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Death of de la Beaute

traditional ballad

In Fifteen hundred and seventeen
after the Incarnation
Events befel which cast a slur
Upon the Scottish nation.

The belted Home, a Baron bold,
To Edinburgh trysted was;
Tried and condemned by Albany's might
A might above the law

His office of Warden they have given
To Francis D'Arcy, knight
The Merse Homes swore to be revenged.
That they should have their right.

To Langton Castle D'Arcy went
A tumult there to quell.
When Wedderburn heard of this
His vassals all did call.

Now words by blows succeeded were
And D'Arcy looked around;
He saw he was no match for Home
And quickly left the ground.

By Pouterlaney they fled fast
And thro the Corny Sykes*
And by the road that eastward leads
To Duns' Grueldykes.

Tam Boulibacks did follow quick
as his good mare could stand.
At Inglis' Walls she fell dead lame
While D'Arcy met his end,

Sir David Home that stern old carle
Came up and in a trice
As Beautie and his horse were bogged
Did stab him twice or thrice.

Tam Trotter then cut off his head
and tied it by the hair
upon Sir David's saddle bow:
To Dunse they did repair.

And when they came to that fair Town
The people cried God Speed!
Upon the Tolbooth's highest part
They placed Sir D'Arcy's heed.

To Castle Hume they've ta'en the head
And fixed it to the wall
Where it remained mony a day
Till it in pieces fell.

Sir de la Beautie's headless corpse
They put into a grave
On Broomhouse banks without a mass
or prayer his soul to save.

................................................................................................................................................................................

It was reportedly foretold to de la Bastie

"If e'er you cross the Cornie Skye
The corbies will get your banes to pyke"

Corny Sykes = a low lying marshy area with a steam running through it - a very apt description of the area between the present day Gavinton and Pouterlynie.