Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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180               THE BATTLE OF HARLAW.
As soon as he knew it was Montgomery, He stuck his sword's point in the ground, k
And Sir Hugh Montgomery was a courteous knight. And he quickly caught him by the hand.
This deed was done at Otterburn,
About the breaking o' the day; Earl Douglas was buried at the braken bush, as
And Percy led captive away.
From Ramsay's Evergreen, i. 78.
This battle took place at Harlaw, near Aberdeen, on the 24th of July, 1411. The conflict was occa­sioned by a dispute concerning the succession to the earldom of Ross, between Donald, Lord of the Isles, and the son of the Regent, Robert, Duke of Albany, whose claim was supported by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar. The consequences of this battle were of the highest importance, inasmuch as the wild Celts of the Highlands and Islands received such a check that they never again combined for the conquest of the civilized parts of Scotland.
The Battle of Harlaw is one of the old ballads whose titles occur in the Complaynt of Scotland (1548). A bag-pipe tune of that name is mentioned in Drummond of Hawthornden's mock-heroic poem, the Polemo Middinia:
" Interea ante alios dux Piper Laius heros, Prascedens, magnamque gerens cum burdine pypam Incipit Harlai cunctis sonare Batellum."

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