377. The Bonnie House o' Airlie

Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

IT fell on a day, and a bonnie simmer day,
  When green grew aits and barley,
That there fell out a great dispute
  Between Argyll and Airlie.

Argyll has raised an hunder men,
  An hunder harness'd rarely,
And he 's awa' by the back of Dunkell,
  To plunder the castle of Airlie.

Lady Ogilvie looks o'er her bower-window,
  And O but she looks warely!
And there she spied the great Argyll,
  Come to plunder the bonnie house of Airlie.

'Come down, come down, my Lady Ogilvie,
  Come down and kiss me fairly:'
'O I winna kiss the fause Argyll,
  If he shouldna leave a standing stane in Airlie.'

He hath taken her by the left shoulder,
  Says, 'Dame, where lies thy dowry?'
'O it 's east and west yon wan water side,
  And it 's down by the banks of the Airlie.'

They hae sought it up, they hae sought it down,
  They hae sought it maist severely,
Till they fand it in the fair plum-tree
  That shines on the bowling-green of Airlie.

He hath taken her by the middle sae small,
  And O but she grat sairly!
And laid her down by the bonnie burn-side,
  Til they plunder'd the castle of Airlie.

'Gif my gude lord war here this night,
  As he is with King Charlie,
Neither you, nor ony ither Scottish lord,
  Durst avow to the plundering of Airlie.

'Gif my gude lord war now at hame,
  As he is with his king,
There durst nae a Campbell in a' Argyll
  Set fit on Airlie green.

'Then bonnie sons I have borne unto him,
  The eleventh ne'er saw his daddy;
But though I had an hunder mair,
  I'd gie them a' to King Charlie!'

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition