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Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall,
My father's ancient seat,
A stranger now must call thee his,
Which gars my heart to greet.
Farewell each friendly well-known face.
My heart has held so dear;
My tenants now must leave their lands,
Or hold their lives in fear.

No more along the banks of Tyne
I'll rove in autumn gray,
No more I'll hear at early dawn
The lav'rocks wake the day.
Then fare thee well, brave Witherington,
And Foster, ever true,
Dear Shaftesbury and Errington
Receive my last adieu.

And fare thee well, George Collingwood,
Since fate has put us down,
If thou and I have lost our lives
Or King has lost his crown.
Farewell, farewell, my lady dear,
Ill, ill, thou counsell'dst me;
I never more may see the babe
That smiles upon your knee.

And fare thee well, my bonny gray steed,
That carried me aye so free;
I wish I had been asleep in my bed
Last time I mounted thee.
The warning bell now bids me cease,
My trouble's nearly o'er,
You sun that rises from the sea
Shall rise on me no more.

Albeit that here in London town
It is my fate to die,
Oh! carry me to Northumberland,
In my father's grave to lie.
There chant my solemn requiem
In Hexham's holy towers;
And let six maids from fair Tynedale
Scatter my grave with flowers.

And when the heads that wear a crown
Shall be laid low like mine,
Some honest hearts may then lament
For Radcliffe's fallen line.
Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall,
My father's ancient seat,
A stranger now must call thee his,
Which gars my heart to greet.

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Source: Bruce and Stokoe, Northumbrian Mistrelsy, Newcastle, 1882

Bruce and Stokoe wrote:

James, Earl of Derwentwater, having unhappily engaged in the rebellion of 1715, was beheaded on Tower Hill on the 24th February, 1716. His youth, his amiability, his rank, his bravery, drew forth the sympathy of the whole nation, but especially the inhabitants of Northumberland.

This song first appeared in Hogg's "Jacobite Relics of Scotland," having been communicated to the editor by Mr Surtees, of Mainsforth. Mr Surtees, in writing to the Ettick Shepherd, says: I send you all I can recover of it, just as I had it." The elegance of the composition, and its resemblance to some of his other poems, renders it more than probable that Mr Surtees was himself the author.

The tune to which this ballad is set is of considerable antiquity. It originally appears in the "commonplace Book" of John Gamble (a musical composer), dated 1659, under the title "My dear and only love take heed."

Roud: 2616 (Search Roud index at VWML)

Related Songs:  Derwentwater (thematic)

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