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Captain Car, or, Edom o Gordon

No: 178; variant: 178D

  1. IT fell about the Martinmas, When the wind blew schrile and cauld, Said Edom o Gordon to his men, We maun draw to a hald.
  2. ‘And what an a hald sall we draw to, My merry men and me? We will gae to the house of the Rhodes, To see that fair lady.’
  3. She had nae sooner busket her sell, Nor putten on her gown, Till Edom o Gordon and his men Were round about the town.
  4. They had nae sooner sitten down, Nor sooner said the grace, Till Edom o Gordon and his men Were closed about the place.
  5. 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.
  6. As soon he saw the lady fair, And hir yates all locked fast, He fell into a rage of wrath, And his heart was aghast.
  7. ‘Cum down to me, ye lady fair, Cum down to me; let’s see; This night ye’s ly by my ain side, The morn my bride sall be.’
  8. ‘I winnae cum down, ye fals Gordon, I winnae cum down to thee; I winnae forsake my ane dear lord, That is sae far frae me.’
  9. ‘Gi up your house, ye fair lady, Gi up your house to me, Or I will burn yoursel therein, Bot and your babies three.’
  10. ‘I winnae gie up, you fals Gordon, To nae sik traitor as thee, Tho you should burn mysel therein, Bot and my babies three.’
  11. ‘Set fire to the house,’ quoth fals Gordon, ‘Sin better may nae bee; And I will burn hersel therein, Bot and her babies three.’
  12. ‘And ein wae worth ye, Jock my man! I paid ye weil your fee; Why pow ye out my ground-wa-stane, Lets in the reek to me?
  13. ‘And ein wae worth ye, Jock my man! For I paid you weil your hire; Why pow ye out my ground-wa-stane, To me lets in the fire?’
  14. ‘Ye paid me weil my hire, lady, Ye paid me weil my fee, But now I’m Edom of Gordon’s man, Maun either do or die.’
  15. O then bespake her youngest son, Sat on the nurses knee, ‘Dear mother, gie owre your house,’ he says, ‘For the reek it worries me.’
  16. ‘I winnae gie up my house, my dear, To nae sik traitor as he; Cum weil, cum wae, my jewels fair, Ye maun tak share wi me.’
  17. O then bespake her dochter dear, She was baith jimp and sma; ‘O row me in a pair o shiets, And tow me owre the wa.’
  18. They rowd her in a pair of shiets, And towd her owre the wa, But on the point of Edom’s speir She gat a deadly fa.
  19. O bonny, bonny was hir mouth, And chirry were her cheiks, And clear, clear was hir yellow hair, Whereon the reid bluid dreips!
  20. Then wi his speir he turnd hir owr; O gin hir face was wan! He said, You are the first that eer I wist alive again.
  21. He turned hir owr and owr again; O gin hir skin was whyte! He said, I might ha spard thy life To been some mans delyte.
  22. ‘Busk and boon, my merry men all, For ill dooms I do guess; I cannae luik in that boony face, As it lyes on the grass.’
  23. ‘Them luiks to freits, my master deir, Then freits will follow them; Let it neir be said brave Edom o Gordon Was daunted with a dame.’
  24. O then he spied hir ain deir lord, As he came owr the lee; He saw his castle in a fire, As far as he could see.
  25. ‘Put on, put on, my mighty men, As fast as ye can drie! For he that’s hindmost of my men Sall neir get guid o me.’
  26. And some they raid, and some they ran, Fu fast out-owr the plain, But lang, lang eer he coud get up They were a’ deid and slain.
  27. But mony were the mudie men Lay gasping on the grien; For o fifty men that Edom brought out There were but five ged heme.
  28. And mony were the mudie men Lay gasping on the grien, And mony were the fair ladys Lay lemanless at heme.
  29. And round and round the waes he went, Their ashes for to view; At last into the flames he flew, And bad the world adieu.