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They were so nyss" when men them nigh'd? He played so schill," and sang so sweet, They squeilit like any gaitis, 3
While Towsy took a transs ;
Full loud, Old Light-foot,3 there he did forleit,
He us'd himself as man discreet,
And up took morrice dance
Full loud, Was none so gymp as Gillie ;5
At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day. As any rose her rude 6 was red,
VI. Her lyre 7 was like the lily : Fow yellow, yellow was her head, Then Stephen came stepping in with But she of love was silly, 8
stends Though all her kin had sworn her dead, 9
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, And murgeon'd him with mocks, to
That day, He would have luvit, she would not let At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
And Downy till him dragged,
Let be, quoth Jock, and called him Javell, so His limbs were like two rocks, 14
And by the tail him tuggèd ;
The Kensie cleiked to a cavell,
But Lord! how then they lugged,
They parted, manly with a neveil ;
God wot gif hair was rugged,
Between them, O Lord, as he could lanss, 15
At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
Great skaith wes'd to have scared him;
Nice, shy, skittish. 9 Threatened her
death. 3 Screamed like goats.
10 Took him off with 4 The beverage mead. mock curtsys and 5 Tidy, slender waisted
as Gillian, or Juliana. " Hang himself. 6 Complexion of the 12 Valued him not two cheeks.
beetles. 7 Neck and bosom. 13 Cloak or jacket. 8 Happy, or simple.
14 Distaffs, spindle
shanks. 15 As how he could skip-make the bow skip ca the fiddle ?
fashion. 6 Strides. 7 The name of a
8 All his length 9 Coughed. 10 Very nearly the
for “thou devil." 11 Meaning obscure. 12 Pulled each other. 13 Strife. 14 Stir, provoke.
He chesit a flane as did affeir' him;
The t'other said dirdum dardum : 2 Through both the cheikis he thought to
cheir 3 him, Or throw the erss have chard 4 him, But by an akerbraid 5 it came not near him, I can not tell what marr'd him,
There, At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
He hecht' to pierce him at the pap,
Thereon to wed a wedder ;a
It buft4 like any bledder ; 5
And saved him,
IX. With that a friend of his cried, fye!
And up an arrow drew; He forged it so furiously,
The bow in flenders? flew ; So was the will of God, trow I !
For, had the tree been true, Men said, that kend his archery, That he had slain anew,8
That day, At Christ's-Kirk on the green.
XII. The buff so to bousteouslie abaisit7 him,
That he to the erd duscht 8 down ; The other for dead he preissit 9 him,
And fled out of the town : The wives come furth and up they paisit to
him, And fande life in the loun ;" And with three routis 12 they raised him, And curèd him of swoon,
Loos d off a shot with ire ;
The bolt flew o'er the byre ;
A mile beyond a mire ;
Off flint, At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
XIV. With forks and flails they let great flappis,
And flang together like friggis ; 18
XI. Then Lowry as a lion lap,
And soon a flane can fedder ; 14
i Chose an arrow that 9 A giddy young felsuited his purpose.
low. 2 An expression of ironi- 10 Expert, handy.
cal excitement. 11 Fitted up a bow 3 Pierce.
and arrow (tackle) 4 Pierced.
without delay. 5 Acre-breadth.
12 Enraged. 6 Pulled ?
13 The Virgin. 7 Splinters.
14 An arrow feathered. 3 He would have slain enough; ironically.
10 Poised him up. To bet a sheep. 11 Rogue, fellow. 3 A blow on the belly. 12 Bellowings, belchings. 4 Sounded, retorted. 13 Apt, ready. 5 Bladder.
14 Next, nearest. 6 Leather.
15 Aimed at. 7 The blow so greatly 16 Man.
stunned him. 17 Cast from him the 8 To earth was dashed. bow and quiver. 9 For dead then left 18 Attacked each other him.
* Cross spars used in 10 Avoided, escaped. wattle buildings.
II Went between two 2 Struck off blue bonnets,
waggons. 3 Made bridges of those
12 Proved his pru. who fell-trampled dence.
13 Unbruised bones. 4 Uproar.
14 Tall Hugh with a 5 Cudgels.
hazel stick. 6 Riggin; figuratively, 15 To separate, rum
men's backs and bled or wrestled ribs.
through them. 7 Love lies.
16 Tumbled. 8 Let drive at each 17 Useless tike, figu
other with groans. ratively applied. 9 Stangs, poles. 18 Wranglers to mix.
Parley, hold off! 2 Old feud. 3 Caused, he ran off. 4 It became him better. 5 Beyond challenge. 6 Cobbler. 7 Swelled, filled. 8 Besmeared. 9 Groaned. 10 Ghost. 11 Golden.
12 Laced, chained in
love. 13 Surrendered, mean
ing obscure. 14 No joke. 15 Knotted, knocked
their heads (?) 16 The ambush burst
out on him. 17 Attacked him with
bows and arrows.
Syne traitourly? behind his back,
Behind, At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
XX. Two, that were heidsmen’ of the herd,
Ran upon other like rammis ; Than followit feymen,3 right unaffeir'd,
Bet on with barrow trammis ;4 But where their gobbis were ungeird, 5
They got upon the gammis ;6 While bloody barkit was their beard ;7 As they had worreit lammis
Maist like, At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
XXII. When they had beirit,' like baited bulls,
And branewod, brynt in bailis, They wox as meek as any mulis,
That mangit were with mailis :3 For faintness thir forfoughten fulis
Fell down, like flauchtir failis ;4 Fresh men came in and hail'd the
dulis5 And dang them down in dailis, 6
Bedene,7 At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
When all the younkers yokkit ;8
Friekes 10 to the field they flockit : The carls with clubs could other quell
While blood at breists out bockit ;" So rudely rang the common bell, While all the steeple rockit,
For reird, 12 At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
Came forth, to fell a futher ;8
Right now, wald slain my bruther; His wife bade him go home, good
glaiks, And so did Meg, his mother; He turn'd and gave them both their II
For fear, At Christ's-Kirk on the green, that day.
* Then treacherously.
6 Gums. 2 Headmen, or herds. 7 Clotted with blood. men.
8 Youngsters en. 3 Feymen, men under a
gaged in strife. fatality; or faemen, 9 Flashes of ligh:foes.
ning. 4 Shaftsofa wheelbarrow. 10 Quarrelsome fel5 Gabs were unhar
lows. nessed, that is,
11 Belched, flowed. unprotected.
' Roared, bellowed. 6 Knocked then
8 Cut down more. ing burdens, mails. 9 Hanged knaves. 4 Thin turf used for 10 Silly,or idiotic
perroofing, cut with a sons. spade for that pur
11 A drubbing pose.
12 Beat, strike, 5 A phrase used when a game of football is
12 The uproar.
THE BATTLE OF HARLAW. decision, but determined to assert his
claims by force. His maritime power This ballad, though evidently modern- was so great as to make him be reized in the course of transmission to our garded worthy of an alliance with times, is with reasonable probability sup- England; and he was enabled to raise posed to have been written soon after an army of 10,000 land forces amongst the event which it celebrates. Its title his island retainers. With these he being given in The Complaint of Scotland, marched into Ross, and after defeating 1548, it may therefore be regarded as and making a prisoner of Angus Dhu, the earliest specimen of our historical who with a small force opposed him on ballads that has been preserved; and behalf of Buchan, he resolved to attack though possessing little poetical merit, his opponent in his native domains. it is of interest both on account of the Having advanced the length of the narrative which it gives of a conflict village of Harlaw, ear Inverury, about which, next to the battle of Flodden, had 12 miles north of Aberdeen, he was met been most fatal to the nobility of Scot- by the Earl of Mar, a natural son of land, and as a vivid picture of that state Buchan by a Highland mistress, and of political anarchy which James I. after who, from having been the leader of a his restoration did so much to remedy. band of Highland banditti, by bold
The special object of the contest was and unscrupulous conduct worthy of the possession of the ancient and exten- his father, the Wolf of Badenoch, as he sive earldom of Ross, which, like so many was significantly called, became Earl of our Scottish possessions, became the of Mar. Nevertheless his early training heritage of an heiress. This lady, Eu- and service abroad made him a most able phemia Ross, was by the mother's side soldier, and he regarded the advance of a grand-daughter of the Regent, Robert Donald with such contempt as to meet Duke of Albany. Having resolved upon him with about 1000 of the chivalry of taking the veil, she was prevailed upon to the North, fully armed. The battle assign the earldom to her uncle, the Earl which ensued was fought 24th July 1411, of Buchan, Albany's brother. Her aunt and its results are graphically, if roughly, Margaret, the next heir, married Don- detailed in the ballad, the authorship of ald, Lord of the Isles, and he, in right which is quite unknown. The composiof his wife, disputed the legality of the tion has an amateur appearance, and assignation. The claims of both par- must have been written by a partisan of ties were submitted to the arbitration of the Lowland side, although it does not Albany, who decided in favour of his display so strong a party animus, conbrother, and against Donald. The sidering the vehement race animosity island Lord did not acquiesce in the which characterized the combatants, as