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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

By 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,

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,

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,

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.

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,

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,

And a friar shall sing for Barthram’s soul,

While the Headless Cross shall bide.