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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 VII, Chapter II (Continued)
How WALLACE slew M'Fadzean

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

In modest speaking; with good Swords of Steel,
He made them Dance, a Sore and Bloody Reel.
Whom e'er he hit, no longer there could stand,
Made room about him, a large Rude of Land.
Sir John the Graham, did show his warlick Art,
Lord Campbell als, and Lundie play'd their Part.
Stout Adam Wallace, and good Robert Boyd,
Where'er they came, cut down, and all destroy'd.
The Conflict grew so verie sharp and Hot,
And the Mcfadzean, fought so on the spot:
With Irish Men, that hardy were and stout,
The Victory for some Time stood in doubt.
The Bloody streams from Front to Rear did run,
And many a Man lay gasping on the Ground.

For Two long Hours, they fought it Hand to Fist
Untill the very stoutest gladly wish'd,
For some respite, their wearied Arms to rest,
As yet none knew, which of them had the best.
So fiercely fought McFadzean's cruel Currs;
But Wallace Men, together stuck like Burrs.
So Hardy were, so Valiant and so Good,
Made great Effusion of the En'my's Blood.
With Sword in Hand, they fiercely forward throng,
Made fearful Slaps their cruel Foes among.
Numbers of Irish, sleep'd in a cold Bed,
The rest wheel'd to the Left about, and fled.

O'er Craigy Rocks, some fell thro' great Despair,
And in the Water drown'd Two thousand were.
McFadzean's Scots-born Men, stay'd on the Field,
Threw down their Arms, and on their Knees they kneel'd,
On Wallace loudly cry and Mercy crave,
Who gen'rously them gallant Quarters gave.
"They're our own Blood," he said, "both Man and Boy,
Such Penitents, can any Heart destroy?"
Then ordered all Scots Men that were found,
To save alive but Foreigners cut down.

McFadzean fled, and is with Fifty gone
Under Craigmore, unto a Cave of Stone.
Duncan of Lorn, from Wallace asketh Leave,
To pay a Visit to this ancient Cave.
Which Wallace grants, then quickly does him send
With a Detachment of some sturdy Men.
Who soon dispatch'd the Fifty, kill'd them dead,
And then brought back the Rogue McFadzean's Head.

Thro' all the Field, they show the Villain's Face
Upon a Spear unto his great Disgrace.
High on Craigmore, Lord Campbel made it stand
Upon a Pole for Honour of Ireland.
The best Men there that were of Scotland born
To Wallace they Fidelity have sworn.
He did protect all came unto his Peace,
So pitiful he was and full of Grace.
Then after all straight way to Lorn he went,
And rul'd the Land unto their great Content.

A Councel at Archattan did proclaim,
Where many came, so soon's they heard his Name
From ev'ry Airt; and humbly Thanks they gave,
With joyful Hearts, unto their Warden brave.
All Lorn he gave to Duncan stout and wight,
Who always acted what was just and right.
"Brook thou this Land, as thy true Heritage,
And for thy Brother's Son, that taketh Wage
From Edward; If he will return shall have
His Lands, I'll lose no Man that I can save."

Of worthy Scots, to Wallace not a few,
Unto Archattan, from their Strengths withdrew.
Brave Sir John Ramsay, who with Heart and Hand,
Did still stand up for his true native Land:
Of noble Blood, and ancient Pedigree,
To Wallace there, with Sixty Men came he.
Who 'gainst the English did great Danger risk,
And was so Stout, Courageous, and Brisk:
He from his Faith was never known to flinch,
Nor to King Edward, ever yield an Inch.
Into Strochane, a long Time there did lye,
And fought the South'ron always valiantly.
Who, him and his, did grievously oppress,
His Son was call'd the flow'r of Courtliness.
Who otherways dare say, do him traduce,
If they'l but read the History of Bruce,
They'll find recorded there his glorious Fame,
Brave Alexander was his Christian Name.

In Peace, and War, he always ruled well,
Such was his Courage, Conduct and his Skill.
In Time of War, for Honour did contest,
Of the Crown's Friends, was thought one of the best.
In Time of Peace, he never had a Peel,
So courteous he was, and so Genteel.
Ambitiously, each, his Acquaintaince sought,
Of Manners he was Quintessence thought.
Freely and truly at all Times he spoke,
And what he promis'd never ru'd, nor broke.
Roxburgh he won, and held it faithfully,
Till Traytors thro' their Treason caus'd him dye,
But in what cursed Way and Manner how,
It is not proper to relate it now,
And on that Subject we shall talk no more.
His Father came, as I have told before:
Who cheerfully, great willingness did show,
For to assist against the common Foe.
Each Man did him esteem, and highly prise,
In War; for Sober, Vigilant and Wise.

A Prelate next, unto Ardchattan came,
Who of his Lordship, nought had but the Name.
He worthy was, both prudent, grave, and Sage,
Of Sinclair Blood, not Fourty Years of Age.
The Pope to save poor sinfull Souls from Hell,
Did him creat Lord Bishop of Dunkel.
But English men, thro' greed and avarice,
Depriv'd him basely of his benefice.
Not knowing then to whom to make his sute,
To save his Life dwelt three full Years in Bute.
During which space he was kep't safe and sound
And under the Lord Stewart Shalter found.
Till Wallace who won Scotland back with Pain,
Restor'd him to his Livings all again.
With many more who were all overthrown,
By English, and restored unto their own.

Wallace small Host of whom I spoke of late,
Having the Rogue McFadzean now defeat
Return'd unto the Field where they had fought,
Got Arms and Spoil behind them left they nought.
Thro' Lorn they march, as handsome as they can,
And on their Number scarce had lost a Man.
On the Fifth Day, unto Ardchattan went,
Where they sound Wallace blyth, and well content.
His Men he welcomes, highly sound their Praise,
Who did behave themselves so well always.
"Take all the Spoil," said he, "falls to my share.
I fight for Honour, for no more I care."

Next page: Book VII, Chapter III

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.