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JOHNIE OF BRE ADISLE E.
OUR version of this spirited ballad is that published by Sir Walter Scott " from the different copies."
It's authorship, it's antiquity, it's foundation, and it's locality, are all disputed points. It would not be difficult, however, to find parallel incidents amongst the recorded adventures of the Borderers, and appropriate scenery amidst their former haunts.
The gude graie hounds he lay amang, The starling flew to his mother's window
And aye the ower word o' the tune The heid man ower them a'
Was—Johnie tarries lang!' • If this be Johnie o' Brea dislee, Nae nearer will we draw.'
They made a rod o' the hazel bush,
Another of the slae-thorn tree, But up and spak the sixth forester
And mony, mony were the men (His sister's son was he),
At fetching o'er Johnie. • If this be Johnie o' Breadislee, We soon shall gar him die!
Then out and spak his auld mother,
And fast her tears did fa'
• Ye wad nae be warned, my son Johnie, And out and spak the seventh forester,
Frae the hunting to bide awa'. • The next will gar him die.'
Aft hae I brought to Breadislee,
The less gear and the mair;
But I neer brought to Breadislee,
What grieved my heart sae sair. He has slain them a' but ane.
But wae betyde that silly auld carle,
An ill death shall he die!
Shall be his morning's fee.'
And his gude graie dogs are slain; O is there nae a bonnie bird,
And his bodie lies dead in Durrisdeer, Can sing as I can say ?
And his hunting it is done.
THE DOWIE DENS OF YARROW.
Scott, Motherwell, Buchan, Herd, Allan Cunningham, and others, have given each his version of this
old ballad. Ours is from the “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," Scott having therein collated it from various sources, avowedly for the purpose of “ suiting the tastes of these more light and giddy. paced times." There is little doubt that it is founded on fact, and to this day the spot is pointed out on the banks of Yarrow, where the fatal fight took place.
As she sped down yon high high hill,
She gaed wi' dole and sorrow ; And in the den spied ten slain men,
On the dowie banks of Yarrow,
• Now haud your tongue, my daughter dear;
For a'this breeds but sorrow;
Than him ye lost on Yarrow.'
She kissed his cheek, she kaimed his hair, O haud your tongue, my father dear; She searched his wounds all thorough ;
Ye mind me but of sorrow; She kissed them till her lips grew red,
A fairer rose did never bloom On the dowie houms of Yarrow.
Than now lies cropped on Yarrow.'
THE BONNIE BAIRNS.
This very beautiful ballad may be considered as the composition of Allan Cunningham, who published
it in his “ Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern ;' though he modestly states that he has " tured to arrange and eke out these old and remarkable verses.” Buchan has printed another version, entitled the Minister's Daughter of New York,” but in the quotation given from it by Mr. Hall we find no local interest, nor any cause for attaching to it this name. Allan Cunningham differs from other annotators in making his children intercede for their cruel mother at the throne of grace, in. stead of denouncing and consigning her to eternal misery.