The Feud: A Border Ballad
The Scottish Border Country. Yarrow and Ettrick
A poem "The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow" was used
to illustrate six plates. Gordon used these
plates as a subject for some verses.
He was in Mount Gambier on the Victorian
Border.His poem was printed in 1864.
They sat by their wine in the tavern that night,
But not in good fellowship true:
The Rhenish was strong and the Burgundy bright,
And hotter the argument grew.
'I asked your consent when I first sought her hand,
Nor did you refuse to agree,
Tho' her father declared that the half of his land
Her dower at our wedding should be.'
'No dower shall be given (the brother replied)
With a maiden of beauty so rare,
Nor yet shall my father my birthright divide,
Our lands with a foeman to share.'
The knight stood erect in the midst of the hall,
And sterner his visage became,
'Now, shame and dishonour my 'scutcheon befall
If thus I relinquish my claim."
The brother then drained a tall goblet of wine,
And fiercely this answer he made--
'Before like a coward my rights I resign
I'll claim an appeal to the blade.
"The passes at Yarrow are rugged and wide,
There meet me to-morrow alone;
This quarrel we two with our swords will decide,
And one shall this folly atone.'
They've settled the time and they've settled the place,
They've paid for the wine and the ale,
They've bitten their gloves, and their steps they retrace
To their castles in Ettrick's Vale.