The Ballad: “Lord Maxwell’s Goodnight”


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Lord Maxwell's Goodnight
“Adieu! Madame, my mother dear,	
  But and my sisters three;	

Adieu! fair Robert of Orchardstane,	
  My heart is wae for thee.	

Adieu! the lilye and the rose,	
  The primrose fair to see;	

Adieu! my ladye, and only joy,	
  For I may not stay with thee.

“Though I hae slain the Lord Johnstone,	
  What care I for their feid?	

My noble mind their wrath disdains:—	
  He was my father’s deid.	

Both night and day I laboured oft	
  Of him avenged to be;	

But now I’ve got what lang I sought,	
  And I may not stay with thee.

“Adieu! Drumlanrig, false wert aye,	
  And Closeburn in a band;	

The laird of Lag, frae my father that fled,	
  When the Johnstone struck aff his hand.	

They were three brethren in a band—	
  Joy may they never see!	
Their treacherous art, and cowardly heart,	
  Has twin’d my love and me.

“Adieu! Dumfries, my proper place,	
  But and Carlaverock fair!	

Adieu! my castle of the Thrieve,	
  Wi’ a’ my buildings there:	

Adieu! Lochmaben’s gates sae fair,	
  The Langholm-holm where birks there be;	

Adieu! my ladye, and only joy,	
  For, trust me, I may not stay wi’ thee.

“Adieu! fair Eskdale up and down,	
  Where my puir friends do dwell;	

The Bangisters will ding them down,	
  And will them sair compell.	

But I’ll avenge their feid mysell,	
  When I come o’er the sea;	

Adieu! my ladye, and only joy,	
  For I may not stay wi’ thee.”—

—“Lord of the land!”—that ladye said,	
  “O wad ye go wi’ me,	

Unto my brother’s stately tower,	
  Where safest ye may be!	

There Hamiltons and Douglas baith,	
  Shall rise to succour thee.”—	

—“Thanks for thy kindness, fair my dame,	
  But I may not stay wi’ thee.”—

Then he tuik aff a gay gold ring,	
  Thereat hang signets three;	

—“Hae take thee that, mine ain dear thing,	
  And still hae mind o’ me;	

But, if thou take another Lord,	
  Ere I come ower the sea—	

His life is but a three days lease,	
  Tho’ I may not stay wi’ thee.”—

The wind was fair, the ship was clear,	
  That good Lord went away;	

And most part of his friends were there,	
  To give him a fair convey.	

They drank the wine, they did na spair,	
  Even in that gude Lord’s sight—	

Sae now he’s o’er the floods sae gray,	
  And Lord Maxwell has ta’en his Goodnight.