Sir Hugh In The Grime's Downfall

A poem by Frank Sidgwick

The Text given here is comparatively a late one, from the Roxburghe collection (iii. 456). An earlier broadside, in the same and other collections, gives a longer but curiously corrupted version, exhibiting such perversions as 'Screw' for 'Scroop,' and 'Garlard' for 'Carlisle.'


The Story in its full form relates that Sir Hugh in the Grime (Hughie Graeme or Graham) stole a mare from the Bishop of Carlisle, by way of retaliation for the Bishop's seduction of his wife. He was pursued by Lord Scroop, taken, and conveyed to Carlisle and hanged.

Scott suggested that Hugh Graham may have been one of four hundred Borderers accused to the Bishop of Carlisle of various murders and thefts about 1548.


SIR HUGH IN THE GRIME'S DOWNFALL

1.
Good Lord John is a hunting gone,
Over the hills and dales so far,
For to take Sir Hugh in the Grime,
For stealing of the bishop's mare.
He derry derry down

2.
Hugh in the Grime was taken then
And carried to Carlisle town;
The merry women came out amain,
Saying, 'The name of Grime shall never go down.'

3.
O then a jury of women was brought,
Of the best that could be found;
Eleven of them spoke all at once,
Saying 'The name of Grime shall never go down.'

4.
And then a jury of men was brought,
More the pity for to be!
Eleven of them spoke all at once,
Saying 'Hugh in the Grime, you are guilty.'

5.
Hugh in the Grime was cast to be hang'd,
Many of his friends did for him lack;
For fifteen foot in the prisin he did jump,
With his hands tyed fast behind his back.

6.
Then bespoke our good Lady Ward,
As she set on the bench so high;
'A peck of white pennys I'll give to my lord,
If he'll grant Hugh Grime to me.

7.
'And if it be not full enough,
I'll stroke it up with my silver fan;
And if it be not full enough,
I'll heap it up with my own hand.'

8.
'Hold your tongue now, Lady Ward,
And of your talkitive let it be!
There is never a Grime came in this court
That at thy bidding shall saved be.'

9.
Then bespoke our good Lady Moor,
As she sat on the bench so high;
'A yoke of fat oxen I'll give to my lord,
If he'll grant Hugh Grime to me.'

10.
'Hold your tongue now, good Lady Moor,
And of your talkitive let it be!
There is never a Grime came to this court
That at thy bidding saved shall be.'

11.
Sir Hugh in the Grime look'd out of the door,
With his hand out of the bar;
There he spy'd his father dear,
Tearing of his golden hair.

12.
'Hold your tongue, good father dear,
And of your weeping let it be!
For if they bereave me of my life,
They cannot bereave me of the heavens so high.'

13.
Sir Hugh in the Grime look'd out at the door;
Oh, what a sorry heart had he!
There he spy'd his mother dear,
Weeping and wailing 'Oh, woe is me!'

14.
'Hold your tongue now, mother dear,
And of your weeping let it be!
For if they bereave me of my life,
They cannot bereave me of heaven's fee.

15.
'I'll leave my sword to Johnny Armstrong,
That is made of mettal so fine,
That when he comes to the border-side
He may think of Hugh in the Grime.'

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