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tavia, in August, 181 1.

12. Up Tarbafs western lake they bore, etc.
The peninsula of Cantire is joined to South
Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus, formed by
the western and eastern Loch of Tarbat. These
two salt-water lakes, or bays, encroach so far
upon the land, and the extremities come so near
to each other, that there is not above a mile of
land to divide them.

13. Ben-Ghoil, '■'■the Mountain of the Wind"
etc. Loch Ranza is a beautiful bay, on the,
northern extremity of Arran, opening towards
East Tarbat Loch. Ben-Ghaoil, " the mountain
of the winds," is generally known by its English,
and less poetical, name of Goatfield.

20. His brother blamed, etc. The kind and
vet fiery character of Edward Bruce is well
painted by Barbour, in the account of his be-
havior after the battle of Bannockburn. Sir
Walter Ross, one of the very few Scottish
nobles who fell in that battle, was so dearly
beloved by Edward, that he wished the victory
had been lost, so Ross had lived.

27. Thou heardst a wretched female plain,
etc. This incident, which illustrates so happily
the chivalrous generosity of Bruce 's character,
is one of the many simple and natural traits
recorded by Barbour. It occurred during the
expedition which Bruce made to Ireland, to
support the pretensions of his brother Edward
to the throne of that kingdom. Bruce was
about to retreat, and his host was arrayed for


6. O'er chasms he passed, ivhere fractures wide,
etc. The interior of the Island of Arran abounds
with beautiful Highland scenery. The hills,
being very rocky and precipitous, afford some
cataracts of great height, though of inconsider-
able breadth. There is one pass over the river
Machrai, renowned for the dilemma of a poor
woman, who, being tempted by the narrowness
of the ravine to step across, succeeded in mak-
ing the first movement, but took fright when it
became necessary to move the other foot, and
remained in a posture equally ludicrous and
dangerous, until some chance passenger assisted
her to extricate herself. It is said she remained
there some hours.

6. Where Druids erst heard victims groan, etc.
The Isle of Arran, like those of Man and Angle-
sea, abounds with many relics of heathen, and
probably Druidical, superstition. There are
high erect columns of unhewn stone, circles of
rode stones, and cairns, or sepulchral piles,
within which are usually found urns enclosing

6. Old Brodick's gothic towers were seen, etc.
Brodick or Brathwick Castle, in the Isle of
Arran, is an ancient fortress, near an open

roadstead called Brodick-Bay, and not far dis-
tant from a tolerable harbor, closed in by the
Island of Lamlash. This important place had
been assailed a short time before Bruce's arrival
in the island. James Lord Douglas, who accom-
panied Bruce to his retreat in Rachrine, seems,
in the spring of 1306, to have tired of his abode
there, and set out accordingly, in the phrase of
the times, to see what adventure God would
send him. Sir Robert Boyd accompanied him;
and his knowledge of the localities of Arran
appears to have directed his course thither.
They landed in the island privately, and appear
to have laid an ambush for Sir John Hastings,
the English governor of Brodwick, and sur-
prised a considerable supply of arms and pro-
visions, and nearly took the castle itself. Indeed,
that they actually did so, has been generally
averred by historians, although it does not
appear from the narrative of Barbour. On the
contrary, it would seem that they took shelter
within a fortification of the ancient inhabitants,
a rampart called Tor an Schian. When they
were joined by Bruce, it seems probable that
they had gained Brodick Castle.

7. A language mtich unmeet he hears. Barbour,
with great simplicity, gives an anecdote, from
which it would seem that the vice of profane
swearing, afterwards too general among the
Scottish nation, was, at this time, confined to
military men. As Douglas, after Bruce's return
to Scotland, was roving about the mountainous
country of Tweeddale, near the water of Line,
he chanced to hear some persons in a farm-
house say " the devil." Concluding, from this
hardy expression, that the house contained war-
like guests, he immediately assailed it, and had
the good fortune to make prisoners Thomas
Randolph, afterwards the famous Earl of Mur-
ray, and Alexander Stuart, Lord Bonkle. Both
were then in the English interest, and had come
into that country with the purpose of driving
out Douglas. They afterwards ranked among
Bruce's most zealous adherents.

17. Now ask you whence that wondrous light,
etc. " The only tradition now remembered of the
landing of Robert the Bruce in Carrick, relates
to the fire seen by him from the Isle of Arran.
It is still generally reported, and religiously
believed by many, that this fire was really the
work of supernatural power, unassisted by the
hand of any mortal being ; and it is said that
for several centuries the flame rose yearly on
the same hour of the same night of the year on
which the king first saw it from the turrets of
Brodick Castle; and some go so far as to say
that if the exact time were known, it would be
still seen. That this superstitious notion is very
ancient, is evident from the place where the fire
is said to have appeared, being called the Bogles'
Brae, beyond the remembrance of man. In
support of this curious belief, it is said that the
practice of burning heath for the improvement
of land was then unknown; that a spunkie
(Jack o'lanthorn) could not have been seen
across the breadth of the Forth of Clyde, be-
tween Ayrshire and Arran ; and that the courier



of Bruce was his kinsman, and never suspected
of treachery" {Letter from Mr. Joseph Trai?i,
of Neivton Stuart) .

33. The Bruce hath won his father's hall !
I have followed the flattering and pleasing tra-
dition, that the Bruce, after his descent upon
the coast of Ayrshire, actually gained posses-
sion of his maternal castle. But the tradition
is not accurate. The fact is, that he was only
strong enough to alarm and drive in the out-
posts of the English garrison, then commanded,
not by Clifford, as assumed in the text, but by
Percy. Neither was Clifford slain upon this
occasion, though he had several skirmishes with
Bruce. He fell afterwards in the battle of
Bannockburn. Bruce, after alarming the castle
of Turnberry, and surprising some part of the
garrison, who were quartered without the walls
of the fortress, retreated into the mountainous
part of Carrick, and there made himself so
strong that the English were obliged to evacuate
Turnberry, and at length the castle of Ayr.

34. " Bring here" he said, " the mazers four "
etc. These mazers were large drinking-cups,
or goblets.


I. When Bruce 's banner had victorious flowed,
etc. The first important advantage gained by
Bruce, after landing at Turnberry, was over
Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, the same
by whom he had been defeated near Methven.
They met, as has been said, by appointment, at
Loudonhill, in the west of Scotland. Pembroke
sustained a defeat ; and from that time Bruce
was at the head of a considerable flying army.
Yet he was subsequently obliged to retreat into
Aberdeenshire, and was there assailed by
Comyn, Earl of Buchan, desirous to avenge the
death of his relative, the Red Comyn, and sup-
ported by a body of English troops under
Philip de Moubray. Bruce was ill at the time
of a scrofulous disorder, but took horse to meet
his enemies, although obliged to be supported
on either side. He was victorious, and it is
said that the agitation of his spirits restored his

I. When English blood oft deluged Douglas-
dale. The "good Lord James of Douglas,"
during these commotions, often took from the
English his own castle of Douglas ; but being
unable to garrison it, contented himself with
destroying the fortifications and retiring into
the mountains. As a reward to his patriotism,
it is said to have been prophesied that how
often soever Douglas Castle should be de-
stroyed, it should always again arise more
magnificent from its ruins. Upon one of these
occasions he used fearful cruelty, causing all
the store of provisions, which the English had
laid up in his castle, to be heaped together,
bursting the wine and beer casks among the
wheat and flour, slaughtering the cattle upon
the same spot, and upon the top of the whole
cutting the throats of the English prisoners.

This pleasantry of the " good Lord James " is
commemorated under the name of the Douglas's

1. And fiery Edward routed stout Saint John.
" John de Saint John, with 1 5,000 horsemen, had
advanced to oppose the inroad of the Scots.
By a forced march he endeavored to surprise
them ; but intelligence of his motions was time-
ously received. The courage of Edward Bruce,
approaching to temerity, frequently enabled
him to achieve what men of more judicious
valor would never have attempted. He or-
dered the infantry, and the meaner sort of his
army, to entrench themselves in strong narrow
ground. He himself, with fifty horsemen well
harnessed, issued forth under cover of a thick
mist, surprised the English on their march,
attacked and dispersed them " {Dalrymple's.
A nnals of Scotland ) .

1. When Randolph' 's war-cry swelled the south-
ern gale. Thomas Randolph, Bruce's sister's
son, a renowned Scottish chief, was in the
early part of his life not more remarkable for
consistency than Bruce himself. He espoused
his uncle's party when Bruce first assumed the
crown, and was made prisoner at the fatal battle
of Methven, in which his relative's hopes ap-
peared to be ruined. Randolph accordingly
not only submitted to the English, but took an
active part against Bruce ; appeared in arms
against him ; and in the skirmish where he was
so closely pursued by the bloodhound it is said
his nephew took his standard with his own hand.
But Randolph was afterwards made prisoner
by Douglas in Tweeddale, and brought before
King Robert. Some harsh language was ex-
changed between the uncle and nephew, and
the latter was committed for a time to close
custody. Afterwards, however, they were recon-
ciled, and Randolph was created Earl of Moray
about 131 2. After this period he eminently
distinguished himself, first by the surprise of
Edinburgh Castle, and afterwards by many
similar enterprises, conducted with equal cour-
age and ability.

4. Stirling's towers, etc. When a long train
of success, actively improved by Robert Bruce,
had made him master of almost all Scotland,
Stirling Castle continued to hold out. The care
of the blockade was committed by the king to
his brother Edward, who concluded a treaty
with Sir Philip Mowbray, the governor, that he
should surrender the fortress, if it were not
succored by the King of England before Saint
John the Baptist's day. The consequence was,
of course, that each kingdom mustered its
strength for the expected battle ; and as the
space agreed upon reached from Lent to Mid-
summer, full time was allowed for that pur-

4. And Cambria, but of late sttbdued, etc.
Edward the First, with the usual policy of a
conqueror, employed the Welsh, whom he had
subdued, to assist him in his Scottish wars, for
which their habits, as mountaineers, particularly
fitted them. But this policy was not without
its risks. Previous to the battle of Falkirk, the



Welsh quarrelled with the English men-at-arms,
and after bloodshed on both parts, separated
themselves from his army, and the feud between
them, at so dangerous and critical a juncture,
was reconciled with difficulty. Edward II. fol-
lowed his father's example in this particular,
and with no better success. They could not be
brought to exert themselves in the cause of their
conquerors. But they had an indifferent re-
ward for their forbearance. Without arms, and
clad only in scanty dresses of linen cloth, they
appeared naked in the eyes even of the Scottish
peasantry; and after the rout of Bannockburn
were massacred by them in great numbers, as
they retired in confusion towards their own

4. And Connoght poured from waste and wood,
etc. There is in the Fcedera an invitation to
Eth O'Connor, chief of the Irish of Connaught,
setting forth that the king was about to move
against his Scottish rebels, and therefore re-
questing the attendance of all the force he
could muster, either commanded by himself in
person, or by some nobleman of his race. These
auxiliaries were to be commanded by Richard
de Burgh, Earl of Ulster.

13. The Monarch rode along the van. The
English vanguard, commanded by the Earls of
Gloucester and Hereford, came in sight of the
Scottish army upon the evening of the 23d of
June. Bruce was then riding upon a little
palfrey, in front of his foremost line, putting
his host in order. It was then that the personal
encounter took place betwixt him and Sir
Henry de Bohun, a gallant English knight, the
issue of which had a great effect upon the spirits
of both armies. The Scottish leaders remon-
strated with the king upon his temerity. He
only answered, " I have broken my good battle-
axe." The English vanguard retreated after
witnessing this single combat. Probably their
generals did not think it advisable to hazard
an attack while its unfavorable issue remained
upon their minds.

20. Pipe-clang and bugle-sound were tossed.
There is an old tradition, that the well-known
Scottish tune of " Hey, tutti taitti," was Bruce's
march at the battle of Bannockburn. The late
Mr. Ritson, no granter of propositions, doubts
whether the Scots had any martial music, quotes

1 it's account of each soldier in the host
bearing a little horn, on which, at the onset,
they would make such a horrible noise, as if all
the devils of hell had been among them. He
observes that these horns are the only music
mentioned by Barbour, and concludes that it
must remain a moot point whether Bruce's
army were cheered by the sound even of a soli-
tary bagpipe.

21. See where yon barefoot Abbot stands, etc.
" Maurice, Abbot of Inchaffray, placing himself
00 an eminence, celebrated mass in sight of the

h army. I le then passed along the front

■■■ted, and bearing a crucifix in his hands,

and exhorting the Scots, in few and forcible

words, to combat for their rights and their

liberty. The Scots kneeled down. ' They

yield,' cried Edward; * see, they implore mercy.'
— ' They do.' answered Ingelram de Umfraville,
' but not ours. On that field they will be vic-
torious, or die'" (Annals of Scotland, vol. ii.

P- 47)-

22. Forth, Marshal, on the peasant foe ! The
English archers commenced the attack with
their usual bravery and dexterity. But against
a force, whose importance he had learned by-
fatal experience, Bruce was provided. A small
but select body of cavalry were detached from
the right, under command of Sir Robert Keith.
They rounded, as I conceive', the marsh called
Milntown bog, and, keeping the firm ground,
charged the left flank and rear of the English
archers. As the bowmen had no spears nor
long weapons fit to defend themselves against
horse, they were instantly thrown into dis-
order, and spread through the whole English
army a confusion from which they never fairly

24. Twelve Scottish lives his baldric bore !
Roger Ascham quotes a similar Scottish prov-
erb, " whereby they give the whole praise of
shooting honestly to Englishmen, saying thus,
' that every English archer beareth under his
girdle twenty-four Scottes.' Indeed, Toxophilus
says before, and truly of the Scottish nation,
' The Scottes surely be good men of warre in
theyre owne feates as can be ; but as for shoot-
inge, they can neither use it to any profite, nor
yet challenge it for any praise.' "

24. Down ! down ! in headlong overthroiv, etc.
It is generally alleged by historians, that the
English men-at-arms fell into the hidden snare
which Bruce had prepared for them. Barbour
does not mention the circumstance. According
to his account, Randolph, seeing the slaughter
made by the cavalry on the right wing among
the archers, advanced courageously against the
main body of the English, and entered into
close combat with them. Douglas and Stuart,
who commanded the Scottish centre, led their di-
vision also to the charge, and the battle becom-
ing general along the whole line, was obstinately
maintained on both sides for a long space of
time; the Scottish archers doing great execu-
tion among the English men-at-arms, after the
bowmen of England were dispersed.

24. And steeds that shriek in agony. I have
been told that this line requires an explanatory
note ; and, indeed, those who witness the silent
patience with which horses submit to the most
cruel usage, may be permitted to doubt that
in moments of sudden and intolerable anguish,
they utter a most melancholy cry. Lord Ers-
kine, in a speech made in the House of Lords,
upon a bill for enforcing humanity towards ani-
mals, noticed this remarkable fact, in language
which I will not mutilate by attempting to re-
peat it. It was my fortune, upon one occasion,
to hear a horse, in a moment of agony, utter a
thrilling scream, which I still consider the most
melancholy sound I ever heard.

28. Lord of the Isles, my trust in thee, etc.
When the engagement between the main bodies
had lasted some time, Bruce made a decisive



movement by bringing up the Scottish reserve.
It is traditionally said that at this crisis he ad-
dressed the Lord of the Isles in a phrase used
as a motto by some of his descendants, " My
trust is constant in thee."

30. To arms they flew, — axe, club, or spear,
etc. The followers of the Scottish camp ob-
served, from the Gillies' Hill in the rear, the
impression produced upon the English army by
the bringing up of the Scottish reserve, and,
prompted by the enthusiasm of the moment, or
the desire of plunder, assumed, in a tumultuary
manner, such arms as they found nearest, fast-
ened sheets to tent-poles and lances, and showed
themselves like a new army advancing to battle.

The unexpected apparition of what seemed a
new army completed the confusion which al
ready prevailed among the English, who fled in
every direction, and were pursued with immense
slaughter. The brook of Bannock, according
to Barbour, was so choked with the bodies of
men and horses that it might have been passed

31. O, give their hapless prince his due ! Ed-
ward II., according to the best authorities,
showed, in the fatal field of Bannockburn, per-
sonal gallantry not unworthy of his great sire
and greater son. He remained on the field till
forced away by the Earl of Pembroke, when all
was lost.

ODfje JFtelo of MMetloo.

2. Plies the hooked staff and shortened scythe.
The reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand
a stick with an iron hook, with which he col-
lects as much grain as he can cut at one sweep
with «. short scythe, which he holds in his right
hand. They carry on this double process with
great spirit and dexterity.

9. Pale Brussels ! then what thoughts were
thine. It was affirmed by the prisoners of war
that Bonaparte had promised his army, in case
of victory, twenty-four hours' plunder of the
city of Brussels.

10. u On ! On ! " was still his stern exclaim.
The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was
never more fully displayed than in what we may
be permitted to hope will prove the last of his
fields. He would listen to no advice and allow
of no obstacles. An eyewitness has given the
following account of his demeanor towards
the end of the action : —

" It was near seven o'clock ; Bonaparte, who
till then had remained upon the ridge of the
hill whence he could best behold what passed,
contemplated with a stern countenance the
scene of this horrible slaughter. The more
that obstacles seemed to multiply, the more his
obstinacy seemed to increase. He became in-
dignant at these unforeseen difficulties ; and,
far from fearing to push to extremities an army
whose confidence in him was boundless, he
ceased not to pour down fresh troops, and to
give orders to march forward — to charge with
the bayonet — to carry by storm. He was re-
peatedly informed, from different points, that
the day went against him, and that the troops
seemed to be disordered ; to which he only
replied, ' En-avant ! En-avant! ' "

10. The fate their leader shunned to share. It
has been reported that Bonaparte charged at
the head of his guards, at the last period of this
dreadful conflict This, however, is not accu-
rate. He came down, indeed, to a hollow part
of the high-road leading to Charleroi, within

less than a quarter of a mile of the farm of La
Haye Sainte, one of the points most fiercely
disputed. Here he harangued the guards, and
informed them that his preceding operations
had destroyed the British infantry and cav-
alry, and that they had only to support the fire
of the artillery, which they were to attack with
the bayonet. This exhortation was received
with shouts of Vive F Empereur, which were
heard over all our line, and led to an idea that
Napoleon was charging in person. But the
guards were led on by Ney ; nor did Bonaparte
approach nearer the scene of action than the
spot already mentioned, which the rising banks
on each side rendered secure from all such balls
as did not come in a straight line.

10. England shall tell the fight! In riding
up to a regiment which was hard pressed, the
duke called to the men, " Soldiers, we must
never be beat, — what will they say in Eng-
land ? " It is needless to say how this appeal
was answered.

12. As plies the smith his clanging trade. A
private soldier of the 95th regiment compared
the sound which took place immediately upon
the British cavalry mingling with those of the
enemy, to " a thousand tinkers at work mending
pots and kettles"

21. Period of honor, etc. Sir Thomas Pictou,
Sir William Ponsonby, and Sir William de
Lancey were among the lost. The last-named
was married in the preceding April. Colonel
Miller, when mortally wounded, desired to see
the colors of the regiment once more ere he
died. They were waved over his head, and
the expiring officer declared himself satisfied.
Colonel Cameron, of Fassiefern, so often dis-
tinguished in Lord Wellington's despatches
from Spain, fell in the action at Quatre Bras
(16th June, 181 5), while leading the 92d or Gor-
don Highlanders, to charge a body of cavalry
supported by infantry. Colonel Alexander
Gordon fell by the side of his chief.



J&arolO tfce dauntless*

This poem was published in January, 1817.
See Scott's reference to it in the 1830 Introduc-
tion to The Lord of the Isles. Unlike the other
long poems, it has almost no notes.


1. My Surtees' happier lot.
of Mainsforth, Esq., F.S.A.

Robert Surtees
author of The

History and Antiquities of the County Palatine
of Durham. 3 vols, folio, 1816-20-23.


I. Bel's false priest. See, in the Apocryphal
Books, The History of Bel and the Dragon.

1. Matthew and Morton, etc. Bishops of Dur-
ham, as Barrington also was.

33allaUs ftom tf)e ©erman, etc.

BStlltam arrtJ ^elen.

Of this translation, written in 1 795, and printed
in 1 796, Scott says : —

" The following Translation was written long
before the Author saw any other, and origi-
nated in the following circumstances : A lady
of high rank in the literary world read this ro-
mantic tale, as translated by Mr. Taylor, in the
house of the celebrated Professor Dugald Stew-
art of Edinburgh. The Author was not pres-
ent, nor indeed in Edinburgh at the time ; but
a gentleman who had the pleasure of hearing
the ballad, afterwards told him the story, and
repeated the remarkable chorus —

' Tramp ! tramp ! across the land they speede,
Splash ! splash ! across the sea ;
Hurrah! The dead can ride apace !
Dost fear to ride with me ? '

" In attempting a translation, then intended
only to circulate among friends, the present
Author did not hesitate to make use of this
impressive stanza ; for which freedom he has
since obtained the forgiveness of the ingenious
gentleman to whom it properly belongs."

Z\)t IWa huntsman.

This was published with William and Helen
in 1796, being then entitled The Chace. Scott
says of it : —

44 This is a translation, or rather an imitation,
of the Wilde Jager of the German poet Burger.
The tradition upon which it is founded bears,

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