« AnteriorContinuar »
Thi Gordones sae fercelie did fecht it,
Withouten terror or dreid,
An' dyit thi grand wi' theire bleid.
Then fause Murry feingit to flee them,
An' they pursuit at his backe;
An' turnit wi' Murry in a crack.
Wi' hether i'thir bonnits they turnit,
An' flaid + theire brithers an' theire fatheris,
Then Murry cried, to tak' thi aulde Gordone,
An' mony ane ran wi' speid;
An' out gushit thi fat lurdane's J bleid.
Than they tuke his twa sones quick and hale, §
But sair did our guide quine lament,
• 0, at. f Flaid, affrighted.
X Lurdane's, lording's, lord's.
Erie Murry lost a gallant stout man,
Pittera's sons, an' Egli's far fearit laird,
Erie Huntly mist tenscore o' his bra' men,
Skeenis youngest son, thi pride o' a' the clan.
This bloody fecht wis fercely faucht
Octobris aught an' twinty day; Crystis fyfteen hundred thriscore yeir
An' twa will mark thi deidlie fray.
But now the day maist waefu' came,
For Huntly's gallant stalwart J son
Fyve nobles Gordones wi' him hangit were,
Upon this samen fatal playne; Crule Murry gar't thi waefu' quine luke out,
And see hir lover an' liges slayne.
* Fun, found. f Grite, weep. J Stalwart, stout.
I wis our quine had better frinds;
I wis our countrie better peice; I wis our lords wid na discord;
I wis our weirs* at hame may ceise.
• Weirt, wars.
BATTLE OF HARLAW.
This battle is so circumstantially described by the ballad-monger, that it does not appear necessary to prefix any prose account. The consternation it excited seems to have pervaded all ranks. "Nee cum exteris (says Major) pralium periculosius in tanto numero unquam habitum est; sic quod in schola grammaticali juvenculi ludentes, ad partes oppositas nos solemus retrahere, dicentes nos pralium de Harlaw struere velle."
It is much to be regretted, that the literary history of the ballad is involved in so much uncertainty. We possess no copy which can be proved to be a century old; and yet, if internal evidence may be trusted, we may safely infer, that, with a few modern alterations, it is the identical song alluded to in the " Complaynt of Scotland." It was unluckily first published by Allan Ramsay, whose well-known character for dishonesty in publishing ancient poetry, is in itself a circumstance sufficient to prejudice some against its authenticity. Mr Sibbald, a man of diligence, and its last editor, has indeed discovered from chronology, that it must have been composed subsequent to the year 1511; but chronology is unfortunately the touch-stone of madness in Mr Sibbald. The slaughter alluded to in the second stanza, not to speak of the absurd anachronism, may certainly refer to any Scottish battle with the Henrys of England, as well as to that of Flodden Field; the expression