THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE 297
you may be sure the old nurse was ready to tell him all the saddest stories.
" Full many a place in evil case Where joy was wont afore, oh! Wi' Humes that dwell in Leader braes, And Scotts that dwell in Yarrow! "
And the old woman would croon her old prophecies, and tell them how Thomas the Rhymer, that lived in Ercildoune, had foretold all this. And she would wish they could find these hidden treasures that the rhymes were full of, and that maybe were lying—who knew ? —quite near them on their own lands.
"Where is the Gold of Fairnilee?" she would cry; "and, oh, Randal! can you no dig for it, and find it, and buy corn out of England for the poor folk that are dying at your doors ?
' Atween the wet ground and the dry The Gold o' Fairnilee doth lie.'
There it is, with the sun never glinting on it; there it may bide till the Judgment-day, and no man the better for it.
' Between the Camp o' Rink And Tweed water clear, Lie nine kings' ransoms For nine hundred year.' "
" I doubt it's fairy gold, nurse," said Randal, "" and would all turn black when it saw the sun.