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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 XII, Chapter IV (Continued)
How WALLACE came again to Scotland, and The Battle of Elchock Park.

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

Then to the Park, the English Knight draws near,
And calls on Wallace asking him, What Cheer?"
"Good Cheer," said Wallace, "you may take my Word,"
Then laid his Hand upon his awfull Sword.
"Here is the Blade that still keeps up my Heart,
And many a Time has made the South'ron smart
With many a bloody Wound, both wide and deep,
And may do so this Day before I sleep."
"Well," said the Butler "that is not my Fear,
But I would talk a Moment with thee here."
"Content," said Wallace, "for a little Hire,
I will not stand to grant thee thy Desire."

"Does thou not sore repent," said Butler now,
"That thou my Father and my Good-Sire slew?"
"No," Wallace said, "tho' it were thy whole Kin,
To kill my Foes I never thought it Sin.
Come they my Way I'll do the best I can,
As GOD me save to kill them every Man.
And hope I shall a good Occasion have,
With these Two Hands to send thee to thy Grave."
"That is not likely," said the Butler now,
"My Prisoner I'll make thee first, I trow.
Mean Time what I desire I pray thee grant,
And what I promised thou shalt not want."
"With all my Heart," said Wallace, "every Bit,
If Safety and true Honour will permit."
Then Butler said, "What Profit wilt thou reap
Here to abide, since thou cannot escape?
And since thou seest it may not better be,
Leave off thy Folly, yield thy self to me."

With frowning Face and mighty great Disdain,
The Scottish Hero did reply again.
"So great a Fool I never hope to prove;
I'll yield to none but the great GOD above.
To him each Day, Twice I do yield and bow,
But little Mushrom Knight pray what art thou,
Bids yield to thee, for all thy Haste and Heat,
Faith that is not what I design as yet.
And tho' we be but Twenty Scots what then?
I mock thee much and thy Eight Hundred Men."

"To worship GOD," said Butler, "thou does well,
And to thy Maker Twice a Day to kneel.
Yet does thou Folly and no Conduct show,
When with my Men thou art inviron'd so,
And closs surrounded, no way to get out,
Thus to debate, tho' thou wert ne'er so stout.
Therefore come forth and make no more ado,
Thou'll find my Counsel, wholsome Words and true."

With great Disdain, Wallace he smil'd, and leugh,
And answ'ring said, "Sir, you have talk'd enough.
For tho' all England had the contrair Sworn,
I'll cut my Passage thro' you once the Morn,
Or else this Night: believe me what I say,
This shall be done before Nine of the Day."
Butler was careful then, when it grew Dark,
To plant his Watches all around the Park.
There Wallace stay'd, no ways alarm'd or fear'd,
Until the twinkling Morning Star appear'd.

A Rocky Mist fell down at break of Day,
Then thought he fit to make the best o's Way;
Who, when he had made strict Search round about,
Found a convenient Place, and then broke out.
Then hastened to the Place where Butler lay,
And round about him did great Numbers slay.
Most nobly fought each Gallant worthy Scot,
But Crawford he was wounded on the Spot.
Whom in a Moment Wallace did rescue,
Then at one Stroak, he the bold Butler slew.
Got Crawford up in his Two Arms e'er long
And bravely did Defend him in the Throng.
About him made great Room where he did stand,
And cut Five South'ron down with his own Hand.
Bore Crawford out, in spite of all were round,
Nine Aikers breadth before he set him down.

The South'ron, finding Butler to be dead,
And Thirty more for which was no Remead,
Do view the Corps: what could the Men do more?
And then condole their Loss exceeding sore.
Wallace by this was quite out of their Sight,
The Mist had so eclipsed all the Light.
At which he smil'd and said to Longoveil,
"Upon my Word, this Mist assists us well.
Then let us quickly March to Methven Wood,
Where we shall get Provision very good.
We fasted have so long, in Truth I trow,
It's almost Time we had our Breakfast now."

Next page: Book XII, Chapter IV (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.