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Then out and spak his auld mother,

And fast her tears did fa'-
“Ye wad nae be warned, my son Johnnie,

Frae the hunting to bide awa.

“Aft hae I brought to Breadislee

The less gear and the mair,
But I ne'er brought to Breadislee

What grieved my heart sae sair !

“But wae betyde that silly auld carle !

An ill death shall he die !
For the highest tree in Merriemass

Shall be his morning's fee.”

Now Johnnie's gude bend bow is broke,

And his gude graie dogs are slain; And his body lies dead in Durrisdeer,

And his hunting it is done.


Two copies of this ballad appeared in Herd's Collection, Edin., 1776, under the above title; a third is printed in Dr Percy's Reliques; and Mr Jamieson has given another copy of the same ballad, taken down from recitation. To this last, which differs in a few particulars from those already published, its learned Editor has prefixed some interesting notices, which may be consulted with advantage. The present edition is likewise given as taken down from the recitation of a lady; and as it contains some additional circumstances not to be found in any of the copies mentioned above, it has been deemed proper to publish it as it stands, without attempting to incorporate it with any other version.—MOTHERWELL.


YESTERDAY was brave Hallowday,

And, above all days of the year, The schoolboys all got leave to play,

And little Sir Hugh was there.

He kicked the ball with his foot,

And kepped it with his knee, And even in at the Jew's window

He gart the bonnie ba' flee.

Out then came the Jew's daughter

Will ye come in and dine ?” “I winna come in, and I canna come in,

Till I get that ball of mine.

“Throw down that ball to me, maiden,

Throw down the ball to me.“I winna throw down your ball, Sir Hugh,

Till ye come up to me.

She pu'd the apple frae the tree,

It was baith red and green, She gave it unto little Sir Hugh,

With that his heart did win.

She wiled him into ae chamber,

She wiled him into twa,
She wiled him into the third chamber,

And that was warst o't a'.

She took out a little penknife,

Hung low down by her spare,
She twined this young thing o' his life,

And a word he ne'er spak mair.

And first came out the thick, thick blood,

And syne came out the thin, And syne came out the bonnie heart's blood

There was nae mair within.


She laid him on a dressing-table,

She dress'd him like a swine,
Says, “Lie ye there, my bonnie Sir Hugh,

Wi' ye’re apples red and green.”

She put him in a case of lead,

Says, "Lie ye there and sleep;"
She threw him into the deep draw-well

Was fifty fathom deep.

A schoolboy walking in the garden,

Did grievously hear him meen, He ran away to the deep draw-well

And fell down on his knee,

Says, “Bonnie Sir Hugh, and pretty Sir Hugh,

I pray you speak to me;
If you speak to any body in this world,

I pray you speak to me.”

When bells were rung and mass was sung,

And every body went hame, Then every lady had her son,

But Lady Helen had nane.


* “She dressed him like a Swan was the reading we got; but, in deference to former editions, we have substituted “Swine,” though it is questionable how far a Jewess could be skilled in the cookery of an animal abominated by her people.-W. M.

She rolled her mantle her about,

And sore, sore did she weep; She ran away to the Jew's castle

When all were fast asleep.

She cries, “Bonnie Sir Hugh, O pretty Sir

I pray you speak to me;
If you speak to any body in this world,

pray you speak to me.”

“Lady Helen, if ye want your son,

I'll tell ye where to seek; Lady Helen, if ye want your son,

He's in the well sae deep."

She ran away to the deep draw-well,

And she fell down on her knee,
Saying, “Bonnie Sir Hugh, 0 pretty Sir Hugh,

I pray ye speak to me,
If ye speak to any body in the world,

pray ye speak to me."

“Oh! the lead it is wondrous heavy, mother,

The well it is wondrous deep,
The little penknife sticks in my throat,

And I downa to ye speak.

"But lift me out o' this deep draw-well,

And bury me in yon churchyard ; Put a Bible at my head,” he says,

“And a Testament at my feet, And pen and ink at every side,

And I'll lie still and sleep.

“And go to the back of Maitland town,

Bring me my winding sheet;
For it's at the back of Maitland town

That you and I shall meet.”

O the broom, the bonny, bonny broom,

The broom that makes full sore;
A woman's mercy is very little,
But a man's mercy is more.



OR, MAY MARGARET, Appears to be founded on an incident which is detailed at some length in Spottiswoode's History of the Church of Scotland, see ed. Lond. 1668, b. vi. p. 389; and also in “The Historie of King James the Sext," quoted by the editor of “The Border Minstrelsy.” The common printed edition of this ballad goes under the title of The Laird of Ochiltree, but the copy here followed is that recovered by Sir Walter Scott, which is preferable to the other, as agreeing more closely, both in the name and in the circumstance, with the real fact. The third stanza in the present copy was obtained from recitation; and, as it describes very naturally the agitated behaviour of a person who, like May Margaret, had high interests at stake, it was considered worthy of being preserved. -MOTHERWELL.


I WILL sing, if ye will hearken,

If will hearken unto me;
The king has ta'en a poor prisoner,

The wanton laird o' young Logie. * This stanza, though meant for a moral, seems to have little business here, and we are at a loss to make sense of the second line.-W. M.

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