“The Lochmaben Harper” Narrative


Text Too Small?


The Lochmaben Harper


A blind harper living in Lochmaben plots with his wife how to steal a fine horse called the Wanton Brown from the Warden at Carlisle. The harper rides off into England on a mare while leaving the mare’s foal with his wife.  He is welcomed in Carlisle by the Warden and his mare is stabled next to the Wanton Brown.  The harper entertains the company by playing and singing until everyone except himself falls asleep, and he then slips away quietly to the stable.  He places a halter on the Wanton Brown and ties it to the mare’s tail and sets both the horses loose.  The mare gallops off to join her foal and the Wanton Brown has to gallop behind her.  The two horses arrive at Lochmaben long before daybreak while the harper is still entertaining the company in the hall.  In the morning, it is discovered that both the Wanton Brown and the harper’s mare are missing, and the harper makes a great outcry about the loss of his mare in England and also of a fine colt foal.in Scotland.  He is asked to continue playing and singing and is compensated for his supposed loss, being given the price of the colt and three times the value of the mare.