Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Nine-Mile Burn
Barthram’s Dirge
Anonymous
 
THEY shot him dead at the Nine-Stone Rig,
  Beside the Headless Cross,
And they left him lying in his blood,
  Upon the moor and moss.
*        *        *        *        *
They made a bier of the broken bough,        5
  The sauch and the aspin gray,
And they bore him to the Lady Chapel,
  And waked him there all day.
 
A lady came to that lonely bower,
  And threw her robes aside,        10
She tore her ling [long] yellow hair,
  And knelt at Barthram’s side.
 
She bathed him in the Lady-Well
  His wounds so deep and sair,
And she plaited a garland for his breast,        15
  And a garland for his hair.
 
They rowed him in a lily-sheet,
  And bare him to his earth,
And the Gray Friars sung the dead man’s mass,
  As they passed the Chapel Garth.        20
 
They buried him at [the mirk] midnight,
  When the dew fell cold and still,
When the aspin gray forgot to play,
  And the mist clung to the hill.
 
They dug his grave but a bare foot deep,        25
  By the edge of the Ninestone Burn,
And they covered him o’er with the heather-flower,
  The moss and the Lady fern.
 
A Gray Friar staid upon the grave,
  And sang till the morning tide,        30
And a friar shall sing for Barthram’s soul,
  While the Headless Cross shall bide.
 
 
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