"Thairfoir I hald the subject vaine, Wold rave us of our right; 50 First sall one of us be slaine, The uther tak the flight.
Suppose Argyll be muche of might, Be force of Heigheland men; We's be a motte into his sight, 55 Or he pas hame againe.
"Be blaithe, my mirrie men, be blaithe, Argyll sall have the worse, Give he into this countrie kaithe, I houpe in God[i]s cross." 60 Then leap this lord upon his horss, Ane warrlyk troupe at Torray; To meit with Huntlie and his force, They ryde to Elgine of Murray.
The samen night thir lordis meit; 65 For utheris, who thought long, (To tell zow all, I haue forgot) The mirthe was them amonge.
Then playeris played, and songsters song, To gled the mirrie host, 70 Quho feared not thair foes strong, Nor zet Argylles boste.
They for two dayes wold not remove, Bot blaithlie dranck the wyne, Some to his lass, some to his loue, 75 Some to his ladeis fyne.
And he that thought not for to blyne, His mistres tockin tackes; They kist it first, and set it syne Upone thair helmes and jackes. 80
They past thair tyme right wantonly, Quhill word cam at ye last, Argyll, with ane great armie, Approached wondrous fast.
Then [out] of the toune thir barrones past, 85 And Huntlie to them said, "Good gentillmen, we will us cast To Strathbolgie but bed."[L88]
Quhen they unto Strathbolgie came,[L89]
To that castell but dreid, 90 Then to forsee how thingis might frame,[L91]
For they had meikle neid, They woned them unto the dead, As kirkmen could devys; Syne prayed to God that they might speed 95 Off thair guid enterpryse.
Then evirie man himself did arme, To meit Mackallanmorne, Unto Strathdoune quho did great harme The Wednesday beforne. 100 As lyounes does poore lambes devoure, With bloodie teethe and naillis, They burnt the biggingis, tuik the store, Syne slewe the peopillis sellis.
Besyd all this hie crueltie, 105 He said, ere he should ceass, The standing stonnes of Strathbolgie Schould be his palione place.
Bot Huntlie said, "With Godis grace, First we sall fight them ones; 110 Perchance that they may tak the chess, Ere they come to the stonnes."
Thir lordis keipt on at afternoone, With all thair warrmen wight; Then sped up to Cabrach sone, 115 Whair they bed all that night.
Upone the morne, quhen day was light, They rose and maid them boune Intill ane castell that stood on hight, They call it Auchindoune. 120
Besyd that castell, on a croft, They stended pallionis ther; Then spak a man that had bein oft In jeopardie of warr: "My lord, zour foes they ar to fear, 125 Thoughe we war neuir so stoute; Thairfoir comand some man of warre To watche the rest about."
Be this was done, some gentillmen Of noble kin and blood, 130 To counsell with thir lordis begane, Of matteris to concluide: For weill aneughe they understood The matter was of weght, They had so manie men of good 135 In battell for to fight.
The firstin man in counsall spak, Good Errol it was he; Who sayis, "I will the vaneguard tack And leiding upone me. 140 My Lord Huntlie, come succour me, When ze sie me opprest; For fra the feild I will not flie So long as I may last."
Thair at some Gordones waxed wraithe, 145 And said he did them wrong; To lat this lord then they warre leath First to [the] battell gange.
The meiting that was them amonge,[L149]
Was no man that it hard, 150 Bot Huntlie, with ane troupe full stronge, Bed into the reir guarde.
Thir wer the number of thair force Thir lordis to battell led: Ane thousand gentillmen on horss, 155 And some fotemen they had; Thrie hundreth that schot arrowes bred, Four scorr that hagbutis bore: Thir war the number that they had Of footmen with them suire. 160
This worthy chevalrie[L161]
All merchand to the field; Argyll, with ane great armie, Upone ane hill had tane beild, Aboyding them [with] speare and scheild,[L165] 165 With bullettis, dartis, and bowes; The men could weill thair wapones weild;[L167]
To meit them was no mowes.
When they so near uther war come, That ilk man saw his foe, 170 "Goe to, and assay the gaime," said some; Bot Capitane Ker said, "No: First lat the gunes befoir us goe, That they may break the order": Quoth both the lordis, "Lat it be so, 175 Or euer we goe forder."
Then Androw Gray, upone ane horss, Betuixt the battillis red; Makand the signe of holy cross, _In manus tuas_ he said.[L180] 180 He lighted thair [the] gunes to led, Quhill they cam to the rest; Then Capitane Ker unto him sped, And bad him shuit in haist.
"I will not [shuit]," quothe Androw Gray, 185 "Quhill they cum over zonder hill; We have an ower guid caus this dey,[L187]
Through misgydins to spill.
Goe back, and bid our men byd still, Quhill they cum to the plaine; 190 Then sall my shuitting doe them ill, I will not shuit in vaine."
"Shuit up, shuit up," quothe Capitane Ker, "Shuit up, to our comfort!"
The firsten shot [it] was to neir, 195 It lighted all to schort.
The nixtin shot thair foes hurt, It lighted wounderous weill: Quoth Androw Gray, "I sie ane sport, Quhen they began to reill. 200
"Goe toe, good mattes, and say the game, Zonder folkis ar in a fray; Lat sie how we can well with them, Into thair disaray.
Goe, goe, it is not tyme to stay, 205 All for my bennisoune; Saue non this day ze may gar dye, Quhill ze the feild haue wonne."[L209]
Then Errol haisted to the hight, Whair he did battell byd; With him went Auchindoune and Gight,[L219]
And Bonnitoune by his syd: 220 Whair manie gentillman did with him byd, Whos prais sould not be smored; Bot Capitane Ker, that was thair gyde, Red ay befoir my lord.
They war not manie men of werre, 225 Bot they war wonder trewe; With hagbutis, pistolet, bowe, and speare, They did thair foes persewe, Quhair bullettis, dartis, and arrowes flew, Als thick as haill or raine, 230 Quhilk manie hurt, and some they slew, Of horss and gentillmen.
Huntlie maid haist to succour him, And charged furiouslie, Quhair manie menis sight grew dim, 235 The shottis so thick did flie; Quhilk gart right manie doghtie die, Of some on euerie syd; Argyll with his tald hoste did flie, Bot Macklenne did abyd. 240
Macklene had one ane habershoune, Ilk lord had one ane jack; Togidder feirc[e]lie are they rune, With manie a gunes crack.
The splenderis of thair spearis they break, 245 Flewe up into the air, Quhilk boore doune maney on thair back, Againe ros neuer mair.[L249]
"Alace, I sie ane sore sight," 265 Said the Laird of Macklenne; "Our feible folkis is tenne the flight, And left me myne allaine.
Now must I flie, or els be slaine, Since they will not returne;" 270 With that he ran ouer ane dyne, Endlongis ane lytill burne.
Then after great Argylles hoste Some horssmen tuik the chess, Quha turned their backes for all thair bost, 275 Contrair the fooles say[s].
They cried "oh," with manie "alace,"
Bot neuir for mercie sought; Thairfoir the Gordones gaue no grace, Becaus they craved it nought. 280
Then some guidman perseiued sharpe,[L281]
With Erroll and Huntlie, And thai with [a] capitane did carpe, Quhais name was Ogilvie.
He sayis, "Gentillmen, lat see 285 Who maniest slaine slaydis;[L286]
Save non this day ze may gar die, For pleadis, nor ransome paynes."[L288]
Lyk hartes, up howes and hillis thei ranne, Quhair horsmen might not winn: 290 "Reteir againe," quoth Huntlie then, "Quhair we did first begin.
Heir lyes manie carved skinnes, With manie ane bloodie beard, For anie helpe, with litell dinne, 295 Sall rotte aboue the eard."
When they cam to the hill againe, The sett doune one thair knees, Syne thanked God that they had slaine Soe manie enimies. 300 They ros befor Argylles eyis, Maid Capitane Ker ane knight; Syne bed among the dead bodies, Whill they war out of sight.
This deid so doughtilie was done, As I hard trewe men tell, Upone ane Thursday afternoone, St. Franecis ewill befell.[L324]
Guid Auchindoune was slaine himself, 325 With uther seven in battell; So was the Laird of Lochinzell, Grate pitie was to tell.
Saying, "The ministers, I fear, A bloody browst have brown, For yesterday, withouthen mair, 15 On the hill at Stradown, I saw three lords in battle fight Right furiously awhile, Huntlie and Errol, as they hight, Were both against Argyle. 20 Turn back with me and ride a mile, And I shall make it kend, How they began, the form and stile, And of the battles end."