Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
The Bonnie House o’ Airly
IT 1 fell on a day, and a bonny summer day,
  When the corn grew green and yellow,
That there fell out a great dispute,
  Between Argyle and Airly.
The Duke o’ Montrose has written to Argyle        5
  To come in the morning early,
An’ lead in his men, by the back o’ Dunkeld,
  To plunder the bonnie house o’ Airly.
The lady look’d o’er her window sae high,
  And O but she looked weary!        10
And there she espied the great Argyle
  Come to plunder the bonny house o’ Airly.
‘Come down, come down, Lady Margaret,’ he says,
  ‘Come down, and kiss me fairly,
Or before the morning clear daylight,        15
  I’ll no leave standing stane in Airly.
‘I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle,
  I wadna kiss thee fairly,
I wadna kiss thee, great Argyle,
  Gin you shouldna leave a’ standing stane in Airly.        20
He has ta’en her by the middle sae sma’,
  Says, ‘Lady, where is your drury?’
‘It’s up and down by the bonny burn side,
  Amang the planting o’ Airly.’
They sought it up, they sought it down,        25
  They sought it late and early,
And found it in the bonny balm-tree,
  That shines on the bowling-green o’ Airly.
He has ta’en her by the left shoulder,
  And O but she grat sairly,        30
And led her down to yon green bank,
  Till they plundered the bonny house o’ Airly.
‘But gin my good lord had been at hame,
  As this night he is wi’ Charlie,
There durst na a Campbell in a’ the west        35
  Hae plundered the bonny house o’ Airly.
‘O it’s I hae seven braw sons,’ she says,
  ‘And the youngest ne’er saw his daddy,
And altho’ I had as mony mae,
  I wad gie them a’ to Charlie.’        40
Note 1. From a broadside of 1790, and reprinted by Finlay in his Scottish Ballads, 1808. The ballad related the events of 1640, when the Committee of Estates, of which Montrose was a member, commissioned the Earl of Argyle to “take arms against certain people, among whom was the Earl of Airly, as enemies to religion.” In July, while the Earl of Airly was in England, and his house under the charge of his son Lord Ogilvie, Argyle “pillaged, burned and demolished” it among others. [back]

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