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These cowls of Kilmarnock 2 had spits 3 and had
And lang-hafted 4 gullies to kill cavaliers;
But they shrunk to close-heads, and the causeway' was free
At the toss of the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.
He spurred to the foot of the proud castle rock,8 And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke : "Let Mons Meg 10 and her marrows 11 speak twa 12 words or three,
For the love of the bonnet of bonnie Dundee."
The Gordon demands of him which way he goes.
1 Cowls: literally, hoods worn by monks; here, however, the word is used to ridicule the Protestant Covenanters, or Puritan monks, as Scott would call them.
2 Kilmarnock: the chief town of Ayre, in the west of Scotland, where the "sour-faced whigs" were numerous.
8 Spits long sharp-pointed bars of iron on which it was formerly the custom to roast meat.
4 Lang-hafted: long-handled.
6 Close-heads: close together.
5 Gullies: large knives.
7 Causeway: the street.
8 Castle rock: a high, precipitous rock on which stands the castle of Edinburgh.
9 Gordon: the Duke of Gordon, who held the castle for King James, and was therefore friendly to Claverhouse.
10 Mons Meg: an immense cannon within the walls of the castle.
11 Marrows: companions; the other cannon of the castle.
12 Twa: two.
14 Montrose: see note 1, p. 87.
15 Grace: a title given to a duke.
18 Shade: ghost or spirit.
"There are hills beyond Pentland1 and lands beyond Forth; 2
If there's lords in the lowlands, there's chiefs in the
There are wild Dunie wassals 5 three thousand times three Will cry Hoigh!' for the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.
"There's brass on the target of barkened bull-hide,
"Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks,
He waved his proud hand, and the trumpets were blown,
away the wild war-notes of bonnie Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
1 Pentland: the Pentland Hills on the south of Edinburgh County.
2 Forth: an arm of the sea, the Firth of Forth. Claverhouse means that Edinburgh does not represent all Scotland, and that he will seek aid elsewhere- especially in the Highlands.
3 Lowlands: the lords in the Lowlands were favorable to William III. 4 Chiefs: Highland chiefs who were friendly to King James.
5 Duniewassals: Highland chiefs or noblemen and their principal followers. 6 Target: a shield. 7 Barkened: hardened. 8 Couch: hide. 9 Ravelston's cliffs and Clermiston's lea: places in the vicinity of Edinburgh. 10 Lea: a meadow.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.1
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,2
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
1 Sennacherib (Sen-nak'er-ib), king of Assyria, marched on Libnah and Lachish, two frontier towns of Egypt, about 699 B.C., to punish them for the aid they had given or promised to Hezekiah, king of Judah, who had revolted against the authority of the Assyrian monarch. For what befell Sennacherib and his host, see 2 Kings xix.
2 Fold a pen or enclosure for sheep, and hence the sheep thus enclosed. 3 Cohorts: a body of troops.
4 Sheen: brightness, splendor.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the widows of Ashur1 are loud in their wail;
1 Ashur or Asshur; the same as Assyria.
2 Baal (Ba'al): a heathen god, represented by the sun or some heavenly body, worshipped by the Assyrians.
3 Gentile: the heathen; those who did not worship the God of the Jews.
INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP.1
You know we French stormed Ratisbon: 2
A mile or so away,
On a little mound, Napoleon
Stood on our storming-day;
Just as perhaps he mused, "My plans
Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew
Until he reached the mound.
1 In 1809 Napoleon began a victorious campaign against Austria. On his march against Vienna, the Austrian capital, he stormed and carried the walled city of Rat'isbon, in Bavaria, on the Danube. A soldier (here represented as a boy) received his death-wound in planting the French flag within the walls of the captured town. Though dying, he gallops out to the emperor —a mile or two away-to announce the victory.
2 Ratisbon: a city of Bavaria, on the Danube, on the route to Vienna. The place is walled, and a breach had to be battered by cannon in order to take the town. 3 Prone: bent forward; but here, apparently, prominent.
4 Lannes (Lan): Marshal Lannes, one of Napoleon's generals. He led the attack at Ratisbon.