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Archie o Cawfield

No: 188; variant: 188B

  1. AS I was walking mine alane, It was by the dawning o the day, I heard twa brothers make their maine, And I listned well what they did say.
  2. The eldest to the youngest said, ‘O dear brother, how can this be! There was three brethren of us born, And one of us is condemnd to die.’
  3. ‘O chuse ye out a hundred men, A hundred men in Christ[e]ndie, And we’ll away to Dumfries town, And set our billie Archie free.’
  4. ‘A hundred men you cannot get, Nor yet sixteen in Christendie; For some of them will us betray, And other some will work for fee.
  5. ‘But chuse ye out eleven men, And we ourselves thirteen will be, And we’ill away to Dumfries town, And borrow bony billie Archie.’
  6. There was horsing, horsing in haste, And there was marching upon the lee, Untill they came to the Murraywhat, And they lighted a’ right speedylie.
  7. ‘A smith, a smith,!’ Dickie he crys, ‘A smith, a smith, right speedily, To turn back the cakers of our horses feet! For it is forward we woud be.’
  8. There was a horsing, horsing in haste, There was marching on the lee, Untill they came to Dumfries port, And there they lighted right manfulie.
  9. ‘There[’s] six of us will hold the horse, And other five watchmen will be; But who is the man among you a’ Will go to the Tolbooth door wi me?’
  10. O up then spake Jokie Hall (Fra the laigh of Tiviotdale was he), ‘If it should cost my life this very night, I’ll ga to the Tollbooth door wi thee.’
  11. ‘O sleepst thou, wakest thow, Archie laddie? O sleepst thou, wakest thow, dear billie?’ ‘I sleep but saft, I waken oft, For the morn’s the day that I man die.’
  12. ‘Be o good cheer now, Archie lad, Be o good cheer now, dear billie; Work thow within and I without, And the morn thou’s dine at Cafield wi me.’
  13. ‘O work, O work, Archie?’ he cries, ‘O work, O work? ther’s na working for me; For ther’s fifteen stane o Spanish iron, And it lys fow sair on my body.’
  14. O Jokie Hall stept to the door, And he bended it back upon his knee, And he made the bolts that the door hang on Jump to the wa right wantonlie.
  15. He took the prisoner on his back, And down the Tollbooth stairs came he; Out then spak Dickie and said, Let some o the weight fa on me; ‘O shame a ma!’ co Jokie Ha, ‘For he’s no the weight of a poor flee.’
  16. The gray mare stands at the door, And I wat neer a foot stirt she, Till they laid the links out oer her neck, And her girth was the gold-twist to be.
  17. And they came down thro Dumfries town, And O but they came bonily! Until they came to Lochmaben port, And they leugh a’ the night manfulie.
  18. There was horsing, horsing in haste, And there was marching on the lee, Untill they came to the Murraywhat, And they lihgted a’ right speedilie.
  19. ‘A smith, a smith!’ Dickie he cries, ‘A smith, a smith, right speedilie, To file off the shakles fra my dear brother! For it is forward we wad be.’
  20. They had not filtt a shakle of iron, A shakle of iron but barely three, Till out then spake young Simon brave, ‘Ye do na see what I do see.
  21. ‘Lo yonder comes Liewtenant Gordon, And a hundred men in his company:’ ‘O wo is me!’ then Archie cries, ‘For I’m the prisoner, and I must die.’
  22. O there was horsing, horsing in haste, And there was marching upon the lee, Untill they came to Annan side, And it was flowing like the sea.
  23. ‘I have a colt, and he’s four years old, And he can amble like the wind, But when he comes to the belly deep, He lays himself down on the ground.’
  24. ‘But I have a mare, and they call her Meg, And she’s the best in Christendie; Set ye the prisoner me behind; Ther’ll na man die but he that’s fae!’
  25. Now they did swim that wan water, And O but they swam bonilie! Untill they came to the other side, And they wrang their cloathes right drunk[i]lie.
  26. ‘Come through, come through, Lieutenant Gordon! Come through, and drink some wine wi me! For ther’s a ale-house neer hard by, And it shall not cost thee one penny.’
  27. ‘Throw me my irons, Dickie!’ he cries, ‘For I wat they cost me right dear;’ ‘O shame a ma!’ cries Jokie Ha, ‘For they’ll be good shoon to my gray mare.’
  28. ‘Surely thy minnie has been some witch, Or thy dad some warlock has been; Else thow had never attempted such, Or to the bottom thow had gone.
  29. ‘Throw me my irons, Dickie!’ he cries, ‘For I wot they cost me dear enough;’ ‘O shame a ma!’ cries Jokie Ha, ‘They’ll be good shakles to my plough.’
  30. ‘Come through, come through, Liewtenant Gordon! Come throw, and drink some wine wi me! For yesterday I was your prisoner, But now the night I am set free.’