A Scotch Tale
The enclosed Ballad is founded on a legend of a Scotch Chieftain whose estates were confiscated in his absence by the treachery of his brother. His humble retirement with a beautiful daughter was soon visited by that brother’s only son and heir, who restored the lands of the injured Chief and married his daughter. The versification of this traditionary tale is humbly offered to the Editor of the Attic Chest.
Saw ye the lass wi’ the sloe-black e’e
Sae blithe in the Hall of Scaur?
Her sire is the Laird of the West-countrîe
New-come fra’ the Norland war.
She has busk’d her to meet the gallant Laird,
She has climb’d on his weary knee;
His hair is white as the thistle’s beard
And the tear is in his e’e.
“My Father, where is thy sword sa bright,
And thy sash of the Saxon green?”
“My sword is broken in bluidy fight,
And my sash shall na’ mair be seen!
But woe to thy Uncle’s clay-cauld heart,
O woe to his faithless hand!
Thy father maun learn a coward’s part,
And beg in his native land!”
The lassie has doff’d her velvet shoon,
And her silken hosen’s pride;
She’s gane fra’ the halls of Scaur and Doon
To beg by her Father’s side.
She has left her Uncle’s painted room
And her kirtle of damask new,
Barefooted to climb amang highland broom
And sleep in a cloak of woo’
He has bigg’d a cot by a wimpling burn
Far down in the bushy dell;
And she’s up ere morn at the tryst of Earn
Wi’ kailyard gear to sell.
She’s out at e’en wi’ her milking shiel
Alone in the birks to sing:
But she sees not the Laird of the bushy dell
Hid low where the gowans spring.
He has seen her twice wi’ her market-grice
Come lilting thro’ the town;
And down the lang glen he has follow’d her thrice
But dark is her father’s frown!
“Begone, thou son of a canker’d Sire!
Awa, ere my gude sword shine;
My lands and halls are a traitor’s hire
But the daughter I love is mine!”
“My father lies in the green kirk-yard,
His halls and lands are my ain;
But Doon and Scaur shall see thee Laird
Of their bonnie brown banks again!
And she who smiles by yon ingle-fire
Shall shine in her ain array,
If thy Brother’s son may call tee sire,
And mine to be her bridal day!”
The Laird is come home to his stately ha’
On the banks of the Scour and Doon;
And Flora is clad in her kirtle braw
And lilts in her silken shoon.
She tells her love wi’ a winsome smile
As she blooms by her father’s side;
And lightly their days and years they wyle
Sin’ Flora is Donald’s bride!