Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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164 lord maxwell's goodnight.
to possess himself of the bonds of manrent, which he delivered to his chief. The petty warfare betwixt the rival barons was instantly renewed. Buccleuch, a near relation of Johnstone, came to his assistance with his clan, ' the most renowned freebooters, [says a historian,] the fiercest and bravest warriors among the Border tribes.' With Buccleuch also came the Elliots, Armstrongs, and Graemes. Thus reinforced, Johnstone surprised and cut to pieces a party of the Maxwells, stationed at Lochmaben. On the other hand, Lord Maxwell, armed with the royal authority, and numbering among his followers all the barons of Nithsdale, displayed his banner as the King's lieu­tenant, and invaded Annandale at the head of two thousand men. In those days, however, the royal auspices seem to have carried as little good fortune as effective strength with them. A desperate conflict, still renowned in tradition, took place at the Dryffe Sands, not far from Lockerby, in which Johnstone, although inferior in numbers, partly by his own con­duct, partly by the valour of his allies, gained a de­cisive victory. Lord Maxwell, a tall man, and heavily armed, was struck from his horse in the flight, and cruelly slain, after the hand, which he stretched out for quarter, had been severed from his body. Many of his followers were slain in the battle, and many cruelly wounded, especially by slashes in the face, which wound was thence termed a ' Lockerby lick.' The Barons of Lag, Closeburn, and Drumlanrig, escaped by the fleetness of their horses; a circum­stance alluded to in the following ballad.
"John, Lord Maxwell, with whose ' Goodnight' the reader is here presented, was son to him who fell at

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