Oerulfos Galli vocunt, Angli vero wer-wlf dicunt. Wer enim
Anglice virum sonat, wlf hipum." Ot. Imp. De oculis
apertis post peccatum. The learned commentators upon the art
of sorcery differ widely concerning the manner in which the arch-
fiend effects this change upon the persons of his vassals ; whether
by surrounding their bodies with a sort of pelisse of condensed
air, having the form of a wolf ; or whether by some delusion,
affecting the eyes of spectators ; or, finally, by an actual corpo-
real transformation. The curious reader may consult Delrii
Disquisitiones Magico3, p. 188 ; and ^if he pleases) Evvichius
de Natura Sagarum — Fincelius, lib. 2. de Mirac. — Eemigius
lib. 2. de Dcemonolat. — Binsfield. de Confession. Maleficarum ;
not to mention Spondanus, Bodinus, Peucerus, Philippus
Camerarius, Condronchus, Petrus Thyraeus, Bartholomeus
Spineus, Sir George Mackenzie, and King James I., with the
216 .min.>ti:i:l~y 01
'■It wasna warwolf in the wood,
Nor w;is it mermaid in the Bea ;
But it was my wicked step-mother,
And wae and vn ary may she be ! " —
it Monsieur Oufle of Bayle. The Editor presumes, it i«
only since the extirpation of wolves that our British sorceresses
have adopted the disguise of hares, cats, and such more familiar
A will story of a war-wolf, or rather a war-bear, is told in
Torfoeos' History of Hrolfe Kraka. As the original is a scarce
book, little known in this country, some readers may be in-
terested by a short analysis of the tale.
Hriiiiro, King of Upland, had an only son, called Biorno, the
most beautiful and most gallant of the Norwegian youth. At an
advanced period of life, the king became enamoured of a ,l witch
lady, " whom he chose for his second wife. A mutual and tender
affection had, from infancy, subsisted betwixt Biorno and Bera,
the lovely daughter of an ancient warrior. But the new queen
upon her step-son an eye of incestuous passion ; to gratify
which, she prevailed upon her husband, when he set out upon
one of those piratical expeditions, which formed the summer
campaign of a Scandinavian monarch, to leave the prince at home.
In the absence of Hringo, she communicated to Biorno her im-
pure affection, and was repulsed with disdain and violence. The
ra_' of the weird step-mother was boundless. "Hence to the
U ! " she exclaimed, striking the prince with a glove of wolf-
skin ; " Hence to the woods ! subsist only on thy father's herds ;
live pursuing, and die pursued !" From this time the Prince
Biorno was no more seen, and the herdsmen of the king's cattle
soon observed that astonishing devastation was nightly made
among their flocks, by a black bear, of immense size and unusual
ferocity. Every attempt to snare or destroy this animal was
I vain ; and mnen was the unavailing regret for the abaei.ee
THE SCOTTISH BOEDKR. 2-iT
' 0, a heavier weird shall light her oil,
Than ever fell on vile woman ;
Her hair shall grow rough, and her teeth grow lang,
And on her four feet t/hall she gang.
of Biorno, whose delight had been in extirpating beasts of prey.
Bera, the faithful mistress of the young prince, added her tears
to the sorrow of the people. As she was indulging her melan-
choly, apart f r om society, sha was alarmed by the approach of
the monstrous bear, which was the dread of the whole country.
Unable to escape, she waited its approach, in expectation of in-
stant death ; when, to her astonishment, the animal fawned upon
her, rolled himself at her feet, and regarded her with eyes, in
which, spite of the horrible transformation, she still recognised
the glances of her lost lover. Bera had the courage to follow
the bear to his cavern, where, during certain hours, the spell
permitted him to resume his human shape. Her love overcame
her repugnance at so strange a mode of life, and she continued
to inhabit the cavern of Biorno, enjoying his society during the
periods of his freedom from enchantment. One day, looking
sadly upon his wife, " Bera," said the prince, "the end of my
life approaches. My flesh will soon serve for the repast of my
father and his courtiers. But do thou beware lest either the
threats or entreaties of my diabolical step-mother induce thee to
partake of the horrid banquet. So thou shalt safely bring forth
three sons, who shall be the wonder of the North." The spell
now operated, and the unfortunate prince sallied from his cavern
to prowl among the herds. Rera followed him, weeping, and at a
distance. The clamour of the chase was now heard. It was the
old king, who, returned from his piratical excursion, had col-
lected a strong force to destroy the devouring animal which
ravaged his country. The poor bear defended himself gallantly,
slaying many dogs, and some huntsmen. At length wearied out,
he sought protection at the feet of his father. But his suppli-
c-i»ing gestures were in vain, nud the eyes of paternal affectioD
248 MINSTRELSY OF
" None shall take pity her upon ;
In "Wormeswood she aye shall won ;
And relieved shall she never be,
Till St M ungo 1 come over the s.a." —
And, sighing, said that weary wight,
" I doubt that day I'll never see ! "
proved more dull than those of love. Biorno died l>y the lance
of his father, and his flesh was prepared for the royal banquet.
Bera was recognised, and hurried into the queen's presence. The
sorceress, as Biorno had predicted, endeavoured to prevail upon
Bera to eat of what was then esteemed a regal dainty. Entreaties
and threats being in vain, force was, by the queen's command,
employed for this purpose, and Bera was compelled to swallow
one morsel of the bear's flesh. A second was put into her mouth,
but she had an opportunity of putting it aside. She was then
dismissed to her father's house. Here, in process of time, she
was delivered of three sons, two of whom were affected variously,
in person and disposition, by the share their mother had been
compiled to take in the feast of the king. The eldest, from his
middle downwards, resembled an elk, whence he derived the
name of Elgford. lie proved a man of uncommon strength, but
of savage manners, and adopted the profession of a robber.
Thorer, the second son of Bera, was handsome and well -shaped)
saving that he had the foot of a dog, from which he obtained the
appellation of Houndsfoot. But Bodvar, the third son, was a
mode! of perfection in mind and body. He revenged upon the
necromantic queen the death of his father, and became the most
celebrated champion of his age. — Ilistoria Drolfi Kralccc Ifaffnia;,
1715. [The curious reader is referred to "The ancient English
Romance of WilKam and the Werwolf, edited from an unique
copy in King's College Library, Cambridge, with an Introduction
by Frederick Madden, Esq. ; " printed for the Roxburghe Clut
in 1882.— &fc]
1 St Mungo— St Kentigern.
THE SCOTTISH HOKDEIl. 2 49
LOKD THOMAS AND FAIR ANNIE.
NOW FIEST PUBLISHED IN A PERFECT STATE.
This ballad is now, for the first time, published in
a perfect state. A fragment, comprehending the 2d,
4th, 5th, and 6th verses, as also the 17th, has appeared
in several collections. The present copy is chiefly
taken from the recitation of an old woman, residing
near Kirkhill, in West Lothian ; the same from whom
were obtained the variations in the tale of Tamlane,
and the fragment of the Wife of Usher's Well, which
is the next in order.
The tale is much the same with the Breton romance,
called Lay le Frain, or the Song of the Ash. Indeed,
the Editor is convinced, that the farther our researches
are extended, the more we shall see ground to believe,
that the romantic ballads of later times are, for the most
part, abridgments of the ancient metrical romances,
narrated in a smoother stanza and more modern lan-
guage. A copy of the ancient romance alluded to is
preserved in the invaluable collection (W. 4. 1.) of the
Advocates' Library, and begins thus :
2.'" .MINSTKKLSY OK
"We redeth oft and findeth y write
And this clerkes wele it wile
Laves that ben in harping
Ben yfound of ferli thing
Bom both of wer and some of we
Sum of joye and mirthe also
And sum of trecherie and j
Of old aventours that fel while
And sum of bou'-des and ribaudy
And many ther beth of faery
Of al thinges that men seth
Maist o' love forsoth yai beth.
"In Breytene bi hold time
This layes were wrought to seithe this rime
When kinges might our y here
Of ani mervailes that ther wer
They token a harp in glee and game
And maked a lay and gaf it name
Now of this aventours that weren y falle
T can tell sum ac nought alle
Ac herkeneth Lordinges sothe to sain
I chil you tel Lay Le Frain
Befel a cas in Breteyne
Whereof was made Lay Le Frain
In Ingliche for to tellen y wis
Of ane ashe forsothe it is
On ane ensammple fair with alle
That sumtyme was bifalle," &c.
A ballad, agreeing in every respect with that which
follows, exists in the Danish collection of ancient songs,
entitled Kaempe Viser. It is called Skioen Anna, i. e.
Fair Annie; and has been translated literally by
Miy learned friend, Mr Robert Jamieson. — See hia
THE SCOTTISH BOEDER. 251
" Popular Ballads," Edin. 1806, vol. ii. p. 100. This
work contains many original and curious observations
on the connexion between the ancient poetry of Britain
and of the northern nations.
252 MINSTRELSY <»F
LORD THOMAS AND FAIR ANNIE.
" It's narrow, narrow, make your bed,
And learn to lie your lane ;
For I'm gaun o'er the sea, Fair Annie,
A braw bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear ;
Wi' you I ne'er got nane.
" But wha will bake my bridal bread,
Or brew my bridal ale 1
And wha will welcome my brisk bride,
That I bring o'er the dale ?"—
" It's I will bake your bridal bread,
And brew your bridal ale ;
And I will welcome your brisk bride,
That you bring o'er the dale." —
" But she that welcomes my brisk bride
Maun gang like maiden fair ;
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
And braid her yellow hair." —
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 253
" But how can I gang maiden-like,
When maiden I am nane ?
Have I not born seven sons to thee,
And am with child again I" —
She's ta'en her young son in her arms,
Another in her hand ;
And she's up to the highest tower,
To see him come to land.
" Come up, come up, my eldest son,
And look o'er yon sea-strand,
And see your father's new-come bride
Before she come to land." —
" Come down, come down, my mother dear,
Come frae the castle-wa' !
I fear, if langer ye stand there,
Ye'll let yoursell down fa'." —
And she gaed down, and farther down,
Her love's ship for to see ;
And the topmast and the mainmast
Shone like the silver free.
And she's gane down, and farther down,
The bride's ship to behold ;
And the topmast and the mainmast
They shone just like the gold.
254 MINBTHSLBY Olf
She's ta'en her seven sons iu her hand ;
I wot she didna fail !
She met Lord Thomas and his bride,
As they came o'er the dale.
'• You're welcome to your house, Lord Thomas ;
You're welcome to your land ;
You're welcome, with your fair ladye,
That you lead by the hand.
" You're welcome to your ha's, ladye,
You're welcome to your bowers ;
You're welcome to your hame, ladye,
For a' that's here is yours." —
" I thank thee, Annie ; I thank thee, Annie ;
Sae dearly as I thank thee ;
You're the likest to my sister Annie,
That ever I did see.
" There came a knight out o'er the sea,
And steal'd my sister away ;
The shame scoup 1 in his company,
And land where'er he gae !" —
She hang ae napkin at the door,
Another in the ha' ;
1 S'rouv — Go. or rather fly.
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 255
And a' to wipe the trickling tears,
Sae fast as they did fa'.
And aye she served the lang tables
With white bread and with wine ;
And aye she drank the wan water,
To had her colour fine. 1
And aye she served the lang tables,
With white bread and with brown ;
And aye she turn'd her round about,
Sae fast the tears fell down.
And he's ta'en down the silk napkin,
Hung on a silver pin ;
And aye he wipes the tear trickling
Adown her cheek and chin.
And aye he turn'd him round about,
And smiled amang his men,
Says — " Like ye best the old ladye,
Or her that's new come hame 1 " —
When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
And a' men bound to bed,
Lord Thomas and his new-come bride,
To their chamber they were gaed.
1 To keep her from changing countenance.
Annie made her bed a little forbye,
T<> heat what they might say ;
• And ever alas !" fair Annie cried,
" That I should Bee this day !
"Gin my Bevea Bona were seven young r
Running on the castle-wa',
And I were a giey cat my sell,
I soon would worry them a'.
" Gin my seven sons were seven young hares,
Running o'er yon lilly lee,
And I were a grew hound mysell,
Soon worried they a' should be." —
And wae and sad fair Annie sat,
And drearie was her sang ;
And ever, as she sobb'd and grat,
"Wae to the man that did the wrang !"—
" My gown is on," said the new-come bride,
" My shoes are on my feet,
And I will to fair Annie's chamber,
And see what gars her greet.
" What ails ye, what ails ye, Fair Annie,
That ye make sic a moan ?
Has your wine barrels cast the girds,
Or is your white bread gone 1
THE SCOTTISH BOEDER. 257
" O wha was't was your father, Annie,
Or wha was't was your mother ?
And had you ony sister, Annie,
Or had you ony brother % " —
" The Earl of Weniyss was my father,
The Countess of Wemyss my mother :
And a' the folk about the house,
To me were sister and brother." —
" If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
I wot sae was he mine;
And it shall not be for lack o' gowd,
That ye your love sail tyne. —
"For I have seven ships o' mine ain,
A' loaded to the brim ;
And I will gie them a' to thee,
Wi' four to thine eldest son.
But thanks to a' the powers in heaven,
That I gae maiden hame ! "
258 MINSTRELSY OK
THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL.
NEVER BEFORE FUBLISHED.
There lived a wife at Usher's Well,
And a wealthy wife was she,
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
And sent them o'er the sea.
They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely ane,
When word came to the carline wife,
That her three sons were gane.
They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife,
That her sons she'd never see.
THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL.
There lived a wife at Usher's well, And a
wealthy wife was she ; She had three stout and
Wife of Usher's Well.
THE WIFE OF r-IIIIK's WELL, CONTIMKI).
j£U j fr fefe jj^bJEEy
irt sons, And 8be 8en1 them o'er the sea.
tt v >
Wife of Usher's Well.
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 259
" I wish the wind may never cease, 1
Nor fishes 2 in the flood,
Till my three sons come hame to me,
In earthly flesh and blood ! " —
It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are lang and mirk,
The carline wife's three sons came hame,
And their hats were o' the birk.
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in ony sheugh ;
But at the gates o' Paradise,
That birk grew fair eneugh. 3
1 The sense of this verse is obscure, owing, probably, to corrup-
tion by reciters. It would appear that the mother had sinned in
the same degree with the celebrated Lenore.
2 Query. Should we not read, for fishes here, fashes — i. e.
troubles ?— Ed.]
3 The notion, that the souls of the blessed wear garlands,
seems to be of Jewish origin. At least in the Maase-iooh, there
is a Rabbinical tradition to the following effect : —
"It fell out, that a Jew, whose name was Ponim, an ancient
man, whose business was altogether about the dead, coming to
the door of the school, saw one standing there, who had a gar-
land upon his head. Then was Rabbi Ponim afraid, imagining
it was a spirit. Whereupon he, whom the Rabbi saw, called
out to him, saying, ' Be not afraid, but pass forward. Dost
thou not know me?' Then said Rabbi Ponim, 'Art thou not
2G0 IMNSTBBLBY Of
"Blow ap the tin', iny maidens !
Bring water from the well !
For a' my house BhaU feast this night,
Since my three sons are will. —
And she has made to them a bed,
She'.- made it large and wi
he whom I buried y. t. rl.iy ? And he was answered, 'Yea, 1
am he.' Upon which Rabbi I'onim said, 'Why coraest thou
hither ? How fareth it with thee in the other world V And the
apparition made answer, 'It goeth well with me, and I am in
high esteem in Paradise.' Then said the Rabbi, 'Thou wert but
looked upon in the world as .an insignificant Jew. What good
work didst thou do, that thou art thus esteemed ? ' The appari-
tion answered, ' I will tell thee : the reason of the esteem I am
in, is, that I rose every morning early, and with fervency uttered
my prayer, and offered the grace from the bottom of my heart ;
for which reason I now pronounce grace in Paradise, and am well
respected. If thou doubtest whether I am the person, I will
shew thee a token that will convince thee of it. Yesterday, when
thou didst clothe me in my funeral attire, thou didst tear my
sleeve.' Then asked Babbi Ponim, 'What is the meaning of
that garland ? ' The apparition answered, ' I wear it, to the end
the wind of the world may not have power over me; for it con-
of excellent herbs of Paradise.' Then did Rabbi Ponim
mend the sleeve of the deceased ; for the deceased had said, that
if it was not mended, he should be ashamed to be seen amongst
others, whose apparel was whole. And then the apparition
vanished. Wherefore, let every one utter his prayer with
fervency ; for then it shall go well with him in the other world.
And let care be taken that no rent, nor tearing, be left in the
apparel in which the deceased are interred." — Jewish TradiHoM,
abridged from Buxtorf, London, 1732, vol. ii. p. 19.
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 201
And she's ta'en her mantle her about,
Sat down at the bed-side.
Up then crew the red red cock,
And up and crew the gray ;
The eldest to the youngest said,
" Tis time we were away." —
The cock he hadna craw'd but once,
And clapp'd his wings* at a',
Whan the youngest to the eldest said,
" Brother, we must awa. —
" The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
The channerin' * worm doth chide ;
Gin we be mist out o' our place,
A sair pain we maun bide, 2
1 Channerin' — FrettiDg.
s This will remind the German reader of the comic adieu of a
heavenly apparition : —
" Doch sieh ! man schliesst die himmels thur ;
Adieu ! der himmlische Portier
1st streng und halt auf ordnung.' 1
262 MINSTRELSY OF
" Fare ye wecl, my mother dear !
Fareweel to barn and byre !
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass,
That kindles my mother's fire.''
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 263
NEVER BKFORE PUBLISHED.
a copy of this Ballad, materially different from that ivhich
follows, appeared in ' ' Scottish Songs, " 2 vols. Edinburgh,
1792, under the title of Lord Bothwell. Some stanzas have
been transferred from, thence to the present copy, which it
taken down from the recitation of a Lady, nearly related to
the Editor. 1 Some readings have been also adopted from a
third copy, in Mrs Brown's MS., under the title of Child
Brenton. Cospatrich (Comes Patricius) was the designation
of the Earl of Dunbar, in the days of Wallace and Bruce.
Cospatrick has sent o'er the faem ;
Cospatrick brought his laclye hame ;
And fourscore ships have come her wi',
The ladye by the grene-wood tree.
There were twal' and twal' wi' baken bread,
And twal' and twal' wi' gowd sae reid,
And twal' and twal 1 wi' bouted flour,
And twal' and twal' wi' the paramour.
1 [Miss Christian Rutherford, sister to Sir Walter Scott's
mother. — Ed.]
26 l MINSTKKI.SY OF
Sweet Willy was a widow's son.
And at her stirrup he did run ;
And she was clad in the finest pall,
But aye she let the tears down fall.
" is your saddle set aw rye ]
Or rides your steed for you ower high ?
Or are you mourning, in your tide,
That you suld be Cospatrick's bride ?" —
" I am not mourning, at this tide,
That I suld be Cospatrick's bride ;
But I am sorrowing in my mood,
That I suld leave my mother good.
" But, gentle boy, come tell to me,
What is the custom of thy countrie 1" —
" The custom thereof, my dame," he says.
•• Will ill a gentle ladye please.
" Seven king's daughters has our lord wedded,
And seven kind's daughters has our lord bedded ;
But he's cutted their breasts frae their breast-bane,
And sent them mourning hame again.
" Yet, gin you're sure that you're a maid,
Ye may gae safely to his bed ;
But gif o' that ye be na sure,
Then hire some damsell o' your bour." — ■
THE SCOTTISH BOEDER. 265
The ladye's call'd her bour maiden,
That waiting was into her train ;
" Five thousand merks I'll gie to thee,
To sleep this night with my lord for me." —
When bells were rung, and mass was sayne,
And a' men unto bed were gane,
Cospatrick and the bonny maid,
Into a chamber they were laid.
" Now, speak to me, blankets, and speak to me, bed,
And speak, thou sheet, enchanted web ;
And speak up, my bonny brown sword, that winna lie,
Is this a true maiden that lies by me ?"■ —
" It is not a maid that you hae wedded,
But it is a maid that you hae bedded ;
It is a leal maiden that lies by thee,
But not the maiden that it should be." —
wrathfully he left the bed,
And wrathfully his claes on did ;
And he has ta'en him through the ha',
And on his mother he did ca\
" I am the most unhappy man,
That ever was in Christen land !
1 courted a maiden, meik and mild,
And I hae gotten naething but a woman wi' child." —
2GG MINSTRELSY OF
" stay, my son, into this ha',
And sport ye wi' your merrymen a'
And I will to the secret bour,
To see how it fares wi' your paramour." —
The carline she was stark and sture,
She aff the hinges dang the dure ;
" is your bairn to laird or loun,
Or is it to your father's groom 1 " —
" hear me, mother, on my knee,
Till my sad story I tell to thee :
we were sisters, sisters seven,
We were the fairest under heaven.
" It fell on a summer's afternoon,
When a' our toilsome task was done.
We cast the kevils us amang,
To see which suld to the grene-wood gang.
" hon ! alas, for I was youngest,
And aye my wierd it was the hardest !
The kevil it on me did fa',
Whilk was the cause of a' my woe.
" For to the grene-wood I maun gae,
To pu' the red rose and the slae ;
To pu' the red rose and the thyme.
To deck my mother's bour and mine.
THE SCOTTISH BORDER. 267
" I hadna pu'd a flower but ane,
When by there came a gallant hende,
Wi' high-coll'd hose and laigh-coll'd shoon,
And he seem'd to be sum kingis son.
" And be I a maid, or be I nae,
He kept me there till the close o' day ;
And be I a maid, or be I nane,
He kept me there till the day was done.
" He gae me a lock o' his yellow hair,
And bade me keep it ever mair ;
He gae me a carknet i o' bonny beads,
And bade me keep it against my needs.
" He gae to me a gay gold ring,
And bade me keep it abune a' thing.'" — ■
" What did ye wi' the tokens rare,
That ye gat frae that gallant there 'I " —
" O bring that coffer unto me,
And a' the tokens ye sail see." —
" Now stay, daughter, your bour within,
While I gae parley wi' my son.' : —
Carknet— A necklace Thus :
"She threw away her rings and carknet cleen.
Harrison's Translation of Orlando Furioso — Notes on
2G8 MIN. TKl^LSY OF
she has ta'en her thro' the ha',
And on her son began to ca';
" What did ye wi' the bonny beads
1 bade you keep against your need- ?
" What did you wi' the gay gold rin_'
I bade you keep abune a' thing?" —
" I gae them to a ladye gay,
I met on grene-wood on a day.
" But I wad gie a' my halls and tours,
I had that ladye within my bours ;
But I wad gie my very life,
I had that ladye to my wife." —
" Now keep, my son, your ha's and tours,
Ye have the bright burd in your bours ;
And keep, my son, your very life,
Ye have that ladye to your wife." —
Now, or a month was come and gane,
The ladye bare a bonny son ;