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When Frennet castle's ivied wafrM.
When birds forsook the sapless boughs,
Then Lady Frennet, vengeful dame,
Did wander frae the ha.',
Among the leaves that fa'.
* " Dewie gloom." This should perhaps be dowic, i. e. melancholy.
Her page, the swiftest of her train,
Had dumb a lofty tree,
Were soughing * mournfullie.
He turn'd his e'en towards the path,
That near the castle lay, Where good Lord John, and Rothemay,
Were riding down the brae.
Swift darts the eagle from the sky,
When prey beneath is seen, As quickly he forgot his hold,
And perch'd upon the green.
"O hie thee, hie thee, lady gay,
"Frae this dark wood awa, "Some visitors, of gallant mein,
"Are hasting to the ha'."
Then round she row'd her silken plaid,
Her feet she did na spare, Until she left the forest skirts,
A lang bow-shot and mair.
"O where, O where, nry good Lord John,
"O tell me where you ride; "Within my castle wall this night
"I hope you mean to bide.
"Kind nobles, will ye but alight,
"In yonder bower to stay; "Saft ease shall teach you to forget
"The hardness of the way."
"Forbear entreaty, gentle dame;
"How can we here remain? "Full well you ken your husband dear
"Was by our father slain.
"The thoughts of which, with fell revenge,
"Your angry bosom swell; "Enrag'd, you've sworn that blood for blood
"Should this black passion quell."
"O fear not, fear not, good Lord John,
"That I will you betray, "Or sue requital for a debt,
"Which nature cannot pay.
"Bear witness, a' ye powers on high, "Ye lights, that 'gin to shine,
"This night shall prove the sacred cord, "That knits your faith and mine."
The lady slee, with honeyed words,
Entic'd thir youths to stay;
Lord John nor Rothemay.
"The present ballad appears to have been suggested by one composed at the time; a few stanzas of which are fortunately remembered by the reverend Mr Boyd, translator of Dante, and were obligingly communicated to the editor by his very ingenious and valuable friend, J. C. Walker, Esq."
The reek it rose, and the flame it flew, And oh! the fire augmented high,
"O help me, help me, Lady Frennet,
"I never ettled * harm to thee; "And if my father slew thy lord,
"Forget the deed, and rescue me."
* Ettled, intended.