« AnteriorContinuar »
SIR DAVID GRAME.
ANY person who has read the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border with attention, must have observed what a singular degree of interest and feeling the simple ballad of “The Twa Corbies” impresses upon the mind, which is rather increased than diminished by the unfinished state in which the story is left. It appears as if the bard had found his powers of description inadequate to a detail of the circumstances attending the fatal catastrophe, without suffering the interest, already roused, to subside, and had artfully consigned it over to the fancy of every reader to paint it what way he chose ; or else that he lamented the untimely fate of a knight, whose base treatment he durst not otherwise make known than in that short parabolical dialogue. That the original is not improved in the following ballad, will too manifestly apperr upon perusal; I think it, however, but just to acknowledge, that the idea was suggested to me by icading “The Twa Corbies.”
The dow flew east, the dow flew west,
The dow flew far ayont the fell, An' sair at e'en she seem'd distrest,
But what perplext her could not tell.
But aye she cry'd, Cur-dow, cur-dow,
An' ruffled a' her feathers fair; An' lookit sad, an' wadna bow
To taste the sweetest, finest ware.
The lady pined, an' some did blame
(She didna blame the bonny dow), But sair she blamed Sir David Græme,
Wha now to her had broke his vow.
He swore by moon and stars sae bright,
And by their bed—the grass sae green, To meet her there on Lammas night,
Whatever dangers lay between:
To risk his fortune and his life,
To bear her from her father's ha', To give her a' the lands o' Dryfe,
An' wed wi' her for gude an' a'.
The day arrived, the evening came,
The lady look'd wi' wistful ee; But, 0, alas! her noble Græme
Frae e'en to morn she could not see.
An' ilka day she sat an grat,
An' ilka night her fancy wraught, In wyting this, and blaming that,
But O the cause she never thought.
The sun had drunk frae Keilder fells
His beverage o' the morning dew: The wild-fowl slumber'd in the dells,
The heather hung its bells o' blue;
The lambs were skipping on the brae,
In airy notes the shepherd sung, The small birds hail'd the jocund day,
Till ilka thicket sweetly rung.
The lady to her window hied,
That opened owr the banks o' Tyne. “An' 0, alas !" she said, and sigh’d,
“ Sure ilka breast is blithe but mine!
" Where ha'e ye been, my bonny dow,
That I ha'e fed wi' bread and wine ? As roving a' the country through,
O saw ye this fause knight o' mine.'