Anonymous Olde English


Edom O' Gordon - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

It fell about the Martinmas,
Quhen the wind blew shril and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
'We maun draw to a hauld.

'And quhat a hauld sall we draw till,
My mirry men and me?
We wul gae to the house o' the Rodes,
To see that fair ladie.'

The lady stude on hir castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down,
There she was ware of a host of men,
Cum ryding towards the toun.

'O see ze nat, my mirry men a'?
O see ze nat quhat I see?
Methinks I see a host of men:
I marveil quha they be.'

She weend it had been hir luvely lord,
As he cam ryding hame;
It was the traitor Edom o' Gordon,
Quha reckt nae sin nor shame.

She had nae sooner buskit hirsel,
And putten on hir goun,
Till Edom o' Gordon and his men
Were round about the toun.

They had nae sooner supper sett,
Nae sooner said the grace,
Till Edom o' Gordon and his men
Were light about the place.

The lady ran up to hir towir head,
Sa fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches,
She could wi' him agree.

But quhan he see this lady saif,
And hir yates all locked fast,
He fell into a rage of wrath,
And his look was all aghast.

'Cum doun to me, ze lady gay,
Cum doun, cum doune to me;
This night sall ye lig within mine armes,
To-morrow my bride shall be.'

'I winnae cum doun, ze fals Gordon,
I winnae cum doun to thee;
I winnae forsake my ain dear lord,
That is sae far frae me.'

'Give owre zour house, ze lady fair,
Give owre zour house to me,
OR I sall brenn yoursel therein,
Bot and zour babies three.'

'I winnae give owre, ze fals Gordon,
To nae sik traitor as zee;
And if ze brenn my ain dear babes,
My lord sall make ze drie.

'But reach me hether my guid bend-bowe,
Mine arrows one by one;
For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher,
My babes we been undone.'

She stude upon her castle wa',
And let twa arrows flee;
She mist that bluidy butchers hart,
And only raz'd his knee.

'Set fire to the house,' quo' fals Gordon,
All wood wi' dule and ire;
'Fals lady, ze sall rue this deid,
As ze brenn in the fire.'

'Wae worth, wae worth ze, Jock my man,
I paid ze weil zour fee;
Quhy pow ze out the ground-wa' stane,
Lets in the reek to me?

'And ein wae worth ze, Jock my man,
I paid e weil zour hire;
Quhy pow ze out the ground-wa' stane,
To me lets in the fire?'

'Ze paid me weil my hire, lady;
Ze paid me weil my fee;
But now I'm Edom o' Gordons man,
Maun either doe or die.'

O than bespaik hir little son,
Sate on the nourice' knee,
Sayes, 'Mither deare, gi owre this house,
For the reek it smithers me.'

'I wad gie a' my gowd, my childe,
Sae wad I a' my fee,
For ane blast o' the westlin wind,
To blaw the reek frae thee.'

O then bespaik hir dochter dear,
She was baith jim[ and sma:
'O row me in a pair o' sheits,
And tow me owre the wa.'

The rowd hir in a pair o' sheits,
And towd hir owre the wa;
But on the point of Gordons spear
She gat a deadly fa.

O bonnie, bonnie was hir mouth,
And cherry were hir cheiks,
And clear, clear was hir zellow hair,
Whereon the reid bluid dreips.

Then wi' his spear he turnd hir owre;
O gin her face was wan!
He sayd, 'Ze are the first that eir
I wisht alive again.'

He turnd hir owre and owre again;
O gin hir skin was whyte!
'I might ha spared that bonnie face,
To hae been sum mans delyte.

'Busk and boun, my merry man a',
For ill dooms I doe guess;
I cannae luik in that bonny face,
As it lyes on the grass.'

'Thame luiks to freits, my master deir,
Then freits wil follow thame;
Let it neir be said brave Edom o' Gordon
Was daunted by a dame.'

But quhen the ladye see the fire
Cum flaming owre hir head,
She wept and kist her children twain,
Sayd, 'Bairns, we been but dead.'

The Gordon then his bougill blew,
And said, 'Awa', awa';
This horse o' the Rodes is a' in flame,
I hauld it time to ga'.'

O then he spyed hir ain dear lord,
As hee cam owr the lee;
He sied his castle all in blaze
Sa far as he could see.

Then sair, O sair his mind misgave,
And all his hart was wae;
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
So fast as ze can gae.

'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
So fast as ze can drie;
For he that is hindmost of the thrang,
Sall neir get guid o' me.'

Than sum they rade, and sum they rin,
Fou fast out-owr the bent;
But eir the foremost could get up,
Baith lady and babes were brent.

He wrang his hands, he rent his hair,
And wept in teenefu' muid:
'O traitors, for this cruel deid
Ze sall weep teirs o' bluid.'

And after the Gordon he is gane,
Sa fast as he might drie;
And soon i' the Gordon's foul hartis bluid
He's wroken his dear ladie.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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