Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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THE OUTLAW MURRAY.                    21
forest, a more secure stronghold for an outlawed baron can scarcely be imagined.
" The tradition of Ettrick Forest bears, that the outlaw was a man of prodigious strength, possessing a baton or club, with which he laid lee (i. e. waste) the country for many miles round; and that he was at length slain by Buccleuch, or some of his clan, at a little mount, covered with fir-trees, adjoining to New- ^ ark Castle, and said to have been a part of the garden. A varying tradition bears the place of his death to have been near to the house of the Duke of Buc-cleuch's gamekeeper, beneath the castle; and that the fatal arrow was shot by Scott of Haining, from the ruins of a cottage on the opposite side of Yarrow. There were extant, within these twenty years, some verses of a song on his death. The feud betwixt the Outlaw and the Scots, may serve to explain the asperity with which the chieftain of that clan is han­dled in the ballad.
" In publishing the following ballad, the copy prin­cipally resorted to is one apparently of considerable antiquity, which was found among the papers of the late Mrs. Cockburn of Edinburgh, a lady whose mem­ory will be long honoured by all who knew her. An­other copy, much more imperfect, is to be found in GlenriddePs MSS. The names are in this last miser­ably mangled, as is always the case when ballads are taken down from the recitation of persons living at a distance from the scenes in which they are laid. Mr. Plummer also gave the editor a few additional verses, not contained in either copy, which are thrown into what seemed their proper place. There is yet another copy in Mr. Herd's MSS., which has been occasionally