Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
145. The Fire of Frendraught
 
 
I

THE EIGHTEENTH of October,
  A dismal tale to hear
How good Lord John and Rothiemay
  Was both burnt in the fire.
 
II

When steeds was saddled and well bridled,
        5
  And ready for to ride,
Then out it came her false Frendraught,
  Inviting them to bide.
 
III

Said, ‘Stay this night untill we sup,
  The morn untill we dine;        10
’Twill be a token of good greement
  ’Twixt your good lord and mine.’
 
IV

‘We’ll turn again,’ said good Lord John;
  ‘But no,’ said Rothiemay,
‘My steed ’s trapan’d, my bridle ’s broken,        15
  I fear the day I’m fey.’
 
V

When mass was sung, and bells was rung,
  And all men bound for bed,
Then good Lord John and Rothiemay
  In one chamber was laid.        20
 
VI

They had not long cast off their cloaths,
  And were but now asleep,
When the weary smoke began to rise,
  Likewise the scorching heat.
 
VII

‘O waken, waken, Rothiemay!
        25
  O waken, brother dear!
And turn you to our Saviour;
  There is strong treason here.’
 
VIII

When they were dressèd in their cloaths,
  And ready for to boun,        30
The doors and windows was all secur’d,
  The roof-tree burning down.
 
IX

He did him to the wire-window,
  As fast as he could gang;
Says, Wae to the hands put in the stancheons!        35
  For out we’ll never win.
 
X

When he stood at the wire-window,
  Most doleful to be seen,
He did espy her Lady Frendraught,
  Who stood upon the green.        40
 
XI

Cried, ‘Mercy, mercy, Lady Frendraught!
  Will ye not sink with sin?
For first your husband killed my father,
  And now you burn his son.’
 
XII

O then out spoke her Lady Frendraught,
        45
  And loudly did she cry;
‘It were great pity for good Lord John,
  But none for Rothiemay;
But the keys are casten in the deep draw-well,
  Ye cannot get away.’        50
 
XIII

While he stood in this dreadful plight,
  Most piteous to be seen,
There callèd out his servant Gordon,
  As he had frantic been:
 
XIV

‘O loup, O loup, my dear master!
        55
  O loup and come to me!
I’ll catch you in my arms twa,
  One foot I will not flee.
 
XV

‘O loup, O loup, my dear master!
  O loup and come away!        60
I’ll catch you in my arms twa,
  But Rothiemay may lie.’—
 
XVI

‘The fish shall never swim in the flood,
  Nor corn grow through the clay,
Nor the fiercest fire that ever was kindled        65
  Twin me and Rothiemay.
 
XVII

‘But I cannot loup, I cannot come,
  I cannot win to thee;
My head ’s fast in the wire-window,
  My feet burning from me.        70
 
XVIII

‘My eyes are seething in my head,
  My flesh roasting also,
My bowels are boiling with my blood;
  Is not that a woeful woe?
 
XIX

‘Take here the rings from my white fingers,
        75
  That are so long and small,
And give them to my lady fair,
  Where she sits in her hall.
 
XX

‘So I cannot loup, I cannot come,
  I cannot loup to thee;        80
My earthly part is all consumed,
  My spirit but speaks to thee.’
 
XXI

Wringing her hands, tearing her hair,
  His lady she was seen,
And thus address’d his servant Gordon,        85
  Where he stood on the green.
 
XXII

‘O wae be to you, George Gordon!
  An ill death may you die!
So safe and sound as you stand there,
  And my lord bereaved for me!’—        90
 
XXIII

‘I bad him loup, I bad him come,
  I bad him loup to me;
I’d catch him in my arms twa,
  A foot I should not flee.
 
XXIV

‘He threw me the rings from his white fingers,
        95
  Which were so long and small,
To give to you, his lady fair,
  Where you sat in your hall.’
 
XXV

Sophia Hay, Sophia Hay,
  O bonny Sophia was her name,        100
Her waiting maid put on her cloaths,
  But I wot she tore them off again!
 
XXVI

And aft she cried, ‘Ohon! alas!
  A sair heart ’s ill to win;
I wan a sair heart when I married him,        105
  And to-day it ’s return’d again.’
 
GLOSS:  trapan’d] tampered with.  fey] doomed, having my fate on me.  wire-window] grated window.  twin] part.
 

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