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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 V (Continued)
How the Queen of England came to speak with WALLACE

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

Her leave she took, no longer there abode,
Five Miles that Night unto a Nunn'ry rode.
And on the Morn, to London travell'd they,
To Westminster, where King and Counsel lay.
Wallace's Answer show'd, and did report
Most nobly of him, both to King and Court.
Upon his Wit and Manhood, did comment,
His Freedom, Truth, and martial Government.

"More Chieftain-like he's in his Armour seen,
Than ever yet I think in England's been.
From Honour he, (on which he's so much bent,)
Will not retract, for all the Kingdom's Rent.
Then purchase Peace, and I shall add no more,
Or else all England may repent it sore.
Mean Time, unto your Heraulds he gives leave
To come and go, and no Man dare them grieve."

The King and Council in their Minds were eas'd,
Thanked the Queen, and all were bravely pleas'd
Then all concluded, it was only best,
To take a Truce, else they would get no Rest.
Then do dispatch a Herauld wise and grave,
To whom safe Conduct Wallace frankly gave.
Then Clifford, Bewmont, Woodstock, do procure,
To treat with Wallace a most ample Pow'r.
Thus these Three Lords, to him ride all in State,
Where subtilly Woodstock did there debate.
To which good Wallace did reply again,
"You speak in Sophisms, but I'll tell you plain;
Roxburgh and Berwick, you must us restore
Which was our Right and Heritage before.
Also we ask, by Vertue of this Bond,
Our Native King so long keep'd from his own.
Those you shall grant, on your King's Faith to me."
To which, on Sight the Lords did all agree.

The Randal Young, whom there he did demand,
And the Lord Lorn, were granted to his Hand.
The Earl Buchan, tender but and Young
He did obtain for the wind of his Tongue.
Cumming and Soulis, he caus'd deliver als,
Who, after to King Robert, proved false.
Vallance for fear, durst scarcely keep his Bed,
But like a Thief, to Pickardie he fled.
The noble Bruce alas was gone away,
Before that Time, to Calice many a Day,
Unto his Uncle Glocester; which Thing,
King Edward prov'd, so Wallace wants his King.
The Earl Patrick, who at London stay'd,
No more Allegiance to King Edward pay'd.
But unto Wallace speedily came down,
And held his Lands all of the Scottish Crown.
An Hundred Horse, with brave Scots Noblemen,
Came trooping gladly all to Wallace then.

Under his Seal King Edward then did send,
And caus'd deliver, to the Scottish Men,
Roxburgh, and Berwick. Five Years Peace ensues,
To ancient Scotland, great and glorious News.
Which unto Wallace quickly was sent down,
And fairly sign'd, closs by Northallertoun.
To Bamburgh came the Scottish Army then,
Which did consist of Sixty Thousand Men.
To Carham Moor, came all in good Array,
With Hearts rejoicing upon Lammass Day.
The Priest next Day, in Church did Wallace please,
Deliver'd him Roxburgh and Berwick Keys.
Berwick, to Ramsay he gave, on the Spot,
And noble Seatoun, Roxburgh Castle got.
With Earl Patrick, Wallace without more,
Rode to Dunbar, and there did him restore.

Scotland all o'er from Ross to Sollway Sand,
Wallace he did give Statutes to the Land.
Unto the Lennox then, he did repair.
Sir John Montieth, that Time was Captain there,
And twice before had Wallace Gossip been,
Yet now no Friendship was betwixt them seen.
Upon a Rock, a House he founded there,
Then to the March he did again repair.
In Roxburgh then, he choos'd a handsome Place,
And built a Tow'r within a little Space.
Jop twice he sent to Bruce of Huntingtoun,
Beseeching him to come and take the Crown.
Such counsel of the Saxons false took he,
In all his Life, he Wallace ne'er did see.
Three Years the Kingdom, Quiet had and Rest,
And ev'ry Man, his own with Peace possest.

Here Ends the first Conquest of Scotland.

Next page: Book IX, Chapter I

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.