THE BATTLE OF BOTHWELL BRIDGE, by a Covenanter, quoted in Scott`s Minstrelsy and Treasury of the Scottish Covenant by Rev J.C. Johnston (1887)

"O billie, billie, bonny billie,
Will ye go to the wood wi' me?
We'll ca' our horse hame masterless,
An' gar them trow slain men are we." -

"O no, O no!" says Earlstoun,
"For that's the thing that mauna be;
For I am sworn to Bothwell Hill,
Where I maun either gae or die." -

So Earlstoun rose in the morning,
An' mounted by the break o' day;
An' he has joined our Scottish lads,
As they were marching out the way.

"Now, farewell, father, and, farewell, mother,
And fare ye weel, my sisters three!
An' fare ye well, my Earlstoun,
For thee again I'll never see."

So they're awa' to Bothwell Hill,
An' waly * they rode bonnily!
When the Duke of Monmouth saw them comin',
He went to view their company.

"Ye're welcome, lads," the Monmouth said,
"Ye're welcome, brave Scots lads, to me;
And sae are you, brave Earlstoun,
The foremost o' your company!

"But yield your weapons ane an a';
O yield your weapons, lads, to me;
For gin ye'll yield your weapons up,
Ye'se a' gae hame to your country." -

Out then spak a Lennox lad,
And waly but he spoke bonnily!
"I winna yield my weapons up,
To you nor nae man that I see." -

Then he set up the flag o' red,
A' set about wi' bonny blue; **
"Since ye'll no cease, and be at peace,
See that ye stand by ither true." -

They stell'd *** their cannons on the height,
And showr'd their shot down in the howe;
An' beat our Scots lads even down,
Thick they lay slain on every knowe.

As e'er you saw the rain down fa',
Or yet the arrow frae the bow, -
Sae our Scottish lads fell even down,
An' they lay slain on every knowe.

"O hold your hand," then Monmouth cry'd,
"Gis quarters to yon men for me!" -
But wicked Claver'se swore an oath,
His Cornet's death revenged sud be.

"O hold your hand," then Monmouth cry'd,
"If onything you'll do for me;
Hold up your hand, you cursed Graeme,
Else a rebel to our King ye'll be."

Then wicked Claver'se turn'd about,
I wot an angry man was he;
And he has lifted up his hat,
And cry'd, "God bless his Majesty!"

Than he's awa' to London town,
Aye e'en as fast as he can dree;
Fause witnesses he has wi' him ta'en,
And ta'en Monmouth's head frae his body.

Alang the brae, beyond the brig,
Mony brave man lies cauld and still;
But lang we'll mind, and sair we'll rue,
The bloody battle of Bothwell Hill.

Home Scottish Reformation The Covenanters Ulster Scots English Reformation European Reformation General Topics & Glossary My Books & Bibliography Contact