The Battle Of Harlaw--Evergreen Version

Andrew Lang 1844 (Selkirk, Scottish Borders) – 1912 (Banchory)

Frae Dunidier as I cam throuch,
Doun by the hill of Banochie,
Allangst the lands of Garioch.
Grit pitie was to heir and se
The noys and dulesum hermonie,
That evir that dreiry day did daw!
Cryand the corynoch on hie,
Alas! alas! for the Harlaw.

I marvlit what the matter meant;
All folks were in a fiery fariy:
I wist nocht wha was fae or freind,
Yet quietly I did me carrie.
But sen the days of auld King Hairy,
Sic slauchter was not hard nor sene,
And thair I had nae tyme to tairy,
For bissiness in Aberdene.

Thus as I walkit on the way,
To Inverury as I went,
I met a man, and bad him stay,
Requeisting him to mak me quaint
Of the beginning and the event
That happenit thair at the Harlaw;
Then he entreited me to tak tent,
And he the truth sould to me schaw.

Grit Donald of the Ysles did claim
Unto the lands of Ross sum richt,
And to the governour he came,
Them for to haif, gif that he micht,
Wha saw his interest was but slicht,
And thairfore answerit with disdain.
He hastit hame baith day and nicht,
And sent nae bodward back again.

But Donald richt impatient
Of that answer Duke Robert gaif,
He vow'd to God Omniyotent,
All the hale lands of Ross to half,
Or ells be graithed in his graif:
He wald not quat his richt for nocht,
Nor be abusit like a slaif;
That bargin sould be deirly bocht.

Then haistylie he did command
That all his weir-men should convene;
Ilk an well harnisit frae hand,
To melt and heir what he did mein.
He waxit wrath and vowit tein;
Sweirand he wald surpryse the North,
Subdew the brugh of Aberdene,
Mearns, Angus, and all Fyfe to Forth.

Thus with the weir-men of the yles,
Wha war ay at his bidding bown,
With money maid, with forss and wyls,
Richt far and neir, baith up and doun,
Throw mount and muir, frae town to town,
Allangst the lands of Ross he roars,
And all obey'd at his bandown,
Evin frae the North to Suthren shoars.

Then all the countrie men did yield;
For nae resistans durst they mak,
Nor offer batill in the feild,
Be forss of arms to beir him bak.
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,
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,
To all and sindry, mair and less,
Throchout the bounds of Byne and Enzie.

And then throw fair Strathbogie land
His purpose was for to pursew,
And whatsoevir durst gainstand,
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.

Without resistans, as he said,
Throw all these parts he stoutly past,
Where sum war wae, and sum war glaid,
But Garioch was all agast.
Throw all these feilds be sped him fast,
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 Erl of Marr
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
The ryall bruch of Aberdene.

And thus the martial Erle of Marr
Marcht with his men in richt array;
Befoir his enemis was aware,
His banner bauldly did display.
For weil enewch they kent the way,
And all their semblance well they saw:
Without all dangir or delay,
Come haistily to the Harlaw.

With him the braif Lord Ogilvy,
Of Angus sheriff principall,
The constable of gude Dunde,
The vanguard led before them all.
Suppose in number they war small,
Thay first richt bauldlie did pursew,
And maid thair faes befor them fall,
Wha then that race did sairly rew.

And then the worthy Lord Salton,
The strong undoubted Laird of Drum,
The stalwart Laird of Lawristone,
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.

These with the Earle of Marr came on,
In the reir-ward richt orderlie,
Thair enemies to sett upon;
In awfull manner hardilie,
Togither vowit to live and die,
Since they had marchit mony mylis,
For to suppress the tyrannie
Of douted Donald of
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Andrew Lang

Andrew Richard Lang FRS CBE was a British scientist and crystallographer. more…

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"The Battle Of Harlaw--Evergreen Version" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/2822/the-battle-of-harlaw--evergreen-version>.

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