The Lads of Wamphray
No: 184; variant: 184A
- TWIXT the Girthhead and Langwood-end
Livd the Galiard and Galiard’s men.
- It is the lads of Lethenha,
The greatest rogues among them a’.
- It is the lads of Leverhay,
That drove the Crichtons’ gier away.
- It is the lads o the Kirkhill,
The gay Galiard and Will o Kirkhill,
- But and the lads o Stefenbiggin,
They broke the house in at the riggin.
- The lads o Fingland and Hellbackhill,
They were neer for good, but aye for ill.
- Twixt the Staywood Bass and Langside Hill,
They stelld the broked cow and branded bull.
- It is the lads o the Girthhead,
The diel’s in them for pride and greed.
- . . . .
. . . .
- The Galiard is to the stable gane;
Instead of the Dun, the Blind he’s taen.
- ‘Come out now, Simmy o the Side,
Come out and see a Johnston ride!
- ‘Here’s the boniest horse in a’ Nithside,
And a gentle Johnston aboon his hide.’
- Simmy Crichton’s mounted then,
And Crichtons has raised mony a ane.
- The Galiard thought his horse had been fleet,
But they did outstrip him quite out o sight.
- As soon as the Galiard the Crichton he saw,
Beyond the saugh-bush he did draw.
- The Crichtons there the Galiard hae taen,
And nane wi him but Willy alane.
- ‘O Simmy, Simmy, now let me gang,
And I vow I’ll neer do a Crichton wrang!
- ‘O Simmy, Simmy, now let me be,
And a peck o goud I’ll gie to thee!
- ‘O Simmy, Simmy, let me gang,
And my wife shall heap it wi her hand!’
- But the Crichtons wadna let Willy bee,
But they hanged him high upon a tree.
- O think then Will he was right wae,
When he saw his uncle guided sae.
- ‘But if ever I live Wamphray to see,
My uncle’s death revenged shall be!’
- Back to Wamphray Willy’s gane,
And riders has raised mony a ane.
- Saying, My lads, if ye’ll be true,
Ye’s a’ be clad in the noble blue.
- Back to Nidsdale they are gane,
And away the Crichtons’ nout they hae taen.
- As they came out at the Wallpath-head,
The Crichtons bad them light and lead.
- And when they came to the Biddess-burn,
The Crichtons bad them stand and turn.
- And when they came to the Biddess-strand,
The Crichtons they were hard at hand.
- But when they cam to the Biddess-law,
The Johnstons bad them stand and draw.
- Out then spake then Willy Kirkhill:
‘Of fighting, lads, ye’s hae your fill.’
- Then off his horse Willy he lap,
And a burnishd brand in his hand he took.
- And through the Crichtons Willy he ran,
And dang them down both horse and man.
- O but these lads were wondrous rude,
When the Biddess-burn ran three days blood!
- ‘I think, my lads, we’ve done a noble deed;
We have revengd the Galiard’s blood.
- ‘For every finger o the Galiard’s hand,
I vow this day I’ve killed a man.’
- And hame for Wamphray they are gane,
And away the Crichtons’ nout they’ve taen.
- ‘Sin we’ve done na hurt, nor we’ll take na wrang,
But back to Wamphray we will gang.’
- As they came in at Evanhead,
At Reaklaw-holm they spred abread.
- ‘Drive on, my lads, it will be late;
We’ll have a pint at Wamphray Gate.
- ‘For where eer I gang, or eer I ride,
The lads o Wamphr[a]y’s on my side.
- ‘For of a’ the lads that I do ken,
The lads o Wamphr[a]y’s king o men.’