T H E
SIR JAMES THE ROSS.
Edinburgh: Printed by J. Morren Cowgate
SIR JAMES THE ROSS,
OF all the Scottiſh northern chiefs,
of high and warlike name,
The braveſt was ſir James the Roſs,
a knight of meikle fame:
His growth was like the tufted fir,
that crowns the mountain's brow,
And waving o'er his ſhoulders broad,
his locks of yellow flew.
The chieftan of the brave clan Roſs
a firm undaunted band,
Five hundred warriors drew the ſword,
benenth his high command.
In bloody fight thrice had he ſtood,
againſt the Engliſh keen,
O'er two and twenty opening Springs,
his blooming youth had ſeen.
The fair Matilde dear he lov'd,
a maid of Beauty rare;
Even Marg'ret on the Scottiſh throne,
Was never half ſo fair,
Lang had he woo'd lang ſhe refus'd,
with ſeeming ſcorn and pride;
Yet oft her eyes confeſs'd the love,
her faithful tongue deny'd.
At laſt pleas'd with his well try'd faith,
a'low'd his tender claim;
She vow'd to him her virgin heart,
and (illegible text) an equal flame,
Her father, Buchan's cruel lord.
her paſſion diſaprov'd,
And bade her wed Sir John the Graeme
and leave the youth ſhe lov'd.
At night they met as they were wont,
within a ſhady wood,
Where on a bank beſide a burn,
a blooming ſaugh tree ſtood.
Conceal'd among the under-wood,
the crafty Donald lay,
(The brother of Sir John the Graeme)
to hear what they might ſay.
When thus the maid began, My ſire
your paſſion diſaproves,
And bids me wed Sir John the Graeme,
ſo here muſt end our loves.
My father's will must be obey'd,
Nought boots me to withstand,
Some fairer maid in beauty's bloom,
muſt bleſs thee with her hand.
Matilda ſoon ſhall be forgot,
and from thy mind defac'd;
But may that happineſs be thine,
which I can never taſte.
What do I hear! Is this thy vow!
Sir James the Roſs reply'd;
And will Matilda wed the Graeme,
Tho' ſworn to be my bride?
His ſword all ſooner pierce my heart,
than reave me of thy charms:
Then claſp'd her to his beating breaſt,
full lock'd into his arms:
I ſpoke to try thy love ſhe ſaid,
I'll ne'er wed man but thee,
My grave ſhall be my bridal bed,
e'er Grame my huſband be,
Take then dear youth, this faithful kiſs,
in witneſs of my troth,
And every plague become my lot,
That day I break my oath,
They parted thus the ſun was ſet,
up haſty Donald flies,
And turn thee turn thee, beardleſs youth,
he loud inſulting cries.
Soon turn'd about the fearless chief,
and ſoon his ſword he drew,
For Donald's blade before his breaſt
had pierced his tartans through.
This for my brother's ſlighted love,
his wrongs ſit on me arm:
Three paces back the youth retir'd.
to ſave himſelf from harm.
Returing ſwift his hand he rear'd,
from Donald's head above.
And thro the brains and craſhing bones,
his ſharp edg'd weapon drove.
ſtagger'd reel'd, then tumbled down,
lump of breathleſs clay
So fall my foes, quoth valiant Roſs
and ſtately ſtrode away.
Through the green rood he quickly hy'd,
unto Lord Buchan's hall,
And at Matilda's window ſtood,
and thus began to call:
Art thou aſleep Matilda dear?
awake, my love, awake!
Thy luckleſs lover calls to thee,
a long farewel to take.
For I have ſlain fierce Donald Graeme,
his blood is on my ſword,
And diſtant are my faithful men,
nor can aſſiſt their lord,
To Sky I'll now erect my way
where my two brothers bide,
And raiſe the valinnt of the iſles,
to combat on my ſide.
O do not ſo, the maid replies,
with me till morning ſtay
For dark and dreary is the night,
and dangerous is the way,
All night I'll watch you in the park,
my faithful page I'll ſend,
To run and raiſe the Roſs's clan,
their maſter to defend,
Beneath a buſh he laid him down,
and wrapt him in his plaid,
While trembling for her lover's fate,
at diſtance ſtood the maid.
Swift run the pinge o'er hill and dale,
till in a lowly (illegible text)
He met the furious ſir John Graeme,
with twenty of his men.
Where goeſt thou little page, he ſaid,
ſo late who did ſhe ſend!
I go to raiſe the Roſs's clan,
their maſter to defend:
For he has ſlain fierce Donald Graeme,
his blood in on his ſword,
And far, far diſtant are his men,
for to aſſiſt their lord.
And has he ſlain my brother dear?
the furious Graeme replies:
Diſhonour blaſt my name but he
by me ere morning dies.
Tell me where is Sir James the Roſs
I will thee well reward;
He ſleeps into Lord Buchan's park,
Matilda is his guard.
They ſpurr'd their ſteeds in furious mood,
and ſcour'd along the ley,
They reach'd Lord Buchan's lofty tow'rs,
by dawning of the day,
Matilda ſtood without the gate,
to whom thus Grmane did ſay,
Saw ye Sir James the Roſs laſt night,
or did he paſs this way?
Laſt day at noon, Matilda ſaid,
Sir James the Roſs paſs'd by,
He furiouſly prick'd his ſwift ſteed,
and onward faſt did hie:
By this time he's at Edinburgh,
if horſe and man hold good.
Your page then lied, who ſaid he was,
now ſleeping in the wood.
She wrung her hands, and tore her hair,
brave Roſs thou art betray'd,
And ruin'd by the means ſhe cried,
from whence I hop'd thine aid.
By this the the valiant Knight awoke,
the virgin's ſhrieks he heard,
And ſo he roſe and drew his ſword,
when the fierce band appear'd.
Your ſword last night my brother ſlew,
His blood yet dims its ſhine,
But ere the riſing of the fun,
your blood ſhall rack on mine.
You word it well the chief reply'd,
but deeds approve the man;
Set by your men, and hand to hand,
well try what valour can.
Oft beating hides a coward's beart,
my weighty ſword you fear,
Which ſhone in front in Flodden field,
when yours kept in the rear,
With dauntleſs ſteps he forward ſtrode,
and dar'd him to the fight
The Graeme gave back, he fear'd his arm,
for well he knew it's might.
Four of his men' the braveſt four,
ſunk down beneath his ſword,
But ſtill he ſcored this baſe revenge,
and fought their haughty lord.
Behind him baſely came the Graeme,
and wound him in the ſide:
Oat ſpouting came the purple tide,
and all his tartans dy'd.
But of his ſword ne'er quite the grip
Nor dropt he to the ground,
Tule rough his te wys heart his ſteel
had forc'd a motral wound:
Graeme like a tree, by wind o'erthrown,
fell breathleſs on the clay,
And down beſide him ſunk the Roſs,
who faint and dying lay.
The ſad Matilda ſaw him fall;
O ſpare his life ſhe cried;
Lord Buchan's daughter craves his life,
It her not be deny'd.
Her well known voice the hero heard,
and rais'd his death closed eyes,
Then fix'd them on the weeping maid,
and weakly thus replied:
In vain Matilda begs a life,
by death's arrest denied,
My race is run. Adieu my love,
then cloſed his eyes, and died.
The ſword yet warm from his left ſide,
with frantic hand ſhe drew,
I come, sir James the Roſs, ſhe cries
I come to follow you.
She lean'd the hilt against the ground,
and bared her ſnowy breaſt
Then fell upon her lover's face,
and ſun to endleſs reſt.
Th(illegible text) this fatal tragedy,
let parent warning take
And ne'er entice their children dear
their ſacred vows to break.