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He has ta'en the watchman by the throat, He flung him down upon the lead-- "Had there not been peace between our lands, Upon the other side thou hadst gaed! 120

"Now sound out, trumpets!" quo' Buccleuch; "Let's waken Lord Scroope right merrilie!"

Then loud the warden's trumpet blew-- _O wha dare meddle wi' me_?[L124]

Then speedilie to wark we gaed, 125 And raised the slogan ane and a', And cut a hole through a sheet of lead, And so we wan to the castle ha'.

They thought King James and a' his men Had won the house wi' bow and spear; 130 It was but twenty Scots and ten, That put a thousand in sic a stear!

Wi' coulters, and wi' forehammers, We garr'd the bars bang merrilie, Until we came to the inner prison, 135 Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie.

And when we cam to the lower prison, Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie-- "O sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie, Upon the morn that thou's to die?" 140

"O I sleep saft, and I wake aft, It's lang since sleeping was fley'd frae me; Gie my service back to my wife and bairns, And a' gude fellows that spier for me."

Then Red Rowan has hente him up, 145 The starkest man in Teviotdale-- "Abide, abide now, Red Rowan, Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

"Farewell, farewell, my gude Lord Scroope!

My gude Lord Scroope, farewell!" he cried-- 150 "I'll pay you for my lodging maill, When first we meet on the Border side."

Then shoulder high, with shout and cry, We bore him down the ladder lang; At every stride Red Rowan made, 155 I wot the Kinmont's airns play'd clang.

"O mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, "I have ridden horse baith wild and wood; But a rougher beast than Red Rowan I ween my legs have ne'er bestrode. 160

"And mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, "I've prick'd a horse out oure the furs; But since the day I back'd a steed, I never wore sic cumbrous spurs."

We scarce had won the Staneshaw-bank, 165 When a' the Carlisle bells were rung, And a thousand men on horse and foot Cam wi' the keen Lord Scroope along.

Buccleuch has turn'd to Eden Water, Even where it flow'd frae bank to brim, 170 And he has plunged in wi' a' his band, And safely swam them through the stream.

He turn'd him on the other side, And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he-- "If ye like na my visit in merry England, 175 In fair Scotland come visit me!"

All sore astonish'd stood Lord Scroope, He stood as still as rock of stane; He scarcely dared to trew his eyes, When through the water they had gane. 180

"He is either himsell a devil frae hell, Or else his mother a witch maun be; I wadna have ridden that wan water For a' the gowd in Christentie."

4. Haribee is the place of execution at Carlisle.--S.

13. The Liddel-rack is a ford on the Liddel.--S.

76. A house on the Border, belonging to Buccleuch.--S.

102. Eden has been substituted for Eske, the latter name being inconsistent with geography.--S.

124. The name of a Border tune.--S.


From Caw's _Poetical Museum_, p. 22.

The personage from whom this ballad is named was jester to Lord Scroop, who was warden of the West Marches of England from 1590 to 1603. The Laird's Jock, that is John, the son of the Laird of Mangerton, "appears as one of the _men of name_ in Liddesdale, in the list of the Border Clans, 1597."

_Dick o' the Cow_ is closely connected with _Jock o' the Side_ and _Hobie Noble_, which follow shortly after. All three were first printed in Caw's _Museum_, and seem to have been contributed by a Mr. Elliot, a Liddesdale gentleman, to whom Sir W. Scott acknowledges many obligations. We are told that both _Dick o' the Cow_ and _Jock o' the Side_ were until lately so popular in Liddesdale with all classes of people, that they were invariably sung, from beginning to end, at every festive meeting.

The ballad of _Dick o' the Cow_ was well known in England as early as 1596.

"An allusion to it likewise occurs in PARROT'S _Laquei Ridiculosi_, or _Springes for Woodcocks_; London, 1613.

"Owenus wondreth since he came to Wales, What the description of this isle should be, That nere had seen but mountains, hills, and dales, Yet would he boast, and stand on pedigree, From Rice ap Richard, sprung from _Dick a Cow_, Be cod, was right gud gentleman, look ye now!"

_Epigr. 76._--SCOTT.

Now Liddisdale has lyan lang in, There is nae riding there at a'; The horses are grown sae lidder fat, They downa stur out o' the sta'.

Then Johnie Armstrong to Willie can say-- 5 "Billie, a riding then we'll gae; England and us has been lang at a feid; Ablins we'll hit on some bootie."

Then they're com'd on to Hutton Ha', They rade the proper place about; 10 But the laird he was the wiser man, For he had left nae gear without.

Then he had left nae gear to steal, Except sax sheep upon a lee: Quo' Johnie--"I'd rather in England die, 15 Ere thir sax sheep gae t' Liddisdale wi' me.

"But how ca'd they the man we last met, Billie, as we cam o'er the know?"

"That same he is an innocent fool, And some men ca' him Dick o' the Cow." 20

"That fool has three as good ky o' his ain, As there's in a' Cumberland, billie," quo' he: "Betide me life, betide me death, These three ky shall gae t' Liddisdale wi' me."

Then they're com'd on to the poor fool's house, 25 And they hae broken his wa's sae wide; They have loos'd out Dick o' the Cow's three ky, And tane three co'erlets aff his wife's bed.

Then on the morn, whan the day was light, The shouts and cries rose loud and hie: 30 "O had thy tongue, my wife," he says, "And o' thy crying let me be!

"O had thy tongue, my wife," he says, "And of thy crying let me be; And aye that where thou wants a cow, 35 In good sooth I'll bring thee three."

Then Dickie's com'd on for's lord and master, And I wat a dreirie fool was he; "Now had thy tongue, my fool," he says, "For I may not stand to jest wi' thee." 40

"Shame speed a' your jesting, my lord!" quo' Dickie, "For nae sic jesting grees wi' me; Liddisdale's been i' my house last night, And they hae tane my three ky frae me.

"But I may nae langer in Cumberland dwell, 45 To be your poor fool and your leal, Unless ye gi' me leave, my lord, T' gae t' Liddisdale and steal."

"I gi' thee leave, my fool," he says; "Thou speakest against my honour and me, 50 Unless thou gi' me thy trowth and thy hand, Thou'lt steal frae nane but wha sta' frae thee."

"There is my trowth, and my right hand!

My head shall hang on Hairibee,[L54]

I'll near cross Carlisle sands again, 55 If I steal frae a man but wha sta' frae me."

Dickie's tane leave at lord and master, And I wat a merry fool was he; He's bought a bridle and a pair o' new spurs, And pack'd them up in his breek thigh. 60

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