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I

They were so nyss when men them nigh'd2 He played so schill, and sang so sweet, They squeilit like any gaitis,3

Full loud,

At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.

III.

Of all these maidens mild as meid,4
Was none so gymp as Gillie ;5

As any rose her rude" was red,

Her lyre 7 was like the lily: Fow yellow, yellow was her head,

But she of love was silly,8

Though all her kin had sworn her dead,9 She would have but sweet Willy,

Alone,

At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.

IV.

She scorned Jock and skraipit at him, And murgeon'd him with mocks, to

ΤΟ

While Towsy took a transs ;*
Old Light-foot,3 there he did forleit,

And counterfeited France, 5

He us'd himself as man discreet,

And up took morrice dance
Full loud,

At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.

VI.

Then Stephen came stepping in with stends"

No rink might him arrest,
Splayfoot7 he bobbit up with bends,
For Maud he made request :
He lap till he lay on his lends,8

But rising he was prest,
Till that he hostit,9 at both ends,
For honour of the feast,

That day,

He would have luvit, she would not let At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.

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For frae his thumb they dang a slice,
While he cried barla-fummill,▾
I'm slain,

At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
XVII.

When that he saw his blood so reid,
To flee might no man let him ;
He weend it been for auld done feid;2
He thought one cried, have at him ;
He gart his feet 3 defend his heid,
The far fairer it set him ;4
While he was past out of all pleid,5
He should been swift, that gat him,
Through speed,
At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.

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ANONYMOUS

THE BATTLE OF HARLAW.

THIS ballad, though evidently modernized in the course of transmission to our times, is with reasonable probability supposed to have been written soon after the event which it celebrates. Its title being given in The Complaint of Scotland, 1548, it may therefore be regarded as the earliest specimen of our historical ballads that has been preserved; and though possessing little poetical merit, it is of interest both on account of the narrative which it gives of a conflict which, next to the battle of Flodden, had been most fatal to the nobility of Scotland, and as a vivid picture of that state of political anarchy which James I. after his restoration did so much to remedy.

The special object of the contest was the possession of the ancient and extensive earldom of Ross, which, like so many of our Scottish possessions, became the heritage of an heiress. This lady, Euphemia Ross, was by the mother's side a grand-daughter of the Regent, Robert Duke of Albany. Having resolved upon taking the veil, she was prevailed upon to assign the earldom to her uncle, the Earl of Buchan, Albany's brother. Her aunt Margaret, the next heir, married Donald, Lord of the Isles, and he, in right of his wife, disputed the legality of the assignation. The claims of both parties were submitted to the arbitration of Albany, who decided in favour of his brother, and against Donald. The island Lord did not acquiesce in the

POETRY.

decision, but determined to assert his claims by force. His maritime power was so great as to make him be regarded worthy of an alliance with England; and he was enabled to raise an army of 10,000 land forces amongst his island retainers. With these he marched into Ross, and after defeating and making a prisoner of Angus Dhu, who with a small force opposed him on behalf of Buchan, he resolved to attack his opponent in his native domains. Having advanced the length of the village of Harlaw, ear Inverury, about 12 miles north of Aberdeen, he was met by the Earl of Mar, a natural son of Buchan by a Highland mistress, and who, from having been the leader of a band of Highland banditti, by bold and unscrupulous conduct worthy of his father, the Wolf of Badenoch, as he was significantly called, became Earl of Mar. Nevertheless his early training and service abroad made him a most able soldier, and he regarded the advance of Donald with such contempt as to meet him with about 1000 of the chivalry of the North, fully armed. The battle which ensued was fought 24th July 1411, and its results are graphically, if roughly, detailed in the ballad, the authorship of which is quite unknown. The composition has an amateur appearance, and must have been written by a partisan of the Lowland side, although it does not display so strong a party animus, considering the vehement race animosity which characterized the combatants, as

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