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Traquair has ridden up Chapelhope, And sae has he down by the Grey Mare's Tail j1
He never stinted the light gallop,
Now Christie's Will peep'd frae the tower,
"And ever unlucky," quo' he, "is the hour,
"Good Christie's Will, now, have nae fear!
Nae harm, good Will, shall hap to thee:
At the Jeddart air frae the justice tree.
1 Grey Mare's Tail—A cataract above Moffat, so called. [See the Introduction to the Second Canto of Marmion:—
"deep, deep down, and far within,
Toils with the rocks the roaring linn:
Then, issuing forth one foamy wave,
And wheeling round the Giant's Grave,
White as the snowy charger's tail,
Drives down the pass of Moffatdale," &c.—Ed.]
"Bethink how ye sware, by the salt and the bread,1 By the lightning, the wind, and the rain,
That if ever of Christie's Will I had need,
"Gramercy, my lord," quo' Christie's Will,
When I turn my cheek, and claw my neck,
And he has open'd the fair tower yate,
To Traquair and a' his companie;
The fattest that ran on the Hutton Lee.
"Now, wherefore sit ye sad, my lord?
And wherefore sit ye mournfullie?
At the dead of night on Hutton Lee ?"—
"O weel may I stint of feast and sport,
And in my mind be vexed sair!
Of land and living will make me bare.
"But if auld Durie to heaven were flown, Or if auld Durie to hell were gane,
1 He took bread and salt, by this light, that he would never open his lips."—The Honest Whore, Act v. Scene 2.
Or.... if he could be but ten days stoun....
"O, mony a time, my lord," he said,
"I've stown the horse frae the sleeping loon;
But for you I'll steal a beast as braid.
For I'll steal Lord Durie frae Edinburgh toun.
"O, mony a time, my lord," he said,
"I've stown a kiss frae a sleeping wench;
But for you I'll do as kittle a deed,
For I'll steal an auld lurdane aff the bench."—
And Christie's Will is to Edinburgh gane;
At the Borough Muir then enter'd he; And as he pass'd the gallow-stane,
He cross'd his brow, and he bent his knee.
He lighted at Lord Durie's door,
And there he knock'd most manfullie;
And up and spake Lord Durie sae stour,
"What tidings, thou stalward groom, to me?"
"The fairest lady in Teviotdale
Has sent, maist reverent sir, for thee;
She pleas at the Session for her land, a' haill. And fain she wad plead her cause to thee."—
"But how can I to that lady ride, With saving of my dignitie ?"—
"O a curch and mantle ye may wear,
Wi' curch on head, and cloak ower face,
He rode away, a right round pace,
And Christie's Will held the bridle reyn.
The Lothian Edge they were not o'er,
And, hunting over Middleton Moor,1
When Willie look'd upon our King,
I wot a frighted man was he!
For tyning of his dignitie.
The King he cross'd himself, I wis,
"An uglier crone, and a sturdier loon,
Willie has hied to the tower of Graeme,
He took auld Durie on his back,
Which garr'd his auld banes gie mony a crack.
1 Middleton Moor is about fifteen miles from Edinburgh on the way to the Border.
For nineteen days, and nineteen nights,
The lodging was sae dark and dern.
He thought the warlocks o' the rosy cross,1
Or that the gipsies' glamour'd gang *
"Hey! Batty, lad! far yaud! far yaud !" 4
And ever "Alack!" auld Durie cried,
"The deil is hounding his tykes on me !"—
And whiles a voice on Baudrons cried,
"I have tar-barrell'd mony a witch,6
But now, I think, they'll clear scores wi' me !"—
1 See Note A, p. 17, post.
2 See Note B, p. 18, post. 8 Lair'd—Bogged.
4 Far yaud—The signal made by a shepherd to his dog, when he is to drive away some sheep at a distance. From Yoden, to go. Ang. Sax.
6 Human nature shrinks from the brutal scenes produced by the belief in witchcraft. Under the idea that the devil imprinted upon the body of his miserable vassals a mark, which was insensible to pain, persons were employed to run needles into the bodies of the old women who were suspected of witchcraft. In the dawning of common sense upon this subject, a complaint was made before the Privy Council of