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A Collection of Ballads

The following is from A Collection of Ballads by Andrew Lang:

Gordon of Brackley

This, though probably not the most authentic, is decidedly the most pleasing version; it is from Mackay's collection, perhaps from his pen.

Ballad: Gordon of Brackley

Down Deeside cam Inveraye
Whistlin' and playing,
An' called loud at Brackley gate
Ere the day dawning--
"Come, Gordon of Brackley.
Proud Gordon, come down,
There's a sword at your threshold
Mair sharp than your own."

"Arise now, gay Gordon,"
His lady 'gan cry,
"Look, here is bold Inveraye
Driving your kye."
"How can I go, lady,
An' win them again,
When I have but ae sword,
And Inveraye ten?"

"Arise up, my maidens,
Wi' roke and wi' fan,
How blest had I been
Had I married a man!
Arise up, my maidens,
Tak' spear and tak' sword,
Go milk the ewes, Gordon,
An' I will be lord."

The Gordon sprung up
Wi' his helm on his head,
Laid his hand on his sword,
An' his thigh on his steed,
An' he stooped low, and said,
As he kissed his young dame,
"There's a Gordon rides out
That will never ride hame."

There rode with fierce Inveraye
Thirty and three,
But wi' Brackley were nane
But his brother and he;
Twa gallanter Gordons
Did never blade draw,
But against three-and-thirty
Wae's me! what are twa?

Wi' sword and wi' dagger
They rushed on him rude;
The twa gallant Gordons
Lie bathed in their blude.
Frae the springs o' the Dee
To the mouth o' the Tay,
The Gordons mourn for him,
And curse Inveraye.

"O were ye at Brackley?
An' what saw ye there?
Was his young widow weeping
An' tearing her hair?"
"I looked in at Brackley,
I looked in, and oh!
There was mirth, there was feasting,
But naething o' woe.

"As a rose bloomed the lady,
An' blithe as a bride,
As a bridegroom bold Inveraye
Smiled by her side.
Oh! she feasted him there
As she ne'er feasted lord,
While the blood of her husband
Was moist on his sword.

"In her chamber she kept him
Till morning grew gray,
Thro' the dark woods of Brackley
She shewed him the way.
'Yon wild hill,' she said,
'Where the sun's shining on,
Is the hill of Glentanner,--
One kiss, and begone!'"

There's grief in the cottage,
There's grief in the ha',
For the gude, gallant Gordon
That's dead an' awa'.
To the bush comes the bud,
An' the flower to the plain,
But the gude and the brave
They come never again.

Edward, Edward


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