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COULD this ill warld hae been contrived

To stand without mischievous woman, How peacefu' bodies might hae lived,

Released frae a' the ills sae common;

But since it is the waefu' case

That man maun hae this teazing crony, Why sic a sweet bewitching face ?

O had she no been made sae bonny !

I might hae roam'd wi' cheerfu' mind,

Nae sin or sorrow to betide me,
As careless as the wandering wind,

As happy as the lamb beside me;
I might hae screw'd my tunefu' pegs,

And carolld mountain airs fu' gaily,
Had we but wantit a' the Megs,
Wi' glossy een sae dark an' wily.


I saw the danger, fear’d the dart,

The smile, the air, an'a' sae taking, Yet open laid my wareless heart,

An' gat the wound that keeps me waking. My harp waves on the willow green,

Of wild witch-notes it has nae ony Sin' e'er I saw that pawky quean,

Sae sweet, sae wicked, an' sae bonny !


This Border song was published in my own weekly paper, THE Spy, March 30, 1811, and found its way into the London papers, and partially through Britain, as the composition of my friend Mr Gray, now in India. I never contradicted it, thinking that any body might have known that no one could have written the song but myself. However, it has appeared in every collection of songs with Mr Gray's name. Although I look upon it as having no merit whatever, excepting a jingle of names, which Sir Walter's good taste rendered popular, and which in every other person's hand has been ludicrous, yet I hereby claim the song as one of my own early productions,—mine only, mine solely, and mine for ever.

Lock the door, Lariston, lion of Liddisdale,
Lock the door, Lariston, Lowther comes on*

The Armstrongs are flying,

Their widows are crying,
The Castletown's burning, and Oliver's gone;

* For I defy the British nation
To match me at alliteration.

Lit. Jour.

Lock the door, Lariston-high on the weather gleam See how the Saxon plumes bob on the sky,

Yeoman and carbineer,

Billman and halberdier;
Fierce is the foray, and far is the cry.

Bewcastle brandishes high his broad scimitar,
Ridley is riding his fleet-footed grey,

Hedley and Howard there,

Wandale and Windermere,-
Lock the door, Lariston, hold them at bay.
Why dost thou smile, noble Elliot of Lariston ?
Why do the joy-candles gleam in thine eye ?

Thou bold Border ranger,

Beware of thy danger-
Thy foes are relentless, determined, and nigh.

Jock Elliot raised up his steel bonnet and lookit,
His hand grasp?d the sword with a nervous embrace;

“Ah, welcome, brave foemen,

On earth there are no men

Mcre gallant to meet in the foray or chase!

Little know you of the hearts I have hidden here,
Little know you of our moss-troopers' might,

Lindhope and Sorby true,

Sundhope and Milburn too, Gentle in manner, but lions in fight !

I've Margerton, Gornberry, Raeburn, and Netherby, Old Sim of Whitram, and all his array ;

Come all Northumberland,

Teesdale and Cumberland,
Here at the Breaken Tower end shall the fray.
Scowld the broad sun o'er the links of

green Liddisdale, Red as the beacon-light tipp'd he the wold;

Many a bold martial eye

Mirror'd that morning sky,
Never more oped on his orbit of gold !

Shrill was the bugle's note, dreadful the warrior shout, Lances and halberds in splinters were borne ;

Halberd and hauberk then

Braved the claymore in vain,
Buckler and armlet in shivers were shorn.

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