Child's Ballads/188

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A[edit]

LATE in an evening forth as I went,
'Twas on the dawning of the day;
I heard two brothers make their moan,
I listend well what they did say.
. . . .
. . .
We were three born brethren,
There[s] one of us condemnd to die.
Then up bespake Jock the laird:
'If I had but a hundre men,
A hundred o th best i Christenty,
I wad go on to fair Dumfries, I wad loose my brother and set him free.'
So up bespak then Dicky Ha,
He was the wisest o the three:
'A hundre men we'll never get,
Neither for gold nor fee,
But some of them will us betray;
They'l neither fight for gold nor fee.
'Had I but ten well-wight men,
Ten o the best i Christenty,
I wad gae on to fair Dumfries,
I wad loose my brother and set him free.
'Jocky Ha, our cousin, 's be the first man'
(For leugh o Liddesdale cracked he);
'An ever we come till a pinch,
He'll be as good as ony three.'
They mounted ten well-wight men,
Ten o the best i Christenty;
. . . .
. . . .
There was horsing and horsing of haste,
And cracking o whips out oer the lee,
Till they came to fair Barngliss,
And they ca'd the smith right quietly.
He has shod them a' their horse,
He's shod them siccer and honestly,
And he as turnd the Cawkers backwards oer,
Where foremost they were wont to be.
And there was horsing, horsing of haste,
And cracking of whips out oer the lee,
Until they came to the Bonshaw wood,
Where they held their council privately.
Some says, We'll gang the Annan road,
It is the better road, said they;
Up bespak then Dicky Ha,
The wisest of that company.
'Annan road's a publick road,
It's no the road that makes for me;
But we will through at Hoddam ford,
It is the better road,' said he.
And there was horsing, horsing o haste,
And cracking of whips out oer the lea,
Until they came to fair Dumfries,
And it was newly strucken three.
Up bespake then Jocky Ha,
For leugh o Liddesdale cracked he:
'I have a mare, they ca her Meg,
She is the best i Christenty;
An ever we come till a pinch,
She'll bring awa both thee and me.'
'But five we'll leave to had our horse,
And five will watch, guard for to be;
Who is the man,' said Dicky then,
'To the prison-door will go with me?'
Up bespak then Jocky Ha,
For leugh o Liddesdale cracked he:
'I am the man,' said Jocky than,
'To the prison-door I'll go with thee.'
They are up the jail-stair,
They stepped it right soberly,
Until they came to the jail-door;
They ca'd the prisoner quietly.
'O sleeps thou, wakest thou, Archie, my billy?
O sleeps thou, wakes thou, dear billy?'
'Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I wake;
But who's that knows my name so well?' [said he.]
'I am thy brother Dicky,' he says;
'This night I'm come to borrow thee.'
But up bespake the prisoner then,
And O but he spake woefully!
'Today had been a justice-court,
. . .
And a' Liddesdale were here the night,
The morn's the day at I'se to die.'
'What is thy crime, Archie, my billy?
What is the crime they lay to thee?'
'I brake a spear i the warden's breast,
For saving my master's land,' said he.
'If that be a' the crime they lay to thee, Archie, my billy,
If that be the crime they lay to thee,
Work thou within, and me without,
And thro good strength I'll borrow thee.'
'I cannot work,billy,' he says,
'I cannot work, billy, with thee,
For fifteen stone of Spanish iron
Lyes fast to me with lock and key.'
When Dicky he heard that,
'Away, thou crabby chiel!' cried he;
He's taen the door aye with his foot,
And fast he followd it with his knee.
Till a' the bolts the door hung on,
O th' prison-floor he made them flee.
'Thou's welcome, welcome, Archy, my billy,
Thou's aye right dear welcome to me;
There shall be straiks this day,' he said,
'This day or thou be taen from me.'
He's got the prisoner on o his back,
He's gotten him irons and aw,
. . . .
. . .
Up bespake then Jocky Ha,
'Let some o th' prisoner lean on me;'
'The diel o there,' quo Dicky than,
'He's no the wightdom of a flea.'
They are on o that gray mare,
And they are on o her aw three,
And they linked the irons about her neck,
And galloped the street right wantonly.
'To horse, to horse,' then, a+ell,' he says,
'Horse ye with all the might ye may,
For the jailor he will waken next;
And the prisoners had a' wan away.'
There was horsing, horsing of haste,
And cracking o whips out oer the lea,
Until they came to the Bonshaw Shield;
There they held their council privately.
Some says, 'We'll gang the Annan road;
It is the better road,' said they;
But up bespak than Dicky Ha,
The wisest of that company:
'Annan road's a publick road,
It's not the road that makes for me;
But we will through at Annan Holme,
It is the better road,' said he;
'An we were in at Wamfrey Gate,
The Johnstones they will a' help me.'
But Dicky lookd oer his left shoulder,
I wait a wiley look gave he;
He spied the leiutenant coming,
An a hundre men of his company.
'So horse ye, horse ye, lads!' he said,
'O horse ye, sure and siccerly!
For yonder is the lieutenant,
With a hundred men of his company.'
There was horsing, horsing of haste,
And cracking o whips out oer the lea.
Until they came to Annan Holme,
And it was running like a sea.
But up bespake the lieutenant,
Until a bonny lad said he,
'Who is the man,' said the leiutenant,
'Rides foremost of yon company?'
Then up bespake the bonny lad,
Until the lieutenant said he,
'Some men do ca him Dicky Ha,
Rides foremost of yon company.'
'O haste ye, haste ye!' said the leiutenant,
'Pursue with a' the might ye may!
For the man had needs to be well saint
That comes thro the hands o Dicky Ha.'
But up bespak Jock the laird,
'This has been a dearsome night to me;
I've a colt of four years old,
I wait he wannelld like the wind;
If ever he come to the deep,
He will plump down, leave me behind.'
'Wae light o thee and thy horse baith, Jock,
And even so thy horse and thee!
Take thou mine, and I'll take thine,
Foul fa the worst horse i th' company!
I'll cast the prisoner me behind;
There'll no man die but him that's fee.'
There they've a' taen the flood,
And they have taen it hastily;
Dicky was the hindmost took the flood,
And foremost on the land stood he.
Dicky's turnd his horse about,
And he has turnd it hastilly:
'Come through, come thro, my lieutenant,
Come thro this day, and drink wi me,
And thy dinner's be dressd in Annan Holme,
It sall not cost thee one penny.'
'I think some witch has bore the, Dicky,
Or some devil in hell been thy daddy;
I woud not swum that wan water double-horsed,
For a' the gold in Christenty.
'But throw me thro my irons, Dicky,
I wait they cost me full dear;'
'O devil be there,' quo Jocky Hall,
'They'l be good shoon to my gray mare.'
O up bespoke then Jock the laird,
'This has been a dearsome night to me;
For yesternight the Cawfield was my ain,
Landsman again I never sall be.'
'Now wae light o thee and thy lands baith, Jock,
And even so baith the land and thee!
For gear will come and gear will gang,
But three brothers again we never were to be.'

B[edit]

AS I was walking mine alane,
It was by the dawning o the day,
I heard twa brothers make their maine,
And I listned well what they did say.
The eldest to the youngest said,
'O dear brother, how can this be!
There was three brethren of us born,
And one of us is condemnd to die.'
'O chuse ye out a hundred men,
A hundred men in Christ[e]ndie,
And we'll away to Dumfries town,
And set our billie Archie free.'
'A hundred men you cannot get,
Nor yet sixteen in Christendie;
For some of them will us betray,
And other some will work for fee.
'But chuse ye out eleven men,
And we ourselves thirteen will be,
And we'ill away to Dumfries town,
And borrow bony billie Archie.'
There was horsing, horsing in haste,
And there was marching upon the lee,
Untill they came to the Murraywhat,
And they lighted a' right speedylie.
'A smith, a smith,!' Dickie he crys,
'A smith, a smith, right speedily,
To turn back the cakers of our horses feet!
For it is forward we woud be.'
There was a horsing, horsing in haste,
There was marching on the lee,
Untill they came to Dumfries port,
And there they lighted right manfulie.
'There['s] six of us will hold the horse,
And other five watchmen will be;
But who is the man among you a'
Will go to the Tolbooth door wi me?'
p then spake Jokie Hall
(Fra the laigh of Tiviotdale was he),
'If it should cost my life this very night,
I'll ga to the Tollbooth door wi thee.'
'O sleepst thou, wakest thow, Archie laddie?
O sleepst thou, wakest thow, dear billie?'
'I sleep but saft, I waken oft,
For the morn's the day that I man die.'
'Be o good cheer now, Archie lad,
Be o good cheer now, dear billie;
Work thow within and I without,
And the morn thou's dine at Cafield wi me.'
'O work, O work, Archie?' he cries,
'O work, O work? ther's na working for me;
For ther's fifteen stane o Spanish iron,
And it lys fow sair on my body.'
O Jokie Hall stept to the door,
And he bended it back upon his knee,
And he made the bolts that the door hang on
Jump to the wa right wantonlie.
He took the prisoner on his back,
And down the Tollbooth stairs came he;
Out then spak Dickie and said,
Let some o the weight fa on me;
'O shame a ma!' co Jokie Ha,
'For he's no the weight of a poor flee.'
The gray mare stands at the door,
And I wat neer a foot stirt she,
Till they laid the links out oer her neck,
And her girth was the gold-twist to be.
And they came down thro Dumfries town,
And O but they came bonily!
Until they came to Lochmaben port,
And they leugh a' the night manfulie.
There was horsing, horsing in haste,
And there was marching on the lee,
Untill they came to the Murraywhat,
And they lihgted a' right speedilie.
'A smith, a smith!' Dickie he cries,
'A smith, a smith, right speedilie,
To file off the shakles fra my dear brother!
For it is forward we wad be.'
They had not filtt a shakle of iron,
A shakle of iron but barely three,
Till out then spake young Simon brave,
'Ye do na see what I do see.
'Lo yonder comes Liewtenant Gordon,
And a hundred men in his company:'
'O wo is me!' then Archie cries,
'For I'm the prisoner, and I must die.'
O there was horsing, horsing in haste,
And there was marching upon the lee,
Untill they came to Annan side,
And it was flowing like the sea.
'I have a colt, and he's four years old,
And he can amble like the wind,
But when he comes to the belly deep,
He lays himself down on the ground.'
'But I have a mare, and they call her Meg,
And she's the best in Christendie;
Set ye the prisoner me behind;
Ther'll na man die but he that's fae!'
Now they did swim that wan water,
And O but they swam bonilie!
Untill they came to the other side,
And they wrang their cloathes right drunk[i]lie.
'Come through, come through, Lieutenant Gordon!
Come through, and drink some wine wi me!
For ther's a ale-house neer hard by,
And it shall not cost thee one penny.'
'Throw me my irons, Dickie!' he cries,
'For I wat they cost me right dear;'
'O shame a ma!' cries Jokie Ha,
'For they'll be good shoon to my gray mare.'
'Surely thy minnie has been some witch,
Or thy dad some warlock has been;
Else thow had never attempted such,
Or to the bottom thow had gone.
'Throw me my irons, Dickie!' he cries,
'For I wot they cost me dear enough;'
'O shame a ma!' cries Jokie Ha,
'They'll be good shakles to my plough.'
'Come through, come through, Liewtenant Gordon!
Come throw, and drink some wine wi me!
For yesterday I was your prisoner,
But now the night I am set free.'

C[edit]

AS I walked on a pleasant green-+--+-
'Twas on the first morning of May-+--+-
I heard twa brothers make their moan,
And hearkend well what they did say.
The first he gave a grievous sigh,
And said, Alas, and wae is me!
We hae a brother condemned to death,
And the very morn must hanged be.
Then out it speaks him Little Dick,
I wat a gude fellow was he:
'Had I three men unto mysell,
Well borrowed shoud Bell Archie be.'
Out it speaks him Johnny Ha,
A better fellow by far was he:
'Ye shall hae six men and yoursell,
And me to bear you companie.
'Twa for keepers o the guard,
See that to keep it sickerlie,
And twa to come, and twa to gang,
And twa to speak wi Bell Archie.
'But we winna gang like men o weir,
Nor yet will we like cavalliers;
But we will gang like corn-buyers,
And we'll put brechens on our mares.'
Then they are to the jail-house doors,
And they hae tirled at the pin:
'Ye sleep ye, wake ye, Bell Archie?
Quickly rise, lat us come in.'
'I sleep not aft, I lie not saft;
Wha's there that knocks and kens my name?'
'It is your brothers Dick and John;
Ye'll open the door, lat us come in.'
'Awa, awa, my brethren dear,
And ye'll had far awa frae me;
If ye be found at jail-house door,
I fear like dogs they'll gar ye die.'
'Ohon, alas! my brother dear,
Is this the hearkening ye gie to me?
If ye'll work therein as we thereout,
Well borrowd should your body be.'
'How can I work therein, therein,
Or yet how can I work thereout,
When fifty tons o Spanish iron
Are my fair body round about?'
He put his fingers to the lock,
I wat he handled them sickerlie,
And doors of deal, and bands of steel,
He gart them all in flinders flee.
He's taen the prisoner in his arms,
And he has kissd him cheek and chin:
'Now since we've met, my brother dear,
There shall be dunts ere we twa twine.'
He's taen the prisoner on his back,
And a' his heavy irons tee,
But and his marie in his hand,
And straight to Annan gate went he.
But when they came to Annan water,
It was roaring like the sea:
'O stay a little, Johnny Ha,
Here we can neither fecht nor flee.
'O a refreshment we maun hae,
We are baith dry and hungry tee;
We'll gang to Robert's at the mill,
It stands upon yon lily lee.'
Up in the morning the jailor raise,
As soon's 'twas light that he coud see;
Wi a pint o wine and a mess sae fine,
Into the prison-house went he.
When he came to the prison-door,
A dreary sight he had to see;
The locks were shot, the doors were broke,
And a' the prisoners won free.
'Ye'll gae and waken Annan town,
Raise up five hundred men and three;
And if these rascals may be found,
I vow like dogs I'll gar them die.
'O dinna ye hear proud Annan roar,
Mair loud than ever roard the sea?
We'll get the rascals on this side,
Sure they can neither fecht nor flee.
'Some gar ride, and some gar rin,
Wi a' the haste that ye can make;
We'll get them in some tavern-house,
For Annan water they winna take.'
As Little Dick was looking round,
All for to see what he could see,
Saw the proud sheriff trip the plain,
Five hundred men his companie.
'O fare ye well, my bonny wife,
Likewise farewell, my children three!
Fare ye well, ye lands o Cafield!
For you again I neer will see.
'For well I kent, ere I came here,
That Annan water woud ruin me;
My horse is young, he'll nae lat ride,
And in this water I maun die.'
Out it speaks him Johnny Ha,
I wat a gude fellow was he:
'O plague upo your cowardly face!
The bluntest man I eer did see.
'Gie me your horse, take ye my mare,
The devil drown my mare and thee!
Gie me the prisoner on behind,
And nane will die but he that's fay.'
He quickly lap upo the horse,
And strait the stirrups siccarlie,
And jumpd upo the other side,
Wi the prisoner and his irons tee.
The sheriff then came to the bank,
And heard its roaring like the sea;
Says, How these men they hae got ower,
It is a marvel unto me.
'I wadna venture after them,
For a' the criminals that I see;
Nevertheless now, Johnny Ha,
Throw ower the fetters unto me.'
'Deil part you and the fetters,' he said,
'As lang as my mare needs a shee;
If she gang barefoot ere they be done,
I wish an ill death mat ye die.'
'Awa, awa, now Johnny Ha,
Your talk to me seems very snell;
Your mither's been some wild rank witch,
And you yoursell an imp o hell.'

D[edit]

'SEVEN years have I loved my love,
And seven years my love's loved me,
But now to-morrow is the day
That billy Archie, my love, must die.'
O then out spoke him Little Dickie,
And still the best fellow was he:
'Had I but five men and my self,
Then we would borrow billy Archie.'
Out it spoke him Caff o Lin,
And still the worst fellow was he:
'You shall have five men and yourself,
And I will bear you companye.'
We will not go like to dragoons,
Nor yet will we like grenadiers,
But we will go like corn-dealers,
And lay our brechams on our meares.
'And twa of us will watch the road,
And other twa will go between,
And I will go to jail-house door,
And hold the prisoner unthought lang.'
'Who is this at jail-house door,
So well as they do know the gin?'
'It's I myself,' [said] him Little Dickie,
'And oh sae fain's I would be in!'
'Away, away, now, Little Dickie!
Away let all your folly be!
If the Lord Lieutenant come on you,
Like unto dogs he'll cause you die.'
'Hold you, hold you, billy Archie,
And now let all your folly be!
Tho I die without, you'll not die within,
For borrowed shall your body be.'
'Away, away, now, Little Dickie!
Away, let all this folly be!
An hundred pounds of Spanish irons
Is all bound on my fair bodie.'
Wi plough-culters and gavellocks
They made the jail-house door to flee;
'And in God's name,' said Little Dickie,
'Cast you the prisoner behind me!'
They had not rode a great way off,
Will all the haste that ever could be,
Till they espied the Lord Lieutenant,
With a hundred men in's companie.
But when they came to wan water,
It now was rumbling like the sea;
Then were they got into a strait,
As great a strait as well could be.
Then out did speak him Caff o Lin,
And aye the warst fellow was he:
'Now God be with my wife and bairns!
For fatherless my babes will be.
'My horse is young, he cannot swim;
The water's deep, and will not wade;
My children must be fatherless,
My wife a widow, whateer betide.'
hen cried out him Little Dickie,
And still the best fellow was he:
'Take you my mare, I'll take your horse,
And Devil drown my mare and thee!'
Now they have taken the wan water,
Tho it was roaring like the sea,
And whan they got to the other side,
I wot they bragged right crouselie,
'Come thro, come thro now, Lord Lieutenant!
O do come thro, I pray of thee!
There is an alehouse not far off,
We'll dine you and your companye.'
'Away, away, now, Little Dickie!
O now let all your taunting be!
There's not a man in the king's army
That would have tried what's done by thee.
'Cast back, cast back my fetters again!
Cast back my fetters! I say to thee;
And get you gane the way you came,
I wish no prisoners like to thee.'
'I have a mare, she's called Meg,
The best in all our low countrie;
If she gang barefoot till they are done,
An ill death may your lordship die!'

E[edit]

. . . .
. . . .
'We'll awa to bonnie Dundee,
And set our brither Archie free.'

  • * * * *

They broke through locks, and they broke through bars,
And they broke through everything that cam in their way,
Until they cam to a big iron gate,
And that's where brother Archie lay.
[Little John says]
. . . .
'O brither Archie speak to me,
. . . .
For we are come to set ye free.'
. . . .
'Such a thing it canna be,
For there's fifty pund o gude Spanish airn
Atween my neckbane and my knee.'

F[edit]

AS I walked out one morning in May,
Just before the break of day,
I heard two brothers a making their moan,
And I listened a while to what they did say.
I heard, etc.
'We have a brother in prison,' said they,
'Oh in prison lieth he!
If we had but ten men just like ourselves,
The prisoner we would soon set free.'
'Oh, no, no, no!' Bold Dickie said he,
'Oh no, no, no, that never can be!
For forty men is full little enough
And I for to ride in their companie.
'Ten to hold the horses in,
Ten to guard the city about,
Ten for to stand at the prison-door,
And ten to fetch poor Archer out.'
They mounted their horses, and so rode they,
Who but they so merrilie!
They rode till they came to a broad river's side,
And there they alighted so manfullie.
They mounted their horses, and so swam they,
Who but they so merrilie!
They swam till they came to the other side,
And there they alighted so manfullie.
They mounted their horses, and so rode they,
Who but they so merrilie!
They rode till they came to that prison-door,
And then they alighted so manfullie.
. . . .
. . . .
'For I have forty men in my companie,
And I have come to set you free.'
'Oh no, no, no!' poor Archer says he,
'Oh no, no, no, that never can be!
For I have forty pounds of good Spanish iron
Betwixt my ankle and my knee.'
Bold Dickie broke lock, Bold Dickie broke key,
Bold Dickie broke everything that he could see;
He took poor Archer under one arm,
And carried him out so manfullie.
They mounted their horses, and so rode they,
Who but they so merrilie!
They rode till they came to that broad river's side,
And there they alighted so manfullie.
'Bold Dickie, Bold Dickie,' poor Archer says he,
'Take my love home to my wife and children three;
For my horse grows lame, he cannot swim,
And here I see that I must die.'
They shifted their horses, and so swam they,
Who but they so merrilie!
They swam till they came to the other side,
And there they alighted so manfullie.
'Bold Dickie, Bold Dickie,' poor Archer says he,
'Look you yonder there and see;
For the high-sheriff he is a coming,
With an hundred men in his companie.'
'Bold Dickie, Bold Dickie,' High-sheriff said he,
'You're the damndest rascal that ever I see!
Go bring me back the iron you've stole,
And I will set the prisoner free.'
'Oh no, no, no!' Bold Dickie said he,
'Oh no, no, no, that never can be!
For the iron 'twill do to shoe the horses,
The blacksmith rides in our companie.'
'Bold Dickie, Bold Dickie,' High-sheriff says he,
'You're the damndest rascal that ever I see!'
'I thank ye for nothing,' Bold Dickie says he,
'And you're a damned fool for following me.'