Buchan Forest Hunt

Category: Stories & Poems
Published on Saturday, 02 March 2013 13:03
Written by Maggi Kaye
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Buchan Forest Hunt

Buchan Forest, as we have heard,
A day of hunting set;
It happened on a Monday,
I wat it was na het.

Some came from Mennack,
And some from Trool,
And some from the Loch Doon,
And when they met at Palskaig-head
Some of the wanted shoon.

I happened on a wony Monday,
It blew both snaw and hail;
We raised him at the Saigy Goats,
Put raches to his tail.

And doun Craignaw I wat he ran,
Down by Loch Narroch strand –
The staibler that we had set there
Was mikle John McCom.

“Now John McCom, now let me by,
For at thee I have no faid,
For I am sure ye never was the worse of me
Since ye cam to Glenhead.”

I think this man he had no faid
When he did let him by,
For we were sair near Criaglee
Before he raised the cry.

James Murray and George Gordon,
They were two subjects true;
They did well, and sped their heels,
And ran to keep in view.

The foremost man cam up to them
Was *Maxcel of Straquhan;
They stabled their men on every side,
They put their terriers in.

They chattel at his chamber day,
They knew he was within;
He did not love their chattling noise
In chamber where he lay,
He thought an’ he was out again
He would show them some more play!

Out he gat, and doun Craignaw,
As swift as any naig,
The mountain dog was good and true
And catched him by the craig.

Straquhan took him by the hin’ heels,
To a stane he laid his heid:
This red-dog that we got here
I think he be no bairn,
For he has bear’d the faid for us
Through Straiton and Carsfairn.

Written down by John Murray, shepherd of Knocknalling.  Watermark on paper 1823. Sent to McMath by his sister Jessie 16/2/1874

William McMath collected ballads and songs between 1882 and 1912, many from his family in Galloway.  Some, but not all ,were printed in:
 “The English And Scottish Popular Ballads” A collection of traditional English Folk songs and ballads, collected & compiled by Francis J Child, [1825-1896].

* Maxcel, or Maxwell was drowned in the river Fleet in November 1699.