Child's Ballads/198

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
"Bonny John Seton", no. 198


A[edit]

UPON the eighteenth day of June,
A dreary day to see,
The southern lords did pitch their camp
Just at the bridge of Dee.
Bonny John Seton of Pitmeddin,
A bold baron was he,
He made his testament ere he went out,
The wiser man was he.
He left his land to his young son,
His lady her dowry,
A thousand crowns to his daughter Jean,
Yet on the nurse's knee.
Then out came his lady fair,
A tear into her ee;
Says, Stay at home, my own good lord,
O stay at home with me!
He looked over his left shoulder,
Cried, Souldiers, follow me!
O then she looked in his face,
An angry woman was she:
'God send me back my steed again,
But neer let me see thee!'
His name was Major Middleton
That manned the bridge of Dee,
His name was Colonel Henderson
That let the cannons flee.
His name was Major Middleton
That manned the bridge of Dee,
And his name was Colonel Henderson
That dung Pitmeddin in three.
Some rode on the black and grey,
And some rode on the brown,
But the bonny John Seton
Lay gasping on the ground.
Then bye there comes a false Forbes,
Was riding from Driminere;
Says, Here there lies a proud Seton;
This day they ride the rear.
Cragievar said to his men,
'You may play on your shield;
For the proudest Seton in all the lan
This day lies on the field.'
'O spoil him! spoil him!' cried Cragievar,
'Him spoiled let me see;
For on my word,' said Cragievar,
'He had no good will at me.'
They took from him his armour clear,
His sword, likewise his shield;
Yea, they have left him naked there,
Upon the open field.
The Highland men, they're clever men
At handling sword and shield,
But yet they are too naked men
To stay in battle field.
The Highland men are clever men
At handling sword or gun,
But yet they are too naked men
To bear the cannon's rung.
For a cannon's roar in a summer night
Is like thunder in the air;
There's not a man in Highland dress
Can face the cannon's fire.

B[edit]

IT fell about the month of June,
On Tuesday, timouslie,
The northern lords hae pitchd their camps
Beyond the brig o Dee.
They ca'ed him Major Middleton
That mand the brig o Dee;
They ca'ed him Colonel Henderson
That gard the cannons flee.
Bonny John Seton o Pitmedden,
A brave baron was he;
He made his tesment ere he gaed,
And the wiser man was he.
He left his lands unto his heir,
His ladie her dowrie;
Ten thousand crowns to Lady Jane,
Sat on the nourice knee.
Then out it speaks his lady gay,
'O stay my lord wi me;
For word is come, the cause is won
Beyond the brig o Dee.'
He turned him right and round about
And a light laugh hae he;
Says, I wouldna for my lands sae broad
I stayed this night wi thee.
He's taen his sword then by his side,
His buckler by his knee,
And laid his leg in oer his horse,
Said, Sodgers, follow me!
So he rade on, and further on,
Till to the third mile corse;
The Covenanters' cannon balls
Dang him aff o his horse.
Up then rides him Cragievar,
Said, Wha's this lying here?
It surely is the Lord o Aboyne,
For Huntly was not here.
Then out is speaks a fause Forbes,
Lived up in Druminner;
'My lord, this is a proud Seton,
The rest will ride the thinner.'
'Spulyie him, spulyie him,' said Craigievar,
'O spulyie him, presentlie;
For I could lay my lugs in pawn
He had nae gude will at me.'
They've taen the shoes frae aff his feet,
The garters frae his knee,
Likewise the gloves upon his hands;
They've left him not a flee.
His fingers they were sae sair swelld
The rings would not come aff;
They cutted the grips out o his ears,
Took out the gowd signots.
Then they rade on, and further on,
Till they came to the Crabestane,
And Craigievar, he had a mind
To burn a' Aberdeen.
Out is speaks the gallnt Montrose,
Grace on his fair body!
'We winna burn the bonny burgh,
We'll even laet it be.'
Then out it speaks the gallant Montrose,
'Your purpose I will break;
We winna burn the bonny burgh,
We'll nevver build its make.
'I see the women and their children
Climbing the craigs sae hie;
We'll sleep this night in the bonny burgh,
And even lat it be.'