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While Knox relax'd his bigot pride,
"But can stern Power, with all his vaunt, Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare,
The settled heart of Vengeance daunt,
"With hackbut bent,1 my secret stand,
And mark'd, where, mingling in his band, Troop'd Scottish pikes and English bows.
"Dark Morton,2 girt with many a spear, Murder's foul minion, led the van;And clash'd their broadswords in the rear The wild Macfarlanes' plaided clan.8
i Hackbut bent—Gun cock'd. The carbine, with which the Regent was shot, is preserved at Hamilton Palace. It is a brass piece, of a middling length, very small in the bore, and, what is rather extraordinary, appears to have been rifled or indented in the barrel. It had a match-lock, for which a modern firelock has been injudiciously substituted.
2 Of this noted person, it is enough to say, that he was active in the murder of David Rizzio, and at least privy to that of Darnley.
8 This clan of Lennox Highlanders were attached to the Regent Murray. Hollinshed, speaking of the battle of Langside, says, "In this batayle the valiancie of an Heiland gentleman, named Macfarlane, stood the Regent's part in great steede; for, in the hottest brunte of the fighte, he came up with two hundred of his friendes and countrymen, and so manfully gave in upon the flankes of the Queen's people,
"Glencairn and stout Parkhead1 were nigh, Obsequious at their Regent's rein,
And haggard Lindesay's iron eye,
"Mid pennon'd spears, a steely grove,
that he was a great cause of the disordering of them. This Macfarlane had been lately before, as I have heard, condemned to die, for some outrage by him committed, and obtaining pardon through suyte of the Countess of Murray, he recompensed that clemencie by this piece of service now at this batayle." Calderwood's account is less favourable to the Macfarlanes. He states that "Macfarlane, with his Highlandmen, fled from the wing where they were set. The Lord Lindsay, who stood nearest to them in the Regent's battle, said, 'Let them go, I shall fill their place better:' and so, stepping forward, with a company of fresh men, charged the enemy, whose spears were now spent, with long weapons, so that they were driven back by force, being before almost overthrown by the avaunt-guard and harquebusiers, and so were turned to flight."—Calderwood's MS. apud Keith, p. 480. Melville mentions the flight of the vanguard, but states it to have been commanded by Morton, and composed chiefly of commoners of the barony of Renfrew.
1 The Earl of Glencairn was a steady adherent of the Regent. George Douglas of Parkhead was a natural brother of the Earl of Morton, whose horse was killed by the same ball by which Murray fell.
2 Lord Lindsay, of the Byres, was the most ferocious and brutal of the Regent's faction, and, as such, was employed to extort Mary's signature to the deed of resignation presented to her in Lochleven Castle. He discharged his commission with the most savage rigour; and it is even said, that when the weeping captive, in the act of signing, averted her eyes from the fatal deed, he pinched her arm with the grasp of his iron glove.
Scarce could his trampling charger move,
"From the raised vizor's shade, his eye,
"But yet his sadden'd brow confess'd
"The death-shot parts—the charger springs-
"What joy the raptured youth can feel,
Or he, who broaches on his steel
1 Not only had the Regent notice of the intended attempt upon his life, but even of the very house from which it was threatened. With that infatuation at which men wonder, after such events have happened, he deemed it would be a sufficient precaution to ride briskly past the dangerous spot. But even this was prevented by the crowd: so that Bothwellhaugh had time to take a deliberate aim.—Spottiswoode, p. 233. Buchanan.
"But dearer to my injured eye
And mine was ten times trebled joy,
"My Margaret's spectre glided near;
With pride her bleeding victim saw; And shriek'd in his death-deafen'd ear,
'Remember injured Bothwellhaugh!'
"Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault!
Spread to the wind thy banner'd tree!' Each warrior bend his Clydesdale bow !—
Murray is fall'n, and Scotland free."
Vaults every warrior to his steed;
Loud bugles join their wild acclaim— "Murray is fall'n, and Scotland freed! Couch, Arran! couch thy spear of flame!"
But, see! the minstrel vision fails— The glimmering spears are seen no more;
The shouts of war die on the gales,
For the loud bugle, pealing high, The blackbird whistles down the vale,
1 An oak, half-sawn, with the motto through, is an ancient cognizance of the family of Hamilton.
And sunk in ivied ruins lie
The banner'd towers of Evandale.
For Chiefs, intent on bloody deed,
And Vengeance shouting o'er the slain,
Lo! high-born Beauty rules the steed,
And long may Peace and Pleasure own
Nor e'er a ruder guest be known