The Ballad: “The Battle of Loudon Hill”


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The Battle of Loudon Hill
You'l marvel when I tell ye o'
  Our noble Burly, and his train,
When last he march'd up thro' the land,
  Wi' sax and twenty westland men.


Than they I ne'er o' braver heard,
  For they had a' baith wit and skill;
They proved right well, as I heard tell,
  As they cam up o'er Loudoun hill.


Weel prosper a' the gospel lads,
  That are into the west countrie;
Ay wicked Claverhouse to demean,
  And ay  an ill dead may he die!


For he's drawn up i' battle rank,
  An' that baith soon an' hastilie;
But they wha live till simmer come,
  Some bludie days for this will see.


But up spak cruel Claver'se then,
Wi' hastie wit, an' wicked skill ;
“Gie fire on yon westlan' men;
I think it is my sov'reign's will.”


But up bespake his cornet, then,
  “It's be wi’ nae consent o' me!
I ken I'll ne'er come back again,
  An' mony mae as weel as me.


“There is not ane of a' yon men.,
  But wha is worthy other three;
There is na ane amang them a',
  That in his cause will stap to die.


“An' as for Burly, him I knaw;
  He's a man of honour, birth, an' fame;
Gie him a sword into his hand,
  He'll fight thysel an' other ten.”


But up spake wicked Claver'se then,
  I wat his heart it raise fu' hie!
And he has cry’d that a' might hear,
  “Man, ye hae sair deceived me.


“I never ken'd the like afore,
  Na, ne'er since I came frae hame;
That you sae cowardly here suld prove,
  An' yet come of a noble Graeme.”


But up bespake his cornet, then,
  Since that it is your honour’s will,
Mysel shall be the foremost man,
  That shall gie fire on Loudoun hill.


“At your command I'll lead them on,
  But yet wi' nae consent o' me;
For weel I ken I'll ne'er return,
  And mony mae as weel as me.”


Then up he drew in battle rank;
  I wat he had a bonny train!
But the first time that bullets flew,
  Ay he lost twenty o' his men.


Then back he came the way he gaed,
  I wat right soon an' suddenly!
He gave command amang his men,
  And sent them back, and bade them flee.


Then up came Burly, bauld an' stout,
  Wi's little train o' westland men ;
Wha mail than either aince or twice.
  In Edinburgh confin'd had been.


They hae been up to London sent.
  An' yet they're a' come safely down;
Sax troop o' horsemen they hae beat.
  And chased them into Glasgow town.