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النشر الإلكتروني

Attour the rock the lave (1) ran with great din.
Some hang on crags right dolefully to dee,
Some lap, some fell, some flottered on the sea.
Na Southeron in life was leaved in that hauld,
And them within they brunt in powder cauld.
When this was done feill (2) fell on kneeis down,
At the bishop asked absolution.

Then Wallace leuch, said: 'I forgive you all;
Are ye war men repentis for sae small?

They rued nocht us into the town of Ayr;
Our true barons when that they hangit there.'

Our antecessouris, that we suld of reide,
And hald in mynde thar nobille worthi deide,
We lat ourslide throw werray sleuthfulnes;
And castis ws euir till vthir besynes.
Till honour ennymys is our haile entent,
It has beyne seyne in thir tymys bywent;
Our ald ennymys, cummyn of Saxonys blud,
That neuyr yeit to Scotland wald do gud,
Bot euir on fors, and contrar haile thair will
Quhow gret kyndnes thar has beyne kyth thaim till.

2 Many (Ang -Sax, feala),

Some of the incidents in Harry's narrative are so palpably absurd (such as the siege of York, the visit of the queen of Eugland to Wallace's camp with her offer of £3,000 in gold, and the combats of Wallace with the French champions and the lion), that they could never have been intended to be received as matters of real history. That Wallace was in France, however, has been confirmed by the discovery of authentic evidence. All the editors conclude that as Harry could not himself, from his blindness, have written out the work, it may have suffered greatly from amanuenses or transcribers; but they have not attended to dates. The only manuscript of the work which exists is dated 1489, and was written by that careful but obscure scribe, John Ramsay, who also transcribed Barbour's 'Bruce The blind minstrel was in existence four years after the date of Ramsay's manuscript, as we know from the treasurer's books of the reign of James IV; and Ramsay had most likely the benefit of the author's revision-perhaps took it down from his recitation. Few copies would be made of a poem extending to 11,858 lines, and this fact shews how enthusiastic and gifted must have been the blind bard who could compose and retain in his memory a poem of such length, and so various in its incidents and descriptions. The poem is in ten-syllable lines, the epic verse of a later age, and it is not deficient in poetical effect or elevated sentiment. A vulgar paraphrase of it into modern Scotch, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, has long been a favourite volume amongst the Scottish peasantry: it was the study of this book which had so great an effect in kindling the patriotic ardour and genius of Burns.

As a specimen of the original orthography, we subjoin a few of the opening lines of the poem:

1 The rest, the remainder.

Adventure of Wallace while Fishing in Irvine Water.

Wallace, near the commencement of his career, is living in hiding with his uncle, Sir Ranald Wallace of Riccarton, near Kilmarnock. To amuse himself, he goes to fish in the river Irvine, when the following adventure takes place:

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So on a time he desired to play.
In Aperil the three-and-twenty day,
Till Irvine water fish to tak he went;

Sic fantasy fell into his intent.

To lead his net a child furth with him yede; (1)
But he, or (2) noon, was in a felon dread.
His swerd he left, so did he never again;
It did him gude, suppose he suffered pain.
Of that labour as than he was not slie:
Happy he was, took fish abundantly.
Or of the day ten hours o'er couth pass..
Ridand there came, near by where Wallace was,
The Lord Percy, was captain then of Ayr;
Frae then' he turned, and couth to Glasgow fare. (3)
Part of the court had Wallace' labour seen,

Till him rade five, clad into ganand green,

And said soon: "Scot, Martin's fish we wald have!'
Wallace meekly again answer him gave.
It were reason, think, ye should have part,
Waith (4) should be deal, in all place, with free heart.'
He bade his child, Give them of our waithing.'
The Southron said: As now of thy dealing
We wil net tak; thou wald give us o'er small.'
He lighted down and frae the child took all.
Wallace said then: Gentlemen if ye be,
Leave us some part, we pray for charity.
Ane aged knight serves our lady to-day:
Gude friend, leave part, and tak not all away.'
Thou shall have leave to fish, and tak thee mae,
All this forsooth shall in our flitting gae.
We serve a lord; thi fish shall till him gang.'
Wallace answered, said: "Thou art in the wrang.'
"Wham thous thou, Sc? in faith thou 'serves å blaw.'
Till him he ran, and ont a swerd can draw.
William was wae he had nae wappins there
But the poutstaff, the whilk in hand he bare.
Wallace with it fast on the cheek him tk,
With sae gude will, while of his feet he shook.
The swerd flew fue him a fur-breid on the land.
Wallace was glad, d hint it soon in hand;
And with the swerd awkward he in gave
Under the hat, his creig (5) in sunder drave.
By that the lave (C) lighted about Wallace,
He had no help, only but God's grace.
On either side full fast on him they dang,
Great peril was gif they had lasted lang."
Upon the head in great ire he stra! aue;
The shearand swerd glade to the collar bane.
Ano other on the arm he hit so hardily,
While hand and swerd baith in the field can lie.
The tother twa fled to their horse again;
He stickit him was last upon the plain.

1 Went. 2 Ere. 5 Neck.

3 He was on his way from Ayr to Glasgow. 4 Spoil taken in sport 6 Rest.

Three slew he there, twa fled with all their might
After their lord; but he was out of sight,
Takand the muir, or he and they couth twine.
Till him they rade anon, or they wald blin, (1)
And cryit: Lord, abide; your men are martyred down
Right cruelly, here in this false region.
Five of our court here at the water bade, (2)
Fish for to bring, though it nae profit made.
We are scaped, but in field slain are three.'
The lord speirit: (3) How mony might they be?'
We saw but ane that has discomfist us all."

Then leugh (4) he loud, and said: Foul mot you fall!
Sin' ane you all has put to confusion.

Wha meins it maist the devil of hell him drown.
This day for me, in faith, he bees not sought.'
When Wallace thus this worthy wark had wrought,
Their horse he took, and gear that left was there,
Gave ower that craft, he yede to fish nae mair.
Went till his eme, and tald him of this deed,
And he for woe well near worthit to weid, (5)
And said: Son, thir tidings sits me sore,
And, be it known, thou may tak scaith therefore.'
'Uncle,' he said, I will no langer bide,
Thir southland horse let see gif I can ride.'

"

Then but child, him ervice for to mak,
His eme'. sons he wald not with im tak.

This gude knight id: Dear cousin, pray I thee,
When thou wants gude, come fetch eneuch frae me.'
Silver and gold he gart on hi 1 give,

Wallace inclines, and gudely took his leave.

The Ghost of Fawdoun.

One of Wallace's followers, Fawdoun, was of broken reputation, and held in suspicion; and while the Scots were pursued by a formidable party of English, led by a blood-hound, Wallace slew Fawdoun, and retreated to Gask Hall with a small party of thirteen men.

In the Gask Hall their lodging have they ta'en;
Fire gat they soon, but meat then had they nane.
Twa sheep they took beside them aff a fauld,
Ordained to sup into that seemly hauld,
Graithed (6) in haste some food for them to dicht
So heard they blaw rude hornis upon heicht.
Twa sent he forth to look what it micht be;
They bade richt lang, and no tidings heard he,
But bousteous noise so brimly blew and fast
So other twa into the wood furth passed.
Nane came again, but bouteously gan blaw;
Into great ire he sent them furth on raw. (7)
When he alane Wallace was leaved there,
The awful blast abounded meikle mair.
Then trowed he weel they had his lodging seen;
His sword he drew, of noble metal keen;
Syne furth he went whereat he heard the horn;
Without the door Fawdoun was him beforn,
As till his sight, his awn head in his hand;
A cross he made, when he saw him so stand.

1 Ere they would stop. Nearly went mad.

2 Tarried. 3 Inquired. 6 Equipped, made ready

4 Laughed.

7 in row or rank.

At Wallace in the head he swaket there; (1)
And he in haste soon hint (2) [it] by the hair,
Syne out again at him he could it cast;
Intill his heart he was greatly aghast.
Right weel he trowed that was no sprite of man:
It was some devil, at sic malice began.

He wist no weel there langer for to bide,

Up through the hall thus wight Wallace gau glide
Till a close stair; the boardis rave in twyne, (3)
Fifteen feet large he lap out of that in; (4)
Up the water suddenly he could fare,

Again he bien. (5) what 'pearance he saw there;
Him thocht he saw Fawdoun that ugly squire; (6)
That hail Hall he had sent in a fire:

A great rafter he had intill his hand.
Wallace as then no longer would he stand,
Of his gude men full great marvel had he,
How they were through his feil (7) fantasy!
Traists richt weel all this was sooth indeed,
Suppose that it no point be of the creed,
Power they had with Lucifer that fell,
The time when he parted frae heaven to he
By sic mischief gif his men might be lost,
Drownit or slain amang the English host;
Or what it was in likeness of Fawdoun,
Whilk brocht his men to sudden confusion;
Or if the man ended in evil intent,
Some wicked spreit again for him present,
I can not speak of sic divinity;

To clerks I will let all sic matters be.

HOLLAND-HENRYSON.

Among the minor yet popular poets about the middle of the fifteenth century, was HOLLAND, author of The Buke of the Howlat' (owl), an allegorical poem, containing an exhibition of the feathered tribes under a great variety of civil and ecclesiastical characters, to which is added a digression on the arms and exploits of the Douglases. Nothing is known of the author-not even his Christian name; but Mr. David Laing, editor of the 'Howlat,' supposes the poet to have been Sir Richard Holland, a priest, one of the followers of the exiled family of Douglas. The poem appears to have been written about 1453 at Ternoway (now Darnaway), on the banks of the Findhorn, the sent of the Earls of Moray; and it was composed to please the Countess of Moray, dowit, or wedded, to a Douglas. The story is taken from the fable of the jackdaw with borrowed feathers. It is but a very mediocre alliterative production.

There are other alliterative Scottish poems of the beginning and middle of the fifteenth century-as the Tale of Rauf Coilzear,' alluded to by Dunbar and Gavin Douglas; the 'Awntyrs of Arthure, Orfeo and Heurodis,' &c. A selection of these early pieces, twenty

6

3 In twain. asunder.

1 Cast forcibly there. 2 Hint, hunt, or hent, laid hold of. 47 or fame, a dwelling (Ang.-Sax.) Barbour has signifying the tents of an army on the field. 6 In the original, 'hugly, sir.'

5 Glanced. 7 Very, denoting degree.

five in number, all from sources anterior to the close of the sixteenth century, was published by Mr. Laing in 1822, with the title of 'Select Remains of Ancient Popular Poetry of Scotland.'

vant.

"

But far surpassing these early and obscure worshippers of the native Muse, was Master ROBERT HENRYSON, a moral poet, in character not unlike the English poet Daniel-gentle, meditative, and obserOf Henryson there are no personal memorials, except that he was chief schoolmaster at Dunfermline-perhaps, as Lord Hailes suggests, preceptor in the Benedictine convent there-and that he was admitted a member of the university of Glasgow in 1462, being described as the Venerable Master Robert Henrysone, lic itiate in arts, and bac.elor in decrees.' Mr. Laing, who has edited he works of Henryson (Edinburgh, 1865), places the time of his decease towards the close of the century, when he was probably about sev ty years of age. The principal works of Henryson are: Moral Fables of Esop,' thirteen in number, with two prologues; Robene and Makyne,' a pastoral; 'Orpheus and Eurydice,' and 'The Testament of Cresseide,' being a sequel to Chaucer's Troilus and Cressida.' The last of these poems is the most important, but the pastoral of' Robene and Makyne' is believed to be the earliest production of the kind in our national poetry. It is a simple love dialogue between a shepherd and shepherdess. The old stock properties of the pastoral-the pipe and crook, the hanging grapes, spreading beech, and celestial purity of the golden age-find no place in the northern pastoral. Henryson's Robin sits on a good green hill keeping his flock, and is most ungallantly insensible to the advances of Makyne:

Robin sat on gude green hill,
Keepand a flock of fe: (1)
Merry Makyne said him till

Robin, thou rue on me;
I have thee lovit loud and still
Thir years two or three;

My dule in dern but gif thou dill, (2)
Doubtless but dreid I de.'

Robin answered: By the Rood,
Na thing of love I knaw,

But keepis my sheep under yon wude,
Lo! where they rake on raw: (3)
What has marred thee in thy mood,
Makyne to me thou shaw?

Or what is love, or to be lo'ed,
Fain wad I lear that law.'

Makyne explained and pleaded, but her advocacy was out of tune:

Robin on his wayis went,
As licht as leaf of tree;
Makyne mourned in her intent,

And trowed him never to see.
Robin brayed attour the bent,

Then Makyne cryed on hie:
'Now thou may sing, for I am shent,
What aileth love with me?'

The tables, however, are soon turned. Robin grew sick as Makyne grew well, and then she had the malicious satisfaction of rejecting

1 Sheep.

2 My grief in secret unless thou share. Chaucer has derne love (Ang.-Sax. dyrn, secret). 3 Range in a row.

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