First when they saw our Highland mob, They swore they'd slay us a', Willie; And yet ane fyl'd his breiks for fear, 30 And so did rin awa', Willie: We drave him back to Bonnybrigs, Dragoons, and foot, and a', Willie.
_Up and war, &c._
But when their gen'ral view'd our lines, And them in order saw, Willie, 35 He straight did march into the town, And back his left did draw, Willie: Thus we taught them the better gate, To get a better fa', Willie.
_Up and war, &c._
And then we rally'd on the hills, 40 And bravely up did draw, Willie; But gin ye spear wha wan the day, I'll tell you what I saw, Willie: We baith did fight, and baith were beat, And baith did run awa', Willie. 45 So there's my canty Highland sang About the thing I saw, Willie.
THE MARQUIS OF HUNTLEY'S RETREAT FROM THE BATTLE OF SHERIFFMUIR.
See p. 156. From _A New Book of Old Ballads_, p. 30.
Hogg inserted this ballad in the _Jacobite Relics_, ii. 13, using, says Maidment, the editor of the publication cited above, a very imperfect manuscript copy. The following version was taken from the original broad-side, supposed to be unique. There are very considerable variations in the language of the two copies, and the order of the stanzas is quite different. This says Hogg, "is exclusively a party song, made by some of the Grants, or their adherents, in obloquy of their more potent neighbours, the Gordons. It is in a great measure untrue; for, though the Marquis of Huntley was on the left wing at the head of a body of horse, and among the gentlemen that fled, yet two battalions of Gordons, or at least of Gordon's vassals, perhaps mostly of the Clan Chattan, behaved themselves as well as any on the field, and were particularly instrumental in breaking the Whig cavalry, or the left wing of their army, and driving them back among their foot. On this account, as well as that of the bitter personalities that it contains, the "song is only curious as an inveterate party song, and not as a genuine humorous description of the fight that the Marquis and his friends were in. The latter part of the [third] stanza seems to allude to an engagement that took place at Dollar, on the 24th October, a fortnight previous to the battle of Sheriffmuir. Mar had despatched a small body of cavalry to force an assessment from the town of Dunfermline, of which Argyle getting notice, sent out a stronger party, who surprised them early in the morning before daylight, and arrested them, killing some and taking seventeen prisoners, several of whom were Gordons. The last stanza [but one] evidently alludes to the final submission of the Marquis and the rest of the Gordons to King George's government, which they did to the Grants and the Earl of Sutherland. The former had previously taken possession of Castle Gordon; of course, the malicious bard of the Grants, with his ill-scraped pen, was not to let that instance of the humiliation of his illustrious neighbours pass unnoticed.--JACOBITE RELICS, vol. ii. p. 255.
From Bogie side to Bogie Gight, The Gordons all conveen'd, man, With all their might, to battle wight,[L3]
Together close they join'd, man,[L4]
To set their king upon the throne, 5 And to protect the church, man; But fy for shame! they soon ran hame, And left him in the lurch, man.
_Vow as the Marquis ran, Coming from Dumblane, man!
Strabogie did b--t itself, And Enzie was not clean, man._
Their chieftain was a man of fame, And doughty deeds had wrought, man, 10 Which future ages still shall name, And tell how well he fought, man.
For when the battle did begin, Immediately his Grace, man, Put spurs to Florance, and so ran[L15] 15 By all, and wan the race, man.
The Marquis' horse was first sent forth, Glenbucket's foot to back them, To give a proof what they were worth, If rebels durst attack them. 20 With loud huzzas to Huntly's praise, They near'd Dumfermling Green, man, But fifty horse, and de'il ane mair, Turn'd many a Highland clan, man.
The second chieftain of that clan, 25 For fear that he should die, man, To gain the honour of his name, Rais'd first the mutinie, man.
And then he wrote unto his Grace, The great Duke of Argyle, man, 30 And swore, if he would grant him peace, The Tories he'd beguile, man.
The Master with the bullie's face,[L33]
And with the coward's heart, man, Who never fails, to his disgrace, 35 To act a traitor's part, man, He join'd Drumboig, the greatest knave In all the shire of Fife, man.
He was the first the cause did leave, By council of his wife, man. 40 _Vow, &c._
A member of the tricking trade, An Ogilvie by name, man, Consulter of the grumbling club, To his eternal shame, man, Who would have thought, when he came out, 45 That ever he would fail, man?
And like a fool, did eat the cow, And worried on the tail, man.
Meffan Smith, at Sheriff Muir,[L49]
Gart folk believe he fought, man; 50 But well it's known, that all he did, That day it serv'd for nought, man.
For towards night, when Mar march'd off, Smith was put in the rere, man; He curs'd, he swore, he baul[le]d out, 55 He would not stay for fear, man.
But at the first he seem'd to be A man of good renown, man; But when the grumbling work began, He prov'd an arrant lown, man. 60 Against Mar, and a royal war, A letter he did forge, man; Against his Prince, he wrote nonsense, And swore by Royal George, man.[L64]
At Poineth boat, Mr. Francis Stewart,[L65] 65 A valiant hero stood, man, In acting of a royal part, Cause of the royal blood, man.
But when at Sheriff Moor he found That bolting would not do it, 70 He, brother like, did quite his ground, And ne're came back unto it.
Brunstane said it was not fear That made him stay behind, man; But that he had resolv'd that day 75 To sleep in a whole skin, man.
The gout, he said, made him take [bed], When battle first began, man; But when he heard his Marquis fled, He took his heels and ran, man. 80 _Vow, &c._
Sir James of Park, he left his horse In the middle of a wall, man; And durst not stay to take him out, For fear a knight should fall, man; And Maien he let such a crack, 85 And shewed a pantick fear, man; And Craigieheads swore he was shot, And curs'd the chance of wear, man.
When they march'd on the Sheriff Moor, With courage stout and keen, man; 90 Who would have thought the Gordons gay That day should quite the green, man?
Auchleacher and Auchanachie, And all the Gordon tribe, man, Like their great Marquis, they could not 95 The smell of powder bide, man.
Glenbuicket cryed, "Plague on you all, For Gordons do no good, man; For all that fled this day, it is Them of the Seaton blood, man." 100 Clashtirim said it was not so, And that he'd make appear, man; For he, a Seaton, stood that day, When Gordons ran for fear, man.
The Gordons they are kittle flaws, 105 They'll fight with heart and hand, man; When they met in Strathbogie raws On Thursday afternoon, man; But when the Grants came doun the brae, Their Enzie shook for fear, man; 110 And all the lairds rode up themselves, With horse and riding gear, man.
Cluny plays his game of chess,[L113]
As sure as any thing, man; And like the royal Gordons race, 115 Gave check unto the king, man.
Without a queen, its clearly seen, This game cannot recover; I'd do my best, then in great haste Play up the rook Hanover. 120 _Vow, &c._
15. His horse, so called from having been a present from the Grand Duke of Tuscany.--M.
33. Master of Sinclair, whose Court-Martial has been printed with an exceedingly interesting preface by Sir Walter Scott, as his contribution to the Roxburgh Club.
49. David Smith was then proprietor of Methven, an estate in Perthshire.
He died in 1735. Douglas, in his Baronage, terms him, "a man of good parts, great sagacity, and economy."--M.
64. Altered in MS. to "German George."--M.
65. Brother to Charles, 5th Earl of Moray. Upon his brother's death, 7th October, 1735, he became the 6th Earl. He died in the 66th year of his age, on the 11th December, 1739.--M.
113. This seems rather Gordon of Cluny than Cluny Macpherson. The estate of Cluny has passed from the ancient race, though still possessed by a Gordon.--M.
JOHNIE COPE. See p. 168.
Johnson's _Museum_ (1853), vol. iv. p. 220, Ritson's _Scottish Songs_, ii. 84.