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Governt and led, held straight their way.
The horse with spurs hastened they,
And prickit upon them sturdily;
And they met them richt hardily.
See that, at their assembly there,
Sic a frushing of spears were,
That far away men micht it hear,
That at that meeting forouten3 were.
Were steeds stickit mony ane;

And mony gude man borne doun and slain;
They dang on other with wappins sair,
Some of the horse, that stickit were,
Rushit and reelit richt rudely.


The gude earl thither took the way,
With his battle, in gude array,
And assemblit sae hardily,

That men micht hear had they been by,
A great frush of the spears that brast.
There micht men see a hard battle,
And some defend and some assail;
While through the harness burst the bleed,
That till earth down steaming gaed.
The Earl of Murray and his men,
Sae stoutly them conteinit then,
That they wan place ay mair and mair
On their faes; where they were,
Ay ten for ane, or mair, perfay;
Sae that it seemit weel that they
Were tint, amang sae great menyie,5
As they were plungit in the sea.
And when the Englishmen has seen
The earl and all his men, bedeen,
Faucht sae stoutly, but effraying,
Richt as they had nae abasing;
Them pressit they with all their micht.
And they, with spears and swerds bricht,
And axes, that richt sharply share
I'mids the visage, met them there.
There men micht see a stalwart stour,
And mony men of great valour,
With spears, maces, and knives,
And other wappins, wisslit their lives:
Sae that mony fell doun all deid.

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The grass waxed with the blude all red.
The Stewart, Walter that then was,
And the gude lord, als, of Douglas,
In a battle when that they saw
The earl, forouten dreid or awe,
Assemble with his company,
On all that folk, sae sturdily,

For till help them they held their way.
And their battle in gude array,
They assembled sae hardily,
Beside the earl, a little by,

That their faes felt their coming weel.
For, with wappins stalwart of steel,
They dang upon, with all their micht.
Their faes receivit weel, Ik hicht,7
With swerds, spears, and with mace.
The battle there sae fellon8 was,

And sae richt great spilling of blude,
That on the earth the sluices stude.
That time thir three battles were
All side by side, fechting weel near,

1 The van of the English army.


2 Edward Bruce.

3 That were without or out of the battle.

+ The Earl of Murray.

There micht men hear mony a dint,
And wappins upon armours stint.
And see tumble knichts and steeds,
And mony rich and royal weeds
Defoullit foully under feet.
Some held on loft; some tint the seat.
A lang time thus fechting they were;
That men nae noise micht hear there;
Men heard noucht but granes and dints,
That flew fire, as men flays on flints.
They foucht ilk ane sae eagerly,
That they made nae noise nor cry,
But dang on other at their micht,
With wappins that were burnist bricht.
All four their battles with that were
Fechting in a front halily.
Almighty God! how douchtily
Sir Edward the Bruce and his men
Amang their faes conteinit them than !
Fechting in sae gude covine,


Sae hardy, worthy, and sae fine,
That their vaward frushit was.
Almighty God! wha then micht see
That Stewart Walter, and his rout,
And the gude Douglas, that was sae stout,
Fechting into that stalwart stour;
He sould say that till all honour
They were worthy.

There micht men see mony a steed
Flying astray, that lord had nane.
There micht men hear ensenzies cry:

And Scottismen cry hardily,

'On them! On them! On them! They fail!' With that sae hard they gan assail,

And slew all that they micht o'erta'.

And the Scots archers alsua2

Shot amang them sae deliverly,
Engrieving them sae greatumly,

That what for them, that with them faucht,
That sae great routs to them raucht,

And pressit them full eagerly;

And what for arrows, that fellonly
Mony great wounds gan them ma',
And slew fast off their horse alsua,
That they vandist3 a little wee.

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[The appearance of a mock host, composed of the servants of the Scottish camp, completes the panic of the English army; the king flies, and Sir Giles D'Argentine is slain. The narrative then proceeds.]

They were, to say sooth, sae aghast,
And fled sae fast, richt effrayitly,
That of them a full great party
Fled to the water of Forth, and there
The maist part of them drownit were.
And Bannockburn, betwixt the braes,
Of men, of horse, sae steekit4 was,
That, upon drownit horse and men,
Men micht pass dry out-ower it then.
And lads, swains, and rangle,5
When they saw vanquished the battle,
Ran amang them; and sae gan slay,
As folk that nae defence micht ma'.

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4 Shut up.

5 Rabble.

6 Slime, mud.

* Lost amidst so great a multitude. Exchanged.


About the year 1420, ANDREW WYNTOUN, or, as he describes himself, Androwe of Wyntoune, prior of St Serf's Monastery in Lochleven, completed, in

+ St Serf lived in the sixth century, and was the founder of

the monastery of which the author was prior.

St Serf said, 'Gif I sae be,

Foul wretch, what is that for thee?'
The devil said, "This question

I ask in our collation

Say where was God, wit ye oucht,

Before that heaven and erd was wroucht?' St Serf said, 'In himself steadless

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His Godhead hampered never was.'
The devil then askit, What cause he had
To make the creatures that he made?'

To that St Serf answered there,

'Of creatures made he was makèr.

A maker micht he never be,

But gif creatures made had he.'

The devil askit him, Why God of noucht His werkis all full gude had wroucht.'

St Serf answered, That Goddis will

Was never to make his werkis ill,

And as envious he had been seen,

Gif nought but he full gude had been.'
St Serf the devil askit than,

'Where God made Adam, the first man?' "In Ebron Adam formit was,'

St Serf said. And til him Sathanas, 'Where was he, eft that, for his vice, He was put out of Paradise?'

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St Serf said, 'Where he was made.'
The devil askit, How lang he bade
In Paradise, after his sin."

'Seven hours,' Serf said, 'bade he therein.'
'When was Eve made ?' said Sathanas.
'In Paradise,' Serf said, 'she was.'
The devil askit, 'Why that ye

Men, are quite delivered free,
Through Christ's passion precious boucht,
And we devils sae are noucht?'
St Serf said, 'For that ye

Fell through your awn iniquity;
And through ourselves we never fell,
But through your fellon false counsell.'
Then saw the devil that he could noucht,
With all the wiles that he wrought,
Overcome St Serf. He said than
He kenned him for a wise man.
Forthy there he gave him quit,
For he wan at him na profit.
St Serf said, 'Thou wretch, gae
Frae this stead, and 'noy nae mae
Into this stead, I bid ye.'
Suddenly then passed he;

Frae that stead he held his way,

And never was seen there to this day.

[The Return of David II. from Captivity.]

[David II., taken prisoner by the English at the battle of Durham, in 1346, was at length redeemed by his country in 1357. The following passage from Wyntoun is curious, as illustrating the feelings of men in that age. The morning after his return, when the people who had given so much for their sovereign, were pressing to see or to greet him, he is guilty of a gross outrage against them--which the poet, strange to say, justifies.]

Yet in prison was King Davy.
And when a lang time was gane by,
Frae prison and perplexitie
To Berwick Castle brought was he,
With the Earl of Northamptoun,
For to treat there of his ransoun.
Some lords of Scotland come there,
And als prelates, that wisest were.
Four days or five there treated they,
But they accorded by nae way;
For English folk all angry were,
And ay spak rudely mair and mair,
While at the last the Scots party,
That dred their faes' fellony,

All privily went hame their way;
At that time there nae mair did they.
The king to London then was had,
That there a lang time after bade.
After syne, with mediatioun
Of messengers, of his ransoun
Was treated, while a set day

Till Berwick him again brought they.
And there was treated sae, that he
Should of prison delivered be,
And freely till his lands found,
To pay ane hundred thousand pound
Of silver, intil fourteen year

And [while] the payment [payit] were,
To make sae lang truce took they,
And affirmed with seal and fay.
Great hostage there leved1 he,
That on their awn dispense should be.
Therefore, while they hostage were,
Expense but number made they there.
The king was then delivered free,
And held his way till his countrie.
With him of English brought he nane,
Without a chamber-boy alane.

The whether, upon the morn, when he
Should wend till his counsel privy,
The folk, as they were wont to do,
Pressed right rudely in thereto :
But he right suddenly can arrace2
Out of a macer's hand a mace,
And said rudely, 'How do we now?
Stand still, or the proudest of you
Shall on the head have with this mace!'
Then there was nane in all this place,
But all they gave him room in hy;
Durst nane press further that were by ;
His council door might open stand,
That nane durst till it be pressand.

Radure3 in prince is a gude thing;
For, but radure, all governing
Shall all time but despised be:
And where that men may radure see,
They shall dread to trespass, and sae
Peaceable a king his land may ma'.
Thus radure dred that gart him be.
Of Ingland but a page brought he,
And by his sturdy 'ginning

He gart them all have sic dreading,

whom nothing else is known, may be classed with the Prick of Conscience and Pierce Plowman's Vision, English compositions of the immediately preceding age. Thus, it appears as if literary tastes and modes travelled northward, as more frivolous fashions do at this day, and were always predominant in Scotland about the time when they were declining or becoming extinct in England.

The last of the romantic or minstrel class of compositions in Scotland was The Adventures of Sir William Wallace, written about 1460, by a wander. ing poet usually called


Of the author nothing is known but that he was blind from his infancy; that he wrote this poem, and made a living by reciting it, or parts of it, before company. It is said by himself to be founded on a narrative of the life of Wallace, written in Latin by one Blair, chaplain to the Scottish hero, and which, if it ever existed, is now lost. The chief materials, however, have evidently been the traditionary stories told respecting Wallace in the minstrel's own time, which was a century and a half subsequent to that of the hero. In this respect, The Wallace resembles The Bruce; but the longer time which had elapsed, the unlettered character of the author, and the comparative humility of the class from whom he would chiefly derive his facts, made it inevitable that the work should be much less of a historical document than that of the learned archdeacon of Aberdeen. It is, in reality, such an account of Wallace as might be expected of Montrose or Dundee from some unlettered but ingenious poet of the present day, who should consult only Highland tradition for his authority. It abounds in marvellous stories respecting the prowess of its hero, and in one or two places grossly outrages real history; yet its value has on this account been perhaps understated. Within a very few years past, several of the transactions attributed by the blind minstrel to Wallace, and heretofore supposed to be fictitious-as, for example, his expedition to France -have been confirmed by the discovery of authentic evidence. That the author meant only to state real facts, must be concluded alike from the simple unaffectedness of the narration, and from the rarity of deliberate imposture, in comparison with credulity, as a fault of the literary men of the period. The poem is in ten-syllable lines, the epic verse of a later age, and it is not deficient in poetical effect or elevated sentiment. A paraphrase of it into modern Scotch, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, has long been a favourite volume amongst the Scottish peasantry: it was the study of this book which had so great an effect in kindling the genius of Robert


That there was nane, durst nigh him near, But wha by name that called were. He led with radure sae his land, In all time that he was regnand, That nane durst well withstand his will, All winning bowsome to be him till. Wyntoun has been included in this section of our literary history, because, although writing after 1400, his work is one of a class, all the rest of which belong to the preceding period. Some other Scottish writers who were probably or for certain of [Adventure of Wallace while Fishing in Irvine Water.] the fifteenth century, may, for similar reasons, be [Wallace, near the commencement of his career, is living in here introduced. Of one named HUTCHEON, and de-hiding with his uncle, Sir Ranald Wallace of Riccarton, near signed of the Awle Ryall'-that is, of the Hall Kilmarnock. To amuse himself, he goes to fish in the river Royal or Palace-it is only known that he wrote a Irvine, when the following adventure takes place :-] metrical romance entitled the Gest of Arthur. Another, called CLERK, of Tranent,' was the author of a romance entitled The Adventures of Sir Gawain, of which two cantos have been preserved. They are written in stanzas of thirteen lines, with alternate rhymes, and much alliteration; and in a language so very obsolete, as to be often quite unintelligible. There is, however, a sort of wildness in the narrative, which is very striking.* The Howlate, an allegorical satirical poem, by a poet named HOLLAND, of 2 Reached.

1 Left. Ellis.

3 Rigour. 4 Without rigour.

So on a time he desired to play.+
In Aperil the three-and-twenty day,

* See his Life by Dr Currie.

↑ A few couplets in the original spelling are subjoined :—
So on a tym he desyrit to play.

In Aperill the three-and-twenty day,
Till Erewyn wattir fysche to tak he went,
Sic fantasye fell in his entent.

To leide his net a child furth with him yeid;
But he, or nowne, was in a fellowne dreid.
His swerd he left, so did he neuir agayne;
It dide him gud, supposs he sufferyt payne.

Till Irvine water fish to tak he went, Sic fantasy fell in his intent.

To lead his net a child furth with him yede,1
But he, or2 noon, was in a fellon dread.
His swerd he left, so did he never again;
It did him gude, suppose he suffered pain.
Of that labour as than he was not slie,
Happy he was, took fish abundantly.
Or of the day ten hours o'er couth pass.
Ridand there came, near by where Wallace was,
The Lord Percy, was captain than of Ayr;
Frae then' he turned, and couth to Glasgow fare.3
Part of the court had Wallace' labour seen,
Till him rade five, clad into ganand green,
And said soon, Scot, Martin's fish we wald have!'
Wallace meekly again answer him gave.
'It were reason, methink, ye should have part,
Waith should be dealt, in all place, with free heart.'
He bade his child, Give them of our waithing.'
The Southron said, 'As now of thy dealing
We will not tak; thou wald give us o'er small.'
He lighted down and frae the child took all.
Wallace said then, Gentlemen gif ye be,
Leave us some part, we pray for charity.
Ane aged knight serves our lady to-day:
Gude friend, leave part, and tak not all away.'

Thou shall have leave to fish, and tak thee mae,
All this forsooth shall in our flitting gae.

We serve a lord; this fish shall till him gang.'
Wallace answered, said, 'Thou art in the wrang.'
'Wham thous thou, Scot? in faith thou 'serves a blaw.'
Till him he ran, and out a swerd can draw.
William was wae he had nae wappins there
But the poutstaff, the whilk in hand he bare.
Wallace with it fast on the cheek him took,
With sae gude will, while of his feet he shook.
The swerd flew frae him a fur-breid on the land.
Wallace was glad, and hint it soon in hand;
And with the swerd awkward he him gave
Under the hat, his craigs in sunder drave.
By that the laves lighted about Wallace,
He had no help, only but God's grace.
On either side full fast on him they dang,
Great peril was gif they had lasted lang.
Upon the head in great ire he strak ane;
The shearand swerd glade to the collar bane.
Ane other on the arm he hit so hardily,
While hand and swerd baith in the field can lie.
The tother twa fled to their horse again;
He stickit him was last upon the plain.
Three slew he there, twa fled with all their might
After their lord; but he was out of sight,
Takand the muir, or he and they couth twine.
Till him they rade anon, or they wald blin,7
And cryit, ́ Lord, abide; your men are martyred down
Right cruelly, here in this false region.
Five of our court here at the water bade,8
Fish for to bring, though it nae profit made.
We are scaped, but in field slain are three.'
The lord speirit,9 How mony might they be?'
'We saw but ane that has discomfist us all.'
Then leugh10 he loud, and said, 'Foul mot you fall!
Sin' ane you all has put to confusion.

Wha meins it maist the devil of hell him drown!
This day for me, in faith, he bees not sought.'
When Wallace thus this worthy wark had wrought,
Their horse he took, and gear that left was there,
Gave ower that craft, he yede to fish nae mair.
Went till his eme, and tald him of this deed,
And he for woe well near worthit to weid,11

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And said, 'Son, thir tidings sits me sore,
And, be it known, thou may tak scaith therefore.'
Uncle,' he said, 'I will no langer bide,
Thir southland horse let see gif I can ride.'
Then but a child, him service for to mak,
His eme's sons he wald not with him tak.
This gude knight said, 'Dear cousin, pray I thee,
When thou wants gude, come fetch eneuch frae me.'
Silver and gold he gart on him give,

Wallace inclines, and gudely took his leave.

[Escape of Wallace from Perth.]

[Wallace, betrayed by a woman in Perth, escapes to Elcho Park, in the neighbourhood, killing two Englishmen by the way. The English garrison of the town, under Sir John Butler, commence a search and pursuit of the fugitive hero, by means

of a bloodhound. Wallace, with sixteen men, makes his way out of the park, and hastens to the banks of the Earn.]

As they were best arrayand Butler's route,
Betwixt parties than Wallace ischet out;
Sixteen with him they graithit them to gae,
Of all his men he had leavit no mae.
The Englishmen has missit him, in hyl
The hound they took, and followed hastily.
At the Gask Wood full fain he wald have been ;
But this sloth-brach, whilk sicker was and keen,
On Wallace foot followed so fellon fast,
While in their sicht they 'proachit at the last.
Their horse were wicht, had sojourned weel and lang;
To the next wood, twa mile they had to gang,
Of upwith yird 2 they yede with all their micht,
Gude hope they had, for it was near the nicht.
Fawdon tirit, and said he micht not gang.
Wallace was wae to leave him in that thrang.
He bade him gae, and said the strength was near,
But he tharefore wald not faster him steir.
Wallace, in ire, on the craig can him ta',
With his gude swerd, and strak the head him frae.
Dreidless to ground derfly he dushit deid.
Frae him he lap, and left him in that stede.
Some deemis it to ill; and other some to gude;

And I say here, into thir termis rude,
Better it was he did, as thinkis me;
First to the hound it micht great stoppin be;
Als', Fawdon was halden at suspicion,
For he was of bruckil complexion3-
Richt stark he was, and had but little gane.
Thus Wallace wist: had he been left alane,
An he were false, to enemies he wald gae;
Gif he were true, the southron wald him slay.
Micht he do oucht but tyne him as it was?
Frae this question now shortly will I pass.
Deem as ye list, ye that best can and may,
I but rehearse, as my autoúr will say.

Sternis, by than, began for till appear,
The Englishmen were comand wonder near;
Five hundred hail was in their chivalry.
To the next strength than Wallace couth him hy.
Stephen of Ireland, unwitting of Wallace,
And gude Kerly, bade still near hand that place,
At the muir-side, intill a scroggy slaid,
By east Dupplin, where they this tarry made.
Fawdon was left beside them on the land;
The power came, and suddenly him fand;
For their sloth-hound the straight gait till him yede,
Of other trade she took as than no heed.
The sloth stoppit, at Fawdon still she stude,
Nor further she wald, frae time she fand the blude.
Englishmen deemit, for als they could not tell,
But that the Scots had fouchten amang themsell.
Richt wae they were that losit was their scent.
Wallace twa men amang the host in went,

1 Haste. 2 Ascending ground. 3 Broken reputation.

Dissemblit weel, that no man sould them ken,
Richt in effeir, as they were Englishmen.
Kerly beheld on to the bauld Heroun,
Upon Fawdon as he was lookand down,
A subtle straik upward him took that tide,
Under the cheeks the grounden swerd gart glide,
By the gude mail, baith halse and his craig bane
In sunder strak; thus endit that Chieftain.
To ground he fell, feil folk about him thrang,
Treason! they cried, traitors was them amang!
Kerly, with that, fled out soon at a side,

His fallow Stephen than thoucht no time to bide.
The fray was great, and fast away they yede,
Laigh toward Earn; thus scapit they of dreid.
Butler for woe of weeping micht not stint,
Thus recklessly this gude knickt they tynt.
They deemit all that it was Wallace men,
Or else himself, though they could not him ken.
He is richt near, we shall him have but fail,
This feeble wood may him little avail.'
Forty were passed again to Sanct-Johnstoun,
With this dead corse, to burying made it boune.
Parted their men, syne diverse wayis raid;
A great power at Dupplin still there baid."
Till Dareoch the Butler passed but let;
At sundry fuirds, the gait they unbeset;
To keep the wood till it was day they thoucht.
As Wallace thus in the thick forest soucht,
For his twa men in mind he had great pain,
He wist not weel if they were ta'en or slain,
Or scapit hail by ony jeopardy:

Thretteen were left him; no mae had he.
In the Gask hall their lodging have they ta'en;
Fire gat they soon, but meat than had they nane.
Twa sheep they took beside them aff a fauld,
Ordained to sup into that seemly hauld,
Graithit in haste some food for them to dicht:
So heard they blaw rude hornis upon heicht.
Twa sent he forth to look what it micht be;
They baid richt lang, and no tidings heard he,
But boustous noise so brimly blew and fast,
So other twa into the wood furth passed.
Nane come again, but boustously can blaw;
Into great ire he sent them furth on raw.
When that alane Wallace was leavit there,
The awful blast aboundit mickle mair.
Than trowit he weel they had his lodging seen;
His swerd he drew, of noble metal keen;
Syne furth he went where that he heard the horn.
Without the door Fawdon was him beforn,
As till his sicht, his awn heid in his hand:
A cross he made when he saw him so stand.
At Wallace in the heid he swakit there,3
And he in haste soon hynt4 it by the hair,
Syne out at him again he couth it cast-
Intill his heart he was greatly aghast.
Richt weel he trowit that was nae spreit of man,
It was some devil, at sic malice began.
He wist no weel there langer for to bide;

Up through the Hall thus wicht Wallace can glide
Till a close stair, the buirdis rave in twyne,
Fifteen foot large he lap out of that inn.
Up the water, suddenly he couth fare,
Again he blent what 'pearance he saw there,
He thoucht he saw Fawdoun, that ugly sir,
That hail hall he had set in a fire;
A great rafter he had intill his hand.
Wallace as than no langer wald he stand,
Of his gude men full great marvel had he,
How they were tint through his feil fantasy.
Traists richt weel all this was sooth indeed,
Suppose that it no point be of the creed.
Power they had with Lucifer that fell,
The time when he parted frae heaven to hell.

1 Low. 2 Without. 3 Threw 4 Caught.

By sic mischief gif his men micht be lost,
Drownit or slain amang the English host;
Or what it was in likeness of Fawdoun,
Whilk broucht his men to sudden confusion;
Or gif the man ended in evil intent,
Some wicked spreit again for him present,
I can not speak of sic divinity;
To clerks I will let all sic matters be.
But of Wallace furth I will you tell,
When he was went of that peril fell,
Richt glad was he that he had scapit sae,
But for his men great murning can he ma
Flayt by himsell to the Maker of love,
Why he sufferit he sould sic painis prove.
He wist not weel if it was Goddis will,
Richt or wrang his fortune to fulfil.
Had he pleased God, he trowit it micht not be,
He sould him thole in sic perplexity.1
But great courage in his mind ever drave
Of Englishmen thinkand amends to have.
As he was thus walkald by him alane,
Upon Earn-side, makand a piteous mane,
Sir John Butler, to watch the fuirdis right,
Out frae his men of Wallace had a sight.
The mist was went to the mountains again;
Till him he rade, where that he made his mane.
On loud he speirt, What art you walks this gait ?'
'A true man, sir, though my voyage be late;
Errands I pass frae Doune unto my lord;
Sir John Stewart, the richt for to record,
In Doune is now, new comand frae the king.'
Than Butler said, 'This is a selcouth thing,
You lee'd all out, you have been with Wallace,
I shall you knaw, or you come off this place.'
Till him he stert the courser wonder wicht,
Drew out a swerd, so made him for to licht.
Aboon the knee gude Wallace has him ta'en
Through thie and brawn, in sunder strak the bane,
Derfly to deid the knicht fell on the land.
Wallace the horse soon seizit in his hand;
Ane backward straik syne took him, in that steid,
His craig in twa ; thus was the Butler deid.
Ane Englishman saw their chieftain was slain
A spear in rest he cast with all his main,
On Wallace drave, frae the horse him to beir;
Warly he wroucht, as worthy man in weir;
The spear he wan, withouten mair abaid,
On horse he lap, and through a great rout raid
To Dareoch; he knew the fords full weel;
Before him came feil 2 stuffit in fine steel;
He strak the first but baid in the blasoun,3
While horse and man baith flet the water doun.
Ane other syne doun frae his horse he bare,
Stampit to ground, and drounit withouten mair.
The third he hit in his harness of steel
Through out the cost, the spear it brak some deal.
The great power than after him can ride,
He saw na weel nae langer there to bide.
His burnist brand bravely in hand he bare ;
Wham he hit richt they followit him nae mair.
To stuff the chase feil frekis followit fast,
But Wallace made the gayest aye aghast.
The muir he took, and through their power yede.

[The Death of Wallace.]

On Wednesday the false Southron furth brocht To martyr him, as they before had wrocht.4 Of men in arms led him a full great rout. With a bauld sprite guid Wallace blent about: A priest he asked, for God that died on tree. King Edward then commanded his clergy, And said, 'I charge you, upon loss of life, Nane be sae bauld yon tyrant for to shrive.

1 That God should allow him to be in such perplexity. 2 Many. 3 Without sword. 4 Contrived.

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