Captain Car, or, Edom o Gordon

No: 178; variant: 178G

  1. IT was in and about the Martinmas time, When the wind blew schill and cauld, That Adam o Gordon said to his men, Whare will we get a hauld?
  2. ‘Do ye not see yon bonnie castell, That stands on Loudon lee? The lord and I hae a deadlie feed, And his lady fain wuld I see.’
  3. Lady Campbell was standing in the close, A preenin o her goun, Whan Adam o Gordon and his men Cam riding thro Galston toun.
  4. The dinner was na weel set doun, Nor yet the grace weel said, Till Adam o Gordon and a’ his men Around the wa’s war laid.
  5. ‘Come doun, come down, Ladie Campbell,’ he said, ‘Come doun and speak to me; I’ll kep thee in a feather bed, And thy warraner I will be.’
  6. ‘I winna come doun and speak to thee, Nor to ony lord nor loun; Nor yet to thee, thou bloody butcher, The laird o Auchruglen toun.’
  7. ‘Come doun, come doun, Ladye Campbell,’ he said, ‘Cum doun and speak to me; I’ll kep thee on the point o my sword, And thy warraner I will be.’
  8. ‘I winna come doun and speak to thee, Nor to ony lord or loun, Nor yet to thee, thou bludie butcher, The laird o Auchruglen toun.’
  9. ‘Syne gin ye winna come doun,’ he said, ‘A’ for to speak to me, I’ll tye the bands around my waist, And fire thy death sall be.’
  10. ‘I’d leifer be burnt in ashes sma, And cuist in yon sea-faem, Or I’d gie up this bonnie castell, And my gude lord frae hame.
  11. ‘For my gude lord’s in the army strong, He’s new gane ower the sea; He bade me keep this bonnie castell, As lang’s it wuld keep me.’
  12. ‘Set fire to the house,’ said bauld Gordon, ‘Set fire to the house, my men; We’ll gar Lady Campbell come for to rew As she burns in the flame.’
  13. ‘O wae be to thee, Carmichael,’ she said, ‘And an ilk death may ye die! For ye hae lifted the pavement-stane, And loot up the lowe to me.
  14. ‘Seven years ye war about my house, And received both meat and fee:’ ‘And now I’m Adam o Gordon’s man, I maun either do or dee.’
  15. ‘Oh I wad gie the black,’ she said, ‘And I wuld gie the brown, All for ae cup o the cauld water That rins to Galstoun toun.’
  16. Syne out and spak the auld dochter, She was baith jimp and sma: ‘O row me in a pair o sheets, And fling me ower the wa!’
  17. They row’t her in a pair o sheets, And flang her ower the wa, And on the point o Gordon’s sword She gat a deadlie fa.
  18. He turned her ower, and ower again, And oh but she looked wan! ‘I think I’ve killed as bonnie a face As ere the sun shined on.’
  19. He turned her ower, and ower again, And oh but she lookt white! ‘I micht hae spared this bonnie face, To hae been some man’s delight!’
  20. Syne out and spak Lady Margaret, As she stood on the stair: ‘The fire is at my gowd garters, And the lowe is at my hair.’
  21. Syne out and spak fair Ladie Ann, Frae childbed whare she lay: ‘Gie up this bonnie castell, mother, And let us win away.’
  22. ‘Lye still, lye still, my fair Annie, And let your talking be; For ye maun stay in this bonnie castell And dree your death wi me.’
  23. ‘Whatever death I am to dree, I winna die my lane: I’ll tak a bairn in ilka arm And the third is in my wame.’
  24. Syne out and spak her youngest son, A bonnie wee boy was he: ‘Gae doun, gae doun, mother,’ he said, ‘Or the lowe will worry me.’
  25. ‘I’d leifer be brent in ashes sma And cuist in yon sea-faem, Or I’d gie up this bonnie castell, And my guid lord frae hame.
  26. ‘For my gude lord’s in the army strong, He’s new gane ower the sea; But gin he eer returns again, Revenged my death sall be.’
  27. Syne out and spak her waitin-maid: Receive this babe frae me, And save the saikless babie’s life, And I’ll neer seek mair fee.
  28. ‘How can I tak the bairn?’ she said, ‘How can I tak’t?’ said she, ‘For my hair was ance five quarters lang, And ‘tis now brent to my bree.’
  29. She rowit it in a feather-bed, And flang it ower the wa, But on the point o Gordon’s sword It gat a deidlie fa.
  30. ‘I wuld gie Loudon’s bonnie castell, And Loudon’s bonnie lee, All gin my youngest son Johnnie Could charge a gun to me.
  31. ‘Oh, I wuld gie the black,’ she said, ‘And sae wuld I the bay, Gin young Sir George could take a steed And quickly ride away.’
  32. Syne out and spak her auldest son, As he was gaun to die: ‘Send doun your chamber-maid, mother, She gaes wi bairn to me.’
  33. ‘Gin ye were not my eldest son, And heir o a’ my land, I’d tye a sheet around thy neck, And hang thee with my hand.
  34. ‘I would gie my twenty gude milk-kye, That feed on Shallow lee, A’ for ae blast o the norland wind, To blaw the lowe frae me.’
  35. Oh was na it a pitie o yon bonnie castell, That was biggit wi stane and lime! But far mair pity o Lady Ann Campbell, That was brunt wi her bairns nine.
  36. Three o them war married wives, And three o them were bairns, And three o them were leal maidens, That neer lay in men’s arms.
  37. And now Lord Loudon he’s come hame, And a sorry man was he: ‘He micht hae spared my lady’s life, And wreakit himsell on me!
  38. ‘But sin we’ve got thee, bauld Gordon, Wild horses shall thee tear, For murdering o my ladie bricht, Besides my children dear.’