Kinmont Willie

O have ye na heard o' the fause Sakelde ?
O have ye na heard o' the keen Lord Scroope ?
How they hae ta'en bauld Kinmont Willie,
On Haribee to hang him up?

Had Willie had but twenty men,
But twenty men as stout as he,
Fause Sakelde had never the Kinmont ta'en,
Wi' eight score in his companie.

They band his legs beneath the steed,
They tied his hands behind his back;
They guarded him, fivesome on each side,
And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack.        [(a ford)

They led him thro' the Liddel-rack,
And also thro' the Carlisle sands
They brought him in to Carlisle castell,
To be at my Lord Scroope's commands.

'My hands are tied, but my tongue is free,
And whae will dare this deed avow?
Or answer by the Border law?
Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch?' --

'Now haud thy tongue, thou rank reiver!        [robber
There's never a Scot shall set thee free:
Before ye cross my castle yate,         [gate
I trow ye shall take farewell o' me.'

Fear na ye that, my lord,' quo' Willie:
'By the faith o' my body, Lord Scroope,' he said,
I never yet lodged in a hostelrie
But I paid my lawing before I gaed.'        [reckoning

Now word is gane to the bauld Keeper,        [bold
In Branksome Ha', where that he lay,
That Lord Scroope has ta'en the Kinmont Willie.
Between the hours of night and day.

He has ta'en the table wi' his hand,
He gar'd the red wine spring on hie --        [made
'Now Christ's curse on my head,' he said,
But avengèd of Lord Scroope I'll be!

'O is my basnet a widow's curch?         [kerchief
Or my lance a wand of the willow-tree?
Or my arm a ladye's lilye hand,
That an English lord should lightly me!         [disrespect

'And have they ta'en him, Kinmont Willie,
Against the truce of Border tide ?
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
Is Keeper here on the Scottish side?

'And have they e'en ta'en him, Kinmont Willie,
Withouten either dread or fear ?
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
Can back a steed, or shake a spear ?

'O were there war between the lands,
As well I wot that there is nane,
I would slight Carlisle castell high,        [attack
Though it were builded of marble stane.

'I would set that castell in a low,        [flame
And sloken it with English blood!        [slake
There's never a man in Cumberland
Should ken where Carlisle castell stood.

'But since nae wair's between the lands,
And there is peace, and peace should be;
I'll neither harm English lad or lass,
And yet the Kinmont freed shall be!'

He has call'd him forty Marchmen bauld,
I trow they were of his ain name,
Except Sir Gilbert Elliot, call'd
The Laird of Stobs, I mean the same.

He has call'd him forty Marchmen bauld,        [Borderers
Were kinsmen to the bauld Buccleuch;
With spur on heel, and splent on spauld,        [armour; shoulder
And gleuves of green, and feathers blue.

There were five and five before them a',
Wi' hunting-horns and bugles bright:
And five and five came wi' Buccleuch,
Like Warden's men, array'd for fight.

And five and five, like a mason-gang,
That carried the ladders lang and hie;
And five and five, like broken men;        [outlaws
And so they reach'd the Woodhouselee.

And as we cross'd the Batable Land,        [=debatable, disputed
When to the English side we held,
The first o' men that we met wi',
Whae sould it be but fause Sakelde?

'Where be ye gaun, ye hunters keen?
Quo' fause Sakelde; 'come tell to me!' --
We go to hunt an English stag,
Has trespass'd on the Scots countrie.'

'Where be ye gaun, ye marshal men?'
Quo' fase Sakelde; 'come tell me true!'
'We go to catch a rank reiver,
Has broken faith wi' the bauld Buccleuch.'

'Where be ye gaun, ye mason ]ads,
Wi' a' your ladders, lang and hie?'
'We gang to herry a corbie's nest,        [destroy; crow
That wons not far frae Woodhouselee.' --        [dwells

'Where be ye gaun, ye broken men?'
Quo' fause Sakelde; 'come tell to me!'
Now Dickie of Dryhope led that band,
And the never a word of lear had he.        [learning

'Why trespass ye on the English side
Row-footed outlaws, stand!' quo' he;        [rough
The never a word had Dickie to say,
Sae he thrust the lance through his fause bodie.

Then on we held for Carlisle toun,
And at Staneshaw-bank the Eden we cross'd
The water was great and meikle of spate,
But the never a horse nor man we lost.

And when we reach'd the Staneshaw-bank,
The wind was rising loud and hie;
And there the Laird gar'd leave our steeds,
For fear that they should stamp and neigh.

And when we left the Stanesliaw-bank,
The wind began fu' loud to blaw;
But 'twas wind and weet, and fire and sleet,        [wet
When we came beneath the castle wa'.

We crept on knees, and held our breath,
Till we placed the ladders against the wa';
And sae ready was Buccleuch himsell
To mount the first before us a'.

He has ta'en the watchman by the throat,
He flung him down upon the lead --
'Had there not been peace between our lands,
Upon the other side thou hadst gaed!'

'Now sound out, trumpets,' quo' Buccleuch,
' Let's waken Lord Scroope right merrilie!
Then loud the Warden's trumpet blew --
O wha dare meddle wi' me?

Then speedilie to wark we gaed,
And raised the slogan ane and a',         [war cry
And cut a hole through a sheet of lead,
And so we wan to the castle ha'.        [won through

They thought King James and a' his men
Had won the house wi' bow and spear;
lt was but twenty Scots and ten,
That put a thousand in sic a stear!        [stir

Wi' coulters,.and wi' forehammers,        [sledgehammers
We gar'd the bars bang merrilie,
Until we came to the inner prison,
Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie.

And when we cam' to the lower prison,
Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie --
'O sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie,
Upon the morn that thou 's to die?'

'O I sleep saft, and I wake aft;
It's lang since sleeping was fley'd frae me!        [scared
Gie my service back to my wife and bairns,
And a' gude fellows that spier for me.'        [ask

The Red Rowan has hente him up,        [taken
The starkest man in Teviotdale --        [strongest
'Abide, abide now, Red Rowan,
Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

'Farewell, farewell, my gude Lord Scroope
My gude Lord Scroope, farewell!' he cried;
'I'll pay you for my lodging mail,         [rent
When first we meet on the Border side.' --

Then shoulder high, with shout and cry,
We bore him down the ladder lang;
At every stride Red Rowan made,
I wot the Kinmont's airns play'd clang!        [irons

'O mony a time,' quo' Kinmont Willie,
'I have ridden horse baith wild and wood;         [mad
But a rougher beast than Red Rowan
I ween my legs have ne'er bestrode.

'And mony a time,' quo' Kinmont Willie,
'I've prickd a horse out oure the furs;        [furrows
But since the day I back'd a steed,
I never wore sic cumbrous spurs!'

We scarce had won the Staneshaw-bank
When a' the Carlisle bells were rung,
And a thousand men on horse and foot
Cam wi' the keen Lord Scroope along.

Buccleuch has turn'd to Eden Water,
Even where it flow'd frae bank to brim,
And he has plunged in wi' a' his band,
And safely swam them through the stream.

He turn'd him on the other side,
And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he;
'If ye like na my visit in merry England,
In fair Scotland come visit me!'

All sore astonish'd stood Lord Scroope,
He stood as still as rock of stane;
He scarcely dared to trew his eyes,         [trust
When through the water they had gane.

'He is either himsell a devil frae hell,
Or else his mother a witch maun be;
I wadna have ridden that wan water
For a' the gowd in Christentie.'

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