Jock o the Side

No: 187; variant: 187A


  1. PEETER a Whifield he hath slaine, And Iohn a Side, he is tane, And Iohn is bound both hand and foote, And to the New-castle he is gone.

  2. But tydinges came to the Sybill o the Side, By the water-side as shee rann; Shee tooke her kirtle by the hem, And fast shee runn to Mangerton.
  3. . . . . The lord was sett downe at his meate; When these tydings shee did him tell, Neuer a morsell might he eate.
  4. But lords, the wrunge their fingars white, Ladyes did pull themselues by the haire, Crying, Alas and weladay! For Iohn o the Side wee shall neuer see more.
  5. ‘But wee’le goe sell our droues of kine, And after them our oxen sell, And after them our troopes of sheepe, But wee will loose him out of the New Castell.’
  6. But then bespake him Hobby Noble, And spoke these words wonderous hye; Sayes, Giue my fiue men to my selfe, And I’le feitch Iohn o the Side to thee.
  7. ‘Yea, thou’st haue fiue, Hobby Noble, Of the best that are in this countrye; I’le giue thee fiue thousand, Hobby Noble, That walke in Tyuidale trulye.’
  8. ‘Nay, I’le haue but fiue,’ saies Hobby Noble, ‘That shall walke away with mee; Wee will ryde like noe men of warr; But like poore badgers wee wilbe.’
  9. They stuffet vp all their baggs with straw, And their steeds barefoot must bee; ‘Come on, my bretheren,’ sayes Hobby Noble, ‘Come on your wayes, and goe with mee.’
  10. And when they came to Culerton ford, The water was vp, they cold it not goe; And then they were ware of a good old man, How his boy and hee were at the plowe.
  11. ‘But stand you still,’ sayes Hobby Noble, ‘Stand you still heere at this shore, And I will ryde to Yonder old man, And see w[h]ere the gate it lyes ore.
  12. ‘But Christ you saue, father!’ quoth hee, ‘Crist both you saue and see! Where is the way ouer this fford? For Christ’s sake tell itt mee!’
  13. ‘But I haue dwelled heere three score yeere, Soe haue I done three score and three; I neuer sawe man nor horsse goe ore, Except itt were a horse of tree.’
  14. ‘But fare thou well, thou good old man! The devill in hell I leave with thee, Noe better comfort heere this night Thow giues my bretheren heere and me.’
  15. But when he came to his brether againe, And told this tydings full of woe, And then they found a well good gate They might ryde ore by two and two.
  16. And when they were come ouer the fforde, All safe gotten att the last, ‘Thankes be to God!’ sayes Hobby Nobble, ‘The worst of our perill is past.’
  17. And then they came into Howbrame wood, And there then they found a tree, And cutt itt downe then by the roote; The lenght was thirty ffoote and three.
  18. And four of them did take the planke, As light as it had beene a fflee, And carryed itt to the New Castle, Where as Iohn a Side did lye.
  19. And some did climbe vp by the walls, And some did climbe vp by the tree, Vntill they came vpp to the top of the castle, Where Iohn made his moane trulye.
  20. He sayd, God be with thee, Sybill o the Side! My owne mother thou art, quoth hee; If thou knew this night I were here, A woe woman then woldest thou bee.
  21. And fare you well, Lord Mangerton! And euer I say God be with thee! For if you knew this night I were heere, You wold sell your land for to loose mee.
  22. And fare thou well, Much, Millers sonne! Much, Millars sonne, I say; Thou has beene better att merke midnight Then euer thou was att noone o the day.
  23. And fare thou well, my good Lord Clough! Thou art thy ffathers sonne and heire; Thou neuer saw him in all thy liffe But with him durst thou breake a speare.
  24. ‘Wee are brothers childer nine or ten, And sisters children ten or eleven. We neuer came to the feild to fight, But the worst of us was counted a man.’
  25. But then bespake him Hoby Noble, And spake these words vnto him; Saies, Sleepest thou, wakest thou, Iohn o the Side, Or art thou this castle within?
  26. ‘But who is there,’ quoth Iohn oth Side, ‘That knowes my name soe right and free?’ ‘I am a bastard-brother of thine; This night I am comen for to loose thee.’
  27. ‘Now nay, now nay,’ quoth Iohn o the Side; ‘Itt ffeares me sore that will not bee; Ffor a pecke of gold and silver,’ Iohn sayd, ‘In faith this night will not loose mee.’
  28. But then bespake him Hobby Noble, And till his brother thus sayd hee; Sayes, Four shall take this matter in hand, And two shall tent our geldings ffree.
  29. Four did breake one dore without, Then Iohn brake fiue himsell; But when they came to the iron dore, It smote twelue vpon the bell.
  30. ‘Itt feares me sore,’ sayd Much, the Miller, ‘That heere taken wee all shalbee;’ ‘But goe away, bretheren,’ sayd Iohn a Side, ‘For euer alas! this will not bee.’
  31. ‘But ffye vpon thee!’ sayd Hobby Noble; ‘Much, the Miller, fye vpon thee! ‘It sore feares me,’ said Hobby Noble, ‘Man that thou wilt neuer bee.’
  32. But then he had Fflanders files two or three, And hee fyled downe that iron dore, And tooke Iohn out of the New Castle, And sayd, Looke thou neuer come heere more!
  33. When he had him fforth of the New Castle, ‘Away with me, Iohn, thou shalt ryde:’ But euer alas! itt could not bee; For Iohn cold neither sitt nor stryde.
  34. But then he had sheets two or three, And bound Iohns boults fast to his ffeete, And sett him on a well good steede, Himselfe on another by him seete.
  35. Then Hobby Noble smiled and loug[h]e, And spoke these worde in mickle pryde: Thou sitts soe finely on thy geldinge That, Iohn, thou rydes like a bryde.
  36. And when they came thorrow Howbrame towne, Iohns horsse there stumbled at a stone; ‘Out and alas!’ cryed Much, the Miller, ‘Iohn, thou’le make vs all be tane.’
  37. ‘But fye vpon thee!’ saies Hobby Noble, ‘Much, the Millar, fye on thee! I know full well,’ sayes Hobby Noble, ‘Man that thou wilt neuer bee.’
  38. And when the came into Howbrame wood, He had Fflanders files two or three To file Iohns bolts beside his ffeete, That hee might ryde more easilye.
  39. Sayes, ‘Iohn, now leape ouer a steede!’ And Iohn then hee lope ouer fiue: ‘I know well,’ sayes Hobby Noble, ‘Iohn, thy ffellow is not aliue.’
  40. Then he brought him home to Mangerton; The lord then he was att his meate; But when Iohn o the Side he there did see, For faine hee cold noe more eate.
  41. He sayes, Blest be thou, Hobby Noble, That euer thou wast man borne! Thou hast feitched vs home good Iohn oth Side, That was now cleane ffrom vs gone.