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Battle Of Sherramuir, The

Robert Burns 1759 (Alloway) – 1796 (Dumfries)



"O cam ye here the fight to shun,
Or herd the sheep wi' me, man?
Or were ye at the Sherra-moor,
Or did the battle see, man?"
"I saw the battle, sair and teugh
And reekin-red ran monie a sheugh;
My heart, for fear, gae sough for sough,
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds
O clans frae woods in tartan duds
Wha glaum'd at icingdoms three, man.

"The red-coat lads wi' black cockauds,
To meet them were na slaw, man;
They rush'd and push'd, and bluid outgush'd,
And monie a bouk did fa', man!
The great Argyle led on his files,
I wat they glanc'd for twenty miles;
They hough'd the clans like nine-pin kyles,
They hack'd and hash'd, while braid-swords clashed,
And thro they dash'd, and hew'd and smash'd,
Till fey men died awa, man.

"But had ye seen the philibegs,
And skyrin tartan trews, man;
When in the teeth they daur'd our Whigs,
And Covenant trueblues, man!
In lines extended lang and large,
When baig'nets o'erpower'd the targe,
And thousands hasten'd to the charge,
Wi' Highland wrath and frac the sheath
Drew blades o' death, till, out o' breath.
They fled like frightened dows, man!"

"O, how Deil, Tam, can that be true?
The chase gaed frae the north, man!
I saw mysel, they did pursue
The horseman back to Forth, man:
And at Dunblane, in my ain sight,
They took the brig wi a' their might
And straught to Stirling wing'd their flight;
But, cursed lot! the gates were shut,
And monie a huntit poor red-coat,
For fear amaist did swarf, man!"

My sister Kate came up the gate
Wi' crowdie unto me, man:
She swoor she saw some rebels run
To Perth and to Dundee, man!
Their left-hand general had nae skill;
The Angus lads had nae good will
That day their neebors' bluid to spill;
For fear, by foes, that they should lose
Their cogs o brose; they scar'd at blows,
And hameward fast did flee, man.

"They've lost some gallant gentlemen,
Amang the Highland clans, man!
I fear my Lord Panmure is slain,
Or in his en'mies' hands, man.
Now wad ye sing this double flight,
Some fell for wrang, and some for right,
But monie bade the world guid-night;
Say, pell and mell, wi' muskets' knell
How Tories feil, and Whigs to Hell
Flew off in frightened bands, man!"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:06 min read
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Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. more…

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