Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Gordon of Brackley

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.


Gordon of Brackley

By Allan Cunningham (1784–1842)

DOWN Dee side came Inveraye,

Whistling and playing;

And called loud at Brackley gate,

Ere the day dawing,

“Come, Gordon of Brackley,

Proud Gordon, come down;

A sword ’s at your threshold,

Mair sharp than your own.”

“Arise now, gay Gordon,”

His lady gan cry;

“Look, there is bold Inveraye

Driving your kye.”

“How can I go, ladye,

To win them agen?

I have but ae sword,

And rude Inveraye ten.”

“Arise, all my maidens,

With roke and with fan;

How blest had I been

Had I married a man!

Arise, all my maidens,

Take buckler and sword;

Go milk the ewes, Gordon,

And I shall be lord.”

The Gordon sprang up,

Put his helm on his head;

Laid his hand on his sword,

And his thigh on his steed,

And stooped low and said,

As he kissed his young dame,

“There ’s a Gordon rides out

That will never ride hame.”

Wi’ sword and wi’ dagger

He rushed on him rude;

And the gay gallant Gordon

Lies bathed in his blude.

Frae the sources of Dee

To the mouth of the Spey,

The Highlanders mourn for him

And curse Inveraye.

“O, came ye by Brackley,

And what saw ye there?

Was his young widow weeping

And tearing her hair?”

“I came in by Brackley,

I came in, and O,

There was mirth, there was feasting,

But nothing of woe.

“As a rose bloomed the lady,

And blithe as a bride;

Like a bridegroom bold Inveraye

Smiled at her side.

And she feasted him there,

As she ne’er feasted lord,

Though the blood of her husband

Was moist on his sword.”

There ’s grief in the cottage

And tears in the ha’,

For the gay gallant Gordon

That ’s dead and awa’.

To the bush comes the bud,

And the flower to the plain,

But the good and the brave,

They come never again.