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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 X, Chapter II (Continued)
The battle of Black-Iron-Side, and how WALLACE took in Lochleven and Airth

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

A Cruel Captain dwelt in Airth that Year,
An English-Man whose Name was Thomlin Weir.
One Hundred Men were at his Lodging still,
Possest that Land according to their will.
A Scottish Fisher seiz'd, who out of fear,
Unto their Service made the Fellow swear.
Jop early went the Passage for to spy,
And on the Fisher happen'd suddenly.
Then asked him, "What Country Man art thou?"
"A Scot," he said, "but South'ron made me vow
Unto their Service sore against my Mind.
Pox on the Pack! I love none of their Kind.
A fishing I came o'er to this North Side;
A Scotsman if you be, I'll with you bide."

When Jop to Wallace told the poor Man's Case,
They all rejoyced to see the Fishers Face.
Since with his Boat they might good Passage have,
Not valuing what the poor Man should crave.
To the Southland most gladly they did fare,
Then broke the Boat when they were landed there.
Out thro' the Moss they marched with good speed,
To the Tor-Wood the Fisher did them lead.
A Widow there brought Tydings in short space,
Of Wallace Friend that Dwelt at Dunipace.
Thomlin of Weir had him in Prison put,
Which Wallace vex'd, and to the Heart him cut.
"Dame," said good Wallace, "he shall loosed be,
The Morn by Noon and set at Liberty."
They Ate and Drank in Quiet there abode,
And on the Morrow early took the Road.
Toward Airth-Hill his Force with him he drew,
Where was a Strength that well the Fisher knew.

A private Way the Fisher him directs,
Then to the South'ron pay'd his best Respects.
O'er a small Bridge into the Hall he got,
And them Salutes in Rage and Fury hot.
With shearing Swords clinking out o'er their Crowns,
There without Mercy hew'd the South'ron down.
Thomlin of Weir, he thro' the Body clave,
And his good Men did soon dispatch the lave.
Thro' all the Room the Blood gush'd boiling hot,
One Hundred Men lay dead upon the Spot.
Then to relieve his Uncle went along,
In a deep Cave who lay in Fetters strong.
Before that Time his Uncle ne'er had been
So glad as when good Wallace he has seen.

Into deep Ditches, the dead Corps were cast,
And carefully their Watches plac'd at last.
Upon the Morrow gather'd up the Spoil,
Both Gold and Jewels, to reward their Toil.
South'ron came in, but quickly changed Hues,
For none went back to tell their Neighbours News.
Steven of Ireland, Keirly that was wight,
These Two did keep the Port the Second Night.
E'er it was Day the worthy Scots arose,
Turs'd off their Spoil, and to the Tor-Wood goes.
Now since at Airth the Scots has done their best,
Let's see what came of them went to the West.

Next page: Book X, 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.