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.
 
149. The Baron of Brackley
 
 
I

INVEREY cam’ doun Deeside, whistlin’ and playin’;
He was at brave Brackley’s yates ere it was dawin’.
 
II

Says, ‘Baron of Brackley, are ye within?
There ’s sharp swords at your yate will gar your blood spin.
 
III

‘Open the yate, Brackley, let us within,
        5
Till on the green turf we gar your blood spin.’
 
IV

The lady rase up, to the window she went;
She heard the kye lowin’ o’er hill and o’er bent.
 
V

‘O rise up, John,’ she says, ‘turn back your kye;
They’re o’er the hills rinnin’, they’re skippin awye!’—        10
 
VI

‘Come to bed, Peggie, and let the kye rin:
For were I to gang out, I’d never get in.
 
VII

‘For there is na gentlemen, nor yet pretty lads,
But a curn o’ hired widdifu’s, wears belted plaids.’
 
VIII

Then she cry’d on her women, they quickly came ben:
        15
‘Tak’ up your rocks, lasses, and fight a’ like men!
 
IX

‘Tho’ I’m but a woman, to head you I’ll try,
Nor let these vile Hielandmen steal a’ our kye.’
 
X

Then up gat the Baron and cry’d for his graith;
Says, ‘Lady, I’ll gang, tho’ to leave you I’m laith.        20
 
XI

‘Come kiss me, my Peggie, and get me my gun;
For I well may gang out, but I’ll never win in.’
 
XII

When the Baron of Brackley he rade thro’ the close,
A gallanter gentleman ne’er mounted horse.
 
XIII

Tho’ there cam’ in with Inverey thirty and three,
        25
There was nane wi’ bold Brackley but his brither and he.
 
XIV

Twa gallanter Gordons did never sword draw:
But against four and thirty, wae ’s me, what was twa?
 
XV

Wi’ swords and wi’ daggers they did him surround,
And they’ve pierced the bold Brackley wi’ mony a wound.        30
 
XVI

Frae the head o’ the Dee to the banks o’ the Spey
The Gordons may mourn him and ban Inverey.
 
XVII

‘O cam’ ye in by Brackley, and was ye in there?
Or saw ye his Peggy dear riving her hair?’—
 
XVIII

‘O I cam’ by Brackley, and I was in there,
        35
But I saw-na his Peggy dear riving her hair.’—
 
XIX

‘O fye on ye, ladye! how could ye do sae?
You open’d your yate to the fause Inverey.’
 
XX

She ate wi’ him, drank wi’ him, welcomed him in;
She ’s welcomed the villain that slew her Baròn.        40
 
XXI

She kept him till morning, syne bade him be gane,
And show’d him the road that he wouldna be ta’en.
 
XXII

‘Thro’ Bires and Aboyne,’ she says, ‘lyin’ in a tour
O’er the hills o’ Glentanor ye’ll skip in an hour.’
 
XXIII

There is dule in the kitchen, and mirth in the ha’,
        45
For the Baron of Brackley is dead and awa’.
 
XXIV

But and up spak’ the babe on his nourice’s knee—
‘Gin I live to be man, it ’s revenged I will be.’
 

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