« PreviousContinue »
“ Cative, awa ye maun na flie,”
Stout Rothsay cry'd bedeen,
« The wound ye fein'd yestrene.” * Mair o your kins bluid hae I spilt
* Than I docht evir grein; 'See Rothsay whare your brither lyes
• In dethe afore your eyne.' Bold Rothsay cried wi' lion's rage,
" O hatefu cursed deid ! “ Sae Draffan seiks our sister's luve,
“ Nor feirs far ither meid !” Swith on the word an arrow cam
Frae ane o' Rothsay's band,
Syne Rothsays splent it fand.
Wha pranc'd wi' egre pain,
And seik the nether plain.
The bludy shaft withdrew;
Sair did the leider rue.
Wi' meikle pryde and glie; "The praise is ours; nae chieftain bides
• Wi' us to bate the grie.'
Whare he lein'd on his speir,
And toilsum deids of weir.
Was Malcolm on the swaird : « Wold hevin that dethe my eild had tane,
“ And thy youtheid had spard !
“ Draffan I ken thy ire, but now
Thy micht I mein to see.” But eir he strak the deidly dint
Draffan was on his knie. • Lord Hardyknute stryke gif ye may,
* I neir will stryve wi thee; * Forfend your dochtir see you slayne
Frae whar she sits on hie! • Yes:rene the priest in haly band
· Me join'd wi' Fairly deir; For her sake let us part in peice,
And neir meet mair in weir.' "O king of hevin, what seimly speech
“ A featour's lips can send ! * And art thou he wha baith my sons
“ Brocht to a bluidy end? “ Haste, mount thy steid, or I sall licht
“ And meit thee on the plain; “ For by my forbere's saul we neir
“ Sall part till ane be slayne." Now mind thy aith,' syne Draffan stout
To Allan loudly cryd, Wha drew the shynand blade bot dreid
And perc'd his masters syde. Low to the bleiding eard he fell,
And dethe sune clos'd his eyne. “ Draffan, till now I did na ken
“ Thy dethe cold muve my tein. “I wold to Chryste thou valiant youth,
“ Thou wert in life again;
“ Now a my grief and bale,
“ Your deidly faut to wail.
“ To Icolm beir ye Draffan's corse,
“ And dochtir anes sae dier,
“ Wi mony a mournfu teir."
This celebrated, and beautiful, and sublime Ballad, was written by Lady Wardlaw, second daughter of Sir Charles Halket, of Pitferran. She was born in 1677, and in 1996, married to Sir Henry Wardlaw, of Balmulie, or Petrivie, in Fifeshire. She died about the year 1727.
She gave her Ballad to the world, through the medium of Sir John Bruce, of Kinross, her brother-in-law, who communicated the MS. to Lord Binning with the following account: “ In performance of my promise, I send you a true copy of the manuscript I found a few weeks ago, in an old vault at Dumfermline; it is written on vellum in a fair Gothic character, but so much defaced by time, as you'll find, that the tenth part is not legible.” It was first published in 1719, by some literary gentlemen, who really believed the vellum and vault story, and was afterward admite ted by Allan Ramsay into The Ever-green, from which almost every suc. ceeding edition has been taken.
The Ballad celebrates an invasion of Scotland in 1263, by Haco, king of Norway, who laid waste Kintire, and the islands of Bute, and Arranhe also plundered the islands of Loch-lomond, which were at that time well inbabited, or as Boece describes them, “ thirty isles weil biggit with kirks, temples and houses." A tempest, however, drove his ships on shore near Largs, where he landed his troops, there the Scotch army attacked them, on the 2d October, 1263.
The second part is still more modern than the first, though on its first publication it was given out to be by the same author, and said to have been brought to light in the same marvellous manner. It is, perhaps, in. ferior to the first part, but possesses too much inerit to be overlooked in a selection of this kind, especially as the lovers of antiquity are indebted to the author, Mr. John Pinkerton, for much of the knowledge they possess of ancient Scottish Poetry,
THE CHILD OF ELLE.
On yonder hill a castle stands,
With walles and towres bedight;
A younge and comely knighte.
The Childe of Elle to his garden went,
And stood at his garden pale,
The Child of Elle he hyed him thence,
Y-wis he stoode not stille,
Come climbing up the hille.
Now Christe thee save and see,
And what may thy tidings be? My lady she is all woe-begone,
And the teares they fall from her eyne; And
aye she laments the deadly feude Betweene her house and thine.
And bere shee sends thee a silken scarfe,
Bedewde with many a teare;
Who loved thee so deare.
And here shee sends thee a ring of gold,
The last boon thou mayst have;
Whan she is laid in grave.
And in grave soone must shee bee,
And forbidde her to think of thee.
Her father hath broucht her a carlish knight,
Sir John of the north countraye,
Or he vowes he will her slaye.
And greet thy ladye from mee.
Will dye or set her free.
Now hye thee backe, thou little foot page,
And let thy fair ladye know This night will I be at her bowre-windowe,
Betide me weale or woe.
The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne,
He neither stint na stayd,
Whan kneeling downe he sayd; 0, ladye, I've been with thy own true love,
And hee greets thee well by mee; This night will he bee at thy bowre windowe,
And die or sett thee free.
Now day was gone and night was come,
And all were fast asleepe: All save the lady Emmeline,
Who sate in her bowre to weepe.
And sune she heard her true love's voice,
Lowe whispering at the walle; Awake, awake, my dear ladye,
'Tis I thy true love call. Awake, awake my ladye deare,
Come mount this fair palfraye;
Ile carrye thee hence awaye.
Nowe naye this maye not bee;
If alone I should wend with thee.
O ladye thou with a knight so true
Mayst safely wend alone,
Where marriage shall make us one.