Prev Next


Who liv'd in Cow-Cross, near West-Smithfield; who, changing her apparel, entered herself on board in quality of a soldier, and sailed to Ireland, where she valiantly behaved herself, particularly at the siege of Cork, where she lost her toes, and received a mortal wound in her body, of which she since died in her return to London.

From Durfey's _Pills to Purge Melancholy_, v. 8.

Cork was taken September 27-29, 1690, by the Duke (then Earl) of Marlborough, with the cooperation of the Duke of Wirtemberg. The Duke of Grafton, then serving as a volunteer, was mortally wounded while advancing to the assault. Croker suggests that this lamentation for the heroine of Cow-Cross, "the Mary Ambree of her age," was one of the many indirect efforts made to bring the military skill of Marlborough into popular notice.

Let the females attend To the lines which are penn'd, For here I shall give a relation Of a young marry'd wife, Who did venture her life, 5 For a soldier, a soldier she went from the nation.

She her husband did leave, And did likewise receive Her arms, and on board she did enter, And right valiantly went, 10 With a resolution bent To the ocean, the ocean, her life there to venture.

Yet of all the ship's crew, Not a seaman that knew They then had a woman so near 'em; 15 On the ocean so deep She her council did keep, Ay, and therefore, and therefore she never did fear 'em.

She was valiant and bold, And would not be controul'd 20 By any that dare to offend her; If a quarrel arose, She would give him dry blows, And the captain, the captain did highly commend her.

For he took her to be 25 Then of no mean degree, A gentleman's son, or a squire; With a hand white and fair, There was none could compare, Which the captain, the captain did often admire.

On the Irish shore, 31 Where the cannons did roar, With many stout lads she was landed; There her life to expose, She lost two of her toes, 35 And in battle, in battle was daily commended.

Under Grafton she fought Like a brave hero stout, And made the proud Tories retire; She in field did appear 40 With a heart void of fear, And she bravely, she bravely did charge and give fire.

While the battering balls Did assault the strong walls Of Cork, and sweet trumpets sounded, 45 She did bravely advance Where by unhappy chance This young female, young female, alas! she was wounded.

At the end of the fray Still she languishing lay, 50 Then over the ocean they brought her, To her own native shore: Now they ne'er knew before That a woman, a woman had been in that slaughter.

What she long had conceal'd 55 Now at length she reveal'd, That she was a woman that ventur'd; Then to London with care She did straitways repair, But she dy'd, oh she dy'd, e'er the city she enter'd. 60

When her parents beheld, They with sorrow was fill'd, For why, they did dearly adore her; In her grave now she lies, Tis not watery eyes, 65 No, nor sighing, nor sighing that e'er can restore her.



(See p. 156. From Ritson's _Scottish Songs_, ii. 67.)

_W._ Pray came you here the fight to shun, Or keep the sheep with me, man?

Or was you at the Sheriff-moor, And did the battle see, man?

Pray tell whilk of the parties won? 5 For well I wat I saw them run, Both south and north, when they begun, To pell and mell, and kill and fell, With muskets snell, and pistols knell, And some to hell 10 Did flee, man.

_T._ But, my dear Will, I kenna still, Whilk o' the twa did lose, man; For well I wat they had good skill To set upo' their foes, man: 15 The red-coats they are train'd, you see, The clans always disdain to flee, Wha then should gain the victory?

But the Highland race, all in a brace, With a swift pace, to the Whigs disgrace, 20 Did put to chace Their foes, man.

_W._ Now how diel, Tam, can this be true?

I saw the chace gae north, man.

_T._ But well I wat they did pursue 25 Them even unto Forth, man.

Frae Dumblain they ran in my own sight, And got o'er the bridge with all their might, And those at Stirling took their flight; Gif only ye had been wi' me, 30 You had seen them flee, of each degree, For fear to die Wi' sloth, man.

_W._ My sister Kate came o'er the hill, Wi' crowdie unto me, man; 35 She swore she saw them running still Frae Perth unto Dundee, man.

The left wing gen'ral had na skill, The Angus lads had no good will That day their neighbours blood to spill; 40 For fear by foes that they should lose Their cogues of brose, all crying woes-- Yonder them goes, D'ye see, man?

_T._ I see but few like gentlemen 45 Amang yon frighted crew, man; I fear my Lord Panmure be slain, Or that he's ta'en just now, man: For tho' his officers obey, His cowardly commons run away, 50 For fear the red-coats them should slay; The sodgers hail make their hearts fail; See how they scale, and turn their tail, And rin to flail And plow, man. 55

_W._ But now brave Angus comes again Into the second fight, man; They swear they'll either dye or gain, No foes shall them affright, man: Argyle's best forces they'll withstand, 60 And boldly fight them sword in hand, Give them a general to command, A man of might, that will but fight, And take delight to lead them right, And ne'er desire 65 The flight, man.

But Flandrekins they have no skill[L67]

To lead a Scotish force, man; Their motions do our courage spill, And put us to a loss, man. 70 You'll hear of us far better news, When we attack like Highland trews, To hash, and slash, and smash and bruise, Till the field, tho' braid, be all o'erspread, But coat or plaid, wi' corpse that's dead 75 In their cold bed, That's moss, man.

_T._ Twa gen'rals frae the field did run, Lords Huntley and Seaforth, man; They cry'd and run grim death to shun, 80 Those heroes of the North, man; They're fitter far for book or pen, Than under Mars to lead on men; Ere they came there they might well ken That female hands could ne'er gain lands; 85 'Tis Highland brands that countermands Argathlean bands Frae Forth, man.

_W._ The Camerons scow'r'd as they were mad, Lifting their neighbours cows, man, 90 M'Kenzie and the Stewart fled, Without phil'beg or trews, man: Had they behav'd like Donald's core, And kill'd all those came them before, Their king had gone to France no more: 95 Then each Whig saint wad soon repent, And strait recant his covenant, And rent It at the news, man.

_T._ M'Gregors they far off did stand, 100 Badenach and Athol too, man; I hear they wanted the command, For I believe them true, man.

Perth, Fife, and Angus, wi' their horse, Stood motionless, and some did worse, 105 For, tho' the red-coats went them cross, They did conspire for to admire Clans run and fire, left wings retire, While rights intire Pursue, man. 110

_W._ But Scotland has not much to say, For such a fight as this is, Where baith did fight, baith run away; The devil take the miss is That every officer was not slain 115 That run that day, and was not ta'en, Either flying from or to Dumblain; When Whig and Tory, in their 'fury,'

Strove for glory, to our sorrow, The sad story 120 Hush is.

67. By Flanderkins are meant Lieutenant-General Fanderbeck and Colonels Rantzaw and Cromstrom.--HOGG.


From Herd's _Scotish Songs_, ii. 234. The same in Ritson's _Scotish Songs_, ii. 73. Burns furnished a somewhat different version to Johnson's _Museum_ (p. 195, also in Cromek's _Select Scotish Songs_, ii. 29), which he obtained from one Tom Neil, a carpenter in Edinburgh, who was famous for his singing of Scottish songs. The title and burden to this version is _Up and warn a', Willie_, an allusion, says Burns, to the _crantara_, or warning of a Highland clan to arms, which the Lowlanders, not understanding, have corrupted. There is another copy in Hogg's _Jacobite Relics_, ii. 18, which is nearly the same as the following.

When the Earl of Mar first raised his standard, and proclaimed the Chevalier, the ornamental ball on the top of the staff fell off, and the superstitious Highlanders interpreted the circumstance as ominous of ill for their cause. This is the incident referred to in the third stanza.

When we went to the field of war, And to the weapon-shaw, Willie, With true design to stand our ground, And chace our faes awa', Willie, Lairds and lords came there bedeen, 5 And vow gin they were pra', Willie: _Up and war 'em a', Willie,_ _War 'em, war 'em a', Willie._

And when our army was drawn up, The bravest e'er I saw, Willie, 10 We did not doubt to rax the rout, And win the day and a', Willie; Pipers play'd frae right to left, "Fy, fourugh Whigs awa'," Willie.

_Up and war, &c._ 15

But when our standard was set up, So fierce the wind did bla', Willie, The golden knop down from the top Unto ground did fa', Willie: Then second-sighted Sandy said, 20 "We'll do nae good at a', Willie."

_Up and war, &c._

When bra'ly they attack'd our left, Our front, and flank, and a', Willie, Our bald commander on the green, Our faes their left did ca', Willie, 25 And there the greatest slaughter made That e'er poor Tonald saw, Willie.

_Up and war, &c._

Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.