BETA

THE LAIRDE OF LONNE.

There wals ane manne of muckil mychte,1
His naime wals Lowrie of the Lonne,2
Quha helde the loudeste bragge of weir,3
Of manne that evir battylle wonne.4
He beatte M‘Killum lance to lance,5
He beat Gilfillane of the daille ;6
And at the tiltis and tourneymentis,7
He downit our gallantis all and haille.8
His falshown wals the fire-flaughtis glyme,9
His speire the streimer of the sonne,10
So that the championis stode alofe,11
And quailit before the Lairde of Lonne.12
Then he rade este and he rade weste,13
Braiffing eche baulde upsettying manne ;14
There nevir wals ane knichte so proudde,15
Since this proudde warlde at first beganne.16
But there livit ane mayden in the Mers,17
Sho wals the flouir of fayre Scotland,18
And sho hald manye landis and rentis,19
And ane erildome at hir command.20
But yet sho wolde not yelde to wedde,21
Nor trust hir herytage to manne ;22
And quhan the lordis came syching sadde,23
Sho lynkit at hir quheele and spanne.24
And on them passit hir mirry jokis,25
Pitying their caisse rychte wofullye ;26
But bade them seik ane odir sposse,27
For ane marryit wyffe sho wolde not bee.28
But downe came Lowrie of the Lonne,29
To carrye the mayden, landis, and alle,30
He knowit sho nevir colde dysclaime31
Ane lover so gallant, braiffe, and talle.32
His armour wals so daizzling brychte,33
That eyne colde hardlye loke thereonne ;34
He semit cladde in burnishit golde ;35
But alle wals nevir golde that shonne.36
His saddyl clothe wauffit in the wynde,37
With golden tassillis coverit o’er ;38
His steide he caperit lyke ane hynde,39
And rerit with his brodeside before.40
And quhan he rappit at Landale geite,41
No porter sterne wals to be seine ;42
But ane prettye May came to the yette,43
And the blynke of gle wals in hir eyne.44
Then the Lairde he made his horse to rere,45
And the beiste he snortit awsomelye ;46
If maydin Mariote is withynne,47
Go bid hir speike ane worde with mee.48
For I am the mychtie Lairde of Lonne,49
The hero of the Scottish lande ;50
And I am comit in cortesye,51
To claim your winsum ladyis hande.”52
And then he maide his horse to spang,53
Als though he wolde not renit bee,54
Quhille the graivell flewe lyke bullet shouris—55
It wals ane gallante sychte to se !56
The mayden squelit and keikit bye,—57
Och, sir ! myne leddye is at her quheele,58
And sho moste spynne her daylie tasque,59
Else sho and I can ne’er doo wele.60
Sho is ane pore but thryftie daime,61
Quha workethe out her daylie breidde,62
And hath no tyme to jaulke with ane63
That cairryeth so hie ane heidde.64
Quhan you can worke with spaidde and shole,65
Or dryffe ane trade of honeste faime,66
Then come and woo myne ladye deire,67
Till then speide back the gaite you caime.”68
Then the Lairde of Lonne, he thochte it goode,69
To take this connyng May’s avyse,70
For ane womyn workyng for her breidde71
For him to wedde would not be wyse.72
So he turnit his horsis heidde about,73
Quha neither spangit nor caperit nowe,74
But the plomis upon the Lairdis helmette,75
They noddit dourlye ower his browe.76
Then hee has gone to the Lorde of Marche,77
And hee has toulde him all his taille ;78
And that goode lorde hee laughit at him,79
Quhile bothe his sydis were lyke to faille.80
Quod hee, “ It wals the May herselle,81
I know it-by her saucye saye ;82
But go you back and courte her welle,83
She may notte, can notte saye you naye.84
And scho has Landale touir and toune,85
Whitfielde, and Kelle, and Halsyngtonne86
Her very tythe of yearly rentis87
Wolde purchesse all the landis of Lonne.”88
The Lairde he mountit his gallant steidde,89
And staitlye on his saddyll sette,90
He nevit styntit the lycht galloppe91
Untille he came to the Landale yette.92
He gaif his steidde untill ane manne,93
And staitely strade into the halle,94
Resolvit to win that ladye fayre,95
And her brode landis the best of alle.96
And there he stode, and there he strode,97
And often sent he benne his naime ;98
But all that hee could saye or doo,99
They wolde not bidde him to the daime.100
For the mirrye May she jinkit and jeerit,101
And the oulde foteman. gyrnit amaine,102
But the Lairde hee wolde not mofe one fote,103
But manfullye hee did remaine.104
At length May Mariote she caime downe,105
Lyke ane brychte aingelle comit fro hevin,106
And askit howe he daurit intrude107
Into a maydenis bower at evin ?108
Quod he, “ Myne deire and comelye daime,109
I hidder come to maike demande110
Of quhat is welle myne rychte to aske,111
Youre maydene herte but and your hande.112
For I am the hero of fayre Scotlande,113
No knychte can stande before myne armis,114
And welle it suittes the fayreste daime115
To yielde the hero up hir charmis.”116
If you be the hero of fair Scotlande,117
Then woe to Scotlande and to mee !118
There is not ane manne on all myne lande119
But wald thwacke youre hyde most hertilye.120
You haif caipperit at the tourneymentis,121
And broken ane speire in ladyis sychte ;122
But there is not ane knychte of nobyl blode123
With gladdyautter bowis to fycht.124
To mete our meaneste Borderer’s mychte,125
The menne whose daylie worke is stryffe,126
Walde let you knowe quhat fychting is,127
And plie youre helis for dethe or lyffe.”128
The Lairde he trampit with his footte,129
Qubill all the hallis of Landale rung ;130
Madame,” quod he, “ were you ane manne,131
You sholde repente youre wyckede tongue.132
There is myne pledge, now taike it up133
Als franklye als you se it throwne,134
And if you haif ane hero in fayre Scotlande,135
I pledge myne lyff to bryng him downe ! ”136
“I lift the gauntlet,” said the dame,137
To-morrowe come to thyne dejeune,138
And pass you furthe to este or weste,139
Or northe or southe, als sutis thyne tune,140
And the firste manne thou meitest with,141
Give him ane challenge manfullye,142
And fycht him on the very spotte,143
Then come and tell the news to me.144
If thou canst pees the first two downe,145
Either on horsbacke or on footte,146
I pledge myne mayden courtesye147
To listen to thyne honeste suitte.148
You lyttil knowe the Mers-mennis myclite,149
Bredde unto battyllis deadlyest blee ;150
There is not ane manne on all myne lande151
Quha will not bryng you to-your kne.”152
Then the Lairde pullit off his fedderit cappe,153
And thryce he wafit it rounde his heidde,154
And he utterit soche ane lordlye shoutte155
Als neirlye strak that ladye deidde.156
Hurrah ! ” cryit hee, “ for lucky mee !157
Now let the skaithe go with the skorne ;158
The fayrest May in all the Southe,159
And hir braid landis, are myne the morne !160
The Lairde he came to his dejeune,161
And loudde he braggit of his weire ;162
But soche ane bleze of wycked wytte163
The herte of manne did nevir beire.164
The Lairde then mountyd his gallante steidde,165
And forth unto the weste rode hee,166
Quhere he wals aware of ane beggir manne167
Comyng slowlye slodgyng ower the le.168
Then the Lairde he thochtis unto himselle,169
This is the warke will nevir doo,170
If I sholde fycht ane beggir manne,171
For lyffe I’shall haif cause to rooe.172
But yet it wals hir stricke beheste,173
And myssing him I losse myne ple,174
Bot to bryng downe ane leille aulde manne175
Befyttis not herois courtysye.”176
The beggir hee came loutchyng on,177
His heidde it shoke, his steppe wals fraille,178
His sholderis bendyt lyke ane bowe,179
His berde wals lyke ane quhyte meris taille.180
He had wallettis behynde, and wallettis before,181
That waggit about him wondyr welle,182
But quhat wals in his clouttit bonnette183
There wals no bodye knawit but the beggir himselle.184
He pullit off his bennette unto the Lairde,185
And speirit ane aumousse churlishlye,186
Then the Lairde gave him ane twalpennye piece187
With ane aire of mycht and maijestye.188
And then he turnit him rounde aboutte,189
Saying, “ Tell to mee, thou beggir knaiffe,190
Didst thou evir fychte in felde of blode,191
Or battyll ane foemanne hande to glaiffe ? ”192
Yes, I haif fouchte in syngill fychte,193
And in the fronte of battyll keinne,194
And I haif stode on felde of blode,195
Quhere gossyp like thee durste not be seinne.”196
Quhat wolde you thynke, then, beggir knaiffe,197
With me to trie your mettyll here ? ”198
Deil taik the hindmoste,” the beggir sayit,199
If I had borrowit the mylleris mere.200
Then the beggir hee gotte the mylleris mere,201
Als goode ane beigle als beggir colde hae,202
His bryddle wals the hayre helterre,203
His saddyll wals the sonke of strae.204
But soche ane bordlye warriour maike205
Ne’er dashyt forthe to dedis of weire ;206
He semyt to wax in size and shaippe207
Quhan mountit on the mylleris mere.208
He had walletis behynde, and walletis before,209
And walletis out ower his sholderis had hee ;210
You mychte als welle perce ane packe of wole,211
Als trie to perce his fayre bodye.212
He keipit his pykit staffe on hie,213
And nee on, and eryit “ Wellhee ! ” 214
And his walletis waifit like twentye wyngis,215
That evin ane feirsome sychte wals hee ;216
But the Lairdis horse colde not stande the sychte,217
His very soulle did quaike for dreidde,218
For he reirit and snortit lyke ane quhale,219
And neirlye fellit his maister deidde.220
And or the beggir rechit the grounde,221
Be fortye ellis, als I herit saye,222
The horse, in spytte of bytte and spurre,223
Quhelit off, and fledde lyke fire awaye.224
But the mylleris mere wals ane mere of breide,225
And better mere nor myller behofit ;226
For all the warre-steidis horryd dreidde,227
Ane fleiter better yaude sho provit :228
For the beggir pursuit, shoutyng “ Wellhee ! ”229
And harde came on the battyll steidde,230
Then he wanne the Lairde ane sturdye thwacke,231
That dang his helmette off his heidde.232
And rounde and rounde the Landale touir233
They gallopit on with mychte and mayne,234
Quhille May Mariote and all hir maydis235
Lauchit als they nevir lauchit agayne.236
And rounde and rounde the-Landale touir237
The Lairde and his pursuer flewe ;238
And the walletis daddit rounde and rounde,239
And raisit the stoure at every hewe.240
And many a hard and hevvye knolle241
Felle on the rumpe of the warre steidde,242
Whilom the braiffe Tees gronit and ranne,243
Holdyng out his taille, and eke his heidde.244
Then wolde the beggir quhele aboutte,245
To meite the Lairdis horse faice to faice ;246
But the horse no sooner the beggir sawe,247
Than spite of dethe he turnit the chaice,248
And rounde and rounde the Landale touir,249
For the outter gatis were barrit amayne ;250
And soche ane chaice in soche ane plaice,251
Ladye shall nevir behoulde againe.252
Till the Lairde, in black despaire and rage,253
Flung himselle fercely fro his steidde,254
Then threwe the bryddle fro his graspe,255
Swearyng to bee the beggiris deidde.256
But footte to footte, and hande to hande,257
The beggir mette him gallantlye ;258
At the first buffe the beggir gatte,259
The stoure lyke ane snowe-dryfte did flee,260
And it flewe intille the Lairdis two eyne,261
Till feinte ane styme the Lairde colde se.262
But whidder it came fro pepper pocke,263
Or beggiris pouche, hee colde not telle,264
But it wals als hotte and sharpe to beir,265
Als asches fro the graitte of helle.266
Then the beggir he lauchit ane wycked lauche,267
Als the Lairde he jumpit lyke ane possessit,268
And the beggir had nothyng more to doo269
But to laye on als lykit him best.270
Hee thwackit the Lairde, and hee daddit the Lairde,271
And hee clouttit him quhille in wofull plychte.272
You gaif me ane aumouss,” the beggir sayit,273
So I’ll not taike thyne lyffe outrychte.274
But betydde mee weille, betydde mee wo,275
Thyne glyttering garbe shalle go with mee,276
To teche thee challynge ane hombil beggir,277
Quha wals not trobyling thyne nor thee.”278
He tyrelit the Lairde unto the boffe,279
And buskit himselle in his fynerye,280
Then beltyd on his nobyl brande,281
And wow but ane jollye beggir wals hee !282
But he lefte the Lairde his pykit kente,283
His powlderit duddis, and pockis of meille284
Och ! nevir wals wooir so harde bestedde,285
Or ane hauchtye herte broughte downe so weille !286
He hathe clothit himselle in the beggiris duddis,287
No oder remede had hee the whylle,288
But his horse wold not lette him come neirre—289
No, not wythin ane half a mylle.290
But quherre he fledde, or quherre he spedde,291
I nevir colde lerne with all myne lore,292
But hee nevir sette uppe his faice agayne,293
And nevir wals seine in Scotlande more.294
But wo be to that May Mariote !295
Quhatis to be wonne at womanis hande !296
For sho has wedded that beggir knaiffe,297
And maide him lorde of alle hir lande !298
For quha wals hee but the Knychte of Home,299
The dreade of all the Border boundis,300
Quham that connying May had warnyt weille301
To watche the Lairde in alle his roundis.302
And the pretendit mylleris mere303
Wals the ae best beste that evir wals born ;304
Oft had sho broke the English rankis,305
And laid theyre leideris all forlorne.306
May nevir ane braggarde bruike the glaive307
That beste befyttis ane nobyll hande308
And everye lovir losse the daime309
Who goes hir favour to commande !310
*⁎* The hero of this legend seems to have been Sir Alexander, the tenth knight
of Home ; for, on consulting the registers of that family, I find that he was married
to Mariote, or Marriotta, sole daughter and heiress of Landale of Landale, in the
county of Berwick.