Lord Maxwell's last goodnight
Language: English 
"Adieu, madame, my mother dear,
  But and my sisters three!
Adieu, fair Robert of Orchardstane!
  My heart is wae for thee.
"Adieu, the lily and the rose,
  The primrose fair to see;
Adieu, my ladye, and only joy!
  For I may not stay with thee.
"Though I hae slain the Lord Johnstone,
  What care I for their feid?
My noble mind does still incline -- 
  He was my father's deid.
"Both night and day I labour'd oft
  Of him avenged to be;
But now I've got what lang I sought
  And I may not stay with thee.
"Adieu! Drumlanrig, false wert aye,
  And Closeburn in a band!
The Laird of Lag, frae my father that fled,
  When the Johnstone struck aff his hand.
"They were three brethren in a band -- 
  Joy may they never see!
Their treacherous art, and cowardly heart,
  Has twined my love and me.
"Adieu! Dumfries, my proper place,
  But and Carlaverock fair!
Adieu! my castle of the Thrieve,
  Wi' a' my buildings there!
"Adieu! Lochmaben's gate sae fair,
  And Langholm, where birks there be;
Adieu! my ladye, and only joy,
  For I may not stay wi' thee.
"Adieu! Fair Eskdale up and down,
  Where my puir friends do dwell;
The bangisters will ding them down,
  And will them sair compell.
"But I'll avenge their feid mysell,
  When I come o'er the sea;
Adieu! my ladye, and only joy,
  For I may not stay wi' thee."-- 
"Lord of the land, will you go then
  Unto my father's place,
And walk into their gardens green,
  And I will you embrace.
"There Hamiltons, and Douglas baith,
  Shall rise to succour thee."-- 
"Thanks for thy kindness, fair my dame,
  But I may not stay wi' thee."-- 
Then he tuik aff a gay gold ring,
  Thereat hang signets three;
"Hae, tak thee that, mine ain kind thing,
  And still hae mind o' me!
"But if thou take another lord,
  Ere I come ower the sea,
His life is but a three days' lease,
  Though I may not stay wi' thee."
The wind was fair, the ship was clear,
  That good lord went away;
And most part of his friends were there,
  To give him a fair convey.
They drank the wine, they didna spare
  Even in that gude lord's sight -- 
Sae now he 's o'er the floods sae gray,
  And Lord Maxwell has ta'en his Goodnight.

my father's deid = the death of my father.
twined = parted.
bangisters = lawless folk.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Theodor Fontane (1819 - 1898) , "Lord Maxwell's Lebewohl" ; composed by Martin Plüddemann.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-09-21
Line count: 64
Word count: 394