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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.

This Lord with mighty Pleasure also told,
He had Three Sons all Valiant stout and bold;
And Twenty of his own near Kins-Men more,
As good as ever Sword or Target bore:
Ready to serve him both with Heart and Hand,
For the true Honour of their King and Land.
To Heav'n then Wallace turning up his Eye,
"I Thank thee, O my GOD, for this Supply."

Then did they pass the Day as seemed best,
At Night set Watches and went all to Rest.
But on the Morrow, when the Day did peep,
Wallace arose fully refresh'd with Sleep.
And to the Fields took all his Men at length,
To know what was his perfect, real Strength.
There did he muster all his little Force,
And thanked GOD that Matters were not worse.
Then to his Men he Champion-like did say,
"The Royal Banner, let us now display.
For under it most faithfully we'll fight,
In the defence of brave old Scotland's Right.
Our selves no longer we'll abscond and hide,
Friends will flock to us now on ev'ry Side."

They took such Horses as they there could find,
Then to Dunkel march'd all with cheerfull Mind.
The English Bishop to St. Johnstoun hasts,
Wallace was none of his beloved Guests.
The Scots soon took the Place and, in a Word,
Put all the South'ron quickly to the Sword.
On good Provisions then did nobly fare,
Which the Lord Bishop for himself brought there.
Silver and Gold, fine Jewels there they got,
All that their Heart could wish they wanted not.
Five Days rejoicing, merrily they spent,
And on the Sixth, Wallace to Council went.

"We have not Men enough," said he, "you know,
Perth to invest, therefore we'll North-ward go.
In Ross our Friends have made a Strength I'm told,
Hear they of us, they'll come like Warriors bold.
Good Bishop Sinclair is in Bute also,
Who when he hears the News, will not be slow
To come and take his Fate with cheerfull Heart,
He never yet did fail to act his Part.
The Westland Men, when warn'd, we'll get them all,
I never yet did know them sit my call.
For like brave Men, this Region they throughout,
Have been with me, at many a bloody Bout."
The Council then with one Voice did conclude,
As he propos'd, for all was very good.

They mount their Horses, march without delay,
The English-Men kep't all out of their Way.
Those that possest the Strengths stay'd within Doors;
The Rest of them crep't close in Holes and Bores.
For all began to flee and scatter, from
The very Time they heard he was come Home.
Then with an Army strong, the Scots at last,
Most awfully thro' all the Kingdom past.
Strengths were deserted by the South'ron then,
And soon possessed by the Scottishmen.
Who in good Order now, as could be seen,
Seven Thousand strong march all to Aberdeen.
But frighted South'ron post away in haste,
And leave the Town all desolate and waste.
In all the Land left nothing more or less;
Lord Bewmont took the Sea at Buchanness,
Clement the Knight of Ross, appeared then,
With a brave Company of Gallant Men.
Took in the House of Nairn, with that brave Core,
The South'ron Captain slew, and many more.

From Buchan and from Murray came anon,
Numbers of Scots, in quest of Bewmont gone.
Who missing him, to Wallace march on Sight,
'Mongst whom was Sir John Ramsay, that brave Knight.
Whom when he saw with many others there
That long ago his bold Companions were,
How pleas'd he was I scarcely can describe,
But thought himself the happyest Man alive.
Thus he the Northern parts recover'd and
Made good Men Judges over all that Land.
When this was done, that no Time might be lost,
March'd to St. Johnstoun straight with all his Host.

Next page: Book XII, Chapter V

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.