The Ballad: “Hughie the Graeme”


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Hughie the Graeme


Gude lord Scroope's to the hunting gane;
He has ridden o'er moss and muir;
And he has grippit Hughie the Greeme,
For stealing o' the bishop's mare.

“Now, good lord Scroope, this may not be!
Here hangs a broad sword by my side;
And if that thou canst conquer me.
The matter it may soon be tryed.”

“I ne'er was afraid of  a traitor thief;
Although thy name be Hughie the Graeme,
I'll make thee repent thee of thy deeds,
If God but grant me life and time.”

“Then do your worst now, good lord Scroope,
And deal your blows as hard as you can!
It shall be tried, within an hour,
Which of us two is the better man.”

But as they were dealing their blows so free,
And both so bloody at the time,
Over the moss came ten yeomen so tall,
All for to take brave Hughie the Graeme.

Then they hae grippit Hughie the Graeme,
And brought him up through Carlisle town,
The lasses and lads stood on the walls.
Crying, “Hughie the Graeme, thou'se ne'er gae down!”

Then hae they chosen a jury of men,
The best that were in Carlisle town.
And twelve of them cried out at once, '
“Hughie the Graeme, thou must gae down!”

Then up bespake him gude lord Hume,
As he sat by the judge's knee,
“Twentie white owsen, my gude lord,
If you'll grant Hughie the Graeme to me.”

“O no, O no, my gude lord Hume!
For sooth and sae it manna be;
For, were there but three Graemes of the name,
They suld be hanged a’ for me.”

’Twas up and spake the gude lady Hume,
As she sate by the judge's knee,
“A peck of white pennies, my gude lord judge,
If you'll grant Hughie the Graeme to me.”

“O no,O no, my gude lady Hume!
Forsooth and so it mustna be;
Were he but the one Graeme of the name,
He suld be hanged high for me.”

“If I be guilty,” said Hughie the Graeme,
“Of me my friends shall hae small talk;”
And he has loup'd fifteen feet and three,
Though his hands they were tied behind his back.

He looked over his left shoulder.
And for to see what he might see;
There was he aware of his auld father.
Came tearing his hair most piteouslie.

“O hald your tongue, my father,” he says,
“And see that ye dinna weep for me!
For they may ravish me o' my life,
But they canna banish me fro' heaven hie.”

“Fare ye weel, fair Maggie, my wife!
The last time we came ower the muir,
’Twas thou bereft me of my life,
And wi' the bishop thou play'd the whore.

“Here, Johnie Armstrang, take thou my sword,
That is made o' the metal sae fine;
And when thou comest to the English side.
Remember the death of Hughie the Graeme.”