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Nae sooner was Willie gane o'er the height,
Than up start the Murrays, and fiercely set on; And sic a het fight, in the howe o' the night,
In the forest of Ettrick has hardly been known.
Soon weapons were clashing, and fire was flashing,
And red ran the blood down the Ashiesteel bourn; The parties were shouting, the kye they were
routing, Confusion did gallop, and fury did bum. But though weapons were clashing, and the fire it
was flashing, Though the wounded and dying did dismally
groan; Though parties were shouting, the kye they came
routing, And Willie o' Fauldshop drave heedlessly on! O Willie, O Willie, how sad the disaster!
Had some kindly spirit but whispered your car " O Willie, return, and relieve your kind master,
Wha's fighting, surrounded wi' mony a spear.”
Surrounded he was ; but his brave little band, Determined, unmoved as the mountain they
stood ; In hopes that their hero was coming to hand, Their master they guarded in streams of their
In vain was their valour, in vain was their skill,
In vain has young Harden a multitude slain, By numbers o'erpowered they were slaughtered at
will, And Wattie o' Harden was prisoner ta'en.
His hands and his feet they ha'e bound like a sheep,.
And away to the Elibank tower they did hie, And they locked him down in a dungeon sae deep,
And they bade him prepare on the morrow to die.
Though Andrew o’ Langhop had fa'n i' the fight,
He only lay still till the battle was bye ; Then ventured to rise and climb over the height,
And there he set up a lamentable cry.
“Ho, Willie o' Fauldshop! Ho, all is warected !
Ho! what's to come o' you ? or whar are ye gane? Your friends they are slaughtered, your honour
suspected, And Wattie o' Harden is prisoner ta’en.'
Nae boar in the forest, when hunted and wounded;
Nae lion or tiger bereaved of their prey,
As Willie, when warned o' that desperate fray.
He threw off his jacket, wi' harnass well lined;
He threw off his bonnet well belted wi' steel;
And off he has run, wi' his troopers behind,
To rescue the lad that they likit sae weel.
But when they arrived on the Elibank green,
The yett was shut, and the east grew pale; They slinkit away, wi' the tears i' their een,
To tell to auld Harden their sorrowfu' tale.
Though Harden was grieved, he durst venture na
further, But left his poor son to submit to his fate; “If I lose him," quo' he, “I can soon get another,
But never again wad get sic an estate.”
Some say that a stock was begun that night,
But I canna tell whether 'tis true or a lie, That muckle Jock Ballantyne, time of the fight,
Made off wi’ a dozen of Elibank kye.
Brave Robin o' Singly was killed i' the stoure, And Kirkhope, and Whitsled, and young *Bai.
leylee; Wi' Juden, baith Gatehop and Plora fell o'er,
And auld Ashiesteel gat a cut on the knee.
And mony a brave fellow, cut off in their bloom,
Lie rotting in cairns on the craig and the steele; Weep o'er them, ye shepherds, how hapless their
doom! Their natures how faithful, undaunted and leel!
The lady o' Elibank rase wi’ the dawn,
say“Pray, what will ye do wi' this gallant young
man?'' “We'll hang him," quo' Juden,“ this very
same day.” " Wad ye hang sic a brisk and a gallant young heir, And has three hamely daughters ay suffering
neglect ? Though laird o' the best o' the Forest sae fair,
He'll marry the warst for the sake of his neck. “Despise not the lad for a perilous feat; He's a friend will bestead you, and stand by
you still ; The laird maun ha'e men, and the men maun ha'e
meat, And the meat maun be had, be the danger what
Then Juden he leugh, and he rubbit his leg,
And he thought that the lady was perfectly right. “By heaven,” said he," he shall marry my Meg;
I dreamed, and I dreamed o’her a' the last night.' Now Meg was but thin, an' her nose it was lang;
And her mou' was as muckle as muckle could be; Her een they war gray, and her colour was wan,
But her nature was generous, gentle, and free ;
Her shape it was slender, her arms they were fine;
Her shoulders were clad wi' her lang dusky hair; And three times mae beauties adorned her mind,
Then mony a ane that was three times as fair.
Poor Wat, wi' a guard, was brought into a ha',
Where ae end was black, and the ither was fair ; There Juden's three daughters sat in a raw,
And himsel' at the head in a twa-elbow chair :
“Now, Wat, as ye're young, and I hope ye will
mend, On the following conditions I grant ye your lifeBe shifty, be wearie, be auld Juden's friend, And accept of my daughter there, Meg, for your
“And since ye're sae keen o' my Elibank kye, Ye's ha'e each o' your drove ye can ken by
the head; And if hae horned acquaintance should kythe to
your eye, Ye shall wale half a score, and a bull for a breed.
“My Meg, I assure you is better than bonny ;
I reade you in choicing, let prudence decide; Then say whilk ye will; ye are welcome to ony:
See, there is your coffin, or there is your bride."