They sought it up, they sought it down, 25 They sought it late and early, And found it in the bonnie balm-tree, That shines on the bowling-green o' Airly.
He has ta'en her by the left shoulder, And O but she grat sairly, 30 And led her down to yon green bank, Till he plundered the bonnie house o' Airly.
"O it's I hae seven braw sons," she says, "And the youngest ne'er saw his daddie, And altho' I had as mony mae, 35 I wad gie them a' to Charlie.
"But gin my good lord had been at hame, As this night he is wi' Charlie, There durst na a Campbell in a' the west Hae plundered the bonnie house o' Airly." 40
THE BONNIE HOUSE OF AIRLY.
From Sharpe's _Ballad Book_, p. 59.
It fell on a day, and a bonny simmer day, When green grew aits and barley, That there fell out a greet dispute Between Argyll and Airlie.
Argyll has raised an hunder men, 5 An hunder harness'd rarely, And he's awa' by the back of Dunkell, To plunder the castle of Airlie.
Lady Ogilvie looks o'er her bower window, And O but she looks weary! 10 And there she spy'd the great Argyll, Come to plunder the bonny house of Airlie.
"Come down, come down, my Lady Ogilvie, Come down, and kiss me fairly:"
"O I winna kiss the fause Argyll, 15 If he shouldna leave a standing stane in Airlie."
He hath taken her by the left shoulder, Says, "Dame where lies thy dowry?"
"O it's east and west yon water side, And it's down by the banks of the Airlie." 20
They hae sought it up, they hae sought it down, They have sought it maist severely, Till they fand it in the fair plum-tree, That shines on the bowling-green of Airlie.
He hath taken her by the middle sae small, 25 And O but she grat sairly!
And laid her down by the bonny burn-side, Till they plundered the castle of Airlie.
"Gif my gude lord war here this night, As he is with King Charlie, 30 Neither you, nor ony ither Scottish Lord, Durst awow to the plundering of Airlie.
"Gif my gude Lord war now at hame, As he is with his king, Then durst nae a Campbell in a' Argyll 35 Set fit on Airlie green.
"Ten bonny sons I have born unto him, The eleventh ne'er saw his daddy; But though I had an hundred mair, I'd gie them a' to King Charlie. 40
THE BARON OF BRACKLEY.
First published as follows in Jamieson's _Popular Ballads_, i. 102. The copy used was derived from Mrs. Brown, and collated with a fragment taken down by Scott from the recitation of two of the descendants of Inverey. Buchan has given a different version in his _Gleanings_, which is annexed to the present. "This ballad," says Chambers, "records an unfortunate rencontre, which took place on the 16th of September, 1666, between John Gordon of Brackley, commonly called the Baron of Brackley, (in Aberdeenshire,) and Farquharson of Inverey, a noted freebooter, who dwelt on Dee-side. The former gentleman, who is yet remembered by tradition as a person of the most amiable and respectable character, had contrived to offend Farquharson, by pounding some horses belonging to his (Farquharson's) followers, which had either strayed into the Brackley grounds, or become forfeited on account of some petty delinquencies committed by their proprietors. Farquharson was a man of violent habits and passions; he is yet remembered by the epithet _Fuddie_, descriptive of his hurried, impatient gait; and it is said that, having been in league with the powers of darkness, he was buried on the north side of a hill, where the sun never shone. On account of the miraculous expedition with which he could sweep the cattle away from a fertile district, _Deil scoup wi'_ _Fuddie!_ is still a popular proverb, implying that the devil could alone keep his own part with him.
This singular marauder, it appears, from authentic information, wished at first to argue the point at issue with the Baron of Brackley; but in the course of the altercation some expression from one of the parties occasioned a mutual discharge of fire-arms, by which Brackley and three of his followers fell. An attempt was made by the baron's friends to bring Fuddie to justice; but the case seems to have been justly considered one of chance medley, and the accused party was soon restored to society."--_The Scottish Ballads_, p. 147.
Down Dee side came Inverey whistling and playing; He's lighted at Brackley yates at the day dawing.
Says, "Baron o' Brackley, O are ye within?
There's sharp swords at the yate will gar your blood spin."
The lady raise up, to the window she went; 5 She heard her kye lowing o'er hill and o'er bent.
"O rise up, ye baron, and turn back your kye; For the lads o' Drumwharran are driving them bye."
"How can I rise, lady, or turn them again!
Whare'er I have ae man, I wat they hae ten." 10
"Then rise up, my lasses, tak rocks in your hand, And turn back the kye;--I ha'e you at command.
"Gin I had a husband, as I hae nane, He wadna lye in his bower, see his kye ta'en."
Then up got the baron, and cried for his graith; 15 Says, "Lady, I'll gang, tho' to leave you I'm laith.
"Come, kiss me, then, Peggy, and gie me my speir; I ay was for peace, tho' I never fear'd weir.
"Come, kiss me, then, Peggy, nor think I'm to blame; I weel may gae out, but I'll never win in!" 20
When Brackley was busked, and rade o'er the closs, A gallanter baron ne'er lap to a horse.
When Brackley was mounted, and rade o'er the green, He was as bald a baron as ever was seen.
Tho' there cam' wi' Inverey thirty and three, 25 There was nane wi' bonny Brackley but his brother and he.
Twa gallanter Gordons did never sword draw; But against four and thirty, wae's me, what is twa?
Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him surround; And they've pierced bonny Brackley wi' many a wound. 30
Frae the head o' the Dee to the banks o' the Spey, The Gordons may mourn him, and bann Inverey.
"O came ye by Brackley yates, was ye in there?
Or saw ye his Peggy dear riving her hair?"
"O I came by Brackley yates, I was in there, 35 And I saw his Peggy a-making good cheer."
That lady she feasted them, carried them ben; She laugh'd wi' the men that her baron had slain.
"O fye on you, lady! how could you do sae?
You open'd your yates to the fause Inverey." 40
She ate wi' him, drank wi' him, welcom'd him in; She welcom'd the villain that slew her baron!
She kept him till morning, syne bade him be gane, And shaw'd him the road that he shou'dna be taen.
"Thro' Birss and Aboyne," she says, "lyin in a tour, 45 O'er the hills o' Glentanar you'll skip in an hour."
--There's grief in the kitchen, and mirth in the ha'; But the Baron o' Brackley is dead and awa.