Poetry Corner: Will ye go to Sheriffmuir

On 18 August 1746 Arthur Elphinstone, Lord Balmerino, the Jacobite noble, was executed.

“If I had a thousand lives, I would lay them all down in the same cause”.

His beheading took 3 blows of the axe.

Arthur Elphinstone

Picture credits S. Freeman, sculptor.

Balmerino was captured along with Lord Kilmarnock after the Battle of Culloden and the pair were tried for treason in London and beheaded in the Tower of London.

Will Ye Go To Sherriffmuir

Will ye go to Sheriffmuir,
Bauld John o Innisture?
There to see the noble Mar,
And his Heiland laddies.
A’ the true men o the north,
Angus, Huntly and Seaforth,
Scouring on tae cross the Forth,
Wi their white cock-a-dies.

There you’ll see the banners flare,
There you’ll hear the bagpipes rare,
And the trumpets deadly blare,
Wi the cannon’s rattle,
There you’ll see the bold McCraws,
Cameron’s and Clanronald’s raws,
A’ the clans wi loud huzzas,
Rushing tae the battle.

There you’ll see the noble Whigs,
A’ the heroes o the brigs,
Raw hides and withered wigs,
Riding in array, man.
Rien hose and raggit hools,
Psalm-books and cutty stools,
We’ll see never mair, man.

Will ye go to Sheriffmuir,
Bold John o’ Innisture?
Sic a day and sic an hour,
Neir was in the north man.
Siccan sichts will there be seen;
And gin some be nae mistaen,
Fragrant gales will come bedeen,
Frae the water o Forth, man.


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