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“Nae rent, nor kane, nor service mean,
I'll ask at him at a',
When Branxholm gi’es the ca'.
“ A Scott should ay support a Scott,
When sinking to decaye, Till over a' the Southlan' hills
We stretch our ample sway."
THE FRAY OF ELIBANK.
This Ballad is likewise founded on a well known and
well authenticated fact. I am only uncertain what was the name of HARDEN's son, who was taken prisoner, and forced to marry MURRAY's youngest daughter ; but he was either brother or nephew to him who was slain in Yarrow by the Scotts of Gilmanscleuch.
O wha hasna heard o' the bauld Juden Murray,
The lord o' the Elibank castle sae high? An' wha hasna heard o' that terrible hurry, Whan Wattie o' Harden was catched wi' the
Auld Harden was ever the king o' gude fellows,
His tables were filled in the room an' the ha'; But peace on the border, that thinned his keyloes,
And want for his lads, was the warst thing of it a'.
Young Harden was bauld as the Persian lion,
And langed his skill and his courage to try ; Stout Willie o' Fauldshope ae night he did cry on, Frae danger or peril wha never wad fly.
"O Willie! ye ken our retainers are mony,
Our kye they rout thin on the loan and the lee; A drove we maun ha'c for our pastures sae bonny,
Or Harden's ae cow aince again we may see.
“Fain wad I, but darena, gang over the border,
Buccleuch wad restrain us, and ruin us quite; He's bound to keep a' the wild marches in order; Then where shall we gae, and we'll venture
“O master! ye ken how the Murrays have grund
you, And often caroused on your beef and your veal ; Yet spite o' your wiles and your spies they have
shunned you, A Murray is kittler to catch than the cliel!
“Rough Juden o' Eli's grown doited and silly,
He fights wi' his women frae mornin' till e'en, Yet three hunder gude kye has the thrifty auld
billy, As fair sleekit keyloes as ever was seen.”
“ Then, Willie, this night will we herry auld
Juden; Nae danger I fear while thy weapon I see: That time when we vanquished the outlaw of
Sowden, The best o' his men were mishackered by thee.
'If we had his kye in the byres of Aekwood,
He's welcome to claim the best way he can; But sair he'll be puzzled his title to make good,
For a’ he's a cunning and dexterous man.” Auld Juden he strayed by the side of a river,
When the watcher on Hanginshaw-law loud
“Ho, Juden, take care! or ye're ruined for ever,
The bugle of Aekwood has thrice sounded high.” “Ha, faith!" then quo' Juden, “they're naething
to lippen, I wonder sae long frae a ploy they could cease; Gae, blaw the wee horn; gar my villains come
trippin' : I have o'er mony kye to get rested in peace." With that a wee fellow came puffing and blawin',
Frae high Philip-cairn a' the gate he had run ;“O Juden, be handy, and countna the lawin', But warn well, and arm well, or else ye're
“ Young Wattie o' Harden has crossed the
Wi' mony a hardy and desperate man; The Hoggs and the Brydens have brought him to
For the Wild Boar of Fauldshop he strides in
“God's mercy!" quo' Juden, “gae blaw the
great bugle; Warn Plora, Traquair, and the fierce Hollowlee. We'll gi'e them a fleg: but I like that cursed
“ To him men in arms are the same thing as
thistles; At Ancram and Sowden his prowess I saw; But a bullet or arrow will suple his bristles,
And lay him as laigh as the least o' them a'.”
The kye they lay down by the side of the Weel
On the Elibank craig and the Ashiesteel bourn; And ere the king's elwand came over the hill,
Afore Wat and his men rattled mony a horn.
But Juden, as cunning as Harden was strong,
Onilka man's bonnet has placed a white feather ; And the night being dark, to the peel height they
thrang, And sae closely they darned them amang the
Where the brae it was steep, and the kye they
did wend, And sair for their pastures forsaken they strave, Till Willie o' Fauldshop, wi' half o' the men,
Went aff wi' a few to encourage the lave.