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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 VI
How WALLACE was betray'd by Sir John Monteith, carry'd to England and martyr'd there.

Read a synopsis of this chapter in modern American English.

That Wallace Foes might him no more traduce,
Jop quickly is dispatch'd away to Bruce.
Most earnestly beseeching he'd come down,
To Scotland and receive the ancient Crown,
Since there was none that now durst him oppose,
Having subdued all his South'ron Foes.
When Jop's Credentials Bruce had fully read,
His Heart exulted, and was mighty glad.

With his own Hand he back to Wallace wrote,
And thank'd the Hero for a Loyal Scot.
Intreating him the Matter to conceal,
And quickly he would out of England steal.
To meet me then, said Bruce, be very sure,
The first of July next on Glasgow Moor.
And let your Company be very few,
For I shall have but a small Retinue.
Which when good Wallace read, blyth was his Thought,
And all his Houshold then to Glasgow brought.
That Month he ordered them there to abide;
Keirly he took each Night with him to ride,
And the young Man that false Monteith had sent,
None but those Two knew what Way Wallace went.

The vile young Villain, on the Eighteenth Night,
Warned Monteith, who Sixty Men on Sight
Caus'd mount, that were his own near Kins-men born,
And deeply all unto the Treason sworn.
Who from Dumbartan march, fy on them fy,
And near to Glasgow Church lurk privily.

A cunning Spy, out as a Watch they sent,
To notice and observe where Wallace went.
Robreston it was near to the Way Side,
And but one House where he used to bide.
There walk'd on Foot till Midnight it was past,
Keirly and he lay down to sleep at last.
Charg'd the young Rogue, from whom no Harm he fear'd,
To waken him if any Man appear'd
But as he soundly slept, the Traitor bold,
His Uncle met and like a Villain told,
That now it was the only Golden Time,
For him to perpetrate the wicked Crime.
Then all the cursed vile Barbarian Crew,
Surround the House and honest Keirly slew.

The ruffian Servant, he to work does fall,
Steals Wallace Sword, his Dagger, Bow and all.
To bind him then with Cords the barb'rous Byke,
Surround the Hero, but he Samson-like,
Got to his Feet, finding no other Tool,
Broke one Rogues Back with a strong wooden Stool;
And at a Second Blow, with little Pains,
Beat out another fouty Rascal's Brains.
As many as upon him Hands could lay,
By force do think to carry him away
On Foot alive; but that prov'd all in vain,
He on the Spot chus'd rather to be slain.

At which the false Monteith, his Silence broke,
And subtily thus unto Wallace spoke.
"So long you have continue'd here alone,
That Notice is unto the South'ron gone;
Who have beset this House all round about,
That by no means at all you can get out.
With the Lord Clifford, who doth here command,
And with his Party, at the Door doth stand,
I spoken have, who promises your Life
Shall be most safe, if you'll give o'er your Strife:
That to Dunbartan you shall with me pass,
And be as safe at Home as e'er you was.
You likewise see that we no Weapons have,
We came in mighty haste your Life to save."

Wallace, believing he would do no wrong
To him, who had his Gossip been so long,
Made the Monteith to swear he would fulfill
What he had promis'd, then came in his Will.
"As Prisoner, the South'ron must you see,
Or else by Force they'll take you, Sir, from me,"
Said false Montieth; then slily on his Hands,
They slipped cunning and most cruel Bands.
Which underneath with sicker Cords they drew.
Alas! The Bruce that binding sore may rue,
For Scotland's Ruin quickly came about,
Occasion'd by the loss of Wallace stout,
Who when led out, little or nothing said,
But missing Kierly knew he was betray'd.

Next page: Book XII, Chapter VI (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.

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