Bothwell’s Bonny Jane Part 2 of 4

Continuing the 1700’s ballad of Bonny Jane. Are you ready? If you missed the first part, you can find it here

Bothwell’s Bonny Jane Part 2

bothwell” If at the castle gate, daughter, ”
At night, thy love so true ”
Should with a courser wait, daughter, . . ”
What, daughter, would’st thou do?”- — ‘

With noiseless step the stairs I’d press, *
Unclose the gate, and mount with glee, •
And ever, as on I sped, would bless *
The abbot of Blantyre Prio-rie !’ — ”

Then, daughter, dry those eyes. so bright; ”
I’ll haste where flows Tweed’s silver stream ; ”
And when thou see’st, at dead of night, ”
A lamp in Blantyre’s chapel gleam, ”

With noiseless step the staircase press, ”
For know, thy lover there will be ; ”
Then mount his steed, haste on, —
and bless ” The abbot of Blantyre Prio-rie !”

Then forth the friar he bent his way,
While lightly danc’d the damsel’s heart ;
Oh! how she chid the length of day,
How sigh’d to see the sun depart!

How joy ‘d she when eve’s shadows came,
How swiftly gain’d her tower so high !- ‘
Does there in Blantyre shine a flame ?-
Ah no !-— the moon deceiv’d mine eye !’ —

Again the shades of evening lour; A
gain she hails the approach of night. —
‘ Shines there a flame in Blantyre tower ? — –
‘ Ah no ! — ’tis but the northern-light !’

O But when arriv’d All-hallow-E’en,
What time the night and morn divide,
The signal-lamp by Jane was seen
To glimmer on the waves of Clyde,

She cares not for her fathers tears,
She feels not for her father’s sighs ;
No voice but headstrong Love’s she hears,
And down the staircase swift she hies.

Though thrice the Brownie* shriek’d — ” Beware !’
Though thrice was heard a dying groan,
She op’d the castle gate. —
Lot there She found the friendly monk alone. — 

Oh ! where is Edgar, father, say?’ — —
” On ! on !” the friendly monk replied ; ”
He fear’d his berry-brown steed should neigh, ”
And waits us on the banks of Clyde.”

Then on they hurried, and on they hied,
Down Bothwell’s slope so steep and green,
And soon they reach’d the river’s side
Alas ! no Edgar yet was seen !

….to be continued

Blantyre Project Comments: This part of the ballad continues on from where we left off. We’ve already learned that Bothwell maiden Jane is secretly in love with Edgar, a Blantyre mill worker. BUT, she’s betrothed to be married to another. The Blantyre Priory monk has consoled her on the death of her father and lifted her spirits slightly. The tale continues above. The monk asks what would she do if a fast horse (courser) was found at the Bothwell Castle gate ? She replies she would sneak out, get on the horse and speed on to Edgar, thanking the monk. The friendly monk says, in that case, dry your eyes, and he would seek out Edgar at the Tweed mill, hatching a plan to get them together. Monk suggests when she sees a lamp in the Blantyre Priory in the dead of night, she should sneak down the Castle staircase, get on the horse and he’ll take her to the river bank, for her lover will be there. With that, the monk left and her spirits lifted, wishing the day away for it to be night. At nightfall, in happier mood, she looks over at the Priory thinking she sees a lamp, but it’s not, its the moonlight. Next night, she looks again, but its not a lamp, its the Northern Lights. However on Halloween, she’s thrilled to see the signal lamp glimmering on the water of the Clyde, shining down from the Priory. With not a thought for anybody or anything else, she runs down the staircase of Bothwell Castle and was greeted by only the monk standing there. No sign of Edgar. A foreboding warning fell upon her (the brownie is a domestic spirit heavy in the air when something is about to happen!). Where is Edgar she asks the monk? He hurries her on to the horse and they head to the banks of the river, down the green slopes of the castle, to where the monk promises Edgar is waiting. But, when they get to the Bothwell edge of the river, Edgar is still not there. The story continues……want to know more?

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