Elegy in memory of that valiant champion, Sir R. Grierson, late Laird of Lag, who died Dec. 23d, 1733

Elegy in memory of that valiant champion, Sir R. Grierson, late Laird of Lag, who died Dec. 23d, 1733  (1840-1850) 

date is estimated






Who died Dec. 23d, 1733.



Commends many of his best friends, who were


of the late Persecution.









What fatal news is this I hear?
On earth who shall my standard bear?
For Lag who was my champion brave,
Is dead and now laid in his grave,
The want of him is a great grief,
He was as my manager and chief,
Who fought my kingdom to promove,
And to my laws he had great love,
Could such a furious fiend as I,
Shed tears, my cheeks could never dry;
But I could mourn both night and day,
’Cause Lag from earth is ta’en away.
It is no wonder I am sad,
A better friend I never had,
Through all the large tract of his time,
He never did my ways decline:
He was my trusty constant liege,
Who at all times did me oblige;
But now what shall I think or say?
By death at last he’s ta’en away.
He was a man of meikle zeal,
Who in my service did not fail;
He was no coward to relent;

No man dare say he did repent,
Of the good service done to me,
For as he liv’d so did he die,
He bore my image on his brow,
My service he did still avow,
He had no other deity,
But this world, the flesh, and me;
Unto us he did homage pay,
And did us worship every day.
The thing that he delighted in,
Was that which pious folk call sin,
Adultery, whoredom, and such vice,
Such pleasures were his paradise.
To curse, to swear, and to blaspheme,
He gloried in and thought no shame;
To excess he drank beer and wine,
Till he was drunken like a swine.
No Sabbath day regarded he,
But spent it in profanity;
’Mongst other vices, as some say,
He ravish’d virgins on that day;
But that which rais'd his fame so high,
Was the good service done to me,
In bearing of a deadly feud,
’Gainst people who did pray and read,
And sought my kingdom to impair,
These were the folk he did not spare,
Any who reads the scriptures through,
I’m sure they’ll find but very few
Of my best friends that’s mentioned there,
That could with Grier of Lag compare;
Though Cain was a bloody man,
He to Lag’s latches never came,
In shedding of the blood of those,

Who did my laws and ways oppose.
Like Saul, who David did pursue,
He rais'd on them the cry and hue,
And cruelly he did oppress,
Such as religion did profess.
Doeg the Edomite did slay,
Fourscore and five priests in one day;
But if you'll take the will for deed,
Brave Lag did Doeg far exceed.
He of the blood royal was come,
Of Ahab he was a true son;
For he did sell himself to me,
To work sin and iniquity.
Herod for me had great zeal,
Though his main purpose far did fail,
He many slew by a decree,
But did not toil so much for me,
As Lag, who in his person went,
To every place where he was sent,
To persecute both man and wife,
Who he knew led a pious life.
Brave Clavers flourish'd in his day;
And many lives did take away,
He to Rome's cause most firmly stood,
And drunken was with the saint's blood,
Which in abundance he did shed,
Of those who from his presence fled,
In moss and mountain, cleugh and glen,
Were slaughter'd by his Highlandmen.
That where he came none might remain,
Who in the least did me defame,
He rifled houses, and did plunder,
In moor and dale many a hunder:
He all the shires in south and west,

When blood and rapine sore opprest,
He to his utmost did contrive,
How he might make my kingdom thrive,
And how he might bring down all those,
That did my government oppose.
His mischief never prosper'd ill
Except one time near Lowdon hill,
Where shamefully he did retreat,
Before a few, who did him beat,
Till more assistance I did give.
And then brave Clavers did revive;
With fury then and hellish rage,
He did these wanderers engage,
And sought their utter overthrow,
In every place where he did go.
He was made Viscount of Dundee,
For venturing his all for me.
This honour he enjoy'd not long,
Soon after this he was ta'en home
By sudden fate at last he fell,
At Killicrankie, near Dunkel.
No longer he could serve me here;
But Lag survived for many a year,
And constantly stood to his post,
When many a champion brave was lost.
Brave Charles Stewart of renown,
The best that ever wore a crown,
For whoredom and adultery,
For incest and profanity,
For drunkness and for perjury,
He neither word nor oath regarded;
With gibbets he his friend rewarded
When opposition he did meet.
He then did play the hypocrite,

And feign'd himself for reformation,
When he intended deformation.
At Spey and Scoon within a year.
The covenants he twice did swear;
And at Dunfermline did profess
Great sorrow for his naughtiness
But that was all to get the crown,
That he the better might throw down,
That covenanted Presbytery,
That was so opposite to me;
For afterwards he did rescind,
These covenants no more to bind;
And solemnly he gave command,
To burn them by the hangman's hand.
He caus’d the nations to abjure,
What they call'd reformation pure.
Brave prelacy he did restore,
As it in Scotland was before.
And to this Dagon he caus'd bow,
Scotsman contrary to their vow.
He many a conscience did desire,
Which made me on his count to smile;
Malignants he advanced high.
'Cause they good subjects were to me.
He tolerated heresy,
All error and profanity:
A blasphemous supremacy,
Over the church usurped he;
And granted an indulgency.
Thereby to ruin Presbytry.
My sceptre he did bravely sway,
And punish'd those that did gainsay,
By tortures that were most severe,
By prisoning and loss of gear;

And cruel murders many a way,
Because they from my laws did stray:
But kindness he did ever bear,
No Pope in Rome did ever dwell,
That could this noble prince excell,
For in a word he did advance,
My kingdom more than Rome or France:
Neither Spain nor Germany,
Had so much true zeal for me.
He reigned long but at the last.
His brother York gave him a cast.
He poison'd him and made him die,
And sent him home to my country;
To Tophet that's both wide and large,
Which he chus'd for his heritage,
Great Middleton, that man of might,
My service he did never slight:
To work he furiously did go,
The covenants to overthrow;
He like Nehustan did them treat,
Like almanacks that's out of date,
He did rescind their force and power,
And solemly did them abjure,
He nullified all acts and laws,
That favoured the scripture cause;
And ruin'd many a family,
For nought but non-conformity
If hirelings they would not hear,
Their purse he punish'd most severe;
He made the south of Scotland feel,
His griping claws were made of steel,
They were so crooked, hard, and sharp,
They pierc'd men's substance to the heart,
The king's commission while he did bear,

Men lost their conscience, life, and gear,
But Charles too soon him discarded,
Yet I his kindness well rewarded;
And this I hope he'll not deny,
Since now he lives as well as I.
Fletcher, my friend, he was the first
Advocate who did insist
Against the Whigs in the king's name,
To bring-them to an open shame;
Charles my son did him instal,
To bring these rebels under thral,
Who still for covenants were pleading,
To justify their old proceeding.
He laboured very earnestly
To please his sovereign and me,
By rooting out brave Presbytery,
And planting noble Prelacy;
By shutting up in prison strong
These men who did my interest wrong,
And thristing for the blood of them
Who did my government contemn;
His malice was so set on fire
That nothing could quench his desire,
Until Argyle, mine enemy,
Was brought condignly for to die;
And Guthrie, who did me oppose,
By hanging he his days did close;
And Warriston, the worst of all,
By my friend Fletcher he did fall:
Thus wonderfully he did please me,
When of these rebels he did ease me;
For which good service he doth sit
Among the princes of my pit.
And my dear cousin, Provost Mill,

Burnt covenants, yet thought no ill,
At Lithgow cross, with more disgrace
Than ever was at any place.
He burnt Lex Rex, and other books,
Which sourly on my interest looks;
And many acts of kirk and state,
Which he knew well that I did hate,
’Cause they advanc’d a reformation,
That shook my kingdom thro’ the nation.
He burnt old brechems, roakes, and reels,
Also the picture of the De’il;
I mean myself, ’cause he did think
My effigies would make ail stink,
That he burnt on that solemn day,
Upon the twenty-ninth of May.
But my dear cousin was mista’en,
The covenants remained in fame,
By some that did love them so well,
That with their blood they did them seal.
Himself he did to me surrender,
And for a time liv’d in great splendour
Beloved well of all my friends.
Till at the last he lost his means,
And left in want and poverty
Which made him to the Abbey fly;
He who the covenants did burn,
A cheating bankrupt did become,
He lost his senses turn’d demented;
And none but me his case lamented;
And at the end of all did die,
Bemoaned by no man but me.
I did him visit in distress
Where he is now you’ll eas’ly guess.
Turner did Galloway invade

And took from many what they had,
He spared neither old nor young
But plundered all where he did come,
Most savagely he did them treat.
And without mercy some did beat.
He spoil’d that country cruelly,
And acted like a man for me.
A very hellish life he led
As in my cave he had been bred.
Carsphairn can well testify,
The cursing and profanity,
The outrages committed there.
(The half of which might file the air)
By Turner and his company.
Which wonderfully pleased me
Dalziel who fought at Pentland hill,
And many of my foes did kill;
And others prisoners did lead,
Who after quarters were hang’d dead;
A downright atheist he did turn
And ruin’d all where he did come,
That wanted the mark of the beast,
He did not spare them in the least;
In serving me he made his boast.
He was so valiant in my cause,
And so observant of my laws
That to commend him there’s no need.
His works have prais’d him.———Since he’s dead.
Nisbet of Dalstown in his stead.
In open court against Whigs did plead:
And to the gallows did pursue
The Pentland men who did renew
The covenants at Lanark town.
Till they on gibbets were brought down;

And by his rigorous pursuing
He many o' her Whigs did ruin,
His great exploits pleas'd me so well,
That I his name cannot conceal
But think fit that his deeds be told,
That so his name may be enrol'd
'Mongst other worthies on record
Who serv'd me as their sovereign Lord.
M'Kenzie after did succeed,
As advocate for me to plead.
He turned to apostacy.
And spent his time in blasphemy;
He pled that persous might go free
For murder and for sorcery;
But brought them in guilty of treason,
Who were religious out of season,
By keeping Presbytery in fame.
Which king and council did disclaim:
Who of their conscience were so tender
Religion they would not surrender
To please his Majesty and court,
And turn as changes came about:
To scripture they so firmly stood,
On them I did spue out a flood
Of mischief and calamity,
M'Kenzie acted well for me:
Scripture religion at that time,
He made it such a heinous crime,
That for it nought could satisfy,
But guilty persons they must die.
He many a saint pursu'd to death,
He feared neither hell nor wrath.
His conscience was so cauteriz'd,
He refus'd nothing that I pleas'd;

For which he's had my kindness still,
Since he his labour did fulfil.
Rothes like a sow in mire,
Who of his whoredom did not tire,
But wallow'd in adultery,
In cursing and profanity,
And did allot the Sabbath-day,
To spend it in his game and play;
Perjur'd himself in Mitchell's case,
To bring that rebel to disgrace,
He did contrive that engine,
That did make Hackston dree great pain,
To rip his breast at my desire,
And burn his heart quick in the fire,
Mangled his hands and took them off,
That they might be the people's scoff,
And afterwards struck off his pow,
And set it on the Netherbow;
And cut his body all asunder,
And plac'd it for a world's wonder.
Thus he shook off humanity,
For the respect he had to me.
At last in horror he did die,
And went to Tophet dolefully.
Monmouth did me a noble turn,
When he to Bothwell-bridge did come,
With armed force, with power and might,
He slew and put the Whigs to flight.
Although it was the Sabbath-day,
He would not grant them a delay,
But instantly did hash them down,
And took them captives to the town.
They prisoners were in the Grey friar,
Until a false oath they did swear;

Or in the dungeons were shut close,
Where they their lives were like to lose,
Some got the gallows some the sea,
Some hang'd, some drown'd———that pleased me;
Earishal who serv'd me many a year,
And for my interest did appear;
He serv'd his 'prentiship below,
Then to the mountains he did go,
The Caneronians to defeat,
People whom I do greatly hate,
At Aird's moss he surpris'd that crew,
Cameron their champion he slew,
And desperately cut off his head,
Also his hands and made him bleed.
Then in great triumph he did go,
To Edinburgh with a great shew,
Much boasting that he had supprest
The cameronians in the west
He did produce the hands and head
Of Cameron whom he killed dead;
For which the council did him pay
A large reward without delay:
And I myself on him did smile
For that great action done in Kyle;
Because that he avenged me
Upon my stated enemy.
His kindness shall not be forgot
As long as my furnace is hot.
York, who great Charles did succeed,
He was my constant friend indeed
He was bred with me all his days,
And never from my laws did stray;
For he black Popery did profess,
In Scotland he set up the mass.

A toleration he did give
That mystery Babylon might revive,
He took to him absolute power,
For to advance the Romish whore,
He stopped all the penal laws,
Were made for weakening of my cause,
And gave a golden liberty
For all sorts of idolatry.
It criminal was in his day
To own the covenanted way;
For he intended in a short time,
To make Popery through Scotland shine,
That from the greatest to the least
All men might serve the Romish beast.
He deeply sworn was to Rome,
To seek all Presbyterians doom,
To abolish the memory
Of all that opps'd Popery,
All protestants he did despise,
And many slew without assize;
He ordered that they should be shot,
Where they were found in every spot.
By hellish soldiers my drudges,
Whom he empower'd in place of judges,
Suspected persons for to try,
And at their pleasure make them die,
Without allowing liberty,
To fit them for eternity.
He framed all mischief by a law,
To make Scotland an aceldema,
Threatened to make a hunting field,
Of shires that would not fully yield,
He all the venom of the pit
Against piety did spit,

He hated all maliciously.
Had any sovereign but me;
Disdained common honesty,
Lov'd nothing but impiety.
He in my service posted fast,
Until his projects got a blast.
When Orange did come o'er the sea,
Like a base coward he did flee.
Then he did abdicate the crown,
And after liv'd a vagabond;
Till at St, Bermains he did die,
And then he did come home to me.
I need not speak of Queensberry.
No man was loyaler than he:
He serv'd me well with all his might,
Against the Whigs with great despight,
While York's commission he did bear,
Upon that he was most severe.
By him the parliament was led;
Saints blood like water then he shed.
He confidently did declare
They should not have time to prepare
For heaven because he said that hell
Was too good a place for Whigs to dwell
By that he acted to his power,
Both soul and body to devour;
Which was the only thing I sought,
Although to pass it was not brought;
Yet thanks be unto Queensberry,
For his good will in serving me.
I Milton Maxwell must commend,
Ten Whigs at once he did condemn,
And after that he did devote
Himself my kingdom to promote.

M'Cartney he did apprehend,
Brought him to an untimous end.
He plagued the presbyterians sore,
That dwelt on the water of Orr,
For Corsack's house he rifled bare,
And neither nurse nor bairn did spare,
But thurst them out from house and hold,
To hunger them exposed and cold;
He did leave nothing in that house
That was to him of any use;
The horse, the colt, the corn, the sheep,
He every thing away did sweep.
He rang'd through like a greedy thief,
Took butter cheese, mutton, and beef;
The puddings he did scarcely spare,
For every thing away he bear.
Of cloth and clothes silver and gold,
He took far more than can be told:
The blackest sight that country saw,
Worse than Pate Barley or John Faw.
All his zeal was mixt with self,
He very greedy was of pelf.
Yet all he took but short time lasted,
The Whigs did say that it was blasted,
For all his offspring that remain
Have none of his well gotten gain.
When I perceiv'd that it was gone,
I out of pity brought him home,
Now Whigs may sleep in a sound skin,
They'll never get mair skaith of him.
My friends that were of lower note,
In justice should not be forgot,
As Allison, who here did dree
A hell on earth for pleasing me.

Bonshaw more fierce than I can tell,
Who bade some send the Whigs to hell
And my beloved Kennaway
Who plagu'd the hill men every day.
'Bove twenty journeys in one year
This varlet willingly did go,
To hasten the fanatic's woe
Strahan Murray and Annandale.
Who in my cause had great zeal,
Drummond, Stretton and bloody Reid,
Who shot my foes till they were dead,
Buchan, Inglis, and Westerhall,
Balfour and others great and small.
Stenhouse, Maitland and Bollochmiln,
Culzean and Windrum, men of skill.
Crichton, Lauder, and many more,
Who sought the hill-men's overthrow.
Halton, who did himself perjure,
To bring Mitchel to an ill hour.
Lowrie of Maxwelton also.
Unto these wild men was a foe.
And so was Carick of Stewarton,
Bailie, and these gave Smith his doom.
And all the bishops in the land,
Were ready still at my command,
My statutes for to execute,
On all whom I did persecute.
Dumbarton, Bruce, and Rob Dalziel,
And other worthies I could tell,
As Ezekiel Montgomery.
The bloodiest monster that could be,
And that vile wretch call'd sheriff Hume,
That was right worthy of his room ;
And old tree-legged Duncan Grant,

Who of his wickedness did vaunt.
Eglinton, Ironcaple and lord Ross,
Who did the Whigs murder and toss,
From sixty to the revoluton,
Imbrewed their hands in persecution
They murder'd and did stigmatise,
Such as my service did not please:
They banished them to foreign nations,
And sold them to the new plantations,
With rigour great they took their gear,
Because they my livery would not wear,
None forwarder among them all.
Than noble Grierson of Lag-hall,
Whose worthy actions make him fit
In the great chair now to sit,
'Bove Korah and his company,
For all his friendship done to me.
This honour he doth well deserve,
For he unweariedly did serve
Me to his utmost every way,
To keep my kingdom from decay.
I must remember bishop Sharp,
For the good service I did get
Of him, when he was here away;
He did the Scottish kirk betray,
And all its privileges sold
For pleasure here and love of gold;
He fill'd the land with perjury,
And all sorts of iniquity;
And did the force of Scotland lead
To persecute the woman's seed.
Judas who did his master sell.
And afterwards went down to hell,
Had no more mischief in his mind,

Than Sharp this noble friend of mine.
A paction past twixt him and me
That I from skaith should keep him free:
I gave him sorcery, gainst lead
That shooting should not be his dead,
And yet this did not him secure,
He lost his life on Magus-muir;
There some stout-hearted men in Fyfe,
With swords of steel did take his life;
And very justly did him kill
'Cause he their brethren's blood did spill.
So to this place he did descend,
But after him Lag did contend
For my kingdom many a day:
But now, alas! he's ta'en away.
What shall I say? for time would fail,
To tell you of brave Lauderdale.
A great apostate he did prove,
Because with Balaam he did love
The wages of iniquity.
To keep him in prosperity;
That his beastly belly might
Have Epicurean delight;
To spend his time in carnal pleasure,
Which he esteem'd above all treasure.
He was a member among those
Who strictest models did compose,
Upon the Presbyterian side
But quickly he from them did slide.
These covenants which once he swore,
Most solemnly, he did abjure,
All tenderness he did cast off,
On scripture he did droll and scoff.
To prelate Sharp be thought no shame

Above Rabshakeh to blaspheme.
By habit he did curse and swear,
He harlot’s company did bear.
He did counsel and assist
The king who after blood did thirst,
To bring all to a final end
For covenants that did contend.
All public mischiefs in the land
Were done at Lauderdale's command.
In Mitchel’s case he did perjure
Himself most wrongfully he swore;
For conscience he regarded not,
Himself he wholly did devote
To serve king Charles and myself,
And to advance his wordly pelf
Persisting in these courses still,
Did grieve and anger one Cargil;
So Charles, York, Monmouth and he,
Were all deliver’d o’er to me;
Rothes, M’Kenzie and Dalziel,
Unto my lot each man they fell,
A company of as brave men,
As ever minister did send
By such a sentence unto me;
Whom I embrac’d most willingly,
’Cause formerly I did commend
In many things these worthy men.
Now those brave heroes I must leave,
And some few instances I’ll give
Of these brave actions which Lag did,
That ought no longer to be hid.
In Galloway he was well known
His great exploits in it were shewn.
He was my general in that place,

He did the Presbyterians chase,
Through moss and muir, and many a bog
They were pursu'd by my friend Lag.
Saint's monuments that's here and there,
If any will to them repair,
Mongst others there you'll read his name,
And know he was a man of fame.
On many there he forc'd the test,
By perjury them sore opprest.
And when he brought them to disgrace,
He mocked them unto their face.
From others he did take their gear,
He neither mercy had nor fear,
Yet this did not his wrath allay,
For others he did seek to slay
Cubine and Gordon, near Hallhill,
He took their life their blood to spill,
And left them hanging on a tree,
For disobedience to me.
John Bell of Whiteside he did slay,
And would not give him time to pray
And other four in that same hour
He shot upon Kirkconnel Muir.
Mayfield, Clement, and Irlingtown,
Macrabet he brought also down;
And made them all a sacrifice,
His hellish fury to appease.
Two men in Twingham some did find,
And with hair tethers did them bind.
Like sheep for slaughter there they lay,
George Short and David Halliday;
Till Lag came up and gave command
To kill them quickly out of hand.
Against them he had such despite,

He wonld not let them live one night,
So in that posture they were shot
Most cruelly upon the spot.
Lachlane and Wilson in the sea
He drown'd cause they obey'd not me,
Though they were of the weaker sex,
No favour they of him did get:
And cruelly he took the life
Both of a young maid and a wife.
The kirk by excommunication
Did banish him out of their region;
Because he would not satisfy,
Them for his vile adultery:
For he knew well that I could thole
His vices all, without controul,
That he should have both peace and ease,
In doing things that I do please,
He clave as close unto my law
As any man I ever saw.
In atheism his days did spend
Until his time drew near an end.
Then for the fashion he did say,
That he was of the Popish way;
Because a priest made him believe,
That he to him would pardon give,
And would from purgatory bring
Him to a place where he would sing;
But that was but a forged lie.
For Lag lives hot and bien with me,
It was in spite he money gave
Unto the priest that greedy slave,
For he had neither pith nor power
To keep my friend from me an hour;
For when I heard that he was dead,

A legion of my den did lead
Him to my place of residence,
Where still he'll stay, and not go hence:
For purgatory I must tell,
It is the lowest place in hell:
Well plenish'd with the Romish sort,
Where thousands of them do resort.
There many a prince and pope doth dwell,
Fast fetter'd in that lower cell,
And from that place they ne'er win free,
Though greedy priests for gain do lie.
In making ignorants conceive,
They'll bring them from the infernal cave,
Such as do bribe them well with gold
As heaven with pelf were bought and sold.
Sure that is but a vain deceit
Contriv'd by Antichrist of late;
To keep the worshippers of the Whore
Senseless in sin, blind and secure;
And to make priest look fat and fine,
Who nought but carnal things do mind.
For this is what I truly know,
They come not back from whence they go,
They who take their abode with me,
From that place they are never free.
This Lag will know and all the rest,
Who of my lodging are possest.
On earth no more they can serve me,
But still I have their company:
With this I must my grief allay,
So I no more of Lag will say.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.