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Who live as changelings ever since, More swift than lightning can I fly
About this airy welkin soon,
And, in a minute's space, descry At morning and at evening both,
Each thing that'sdone below the moon. You merry were and glad,
There's not a hag So little care of sleep or sloth
Or ghost shall wag, These pretty ladies had;
Or cry, 'ware goblins ! where I go; When Tom came home from labor,
But Robin I Or Cis to milking rose,
Their feasts will spy, Then merrily went their tabor,
And send them hoine with ho, ho, ho ! And nimbly went their toes.
Whene'er such wanderers I meet, Witness those rings and roundelays As from their night-sports they trudge Of theirs, which yet remain,
home, Were footed in Queen Mary's days With counterfeiting voice I greet, On many a grassy plain;
And call them on with me to roam: But since of late Elizabeth,
Through woods, through lakes; And later, James came in,
Through bogs, through brakes; They never danced on any heath
Or else, unseen, with them I go. As when the time hath been.
All in the nick,
To play some trick,
And frolic it, with ho, ho, ho !
Sometimes I meet them like a man,
Sometimes an ox, sometimes a hound; But now, alas ! they all are dead,
And to a horse I turn me can, Or gone beyond the seas;
To trip and trot about them round. Or farther for religion fled;
But if to ride Or else they take their ease.
My back they stride,
More swift than wind away I go,
O'er hedge and lands,
Through pools and ponds,
I hurry, laughing, ho, ho, ho !
When lads and lasses merry be,
With possets and with junkets fine; Such justices as you !
Unseen of all the company,
And, to make sport,
I puff and short :
And out the candles I do blow:
The maids I kiss,
They shriek - Who's this?
I answer naught but ho, ho, ho !
Yet now and then, the maids to please, From Oberon, in fairy-land,
At midnight I card up their wool; The king of ghosts and shadows there, And, while they sleep and take their Mad Robin I, at his command,
ease, Am sent to view the night-sports here. With wheel to threads their flax I pull. What revel rout
I grind at mill
Their malt up still ;
I dress their hemp; I spin their tow;
If any wake,
And would me take,
If to repay
When any need to borrow aught,
(Before 1649.) Our own is all we do desire.
EDOM O' GORDON.
When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men, With pinchings, dreams, and ho, ho, “ We maun draw to a hauld. ho!
"And whatna hauld sall we draw to, When lazy queans have naught to do,
My merry men and me? But study how to cog and lie;
We will gae to the house of the Rodes, To make debate and mischief too,
To see that fair ladye.” 'Twixt one another secretly:
I mark their gloze,
The lady stood on her castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down;
Came riding towards the town.
“O see ye not, my merry men a',
O see ye not what I see? When men do traps and engines set
Methinks I see a host of men; In loopholes, where the vermin creep,
I marvel who they be." · Who from their folds and houses get Their ducks and geese, and lambs and She weened it had been her lovely lord, sheep;
As he cam' riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
Wha recked nor sin nor shame.
She had nae sooner buskit hersell,
And putten on her gown,
Were round about the town.
We nightly dance our heyday guise; And to our fairy king and queen,
They had nae sooner supper set,
Nae sooner said the grace,
Were lighted about the place.
The lady ran up to her tower-head,
As fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches
She could wi' him agrec. From hag-breal Merlin's time, have I
Thus nightly revelled to and fro; " Come doun to me, ye lady gay, And for my pranks men call me by Come doun, come doun to me; The name of Robin Goodfellow. This night sall ye lig within mine arms, Fiends, ghosts, and sprites,
To-morrow my bride sall be.”
I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
And he is na far frae me."
“Gie owre your house, ve lady fair, But on the point o' Gordon's spear
She gat a deadly fa'.
O bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,
And cherry were her cheeks, ** I winna gie owre, ye fause Gordon, And clear, clear was her yellow hair, To nae sic traitor as thee;
Whereon the red blood dreeps.
Then wi' his spear he turned her owre;
O gin her face was wan!
I wished alive again."
He cam' and lookit again at her ;
O gin her skin was white ! She stood upon her castle wa',
“I might hae spared that bonnie face And let twa bullets flee :
To hae been some man's delight.”
“Busk and boun, my merry men a',
For ill dooms I do guess : “Set fire to the house !" quo' fause Gordon, I cannot look on that bonnie face Wud wi' dule and ire:
As it lies on the grass." “Fause ladye, ye sall rue that shot
“Wha looks to freits, my master dear,
Its freits will follow them ; “Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock, my man! Let it ne'er be said that Edom o' Gordon I paid ye weel your fee;
Was daunted by a dame."
But when the ladye saw the fire
Come flaming o'er her head, “And e'en wae worth ye, Jock, my man! She wept, and kissed her children twain, I paid ye weel your hire;
Says, “ Bairns, we been but dead.” Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane, To me lets in the tire?"
The Gordon then his bugle blew,
And said, “ Awa', awa'! “Ye paid me weel my hire, ladye, This house o' the Rodes is a' in a flame; Ye paid me weel my fee:
I hauld it time to ga'.”
And this way lookit her ain dear lord,
As he caine owre the lea; O then bespake her little son,
He saw his castle a' in a lowe,
Sae far as he could see.
“Put on, put on, my wighty men,
As fast as ye can dri'e! "I wad gie a' my goud, my bairn, For he that's hindmost o' the thrang Sae wad I a' my fee,
Sall ne'er get good o' me."
Then some they rade, and some they ran,
Out-owre the grass and bent;
Baith lady and babes were brent.
And after the Gordon he is gane,
Sae fast as he might dri'e; They row'd her in a pair o'sheets, And soon i' the Gordon's foul heart's blude And tow'd her owre the wa';
He's wroken his fair ladye.
If thou wilt prove a good husband,
E'en take thy auld cloak about thee." TAKE THY AULD CLOAK ABOUT THEE.
Bell, my wife, she loves not strife, In winter, when the rain rained caulu, But she will rule me if she can:
And frost and snow were on the hill, And oft, to lead a quiet life, And Boreas with his blasts sae bâuld I'm forced to yield, though I'm gude. Was threat'ning all our kye to kill;
man. Then Bell, my wife, wha loves not strife, It's not for a man with a woman to She said to me right hastilie,
threape. “Get up, gudeman, save Crummie's life, Unless he first give o'er the plea : And take thy auld cloak about thee! As we began so will we leave,
And I'll take my auld cloak about me. “ Cow Crunmie is a useful cow,
And she is come of a good kino;
And I am laith that she should pine:
THE BARRING O' THE DOOR.
It fell about the Martinmas time,
When it was sitting for my wear; When our gudewife got puddings to
And she boiled them in the pan.
We little ken the day we'll dee; The wind sae cauld blew east and north,
“Gae out and bar the door!"
His breeches cost but half a crown; “My hand is in my huswif's kap, He said they were a groat too dear, Gudeman, as ye may see;
And ca'd the tailor thief and loun. An' it should nae be barred this hundred He was the king that wore the crown,
year, And thou the man of low degree : It's no be barred for me." !t 's pride puts a' the country down, Sae take thy auld cloak about thee!” They made a paction 'tween them twa,
They made it firm and sure,
Should rise and bar the door.
At twelve o'clock at night ;
hall, Sae far above their ain degree:
Nor coal nor candle light. Once in my life I'll do as they, For I'll have a new cloak about me.” And first they ate the white puddings,
And then they ate the black; “Gudeman, I wot it's thirty year Though muckle thought the gudewife to Sin' we did ane anither ken,
hersel, And we hae had atween us twa
Yet ne'er a word she spak”.
I wish and pray weel may they be: “Here, man, tak' ye my knife!