Selkirk after Flodden
Home Up




By J. B. Selkirk (James Brown)

It’s but a month the morn
Sin’ a’ was peace and plenty ;

Oor hairst was halflins shorn,
Eident men, and lasses denty.

But noo it’s a’ distress---
Never mair a merry meetin’ ;

For half the bairns are fatherless,
And a’ the women greetin’.

O Flodden Field !

Miles and miles round Selkirk toun,
Where forest flow’rs are fairest,

Ilka lassie’s stricken doun,
Wi’ the fate that fa’s the sairest.

A’ the lads they used to meet
By Ettrick braes or Yarrow

Lyin’ thrammelt head and feet
In Brankstone’s deadly barrow !
O Flodden Field !

Frae every cleuch and clan
The best o’ the braid Border

Rose like a single man
To meet the royal order.

Oor Burgh toun ltsel’
Sent its seventy doun the glen ;

Ask Fletcher how they fell,
Bravely fechting, ane to ten !

O Flodden Field !

Round about their gallant king,
For countrie and for croon,

Stude the dauntless Border ring,
Till the last was hackit doun.

I blame na what has been---
They maun fa’ that canna flee---

But oh, to see what I hae seen,
To see what now I see !

O Flodden Field !

The souters a’ fu’ croose,
O’er their leather and their lingle,

Wi’ their shoon in ilka hoose,
Sat contentit round the ingle.

Noo there’s naething left but dool,---
Never mair their wark will cheer them ;
In Flodden’s bluidy pool
They’ll naether walt nor wear them !
O Flodden Field !

Whar the weavers used to meet,
In ilka bieldy corner,

Noo there’s nane in a’ the street,
Savin’ here and there a mourner,

Walkin’ lanely as a wraith,
Or if she meet anither,

Just a word below their braith
O’ some slauchtered son or brither !
O Flodden Field !

There stands the gudeman’s loom
That used tae gang sae cheerie,

Untentit noo, and toom,
Makin’ a’ the hoose sae eerie,

Till the sicht I canna dree ;
For the shuttles lyin’ dumb
Speak the loudlier to me
O’ him that wunna come.
O Flodden Field !

Sae at nicht I cover’t o’er,
Just to haud it frae my een,

But I heana yet the pow’r
To forget what it has been

And I listen through the hoose
For the chappin’ o’ the lay,

Till the scrapin’ o’ a moose
Tak’s my very braith away.
O Flodden Field !

Then I turn to sister Jean,
And my airms aboot her twine,

And I kiss her sleepless een,
For her heart’s as sair as mine,---
A heart ance fu’ o’ fun,

And hands that ne’er were idle,
Wi’ a’ her cleedin’ spun

Against her Jamie’s bridal.
O Flodden Field !

Noo we’ve naether hands nor hairt---
In oor grief the wark’s forgotten,

Tho’ it’s wantit every airt,
And the craps are lyin’ rotten,
War’s awesome blast’s gane by,
And left a land forlorn ;

In daith’s dool hairst they lie,
The shearers an’ the shorn.

O Flodden Field !

Wi’ winter creepin’ near us,
When the nichts are drear an’ lang,

Nane to help us, nane to hear us,
On the weary gate we gang !

Lord o’ the quick an’ deed,
Sin’ oor ain we canna see,
In mercy mak gude speed,
And bring us whar they be.

Far, far frae Flodden Field !


Background :- Selkirk Tartan By Andrew Elliot (Fine Fabrics) Ltd.