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Elphinstone Kist   Traditional Ballad, Music

Edom o Gordon     by: Traditional

It fell about the Martinmas
When the wind blew schrill and cauld,
Said Edom o Gordon to his men:
‘We maun draw to a hald.

‘And whatan a hald sall we draw to,
My merry men and me?
I think we’ll gang to Towie’s hoose
To see that fair lady.’

She had nae sooner busket her sell
Nor putten on her gown,
Till Edom a Gordon and his men
Were round about the town.

They had nae sooner sitten down
Nor sooner said the grace,
Till Edom a Gordon and his men
Were close about the place.

The lady ran up to her tower head
As fast as she could drie,
To see if by her fair speeches
She could with him agree.

As soon as he saw the lady fair,
And hir yates all locked and fast,
He fell into a rage of wrath
And his heart was aghast.

‘Cum down to me, ye lady fair,
Cum down to me; let’s see;
This night ye’s lye by my ain side,
This morn my bride sail be.’

‘I winna cum down, ye fals Gordon,
I winna cum down to thee;
I winna forsake my ane dear lord
That is sae far frae me.’

‘Gie up your house, ye fair lady,
Gie up yer house to me,
Or I will burn yoursel therein,
Bot and your babies three.’

‘I winnae gie up, you fals Gordon,
To nae sik traitor as thee,
Tho’ you should burn myself therein,
Bot and my babies three.’

‘Set fire to the house,’ quoth fals Gordon
‘Sin better may nae be;
And I will burn herself therein
Bot and her babies three.’

‘And e’in wae worth ye, Jock my man,
I paid ye weil your fee;
Thy pow ye out my ground-wa stane,
Lets in the reek to me?

‘And e’in wae worth ye, Jock my man,
For I paid ye weil your hire;
Why pow ye out my ground-wa stane,
To me lets in the fire?’

Ye paid me weil my hire, lady,
Ye paid me weil my fee;
But now I’m Edom a Gordon’s man,
Maun either do or die.’

O then bespake her youngest son,
Sat on the nurse’s knee:
‘Dear mother, gie ower your house,’ he says
For the reek it worries me.’

I winna gie up my house, my dear,
To nae sik traitor as he;
Cum well, came wae, my jewels fair,
Ye maun tak share wi me.’

O then bespake her dochter dear,
She was baith jimp and sma;
O row me in a pair o sheets
And tow me ower the wa.’

They row’d her in a pair of sheets
And tow’d her ower the wa,
But on the point o Edom’s speir
She gat a deadly fa.

O bonny, bonny was hir mouth,
And chirry were hir cheiks,
And clear, clear was hir yellow hair
Whereon the reid bluid dreips.

Then wi his speir he turn’d hir ower–
-O gin hir face was wan;
He said, ‘You are the first that e’er
I wist alive again.’

‘Busk and boon, my merry men all,
For ill dooms I do guess;
I cannae luik in that bonny face
As it lyes on the grass.’

‘Them luiks to freits, my master deir,
Then freits wil follow them;
Let it neir be said brave Edom o Gordon
Was daunted with a dame.’

O then he spied hir am deir lord
As he came ower the lee;
He saw his castle in a fire
As far as he could see.

‘Put on, put on, my mighty men,
fast as you can drie;
For he that’s hindmost of my men
Sall neir get guid o me.’

And some they raid, and some they ran
Fu fast out ower the plain,
But lang, lang e’er he could get up
They were a deid and slain.

But mony were the mudie men
Lay gasping on the grein,
For o fifty men that Edom brought out
There were but five ged heme.

And many were the mudie men
Lay gasping on the grein,
And many were the fair ladys
Lay leman less at heme.

And round and round the wa’s he went
Their ashes for to view;
At last into the flames he flew
And bade the world adieu.



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