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Blind Harry's Wallace

The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace,
General and Governour of Scotland
by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield

Book V (Continued)
How WALLACE escaped out of St. Johnstoun past to Elchock Park, and killed Fawdoun. How he past to Lochmabane. How WALLACE wan the Castle of Crawford, and killed the Captain thereof

Read a synopsis of this book in modern American English.

No longer here the Heroe would remain,
But left the Wood with his small faithfull Train.
And here the Widow merits endless Fame.
Who cheerful with her Sons to Wallace came,
Both in the Bloom of Life and sprightly Youth,
Endu'd with Courage, Loyalty and Truth;
Them she made over to his guardian Care,
To bear Fatigues, and learn the Arts of War.
Brave Heroine with manly Virtue blest,
Her Country drove the Mother from her Breast!

The Chief set forth adorn'd with Arms and Horse,
And held that Night to Dundaff-Heath his Course.
Graham then posses'd these Lands. An aged Knight,
Who with reluctance own'd Tyrannick Might,
But now alas! in his last Ebb of Life,
He liv'd aloof from Glorious Feats of Strife,
His Arm no longer could the Fauchion wield,
Nor Shine in fulgent Arms, and Sun the Field.
A Son he had with every Grace endu'd,
Youth, Honour, Gallantry and Fortitude:
His Country's Welfare triumph'd in his Breast,
Tinctur'd each Thought, and all his Soul imprest.
Him the Old Sire, with ceremonial Care,
On his good Sabre drawn oblig'd to Swear.
"The rugged Paths of Honour still to tread,
Wherever Wallace and his Virtue lead."

Three Times the Night renew'd her gloomy Reign,
While here the gallant Warriour did remain.
As the fourth Morn her purple Charms Displays,
And paints the Cheek of Day with orient Rays,
The Chief set out, his Pupil by his Side,
Propos'd among his Friends with him to Ride.
Wallace yet conscious of his recent Fault,
How into Jeopardy his Men he brought.
Deny'd the Suit, untill his better Care,
Could with new Force of Arms revive the War.

Now to Kilbank he bent his Course apace,
In Martial Pomp, and quickly reach'd the Place.
The Knight to every Soul a welcome Guest,
Enjoys the Love of all, and fills each Breast.
His Nephew here Resides in Bloom of Years,
And cheerful Gladness in his Aspect wears.

Mean while th'unwelcome News to Piercie came,
Of our Young Heroe's Acts and growing Fame.
How with a Run of Conquests he had slain,
His Foes, and all their Cities storm'd and ta'en:
Asper in Speech and swell'd with vengeful Spite,
Piercie demands, "What shelter held the Knight?
And sure," cry'd out, "wou'd he his Warfare cease,
Acknowledge Edward, and accept of Peace.
Soon might our King with unresisted Sway,
Thro' Scotia's bleeding Vitals urge his Way,
Wallace would quickly tame the rugged North,
Inspire our Men and call their Courage forth.
But still his Rage a cruel Rancour feeds
And bursts in winged Thunder on our Heads.
Sages Illumin'd with interiour Light,
Who search the Depths of Fate immers'd in Night,
These have foretold, how Wallace great in Arms,
Shall fill our Plains with War and fierce Alarms."

The Chief mean while with active thoughts employ'd
A Messenger dispatch'd to Blair and Boyd.
Fame catch'd the News, and spread the welcome Sound
In buzzing Whispers quickly all around:
His Friends conveen apace, in gath'ring Swarms,
Enur'd to War and bred to Feats of Arms.
But Blair above the rest for Learning fam'd,
The first Place in our Heroe's Bosom claim'd:
With early Infancy their Love began,
And grew as ripening Youth shot up to Man.

Thus Danc'd the rosie Minutes and the Chief,
Securely liv'd at Large, remote from Grief:
His Transports now run high, his Cares decrease,
And every Hour is mark'd with smiling Ease.
His Friends with cheerful Looks his Orders wait,
And all his Wants well pleas'd anticipate.

Next page: Book V, Continued

The ballad, The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace, General and Governour of Scotland, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, 1722, is in the public domain.