Page images

Without resistans as he said,

Throw all these parts he stoutly past, Quhair sum war wae, and sum war glaid, But Garioch was all agast.

Throw all these feilds he sped him fast, For sic a sicht was never sene;

And then, forsuth, he lang'd at last
To se the bruch of Aberdene.
To hinder this prowd enterprise,

The stout and michty Erle of Marr
With all his men in arms did ryse,

Even frae Curgarf to Craigyvar,

And down the side of Don richt far,
Angus and Mearns did all convene

To fecht, or Donald camé sae nar
The royal bruch of Aberdene.
And thus the martial Erle of Marr,

Marcht with his men in richt array,
Befoir the enemie was awarr

His banner bauldly did display.

For weil enewch they kend the way, And all their semblance well they saw,

Without all dangir, or delay,
Cum haistily to the Harlaw.
With him the braif Lord Ogilvy,

Of Angus sheriff principall,
The Constabill of gude Dunde,
The vanguard led before them all.

Suppose in number they war small,
Thay first richt bauldlie did

persew, And maid thir faes before them fall, Quha then that race did sairly rew. And then the worthy Lord Salton,

The strong undoubted Laird of Drum, The stalwart Laird of Lauristone,

With ilk thair forces all and sum.

Panmuir with all his men did cum, The provost of braif Aberdene,

With trumpets and with tuik of drum, Came schortly in thair armour schene. These with the Erle of Marr came on,

In the reir-ward richt orderlie, Thair enemies to set upon;

In awful manner hardily,

Togither vowit to live and die, Since they had marchit

mony mylis For to suppress the tyrannie Of doubted Donald of the Yles.

But he in number ten tó ane,

Richt subtilie alang did ryde,
With Malcomtosch and fell Maclean,

With all thair power at thair syde,

Presumeand on thair strength and pryde, Without all feir or ony aw,

Richt bauldlie battil did abyde, Hard by the town of fair Harlaw. The armies met, the trumpet sounds,

The dandring drums aloud did tuik, Baith armies byding on the bounds,

Till ane of them the feild suld bruik.

Nae help was thairfoir, nane wald jouk, Fers was the fecht on ilka syde,

And on the ground lay mony a bouk
Of them that thair did battill byd.
With doutsum victorie they dealt,

The bluidy battil lastit lang,
Each man his nibours fors thair felt;

The weakest aft times gat the wrang:

Thair was nae mowis thair them amang, Naithing was hard but heavy knocks,

That Echo maid a dulefull sang, Thairto resounding frae the rocks.

But Donald's men at last gaif back;

For they wer all out of array. The Erle of Marr's men throw them brak,

Pursewing sharply in thair way,

Tbair enemys to tak or slay, Be dynt of fors to gar them yield,

Quha war richt blyth to win away, And sae for feirdness tint the feild. Then Donald fled, and that full fast,

To mountains hich for all his micht; For he and his war all agast,

And ran till they were out of sicht;

And sae of Ross he lost his richt, Thocht mony men with him he brocht,

Towards the Yles fled day and nicht, And all he wan was dearly bocht. This is (quod he) the richt report

Of all that I did hear and knaw, Thocht my discourse be sumthing schort, Tak this to be a richt suthe saw;

Contrairie God and the king's law, Thair was spilt mekle Christian blude,

Into the battill of Harlaw, This is the sum, sae I conclude. But zit a bonny quhyle abyde,

And I sall mak thee cleirly ken Quhat slauchter was on ilka syde,

Of Lowland and of Highland men, Quha for thair awin haif ever bene: These lazie lowns micht weil be spar'd,

Chessit lyke deirs into their dens, And gat thair wages for reward. Malcomtosch of the clan heid cheif,

Maclean with his grit haughty heid, With all thair succour and relief,

War dulefully dung to the deid:

And now we are freid of thair feid, They will not lang to cum agen;

Thousands with them without remeid, On Donald's syde that day war slain. And on the other syde war lost,

Into the feild that dismal day, Chief men of worth (of meikle cost)

To be lamentit sair for ay.

The Lord Salton of Rothemay,
A man of micht and meikle main;

Grit dolour was for his decay,
That sae unhappylie was slain.
Of the best men among them was,

The gracious gude Lord Ogilvy,
The sherriff-principall of Angus;

Renownit for truth and equitie,

For faith and magnanimitie;
He had few fallows in the feild,

Zet fell by fatal destinie,
For he nae ways wad grant to zield.
Sir James Scrimgeor of Duddap, knicht,

Grit constabill of fair Dunde,
Unto the dulefull deith was dicht,

The king's chief bannerman was he,

A valziant man of chevalrie, Quhais predecessors wan the place

At Spey, with gude King William frie, 'Gainst Murray and Macduncan's race. Gude Sir Alexander Irving,

The much renownit Laird of Drum, Nane in his days was better sene,

Quhen they war semblit all and sum;

To praise him we sould not be dumn,
For valour, witt, and worthyness,

To end his days he ther did cum,
Quliois ransom is remeidyless.



And thair the Knicht of Lauriston

Was slain into his armour schene,
And gude Sir Robert Davidson,

Quha provost was of Aberdene,

The Knicht of Panmure, as was sene,
A mortal man in armour bricht,

Sir Thomas Murray stout and kene,
Left to the warld their last gude nicht.

Thair was not sen King Kenneth's days

Sic strange intestine crewel stryfe
In Scotland sene, as ilk man says,

Quhair mony liklie lost their lyfe;

Quhilk maid divorce twene man and wyfe,
And mony children fatherless, .

Quhilk in this realme has been full ryfe:
Lord help these lands, our wrangs redress!

In July, on Saint James his even,

That four and twenty dismal day,
Twelve hundred, ten score and eleven

Of zeirs sen Chryst, the suthe to say ;

Men will renember as they may,
Quhen thus the veritie they knaw,

And mony a ane may murn for ay,
The brim battill of the Harlaw.

This Ballad relates very faithfully, and very circumstantially, the cause and issue of the battle fought in 1411, between Donald of the Isles, and the Earl of Marr, nephew to the Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland during the captivity of James I. In the complaynt of Scotland, published in 1549, a Ballad, with this title, is mentioned as being then popular, and, making allowance for a few alterations, which more modern recitors would substitute, this may very probably be the one alluded to. It is on this account highly curious, though it cannot be ranked high in point of poetical merit.

« PreviousContinue »