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CHRISTIE'S WILL

Traquair has ridden up Chapelhope, And sae has he down by the Grey Mare's Tail j1

He never stinted the light gallop,
Until he speer'd for Christie's Will.

Now Christie's Will peep'd frae the tower,
And out at the shot-hole keeked he;

"And ever unlucky," quo' he, "is the hour,
That the Warden comes to speer for me !"—

"Good Christie's Will, now, have nae fear!

Nae harm, good Will, shall hap to thee:
I saved thy life at the Jeddart air,

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,
He would pay me my service again."—

"Gramercy, my lord," quo' Christie's Will,
"Gramercy, my lord, for your grace to me!

When I turn my cheek, and claw my neck,
I think of Traquair and the Jeddart tree."

And he has open'd the fair tower yate,

To Traquair and a' his companie;
The spule o' the deer on the board he has set,

The fattest that ran on the Hutton Lee.

"Now, wherefore sit ye sad, my lord?

And wherefore sit ye mournfullie?
And why eat ye not of the venison I shot,

At the dead of night on Hutton Lee ?"—

"O weel may I stint of feast and sport,

And in my mind be vexed sair!
A vote of the canker'd Session Court,

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....
My bonny braid lands would still be my ain."—

"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,
And in my cloak ye sall muffled be."

Wi' curch on head, and cloak ower face,
He mounted the judge on a palfrey fyne;

He rode away, a right round pace,

And Christie's Will held the bridle reyn.

The Lothian Edge they were not o'er,
When they heard bugles bauldly ring,

And, hunting over Middleton Moor,1
They met, I ween, our noble King.

When Willie look'd upon our King,

I wot a frighted man was he!
But ever auld Durie was startled mair,

For tyning of his dignitie.

The King he cross'd himself, I wis,
When as the pair came riding bye—

"An uglier crone, and a sturdier loon,
I think, were never seen with eye !"—

Willie has hied to the tower of Graeme,

He took auld Durie on his back,
He shot him down to the dungeon deep,

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,
Of sun, or moon, or midnight stern, Auld Durie never saw a blink,

The lodging was sae dark and dern.

He thought the warlocks o' the rosy cross,1
Had fang'd him in their nets sae fast;

Or that the gipsies' glamour'd gang *
Had lair'd 8 his learning at the last.

"Hey! Batty, lad! far yaud! far yaud !" 4
These were the morning sounds heard he;

And ever "Alack!" auld Durie cried,

"The deil is hounding his tykes on me !"—

And whiles a voice on Baudrons cried,
With sound uncouth, and sharp, and hie;

"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

-K

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