Then all the countrie men did zield; For nae resistans durst they mak, Nor offer battill in the feild, Be forss of arms to beir him bak. 60 Syne they resolvit all and spak, That best it was for thair behoif, They sould him for thair chiftain tak, Believing weil he did them luve.
Then he a proclamation maid, 65 All men to meet at Inverness, Throw Murray land to mak a raid, Frae Arthursyre unto Spey-ness.
And further mair, he sent express, To schaw his collours and ensenzie, 70 To all and sindry, mair and less, Throchout the bounds of Byne and Enzie.
And then throw fair Straithbogie land His purpose was for to pursew, And quhasoevir durst gainstand, 75 That race they should full sairly rew.
Then he bad all his men be trew, And him defend by forss and slicht, And promist them rewardis anew, And mak them men of mekle micht. 80
Without resistans, as he said, Throw all these parts he stoutly past, Quhair sum war wae, and sum war glaid, But Garioch was all agast.
Throw all these feilds he sped him fast, 85 For sic a sicht was never sene; And then, forsuith, he langd at last To se the bruch of Aberdene.
To hinder this prowd enterprise, The stout and michty Erle of Marr 90 With all his men in arms did ryse, Even frae Curgarf to Craigyvar: And down the syde of Don richt far, Angus and Mearns did all convene To fecht, or Donald came sae nar 95 The ryall bruch of Aberdene.
And thus the martial Erle of Marr Marcht with his men in richt array; Befoir the enemie was aware, His banner bauldly did display. 100 For weil enewch they kend the way, And all their semblance weil they saw: Without all dangir, or delay, Come haistily to the Harlaw.
With him the braif Lord Ogilvy, 105 Of Angus sheriff principall, The constabill of gude Dunde, The vanguard led before them all.
Suppose in number they war small, Thay first richt bauldlie did pursew, 110 And maid thair faes befor them fall, Quha then that race did sairly rew.
And then the worthy Lord Salton, The strong undoubted Laird of Drum, The stalwart Laird of Lawristone, 115 With ilk thair forces, all and sum.
Panmuir with all his men did cum, The provost of braif Aberdene, With trumpets and with tuick of drum, Came schortly in thair armour schene. 120
These with the Earle of Marr came on, In the reir-ward richt orderlie, Thair enemies to sett upon; In awfull manner hardily, Togither vowit to live and die, 125 Since they had marchit mony mylis, For to suppress the tyrannie Of douted Donald of the Yles.
But he in number ten to ane, Richt subtile alang did ryde, 130 With Malcomtosch and fell Maclean, With all thair power at thair syde; Presumeand on thair strenth and pryde, Without all feir or ony aw, Richt bauldie battill did abyde, 135 Hard by the town of fair Harlaw.
The armies met, the trumpet sounds, The dandring drums alloud did touk, Baith armies byding on the bounds, Till ane of them the feild sould bruik. 140 Nae help was thairfor, nane wald jouk, Ferss was the fecht on ilka syde, And on the ground lay mony a bouk Of them that thair did battill byd.
With doutsum victorie they dealt, 145 The bludy battil lastit lang; Each man his nibours forss thair felt, The weakest aft-tymes gat the wrang: Thair was nae mowis thair them amang, Naithing was hard but heavy knocks, 150 That eccho mad a dulefull sang, Thairto resounding frae the rocks.
But Donalds men at last gaif back, For they war all out of array: The Earl of Marris men throw them brak, 155 Pursewing shairply in thair way, Thair enemys to tak or slay, Be dynt of forss to gar them yield; Quha war richt blyth to win away, And sae for feirdness tint the feild. 160
Then Donald fled, and that full fast, To mountains hich for all his micht; For he and his war all agast, And ran till they war out of sicht; And sae of Ross he lost his richt, 165 Thocht mony men with hem he brocht; Towards the Yles fled day and nicht, And all he wan was deirlie bocht.
This is (quod he) the richt report Of all that I did heir and knaw; 170 Thocht my discourse be sumthing schort, Tak this to be a richt suthe saw: Contrairie God and the kings law, Thair was spilt mekle Christian blude, Into the battil of Harlaw: 175 This is the sum, sae I conclude.
But zit a bonny quhyle abyde, And I sall mak thee cleirly ken Quhat slauchter was on ilkay syde, Of Lowland and of Highland men: 180 Quha for thair awin haif evir bene; These lazie lowns micht weil be spaird, Chessit lyke deirs into their dens, And gat thair waiges for reward.
Malcomtosh, of the clan heid cheif, 185 Macklean, with his grit hauchty heid, With all thair succour and relief, War dulefully dung to the deid: And now we are freid of thair feid, They will not lang to cum again; 190 Thousands with them, without remeid, On Donald's syd that day war slain.
And on the uther syde war lost, Into the feild that dismal day, Chief men of worth, of mekle cost, 195 To be lamentit sair for ay.
The Lord Saltoun of Rothemay, A man of micht and mekle main; Grit dolour was for his decay, That sae unhappylie was slain. 200
Of the best men amang them was The gracious gude Lord Ogilvy, The sheriff principal of Angus, Renownit for truth and equitie, For faith and magnanimitie: 205 He had few fallows in the field, Zet fell by fatall destinie, For he nae ways wad grant to zield.
Sir James Scrimgeor of Duddap, knicht, Grit constabill of fair Dunde, 210 Unto the dulefull deith was dicht: The kingis cheif banner man was he, A valziant man of chevalrie, Quhais predecessors wan that place At Spey, with gude King William frie, 215 Gainst Murray and Macduncans race.
Gude Sir Allexander Irving, The much renownit laird of Drum, Nane in his days was bettir sene, Quhen they war semblit all and sum. 220 To praise him we sould not be dumm, For valour, witt, and worthyness; To end his days he ther did cum, Quhois ransom is remeidyless.
And thair the knicht of Lawriston 225 Was slain into his armour schene, And gude Sir Robert Davidson, Quha provest was of Aberdene: The knicht of Panmure, as was sene, A mortall man in armour bricht, 230 Sir Thomas Murray, stout and kene, Left to the warld thair last gude nicht.
Thair was not sen King Keneths days Sic strange intestine crewel stryf In Scotland sene, as ilk man says, 235 Quhair mony liklie lost thair lyfe; Quhilk maid divorce twene man and wyfe, And mony childrene fatherless, Quhilk in this realme has bene full ryfe: Lord help these lands, our wrangs redress. 240
In July, on Saint James his even, That four and twenty dismall day, Twelve hundred, ten score and eleven Of zeirs sen Chryst, the suthe to say, Men will remember, as they may, 245 Quhen thus the veritie they knaw, And mony a ane may murn for ay, The brim battil of the Harlaw.
KING HENRIE THE FIFTH'S CONQUEST.
_Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England._ Percy Society, vol. xvii. p. 52.
"From the singing of the late Francis King, of Skipton in Craven, an eccentric character, who was well known in the western dales of Yorkshire as 'the Skipton Minstrel.' King's version does not contain the third verse, which is obtained, as is also the title, from a modern broadside, from whence also one or two verbal corrections are made, of too trifling a nature to particularize. The tune to which King used to sing it, is the same as that of _The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood_."
Another ballad, much inferior in spirit to this, on the Battle of Agincourt, is to be found in _The Crown Garland of Golden Roses_ (ed.
1659), Percy Soc. vol. xv. p. 65. Percy inserted in the _Reliques_, ii. 26, a song on this battle. Another, quoted in Heywood's _Edward Fourth_, and therefore popular before 1600, is printed in Mr.
Collier's preface to Shakespeare's _Henry Fifth_ (new edition).
The story of the tennis-balls is adopted from the chronicles by Shakespeare. "It is reported by some historians," says Hume, "that the Dauphin, in derision of Henry's claims and dissolute character, sent him a box of tennis-balls, intimating that mere implements of play were better adapted to him than the instruments of war. But this story is by no means credible; the great offers made by the court of France show that they had already entertained a just idea of Henry's character, as well as of their own situation." _History of England_, ch. xix.
As our king lay musing on his bed, He bethought himself upon a time Of a tribute that was due from France, Had not been paid for so long a time.
_Down, a-down, a-down, a-down_, _Down, a-down, a-down._
He called on his trusty page, 5 His trusty page then called he, "O you must go to the king of France, O you must go right speedilie.
"And tell him of my tribute due, Ten ton of gold that's due to me, 10 That he must send me my tribute home, Or in French land he soon will me see."
O then away went the trusty page, Away, away, and away went he, Until he came to the king of France; 15 Lo! he fell down on his bended knee.
"My master greets you, worthy Sire; Ten ton of gold there is due, says he; You must send him his tribute home, Or in French land you will soon him see." 20
"Your master's young, and of tender years, Not fit to come into my degree; But I will send him three tennis balls, That with them learn to play may he."
O then away came the trusty page, 25 Away, and away, and away came he, Until he came to our gracious king; Lo! he fell down on his bended knee.
"What news, what news, my trusty page, What news, what news, hast thou brought to me?" 30 "I've brought such news from the king of France, That you and he will ne'er agree.
"He says you're young, and of tender years, Not fit to come into his degree; But he will send you three tennis balls, 35 That with them you may learn to play."
O then bespoke our noble king, A solemn vow then vowed he; "I'll promise him such tennis balls, As in French lands he ne'er did see. 40
"Go, call up Cheshire and Lancashire, And Derby hills, that are so free; Not a married man, nor a widow's son, For the widow's cry shall not go with me."
They called up Cheshire and Lancashire, 45 And Derby lads that were so free; Not a married man, nor a widow's son, Yet they were a jovial bold companie.
O then he sailed to fair French land, With drums and trumpets so merrilie; 50 O then bespoke the king of France, "Yonder comes proud king Henrie."
The first fire that the Frenchmen gave, They killed our Englishmen so free; We killed ten thousand of the French, 55 And the rest of them they were forced to flee.