_, ii. 2; Hogg's _Jacobite Relics_, ii. 152; Sharpe's _Ballad Book_, p. 59; and Kinloch's _Ancient Scottish Ballads_, p. 104.
A modern attempt on the same theme may be seen in Hogg's _Jacobite Relics_, ii. 411. Allan Cunningham, misled by the Ogilvies' continuing to the Pretender the devotion they exhibited to the Royal Martyr and his son, has transferred the burning of Airly to the 18th century. See his _Young Airly_, in Cromek's _Remains_, p. 196, and, rewritten, in _The Songs of Scotland_, iii. 218.
It fell on a day, and a bonnie summer day, When the corn grew green and yellow, That there fell out a great dispute Between Argyle and Airly.
The Duke o' Montrose has written to Argyle 5 To come in the morning early, An' lead in his men, by the back o' Dunkeld, To plunder the bonnie house o' Airly.
The lady look'd o'er her window sae hie, And O but she looked weary! 10 And there she espied the great Argyle Come to plunder the bonnie house o' Airly.
"Come down, come down, Lady Margaret," he says, "Come down and kiss me fairly, Or before the morning clear daylight, 15 I'll no leave a standing stane in Airly."
"I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle, I wadna kiss thee fairly, I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle, Gin you shoudna leave a standing stane in Airly." 20
He has ta'en her by the middle sae sma', Says, "Lady, where is your drury?"
"It's up and down by the bonnie burn side, Amang the planting of Airly."