THERE was five carlins in the South,
They fell upon a scheme,
To send a lad to London town
To bring them tidings hame.--

Nor only bring them tidings hame,
But do their errands there;
And aiblins gowd and honor baith
Might be that laddie's share.--

There was Maggy by the banks o' Nith,
A dame wi' pride enough;
And Marjory o' the mony lochs,
A Carlin auld and teugh:

And blinkin Bess of Annandale
That dwelt on Solway-side;
And Brandy Jean that took her gill
In Galloway sae wide:

And Black Joan frae Crighton-peel,
O' gipsey kith an' kin:
Five wighter Carlins were na found
The South Coontrie within.---

To send a lad to London town,
They met upon a day;
And mony a knight and mony a laird
That errand fain wad gae.---

O mony a knight and mony a laird
That errand fain wad gae;
But nae ane could their fancy please,
O ne'er a ane but tway. ------

The first ane was a belted knight,
Bred of a Border band,
And he wad gae to London town,
Might nae man him withstand.------

And he wad do their errands weel,
And meikle he wad say;
And ilka ane at London Court
Wad bid to him, Gude-day!

The neist cam in a Sodger-boy
And spak wi' modest grace,
And he wad gang to London town,
If sae their pleasure was.-----

He wad na hecht them courtly gifts,
Nor meikle speech pretend;
But he wad hecht an honest heart
Wad ne'er desert his friend.---

Now wham to chuse, and wham refuse,
At strife thir Carlins fell;
For some had Gentle Folk to please,
And some wad please themsel.--------

Then up spak mim-mou'd Meg o' Nith,
And she spak up wi' pride,
And she wad send the Sodger-lad,
Whatever might betide.--------

For the Auld Gudeman o' London Court,
She didna care a pin;
But she wad send the Sodger-lad
To greet his eldest son.--------

Then started Bess of Annandale,
A deadly aith she ‘s taen,
And swore a deadly aith,
That she was vote the Border-knight,
Says, “I will send the belted knight
Tho’ she should vote her lane. --------
Spite o’ you carlins baith

' For far-off fowls hae feathers fair,
And fools o' change are fain;
But I hae tried this Border-knight,
I'll try him yet again.'--------

Says black Joan frae Crighton-peel,
A Carlin stoor and grim;
‘The Auld Gudeman, or Young Gudeman,
For me may sink or swim

For fools will prate o’ Right, and Wrang,
While knaves laugh them to scorn;
But the Sodger’s friends hae blawn the best,
But wha blaws best the horn shall win,
So he shall bear the horn.’----
I'll spier nae courtier's leave.

Then Brandy Jean spak o’er her drink,
' Ye weel ken, kimmers a',
The Auld Gudeman o' London Court,
His back 's been at the wa':

' And mony a friend that kiss'd his caup,
Is now a fremit wight;
But it 's ne'er be sae wi' Brandy Jean,
We'll send the Border-knight.' --------

Then slaw rase Marjory o' the lochs,
And wrinkled was her brow,
Her ancient weed was russet-grey,
Her auld Scots heart was true.--------

' There 's some Great Folk set light by me,
I set as light by them;
But I will send to London town
Whom I lo'e best at hame.'----

So how this weighty plea may end,
Nae mortal wight can tell:
God grant the king, and ilka man,
May look weel to themsel.----