Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Alice Boyd - The Witches Going to Market

signed with initials and dated 76 l.l.
watercolour with bodycolour over pencil
48 by 68.5 cm., 19 by 27 in.

This watercolour illustrates the lines of Boyd's intimate friend William Bell Scott, The Witch's Ballad;

'O, I hae come from far away,
From a warm land far away,
A southern land across the sea,
With sailor-lads about the mast,
Merry and canny, and kind to me.

And I hae ben to yon town
To try my luck in yon town;
Nort and Mysie, Elspie too.
Right braw we were to pass the gate,
Wi' gowden clasps on girdles blue.

We walk'd abreast all up the street,
Into the market up the street:
Our hair with marigolds was wound
Our bodices with love-knots laced,
Our merchandise with tansy bound.

Nort had chickens, I had cocks,
Gamesome cocks, loud-crowing cocks:
Mysie ducks, and Elspie drakes,
For a wee groat or a poun:
We lost nae time wi'gives and takes.'

Alice Boyd, William Bell Scott's close friend, owned Penkill Castle, where DGR—twice a visitor in 1868 and 1869—wrote and edited for publication most of his 1870 volume of Poems. This is the only known drawing of Miss Boyd made by DGR.

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