Rough Scan



Frae Tullidaff, a challenge bauld
=Is sent out to the host.
Arbuckle, back by sutors haul’d,
=Is in a blanket toss’t;
Out to the Scores baith young and auld
=To see the Joustin’ post,
A battle then is sung or tauld
=Whairin sma’ bluid is lost

As on the Heugh, hard by the yett,
The captains o’ the host were sett,
And round their burde on cauld and hett
=Were suppin’ lustily;
(Nae licht o’ candle needit they
For yet the gowden tail o’ day
Sweipt wi’ its neven-settin’ ray
=The rim o’ th’ Arctic sky;
And, mairattour, intill the East,
To see the frolick o’ the feast,
Keek’d out, in silver cymarre drest,
=The jollie-checkit moon,
And owr the sea, and owr the sky,
And owr Sance Androis steeples high,
Flang frae her lap rejoicinglie
=Goupins o’ glory down;
The table round the whilk they sat,
The wine-cups whilk they tooted at,
Their vera faces radiance gat
=Frae her warld-fillin’ blaze;)
As they were pykin’ thus and piddlin’,
And wine-dubs round and round were driddlin’,
Behauld! amid the sound o’ fiddlin’,
=The Abbey-yett upgaes,
And frae it there did issue out
Sax fiddlers playin’ merry bout,
And them ahent a herald stout,
=In green and yellow claes;
At’s mou’ he had a trumpet braw,
Whairwi’ he ‘gan to roust and blaw:
Ha, heretics! I’m come to ca’
=Your ferdiest to the fecht;
Sir Tullidaff, the warden-freir,
Albeit a feckless cuif at leir,
Yet a terrific cairl in weir,
=A man o’ buik and wecht,
Doth by this mou’ o’ mine defy
The steevest o’ your host, to try
In single fecht, till either die,
=The merit o’ your wangill;
Hae ye your man by acht o’ clock,
A’ frack and furnish’t for the shock,
Wi’ him, Sir Freir, in iron frock,
=Sall tuilzie like an angel:
And let the fecht’s conditions be,
If gude Sir Tullidaff sall die,
Keep you the banes but strife or plea
=Whilk this day ye hae cleikit;
If he, wi’ help o’ Mary bricht,
Dumfounder to the death your knicht,
Do ye restore the relics richt
=Within their cophine steekit:—
Jimp time he took to steek his mou’,
Whan on the table down he threw
=Ane birrin’ gauntlet down;
A dozen glasses by the mitten
Were into shiverssmash’d and smitten;
=Their wine flew to the moon;
Up-sprang, wi’ riot and wi’ rippat,
A dozen angry men to grip it,
=The Fisher-Knicht and Barns,
Fierce Sipsies, glumshin’ in his wreth,
Clerk Diston, almost out o’ breath,
And Innergellie, with an aith,
=Attestin’ moon and starns,
That, as he was a champion fittin’,
His was the combat, his the mitten:—
=Hald, hald your tirrivee,
Cry’d Dan Buchanan frae his seat,
To end this pley, and this debate,
Take Homer’s canny classic gate,
=(A wily wight was he!)
E’en get a hat, and clap therein
Your names writ down withouten din,
=And them a’ throwther whummel;
And whatsomever o’ them a’
Our master-skinker first shall draw,
That be the man wham it sall fa’
=This furious freir to hummel;
They gat a hat, and clapt therein
Their names writ down withouten din,
=And whummel’d them a’ throwther;
The skinker, servin’ at their back,
Shov’d in his hand to pick and tak
=A champion out for Luther;
Behauld! the vera first he picket
(Luck rul’d it sae!) was Diston’s ticket;
=He read it by the moon;
_Clerk Disto ‘s name is on the label;_
_Clerk Diston,_ soundit round the table,
_A man mair stalwart, steeve, and stable,_
_To drive the freir to the Diable,_
=_ Couldna be singlet soon:_
Up frae his seat the not’ry bowtit;
"My arms!" he to the welkin shoutit;
"My spear! my swerd! nae mair about it;
=I’m for the battle bown;
De’il may I perish in my fecket,
By some bauld tailzeour’s bodkin pricket,
If I’se na soon exhibit sticket
(Maugre Sanct Rule and Tam-a-Becket)
=This braggin’ lurdoun loun:"
And as he spak, there fell as proof
That instant frae Hevin’s spangly roof
=A starn o’ shootin’ licht,
That frae the zenith’s tapmast crown
Gaed scrievin’ clean across the moon;
And in the bay gaed divin’ down
=That mament out o’ sicht;
They kent the omen, and they clappit
Their hands as down the fire-ba’ drappit.

Mean time Arcturus, that on hie
Glisters beside Bootes’ knee,
=Like ane knee-buckle bricht,
Had been, for twa guid hours and mair,
Westlins o’ Dairsie’s forest fair,
A-chasin’ Berenice’s hair,
=Scarce seen for simmer’s licht;
Syn they sat down to their repast,
A sign and half a sign had past
Across the mid-day straik, whairon
Astraddle rides the gowden sun:
And Morpheus, now i’ th’ lift did ramp,
Down drizzlin’ frae his feathers damp
His sleepy dew-draps own their camp:
Forfairn wi’ toil, and drink, and sangs,
And antipapal douce harangues,
The siegers fell asleep in bangs
=Upon the gressy ground;
Exceptin’ here an antrin fiddle,
And yonder, in the vera middle,
=A diein’ bagpipe’s sound;
Nae din kept soughin’ i’ the sky
To tell th’ unpillow’d crowds that lie
=Souffin’ and sloomin’ round;
To Barns then up-spak Fisher-Willie;
Methinks it’s nicht, my learnit billie!
Syn haith the Bears now shine ill-willie
=Growlin’ at our carouse;
To think o’ dontours and o’ beds,
Whairon to rest our legs and heads,
=Till Tullidaff us rouse:
Quoth Barns, Hcch! what would Luther think
To see us as we sit and wink,
Amid sic daffery and drink!
=Up, then, and let us aff!
Lest that our Papish enemie
Should keek outown the wa’ and see
=How daintilie we daff!
Up than, as fast as they were able,
They bangit endlang frae the table,
And spers’d about in search o’ beds
Throu’ houses, hostillars, and sheds,
Whairon to rest their heavie heads.

Whan they were streiket down for naps,
They slummer’d on like vera taps,
The sounder for their claret-draps:
Except the walkrife clerk, wha lay
Doverin’ and dreamin’ on till day,
O’ fechts, and feuds, and bluidy rackets,
And bucklin’ habrihones and jackets,
And Tullidaff, afore his sicht,
Girnin’ and gapin’ like a wicht
Murder’t, whase saul was on the flicht;
In brief, the harrens o’ the clerk
Were sae commovit wi’ the werk
=O’ harnessin’ and weir;
That in his reelin’ saul ae thocht
O’ parchment on o’ peace was nocht,
=For dreams o’ strife and steir!

As in and round the town they sleepit,
Than frae his cloister hidlins creepit,
Brimfu’ o’ zeal and courage muckle,
That michtie envoy, John Arbuckle,
On his ambassiate to carry
The tidings to the guid Queen Mary
Of a’ this siege’s fierie-farie;
And fetch frae Falkland’s palace auld
A bang o’ Frenchmen big and bauld,
To prick, wi’ bayonet and pike,
Thae hereticks that did them fyke
Backlins to Crail and Cellardyke:
He frae the Abbey’s wastern yett
Had scapit sly withouten lett;
=And now, ayont the town,
Was distant nearly half a mile,
Zig-zaggin’, wi’ great tent and toil,
Through the thick middens of Argyle
=Gilt glorious by the moon:
Whan frae ane little yill-house near,
That shone wi’ candles glimmerin’ clear,
Five Anster sutons in a steir,
Inflamit wud wi’ Berwick’s beer,
=Rush’t reel-rall owr the street;
And claucht at random on the freir;
I wat, he soon was put in fear;
His skrilles, and skreichs, and skellochs dreir,
=Maugre his cloak’s deceit,
Made soon th’ ambassadour to kythe;
Whairat the tipsy sutors blyth
=Gat out their nippens straucht,
And, wi’ their iron grapples, grippit
His flesh, and unto troublance nippit,
Garrin’ him scream a hideous rippet;
As aye they hotch’d and laucht;
Untill the pangs o’ back and thie
Made frae his saul the cork to flee;
And a’ the secrets frank and free
O’ that Guise-fleechin’ ambassie
=Cam gushin’ frae his mou’,
Than wox the saucy sutors glad,
And bad their captive be na ‘fraid;
Him they’d convoy, without debaid,
To whair he should, for what he said,
=Get guerdon as was due;
They dragg’d him to the Fisher-Knicht;
(Wham up they rapt ere mornin’-licht);
They tauld their captive’s fenzied plight,
=His journey and its drift;
"E’en tak a blanket," quoth the Knicht,
"At ilka corner plant a wicht;
Mak the thief wallop out o’ sicht
=Reboundin’ up the lift;
Till ‘mid the starns he stick and settle
Atween ihe Great Bear and the Little:
Sae punish’d be the man that gangs
To bring out Guise’s bluidy bangs
‘Gainst his puir countrymen for wrangs!"
They gat a braid, strang, dainty blanket;
Ae wicht at ilka neuk stood plantit;
The fifth man took his stance aloof
To mark whan i’ the starry roof
=Th’ ambassadour should stick;
They whummel’d him to heevin’ alaft;
Ten times he birr’d up; but as aft
Amid the keppin’ garment saft
=His buik reboundit quick;
Ilk time they garr’d him upwarts bicker,
Erthlins he tummil’d down the quicker;
The aftener he to heevin’ cam naur,
He seem’d to hate it aye the waur;
Untill the sutor-folk at length
=Wi’ flings fortravail’d and forfairn’,
Found to the wastin’ o’ their strength
=He would na stick and be a stern!

Whilst near Sanct Androis town this wark
O’ blanket-heezies stout and stark
Was gaen on in th’ Abbey-park;
=Lo! on the heevinly plain
Twa heathen gods were seen thegither
Scrievin’ awa wi’ ane anither;
The god that had a double mither,
=And she that had na nane;
Quoth he, "Perdie, I’m vext to see
A worshipper maist dear to me
Yonder out-owre the siller sea
=About to daur the death;"
Quoth she, "Perfay, I’m vext likewise
To see ane clerk wham I do prize
Resolvit soon in Mars’s guise
=To jeopardie his breath:"
Quoth he, "Do you then tak guid tent
Your parchment weriour be na shent;
My bottle-champion, be it kent,
=Nae dammishment shall dree:"
Quoth she, "Do you then look till’t weel
Your drinkin’ wicht ‘scape head and heel;
My witty clerk frae straiks o’ steel,
=I warrant, sall ‘scape free:"
Thus they up in the sky thegither,
Claver’d awa wi’ ane anither.

But soon the red-hair’d maid, that sleeps
With her auld grasshopper i’ the deeps,
Keek’d upwarts thro’ the rowin’ sea,
And saw the Hours wi' gigglin’ glee
Thrang harnessin’ the steeds, that bear
Her bernin’ chariot throu’ the air;
Up hurry-scurry in her sark
She spangit for her daily dark;
She was in sic a flichterin’ fricht,
Lest she should hender mornin’-licht,
She took nae time to girdle richt
=Her jupes about or gown;
But naket (save her sark) and bare,
She skeygit uplins throu’ the air,
And, mountin’ up her chaise’s chair,
=Drave aff her horses soon;
Apollo leugh, and shook his sides
As aff in naket glore she rides;
E’en Jove himsel’, wi’ roguish eye,
Keek’t through a peep-hole in the sky
To see her, jiggin’ truttie-trottie
Without her jupes or little-coatie.
The day-daw scarce begound to glisten,
Whan frae his pallet up-sprang Diston;
The windocks scarce wi’ beams did lauff,
Whan bangit up Sir Tullidaff;
Twa ferdy faes, destin’d ere nicht
To try ilk ither’s utmost micht,
For makin’ baith their sauls tak’ flicht,
Ilk had ane omen to betaken
The doom that owr his pow was shakin’:
As Tullidaff drew up his breiks,
Ilk button that his finger seeks,
As if forleitet by its steeks,
=Upon the flure down-drappit,
The mair he fummelt and he fykit,
Fient haet ae button would keep sticket,
Sae that his garment, wild and wicket,
=Aye at his heels did flap;
Whairas, e’en o’ their ain accord,
The Clerk’s, as gin they kent their lord,
Stole up without a single heeze,
And cannilie, unto his thies,
=Did circumjack and clap!

Envestet were thir warriours baith
Soon in their buliements and graith;
(The warden’s trunk-hose to his fecket
Wi’ gowden corken-priens was pricket:)
Whan they were clad in claise and shoon,
To diff’rent things they turnit soon,
To pit their sauls in better tune:
Sir Frier began wi’ blitter-blatter
His pray’rs to saints to pitter-patter,
And muse on mass and haly watter;
But Diston, butten fear or flutter,
To fit him for the battle’s clutter,
Betook himsel’ to rows and butter.

Let’s leave them thair at mass and meat,
And look about anither gate;
Sanct Salvador’s lang strappan steeple
Had peltit five hours to the people;
The streets were fu’ o’ mornin’-licht,
And windocks’ lozens yellow-bricht
Wi’ blinks back-bleezin’ on the sicht:
Whan the town-crier wi’ his clap
Gan throu’ the streets to reird and rap;
And the town’s-drummer wi’ his drum
Begoud to brattle and to bum;
And the town’s-piper wi’ his drone
Garr’d sleep frae ilk ee-lid be gone:
First the tae man, and then the tither,
And sometimes a’ the three thegither,
Yammer’t upon the causey-crowns;
Ho! men and wives, and student-lowns!
Auld folks and bairns, and learnit gowns!
Up frae your lazy beds, and see
The jollie justing and the spree
Upon the Scores about to be!
Whairat baith learnit and unlearnit bodies
About them rapplet fast their duddies,
And, headlins hurryin’ frae their doors,
Out-ran in thousands to the Scores;
As fast as water frae a spout,
Dickeman’s-wynd spew’d hundreds out;
Great bangs the Castle-wynd out-bockit;
The Butts wi’ bodies maist was chokit;
Sic hobblin’, hurryin’, and happin’,
Wi’ elbucks jundyin’ and rappin’,
Coat-tails and women’s gowns flip-flappin’,
At fair or sermon ne’er did happen:
Bar’l-belly’d men and great-wambe women
Stood jammit i’ the Butts, and screamin’,
Till, wi’ their batterin’-rams afore them,
They smash’d the smaiks that maist did smore tham:
Lean skraes o’ men, and sclender wives,
Were glad to get out wi’ their lives:
But in the Castle-wynd mair space
And breidth they had to run their race:
In brief, wi’ bodies fleein’, flittin’,
The town seem’d desolation-smitten;
Nae livin’ thing, save cat or kitten,
Upon the lanely hearth-stane sittin’:
Nae toomer was the city, than
Whan the great laird o’ Montalban,
On his Boyardo fair and fleet,
Past the West-port, and up the street
Rade on — in mickle maze I ween,
For fient ae face was to be seen
=In windocks or at doors;
Baith great and little, a’ were out
To see the famous tiltin’-bout
‘Tween Ariodant and Lurcan stout
=Upon the grassy Scores.

The heralds had the rink-room metit,
The barriers set, and lists completit;
And gapin’, glowerin’, round about,
Wi’ skin, and skry, and rallion—shout,
Stood thick and far the rabble-rout;
As whan a fisherman, some day
In August, near the Isle o’ May,
Lichts on a skull o’ herrings thick,
Amid whase millions, flikkerin’ quick,
His coble seems to stand and stick;
As far as he can cast his een,
Guid fish and sea are only seen;
The finny folk, as if in daffin’,
Out-loup upon his ee-brees baffin’;
He, in his glad heart, fa’s a-lauffin’,
And blesses Neptune for sic skaffin’.
Sae thick, around the rink-room, stood
That monie-headit multitude:
The heralds were nae little fash’d
To keep the lists frae bein’ crash’d
By waves o’ folk that drave and dash’d.
At length a trumpet in the wast
Was heard out-bellerin’ a blast;
And, in a jiffie, ere it ceas’d,
Anither beller’d in the east:
The crowd, distract at ilka blast,
Look’t ae-half east, the tither wast;
And eastlins, lo! there did appear
Heich on a steed, that nicker’d clear,
Sir Tullidaff, the michtie freir,
Waggin’ in’s hand a ten-fit speir:
He was enguardit, fore and back,
By Papist-priests, a rotten pack,
Canons and freirs, baith grey and black;
On ilka hand there wagg’t and wav’d
Shav’n-crowns, clean clipt, and trigly shav’d,
That glisten’d in the mornin’-licht
Like marble knublocks burnish’t bricht,
Or rowan-stanes upon the shore,
Amang the jaws that splash and roar:
Mairfurth, their wembes had sic a wecht,
Walkin’ to them was but a fecht;
At ilka stap they puff’t and pecht:
Tippets were there, cowls, comets, caps,
Rockets, and lang-gowns wi’ their flaps;
The Paip’s ain livery, gawcy-gay,
Frae a’ the cloisters’ kists that day
Shone out in Tullidaff’s array:
This in the east; — but in the wast
Nae less a pomp cam’ streamin’ fast:
=The Clerk on’s battle-horse,
Wi’ a’ his merrymen defendit,
That in a huddle round attendit,
Burghers, and lairds, and plewmen blendit,
And royat bairns that spang’d and stendit
=Wi’ a’ their micht and force:
Him, as he rode on in the middle,
Encompass’t men wi’ pipe and fiddle,
That garr’d resound maist a’ the widdle,
Skreighin’ and screedin’ fiddle-diddle:
Aye, as they saw at ilka stap
His spear to waver and to wap,
As if for laik o’ fae to stick
Auld girnin’ Juno to the quick,
=Their craigs wi’ gaulps did rattle;
What wi’ the scraighs o’ lauchter there,
And janty faces shinin’ fair,
‘Twas clear they were the men o’ lear;
And Luther’s gklad ghaist in the air
=Gaed wi’ them to the battle.

As nearer to the lists they ride,
The meikle menzie on ilk side
Did break in twa, and clean divide,
=To gie them passage in;
Whan baith had ridden up the gap,
Again the crowd, like water-jaup,
Thegither rush’d, and clos’d the slap
=Wi’ hussiling and din:
But whan the Papists, rang’d in raw,
Their chief within the barriers saw,
His courser bardit trig and braw
=Wi’ gowd and crimson-claith;
His ten-fit tram of aiken spear
Terriblie wallopin’ in air,
Enouch e’en wi’ its wind to scare
=A Lutheran to the death;
They couldna bide that sicht without
Clappin’ their hands wi’ pridefu’ shout,
And yellochin’ a’ round about,
=As if the triumph’s meed
Were theirs already butten doubt:
But soon frae Luther’s gleesome rout
Contrair there cam’ a rattlin’-bout,
=A counter-clap indeed,
That swallow’d up the Papist din,
And shook the Paip’s strang-hauld o’ sin,
Garrin’ Sir Freir growe in his skin
=Wi’ ane prophetic dreid.

Ane herald bare upon his head
(Like to a baxter bearin’ bread)
The cedar kist, a precious lade,
=O’ mickie werth and wecht;
Whairin the banes that host had cleikit,
Though yellow-reestit sair and smeekit,
Again were closit in and steekit,
=The premium o’ that fecht:
Sir Constable arrang’d in order
Ilk thing within the barrier’s border;
Firm on their weir-steeds for the faucht,
Ilk man fornent the tither straucht,
Sat meditatin’ deeds o’ maucht:
Good luck, their helmets hid their chouks,
Whilk grinn’d and glowr’d sic crabbit looks,
Sic terrible and grim rebukes,
That, had they but seen ane anither,
Baith knichts had likely swarf’d thegither,
And drappit down wi’ perfect drither.
Within their rests their trams o’ wood
Stood tremblin’, as if slauchter-wode,
Bernin’ up i’ the air for blood:
At last, as sign o’ battle's bressil,
Ane trumpeter garr’d reird and reissil
His dainty, muckle-mou’d, brass-whistle,
And cry’t, "Sanct Andrew shaw the recht!
Now, aft, ye deevils, to the fecht!"
And at it, swap! baith horse and man,
Windflaucht thegither rasch’d and ran:
As whan twa fiery dragons dart
In heevin’ ilk ane frae diff'rent airt,
And dash their hissin’ heads thegither,
As if t’ upgabble ane anither;
Heav’n rattles wi’ the dunnerin’ dush,
And round is fill’d wi’ fiery frush;
The scouther’d Ram in terrour shakes
Frae’s smeekin’ fleece the bernin’ flakes;
The Great Bear gowls; the Lesser quakes:
Sae clos’d wi’ bustyious bang and baff,
Clerk Diston and Freir Tullidaff:
And sae, as arms on arms were batter’d,
The spunks, and sparks, and splinters blatter’d,
And the hail barreis clash’d and clatter’d;
The sky sough’d wi’ ane eerie bum,
And th' earnest people, all and some,
Sat tremblin’, doitrify’d, and dumb,
To see what awfu’ end mith come:
But sae it happen’d that nae scaith
That renk, wrocht either dool or death;
They were sae cas’d in weirlike graith,
Scart-free and haill they ‘scapit baith:
Yet did their spears sic straiks let gird,
They near down-devel’d to the yird
The dinnel’d warriours wi’ their dird:
Ilk fallow’s heels clean gat the upper,
His back-neck down upon the crupper:
Yet soon again their heads up-bangit,
Their steeds were turn’t, and forwart spangit,
Their bridles rang, and armour clangit
They clos’d; they clash’d; but, de’il-ma-care,
Fient haet o’ dammishment was there,
Exceptin’ that the not’ry’s spear,
=As good luck did direck it,
Did pierce the Papist’s frock o’ mail,
And brak a big wanrestfu’ beal,
That near his lunzie, live and hail,
=Grew up aneath his jacket;
For monie a year that boil had thriven,
And monie a twinge its master given,
Untill at length, throu’ cuirass riven,
=In ran the airn by chance,
And lat out baith the wind and matter,
That lang had lodgit in that tetter;
My certie! mair the man was better
=Of war’s than surgeon’s lance!
He felt at ance his eased smart,
And thank’t his faeman in his heart
For cure o’ that mal-easy part,
=And hummit, Praise be blest!
Then, musterin’ micht for thwack and thump,
He cry’t, "Have at you, Lollard rump!
For curin’ me o’ my sair lump,
=That lang has been my pest."
Incontinent wi’ fire-slacht speed,
They join’d, they grapplit steed to steed;
Baith spears, as feckless for the fede,
=They drappit hither-thither;
Wi’ hands and arms alane they foucht:
They grippit, graspit, warslet, wrocht,
And, with enormous raxes, soucht
=T’ unsaddle ane anither;
As weel they mith hae try’d to stir up
A rootit aik-tree, or a fir up,
As aff frae saddle, out frae stirrup,
=T’ up-heize the tane the tither;
Sometimes they twinet breast and back
Sae close, they for a minute stack;
Sometimes, down headlang wi’ a crack,
Baith totterin’ knichts were like to swak
=Upon the yird thegither;
What might hae happ’d, nae man can say;
They mith hae warstled on a’ day,
Had not ane goddess till the fray
Down frae the sky come linkin’,
And cast her cantrip owr her knicht;
(Some said they saw the vision bricht
Down slidin’ on a beam o’ licht,
=And owr the barrels blinkin’:)
Her gramowrie she cast; and, swith!
Her weary knicht’s ilk limb and lith
Gat tenfauld poustie, powr, and pith,
=To give his fae a jee-up;
He gripp’t the grey-freir by the waist,
And, wi’ a rousing rax, that maist
=Had haurl’d an aiken-tree up,
He frae his saddle heiz’d him hie,
And held him in his hand a wie
Mair easy than a bairn in glee
=Haulds simmer butterflie up.
Than, wi’ a dardum and a dirdum,
Yirdlins he daddit him and birr’d him:
But what befel him thus-gate daddit,
In the neist sang ye’ll find it addit.—
My Muse is jankit now and jadit!