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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 IX, Chapter III
How WALLACE past into Guienne

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

Three Weeks at Paris Wallace did remain,
But longed much to try the Wars again;
To march for Guyen, he esteem'd it best,
Because that Country English-Men possest.
Then of the King took Leave, on's Knees did fall.
But took no French-Men with him then at all,
Except Sir Thomas and a warlike Crew
Of Valiant Scots, Nine Hundred stout and true;
Who furiously with him to Guyen ride,
And Fire raise, thro' all that Country wide.
Forts and strong Castles, quickly they break down,
And put to Death many a South'ron Lown.

A warlike Town, Scemen, stood in that Land,
Which English-Men had under their Command.
The Town it stood upon a Water-Side,
Within a Park that was both long and wide.
Toward that Place, most valiantly then,
Wallace he march'd with his Nine Hundred Men.
Four Hundred to himself took speedily,
The rest with Crawford caus'd in Ambush ly.
Wallace his Men all gallantly array'd,
Before the Town their Banner there display'd.
The Lyon rampant all in Gold did flee,
Which Sight before that Country ne'er did see.
The Park they range, great Booty drive away,
The War Men issued to rescue the Prey.
But worthy Scots have many English slain,
The rest fled back unto the Town again.

Fourty good Scots, pass'd with the Prey along,
Then ish'd again a Thousand English strong.
Wallace he caus'd his Men let go the Prey,
Then soon assembled all in good Array.
A fierce Encounter there you might have seen,
'Mongst those wight War-Men, in their Armour clean.
Vast Numbers lost their Lives on South'ron Side,
And yet the Rest most boldly did abide.
Some worthy Men there of the Scots they slew,
Then William Crawford who the Time well knew,
Out of the Park he made his Ambush fare,
Into the Field where they all fighting were.
He at his Entry many a one caus'd dye,
Yet English-Men were very loath to fly,
But bravely fought, altho' they lost much Blood.
So few, so long, 'gainst Wallace never stood.
Yet at the last were all oblig'd to fly,
Whom Wallace did pursue most furiously.
And never knew, till he amids the throng,
Was in the Town his South'ron Foes among.

With him was Crawford, Richard, Longoveil,
Fifteen in all, and no more I wot well.
A cunning Porter got upon the Wall,
Pull'd out the Pin, let the Portculzies fall.
Then cruelly the English on them set,
But to the Wall the Scots their Backs did get.
Cut down the South'ron, all their Force defy'd,
Then Richard Wallace, he the Porter spy'd:
Knock't out his Brains with little Noise or Din,
Got up the Port, let all the Scotsmen in,
Who spared none that they before them fand,
If they a Sword or Weapon, had in Hand.
All other Lives most Christianly did spare,
But seiz'd the Goods and Riches all were there.

The Town with French replenish'd quickly; then
Wallace the Field takes briskly with his Men.
At which the King delay'd not very long,
But rais'd an Army Twenty Thousand Strong.
All faithfull Subjects of the Crown of France,
Led by his Brother, Duke of Orleance.
Thro' Guyen Land a speedy March they make,
At Burdeous do Wallace overtake.
Some said that Town did mightily incline
To fight good Wallace, but soon chang'd their Mind.
And sent Express to Piccardy by Post,
Telling of Wallace, and the new rais'd Host.

Next page: Book IX, Chapter III (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.