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Ballad Third: John Bushby's Lamentation

TUNE: The Children In The Wood

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation


1.
'Twas in the Seventeen Hunder year
O' grace, and Ninety-Five,
That year I was the wae'est man
Of onie man alive.
2.
In March the three-an'-twentieth morn,
The sun raise clear an' bright;
But O, I was a waefu' man,
Ere to-fa' o' the night!
3.
Yerl Galloway lang did rule this land
Wi' equal right and fame,
Fast knit in chaste and holy bands
With Broughton's noble name.
4.
Yerl Galloway's man o' men was I,
And chief o' Broughton's host:
So two blind beggars, on a string,
The faithfu' tyke will trust!
5.
But now Yerl Galloway's sceptre's broke,
And Broughton's wi' the slain,
And I my ancient craft may try,
Sin' honesty is gane.
6.
'Twas by the banks o' bonie Dee,
Beside Kirkcudbright's towers,
The Stewart and the Murray there
Did muster a' their powers.
7.
Then Murray on the auld grey yaud
Wi' winged spurs did ride:
That auld grey yaud a' Nidsdale rade,
He staw upon Nidside.
8.
An' there had na been the Yerl himsel,
O, there had been nae play!
But Garlies was to London gane,
And sae the kye might stray.
9.
And there was Balmaghie, I ween -
In front rank he wad shine;
But Balmaghie had better been
Drinkin' Madeira wine.
10.
And frae Glenkens cam to our aid
A chief o' doughty deed:
In case that worth should wanted be,
O' Kenmure we had need.
11.
And by our banners march'd Muirhead,
And Buittle was na slack,
Whase haly priesthood nane could stain,
For wha could dye the black?
12.
And there was grave Squire Cardoness,
Look'd on till a' was done:
Sae in the tower o' Cardoness
A howlet sits at noon.
13.
And there led I the Bushby clan:
My gamesome billie, Will,
And my son Maitland, wise as brave,
My footsteps follow'd still.
14.
The Douglas and the Heron's name,
We set nought to their score;
The Douglas and the Heron's name,
Had felt our weight before.
15.
But Douglasses o' weight had we:
The pair o' lusty lairds,
For building cot-houses sae fam'd,
And christenin kail-yards.
16.
And then Redcastle drew his sword
That ne'er was stain'd wi' gore
Save on a wand'rer lame and blind,
To drive him frae his door.
17.
At last cam creepin Collieston,
Was mair in fear than wrath;
Ae knave was constant in his mind -
To keep that knave frae scaith.



It was in the Seventeen Hundred year
Of grace, and Ninety-Five,
That year I was the saddest man
On any man alive.

In March the three-and-twentieth morning,
The sun rose clear and bright;
But O, I was a woeful man,
Ere the fall of the night!

Earl Galloway long did rule this land
With equal right and fame,
Fast knit in chaste and holy bands
Broughton's noble name.

Earl Galloway's man of men was I,
And chief of Broughton's host:
So two blind beggars, on a string,
The faithful dog will trust!

But now Earl Galloway's sceptre is broken,
And Broughton is with the slain,
And I my ancient craft may try,
Since honesty is gone.

It was by the banks of lovely river Dee,
Beside Kirkcudbright's towers,
The Stewart and the Murray there
Did muster all their powers.

Then Murray on the old grey mare
With winged spurs did ride:
That old grey mare each Nidsdale rode,
He stole upon Nidside.

And there had not been the Earl himself,
O, there had been no play!
But Garlies was to London gone,
And so the cattle might stray.

And there was Balmaghie, I fancy -
In front rank he would shine;
But Balmaghie had better been
Drinking Madeira wine.

And from Glenkens came to our aid
A chief o' doughty deed:
In case that worth should wanted be,
Of Kenmure we had need.

And by our banners marched Muirhead,
And Buittle was not slack,
Whose holy priesthood none could stain,
For who could dye the black?

And there was grave Squire Cardoness,
Looked on till all was done:
So in the tower of Cardoness
An owl sits at noon.

And there led I the Bushby clan:
My gamesome comrade, Will,
And my son Maitland, wise as brave,
My footsteps follow'd still.

The Douglas and the Heron's name,
We set nothing to their score;
The Douglas and the Heron's name,
Had felt our weight before.

But Douglasses of weight had we:
The pair of lusty lairds,
For building cottage houses so famed,
And christenin kitchen-gardens.

And then Redcastle drew his sword
That never was stained with gore
Save on a wanderer lame and blind,
To drive him from his door.

At last came creeping Collieston,
Was more in fear than wrath;
One knave was constant in his mind -
To keep that knave from harm.

 

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