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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 VIII, Chapter II
How Corspatrick brought into Scotland Bishop Beik and Robert Bruce, and how WALLACE gave them battle, and put them out of Scotland

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

Now Warlike Wallace 'gainst Corspatrick goes,
And both the Armies fast together close.
The bloody Battle quickly does appear,
Each with his hashing Sword and piercing Spear;
Against his Fellow furiously does ride,
And Havock great makes there on ev'ry Side.
Some were kill'd dead, some got their mortal Wound,
Some from their Horses suddenly knock'd down.

On South'ron Side, Five Thousand on the Spot
Lay dead; the Scots did push so very Hot,
And did their Front cut down so furiously,
That all the Rest were on the Wing to fly.
But Earl Patrick in the Wars expert,
Keep'd still his Ground, and caus'd his Men take Heart.
The Scottish Host, Men of renowned Fame,
Did cut down clean all, where e'er they came.

Wallace, and Ramsay, and the Graham worth Gold,
Richard of Lundie, and the Seatoun bold,
And Adam Wallace true of Riccartoun;
Both Hay and Lyle, all Men of great Renown,
Boyd, Barclay, Baird, and Lauder true and tight,
Numbers of English-Men kill'd in the Flight.
Yet Earl Patrick, fiercely still fought on,
With his own Hand to death put many a one.
Then the brave Scots, so boldly him accost,
Great Slaps they made thro' all the English Host.
The South'ron then, plainly began to flee,
Till Bishop Beik approaching fast they see.

The Ambush all at once does quickly then,
Break up, consisting of Ten Thousand Men,
Whom when good Wallace saw so fast appear,
He thought it fit on Horse Back to retire.
But yet his Men, together stuck so fast,
Fain wou'd he try the South'ron as they past.
He so surrounded was with this fresh Host,
On either Side, that he was almost lost.
The worthy Scots, so fiercely fought again,
Of Beik's new Men, Abundance they have slain.
The Earl Patrick, sturdily he fought,
Thro' all the Throng and there for Wallace sought.
To whom he did in spite o's Coat of Mail,
Give such a Blow as wounded him a deal.

Then Wallace drew against that Traitor Lown
A Stroke which mist him, but clove Maitland down.
Who recklesly, betwixt the Two did pass;
Such his hard Fate, and sad Misfortune was.
Good Wallace now, he is left all alone,
And quite surrounded by the South'ron,
His Horse is stick'd, he's forced to alight,
And fight on Foot, the best Way that he might.
Who laid about him, without Fear or Dread,
With his good Sword that Trusty was indeed.

The Earl Patrick then commanded soon,
With Spears that they should bear good Wallace down.
Who, like a Champion brave stood on the Field,
Hew'd off their Heads and scorned for to yield.
The worthy Scots of this they little wist,
Got to good Graham when they their Chieftain mist.
Lauder and Lyle, and Hay, that were so wight,
And Ramsay bold, that brave and gallant Knight.
Lundie and Boyd, and Chrystal Seatoun true;
Five Hundred Horse brought Wallace to rescue.
Then in amongst them furiously they rade,
Large Room about them quickly there they made.
The Bishop Beik was trampled on the Ground,
Without Respect unto his Lordship's Gown.
E'er he got up a great deal there they slew,
Then gallantly, brave Wallace did rescue.
Upon a Horse they mounted him on Sight,
Then to a Strength rode off with all their Might.
Where he Four Thousand of his Men did find,
To the great Satisfaction of his Mind.

To Bishop Beik, Corspatrick does return,
Curses Misfortune, and begins to mourn;
When as he found Seven Thousand Men were lost,
And kill'd that Day, for all the Bishop's Boast.
Of Wallace Men Five Hundred kill'd I guess,
But not one Chieftain, so he car'd the less.
The Bishop Beik with what Men he had there
Left Lammer-More and quartered elsewhere.
Who when the Field of Battle he had past,
To Wallace, all the Country flocked fast.

Next page: Book VIII, Chapter II (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.