THE BARON OF BRAIKLEY.
Buchan's _Gleanings_, p. 68, taken from _Scarce Ancient Ballads_, p. 9.
Inverey came down Deeside whistlin an playin, He was at brave Braikley's yett ere it was dawin; He rappit fou loudly, an wi a great roar, Cried, "Cum down, cum down, Braikley, an open the door.
"Are ye sleepin, Baronne, or are ye wakin? 5 Ther's sharp swords at your yett will gar your bluid spin: Open the yett, Braikley, an lat us within, Till we on the green turf gar your bluid rin."
Out spak the brave Baronne owre the castell wa, "Are ye come to spulzie an plunder my ha? 10 But gin ye be gentlemen, licht an cum in, Gin ye drink o' my wine ye'll nae gar my bluid spin.
"Gin ye be hir'd widdifus, ye may gang by, Ye may gang to the lawlands and steal their fat ky; Ther spulzie like revers o' wyld kettrin clan, 15 Wha plunder unsparing baith houses and lan'.
"Gin ye be gentlemen, licht an cum in, Ther's meat an drink i' my ha' for every man: Gin ye be hir'd widdifus, ye may gang by, Gang down to the lawlans, an steal horse an ky." 20
Up spak his ladie, at his bak where she laid, "Get up, get up, Braikley, an be not afraid; They're but hir'd widdifus wi belted plaids.
"Cum kis me, my Peggy, I'le nae langer stay, For I will go out an meet Inverey; 25 But haud your tongue, Peggy, and mak nae sic din, For yon same hir'd widdifus will prove to be men."
She called on her maries, they came to her han; Cries, "Bring your rocks, lassies, we will them coman; Get up, get up, Braikley, and turn bak your ky, 30 For me an my women will them defy.
"Come forth than, my maidens, an show them some play; We'll ficht them, an shortly the cowards will fly.
Gin I had a husband, wheras I hae nane, He wadna ly in his bed and see his ky taen. 35
"Ther's four-an-twenty milk whit calves, twal o' them ky, In the woods o' Glentanner it's ther they a' ly; Ther are goats in the Etnach, an sheep o' the brae, An a' will be plunderd by young Inverey."
"Now haud your tongue, Peggy, an gie me a gun, 40 Ye'll see me gae furth, but Ile never return.
Call my bruther William, my unkl also; My cusin James Gordon, we'll mount an' we'll go."
Whan Braikley was ready an stood i the closs, He was the bravest baronne that e'er munted horse; 45 Whan a' war assembld on the castell green, Nae man like brave Braikley was ther to be seen.
"Turn back, bruther William, ye are a bridegroom, * * * * *
We bonnie Jean Gordon, the maid o the mill, O sichin and sobbin she'll seen get her fill." 50
"I'me nae coward, brither, it's kent I'me a man; Ile ficht i' your quarral as lang's I can stan.
Ile ficht, my dear brither, wi heart an guid will, An so will yung Harry that lives at the mill.
"But turn, my dear brither, and nae langer stay. 55 What'll cum o' your ladie, gin Braikley they slay?
What'll cum o' your ladie an' bonny yung son, O what'll cum o' them when Braikley is gone?"
"I never will turn: do ye think I will fly?
No, here I will ficht, and here I will die." 60
"Strik dogs," cries Inverey, "an ficht till ye're slayn, For we are four hunder, ye are but four men: Strik, strik, ye proud boaster, your honor is gone, Your lans we will plunder, your castell we'll burn."
At the head o' the Etnach the battel began, 65 At little Auchoilzie they killd the first man: First they killd ane, an syne they killd twa, They killd gallant Braikley, the flowr o' them a'.
They killd William Gordon and James o' the Knox, An brave Alexander, the flowr o' Glenmuick: 70 What sichin an moaning war heard i the glen, For the Baronne o' Braikley, wha basely was slayn!
"Came ye by the castell, an was ye in there?
Saw ye pretty Peggy tearing her hair?"
"Yes, I cam by Braikley, an I gaed in ther, 75 An ther saw his ladie braiding her hair.
"She was rantin, an' dancin, an' singin for joy, An vowin that nicht she woud feest Inverey: She eat wi him, drank wi him, welcomd him in, Was kind to the man that had slayn her baronne." 80
Up spak the son on the nourices knee,[L81]
"Gin I live to be a man revenged Ile be."
Ther's dool i the kitchin, an mirth i the ha, The Baronne o Braikley is dead an awa.
81. See _Johnie Armstrang_, p. 45.
Gilderoy (properly Gilleroy) signifies in Gaelic "the red-haired lad."
The person thus denoted was, according to tradition, one Patrick of the proscribed clan Gregor. The following account of him is taken from the _Scot's Musical Museum_, p. 71, vol. iv. ed. of 1853.
"Gilderoy was a notorious freebooter in the highlands of Perthshire, who, with his gang, for a considerable time infested the country, committing the most barbarous outrages on the inhabitants. Some of these ruffians, however, were at length apprehended through the vigilance and activity of the Stewarts of Athol, and conducted to Edinburgh, where they were tried, condemned, and executed, in February, 1638. Gilderoy, seeing his accomplices taken and hanged, went up, and in revenge burned several houses belonging to the Stewarts in Athol. This new act of atrocity was the prelude to his ruin. A proclamation was issued offering 1,000 for his apprehension. The inhabitants rose _en masse_, and pursued him from place to place, till at length he, with five more of his associates, was overtaken and secured. They were next carried to Edinburgh, where after trial and conviction, they expiated their offences on the gallows, in the month of July, 1638."
In the vulgar story-books, Gilderoy, besides committing various monstrous and unnatural crimes, enjoys the credit of having picked Cardinal Richelieu's pocket in the King's presence, robbed Oliver Cromwell, and hanged a judge.
The ballad _is said_ to have been composed not long after the death of Gilderoy, "by a young woman of no mean talent, who unfortunately became attached to this daring robber, and had cohabited with him for some time before his being apprehended." A blackletter copy printed in England as early as 1650 has been preserved. Another, with "some slight variations," is contained "in Playford's _Wit and Mirth_, first edition of vol. iii., printed in 1703." The piece is next found in _Pills to purge Melancholy_, v. 39, and, with one different stanza, in _Old Ballads_, i. 271. In the second volume (p. 106) of Thomson's _Orpheus Caledonius_ (1733), it appears with considerable alterations. Lady Elizabeth Wardlaw (_nee_ Halket) undertook a revision of the ballad, and by expunging two worthless stanzas and adding three (those enclosed in brackets), produced the version here given, which is taken from Ritson's _Scotish Songs_, ii. 24. Percy's copy (_Reliques_, i. 335) is the same, with the omission of the ninth stanza, and Herd and Pinkerton have followed Percy.
Gilderoy was a bonny boy, Had roses tull his shoone; His stockings were of silken soy, Wi' garters hanging doune.
It was, I weene, a comelie sight, 5 To see sae trim a boy; He was my jo and hearts delight, My handsome Gilderoy.
O sik twa charming een he had, A breath as sweet as rose; 10 He never ware a Highland plaid, But costly silken clothes.
He gain'd the luve of ladies gay, Nane eir tul him was coy: Ah, wae is me! I mourn the day, 15 For my dear Gilderoy.
My Gilderoy and I were born Baith in one toun together; We scant were seven years, beforn We gan to luve each other; 20 Our dadies and our mammies, thay Were fill'd wi' mickle joy, To think upon the bridal day 'Twixt me and Gilderoy.
For Gilderoy, that luve of mine, 25 Gude faith, I freely bought A wedding sark of holland fine, Wi' silken flowers wrought; And he gied me a wedding ring, Which I receiv'd wi' joy; 30 Nae lad nor lassie eir could sing, Like me and Gilderoy.
Wi' mickle joy we spent our prime, Till we were baith sixteen, And aft we passed the langsome time, 35 Amang the leaves sae green; Aft on the banks we'd sit us thair, And sweetly kiss and toy; Wi' garlands gay wad deck my hair My handsome Gilderoy. 40
[O that he still had been content Wi' me to lead his life; But ah, his manfu' heart was bent To stir in feates of strife: And he in many a venturous deed 45 His courage bauld wad try, And now this gars mine heart to bleed For my dear Gilderoy.
And whan of me his leave he tuik, The tears they wat mine ee; 50 I gave tull him a parting luik, "My benison gang wi' thee!
God speid thee weil, mine ain dear heart, For gane is all my joy; My heart is rent sith we maun part, 55 My handsome Gilderoy."]
My Gilderoy, baith far and near, Was fear'd in every toun, And bauldly bare away the gear Of many a lawland loun. 60 Nane eir durst meet him man to man, He was sae brave a boy; At length wi' numbers he was tane, My winsome Gilderoy.