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It fell about the Martinmas,
When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,--
'We maun draw to a hald.
'And whatna hald shall we draw to,
My merry men and me?
We will gae straight to Towie house,
To see that fair ladye.'
[The ladye stood on her castle wall,
Beheld baith dale and down;
There she was 'ware of a host of men
Came riding towards the town.
'Oh, see ye not, my merry men all,
Oh, see ye not what I see?
Methinks I see a host of men;
I marvel who they be.'
She thought it had been her own wed lord.
As he came riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
Wha reck'd nae sin nor shame.]
She had nae sooner buskit hersel',
And putten on her gown,
Till Edom o' Gordon and his men
Were round about the town.
They had nae sooner supper set,
Nae sooner said the grace,
Till Edom o' Gordon and his men
Were round about the place.
The ladye ran to her tower head,
As fast as she cou'd hie,
To see if, by her fair speeches,
She cou'd with him agree.
As soon as he saw this ladye fair.
And her yetts all lockit fast,
He fell into a rage of wrath,
And his heart was all aghast.
'Come down to me, ye ladye gay,
Come down, come down to me;
This night ye shall lye within my arms,
The morn my bride shall be.'
'I winna come down, ye false Gordon,
I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
That is sae far frae me.'
'Gi'e up your house, ye ladye fair,
Gi'e up your house to me;
Or I shall burn yoursel' therein,
Bot and your babies three.'
'I winna gi'e up, ye false Gordon,
To nae sic traitor as thee;
Tho' you shou'd burn mysel' therein,
Bot and my babies three.
['But fetch to me my pistolette,
And charge to me my gun;
For, but if I pierce that bluidy butcher,
My babes we will be undone.'
She stiffly stood on her castle wall,
And let the bullets flee;
She miss'd that bluidy butcher's heart,
Tho' she slew other three.]
'Set fire to the house!' quo' the false Gordon,
'Since better may nae be;
And I will burn hersel' therein,
Bot and her babies three.'
'Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock, my man,
I paid ye weel your fee;
Why pull ye out the grund-wa'-stance,
Lets in the reek to me?
'And e'en wae worth ye, Jock, my man,
I paid ye weel your hire;
Why pull ye out my grund-wa'-stane,
To me lets in the fire?'
'Ye paid me weel my hire, ladye,
Ye paid me weel my fee;
But now I'm Edom o' Gordon's man,
Maun either do or dee.'
Oh, then out spake her youngest son,
Sat on the nurse's knee:
Says--'Mither dear, gi'e o'er this house,
For the reek it smothers me.'
['I wou'd gi'e all my gold, my bairn,
Sae wou'd I all my fee,
For ae blast of the westlin' wind,
To blaw the reek frae thee.]
'But I winna gi'e up my house, my dear,
To nae sic traitor as he;
Come weal, come woe, my jewels fair,
Ye maun take share with me.'
Oh, then out spake her daughter dear,
She was baith jimp and small:
'Oh, row me in a pair of sheets,
And tow me o'er the wall.'
They row'd her in a pair of sheets,
And tow'd her o'er the wall;
But on the point of Gordon's spear
She got a deadly fall.
Oh, bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,
And cherry were her cheeks;
And clear, clear was her yellow hair,
Whereon the red bluid dreeps.
Then with his spear he turn'd her o'er,
Oh, gin her face was wan!
He said--'You are the first that e'er
I wish'd alive again.'
He turn'd her o'er and o'er again,
Oh, gin her skin was white!
'I might ha'e spared that bonnie face
To ha'e been some man's delight.
'Busk and boun, my merry men all,
For ill dooms I do guess;
I canna look on that bonnie face,
As it lyes on the grass!'
'Wha looks to freits, my master dear,
Their freits will follow them;
Let it ne'er be said brave Edom o' Gordon
Was daunted with a dame.'
[But when the ladye saw the fire
Come flaming o'er her head,
She wept, and kissed her children twain;
Said--'Bairns, we been but dead.'
The Gordon then his bugle blew,
And said--'Away, away!
The house of Towie is all in a flame,
I hald it time to gae.']
Oh, then he spied her ain dear lord,
As he came o'er the lea;
He saw his castle all in a flame,
As far as he could see.
Then sair, oh sair his mind misgave,
And oh, his heart was wae!
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
As fast as ye can gae.<
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