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246 TONE-POETRY OF ROBERT BURNS
No. 267. There was five carlins in the Soicth.
Tune : Chevy chase M "Gibbon's Scots Tunes, 1768, iv. p. 108 (adapted).
There was five carlins in the South,
They fell upon a scheme To send a lad to London Town
To bring them tidings hame :
Not only bring them tidings hame, But do their errands there ;
And aiblins gowd and honor baith Might be that laddie's share.
There was Maggie by the banks o' Nith,
A dame wi' pride eneugh; And Marjory o' the monie Lochs,
A carlin auld and teugh :
And Blinkin Bess of Annandale, That dwelt near Solway-side ;
And Whisky Jean, that took her gill In Galloway sae wide;
And Black Joan frae Crichton Peel,
O' gipsy kith an' kinó Five wighter carlins were na found
The South countrie within.
To send a lad to London Town
They met upon a day ; And monie a knight and monie a laird
This errand fain wad gae.
O, monie a knight and monie a laird This errand fain wad gae;
But nae ane could their fancy please, O, ne'er a ane but twae.
The first ane was a belted knight,
Bred of a Border band ; And he wad gae to London Town,
Might nae man him withstand ;
And he wad do their errands weel,
And meikle he wad say; And ilka ane at London court
Wad bid to him gude-day.
Then neist cam in, a soger boy, And spak wi' modest grace ;
And he wad gae to London Town, If sae their pleasure was.
He wadna hecht them courtly gifts, Nor meikle speech pretend;
But he wad hecht an honest heart Wad ne'er desert his friend.
Now, wham to chuse and wham refuse
At strife thir carlins fell; For some had gentlefolks to please,
And some wad please themsel.
Then out spak mim-mou'd Mego'Nith, And she spak up wi' pride,
And she wad send the Soger lad, Whatever might betide.
For the auld gudeman o' London court
She didna care a pin ; But she wad send the Soger lad
To greet his eldest son.