It fell about the Martinmas,
When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
'We maun draw to a hauld.
'And whatna hauld sall we draw to,
My merry men and me?
We will gae to the house of the Rodes,
To see that fair ladye.'
The lady stood on her castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down;
There she was aware of a host of men
Came riding towards the town.
'O see ye not, my merry men a',
O see ye not what I see?
Methinks I see a host of men;
I marvel who they be.'
She ween'd it had been her lovely lord,
As he cam' riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
Wha reck'd nor sin nor shame.
She had na sooner buskit hersell,
And putten on her gown,
Till Edom o' Gordon an' his men
Were round about the town.
They had nae sooner supper set,
Nae sooner said the grace,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
Were lighted about the place.
The lady ran up to her tower-head,
As fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches
She could wi' him agree.
'Come doun to me, ye lady gay,
Come doun, come doun to me;
This night sall ye lig within mine arms,
To-morrow my bride sall be.'
'I winna come down, ye fause Gordon,
I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,--
And he is na far frae me.'
'Gie owre your house, ye lady fair,
Gie owre your house to me;
Or I sall burn yoursell therein,
But an your babies three.'
'I winna gie owre, ye fause Gordon,
To nae sic traitor as thee;
And if ye burn my ain dear babes,
My lord sall mak' ye dree.
'Now reach my pistol, Glaud, my man,
And charge ye weel my gun;
For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher,
My babes, we been undone!'
She stood upon her castle wa',
And let twa bullets flee:
She miss'd that bluidy butcher's heart,
And only razed his knee.
'Set fire to the house!' quo' fause Gordon,
Wud wi' dule and ire:
'Faus ladye, ye sall rue that shot
As ye burn in the fire!'
'Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
I paid ye weel your fee;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
Lets in the reek to me?
'And e'en wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
I paid ye weel your hire;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
To me lets in the fire?'
'Ye paid me weel my hire, ladye,
Ye paid me weel my fee:
But now I'm Edom o' Gordon's man,--
Maun either do or dee.'
O then bespake her little son,
Sat on the nurse's knee:
Says, '`O mither dear, gie owre this house,
For the reek it smothers me.'
'I wad gie a' my goud, my bairn,
Sae wad I a' my fee,
For ae blast o' the western wind,
To blaw the reek frae thee.'
O then bespake the daughter dear,--
She was baith jimp and sma':
'O row me in a pair o' sheets,
A tow me owre the wa'!'
They row'd her in a pair o' sheets,
And tow'd her owre the wa';
But on the point o' Gordon's spear
She gat a deadly fa'.
O bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,
And cherry were her cheeks,
And clear, clear was her yellow hair,
Whereon her red blood dreeps.
Then wi' his spear he turn'd her owre;
O gin her face was wan!
He said, 'Ye are the first that e'er
I wish'd alive again.'
He cam and lookit again at her;
O gin her skin was white!
'I might hae spared that bonnie face
To hae been some man's delight.'
'Busk and boun, my merry men a',
For ill dooms I do guess;--
I cannot look on that bonnie face
As it lies on the grass.'
'Wha looks to freits, my master dear,
Its freits will follow them;
Let it ne'er be said that Edom o' Gordon
Was daunted by a dame.'
But when the ladye saw the fire
Come--flaming o'er her head,
She wept, and kiss'd her children twain,
Says, 'Bairns, we been but dead.'
The Gordon then his bugle blew,
And said, 'Awa', awa'!
This house o' the Rodes is a' in a flame;
I hauld it time to ga'.'
And this way lookit her ain dear lord,
As he came owre the lea;
He saw his castle a' in a lowe,
Sae far as he could see.
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
As fast as ye can dri'e!
For he that's hindmost o' the thrang
Sall ne'er get good o' me.'
Then some they rade, and some they ran,
Out-owre the grass and bent;
But ere the foremost could win up,
Baith lady and babes were brent.
And after the Gordon he is gane,
Sae fast as he might dri'e;
And soon i' the Gordon's foul heart's blude
He's wroken his fair ladye.
Comments about this poem (Edom O'Gordon by Anonymous )
Top 500 Poems
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
William Ernest Henley
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings