He comes ! Lo ! behind on their war-horses ranking, Ride his bands of the faithful, their steel weapons clanking ; Proud hour for Religion, when God's chosen word Is proclaimed by the trump, and confirmed by the sword. Proud hour, when with bayonet, and banner, and brand, The Kirk spreads her sway o'er old Galloway's land, Where of yore Sandie Peden looked down on the vales, Crying, "Clap me hell's flame to their heathenish tails."
��Over this minstrel discordance a far louder din now prevailed, though the mendicant raised his voice to its loftiest pitch, and all those who purchased his ballad swelled the noise with their utmost strength. A grove of elm and oak, old and stately, whose broad green branches had shaded the splendid processions of the hierarchy of the Church of Rome when in the height of its glory, presented a short avenue from the end of the village to the door of the parish kirk. Here the peasantry posted themselves in great numbers, and here the horsemen halted to form for the charge which they expected to make before they could obtain access to the church. Nor did this promise to be an easy task. Many of the peasants were well armed ; and boat-poles, pitchforks, fish-spears, and hedging-bills all excellent weapons for resistance and annoyance began to thicken near the bosoms of the horses ; while behind, fowl- ing-pieces, and pistols, and swords, appeared prepared in hands that knew well how to use them. In a remoter line still, the women, their aprons charged with pebbles and staves, stood ready to succour, with hand and with voice, the maintainers of Kirk purity.
The casting of dust, the showering of gravel and stones, and the loud outcry of the multitude, every moment aug- mented. John Cargill, a gifted Cameronian weaver, from one of the wildest Galloway mountains, brandished an oaken treddle, with which he had armed himself, like a quarter-staff, and cried, " Down with the men of Moab ! " Tom Gunson, a smuggler, shouted till he was heard a mile distant, " Down with them, my handy chaps, and we'll drink the auld Kirk's health out of the troopers' helmets ; " and, to crown their audacity, Ill-will Tennan, the poacher, halloed, " I'se shoot the whole troop at a grey groat the pair, and give ye the raven priest to the mends." Open hostility seemed almost unavoidable, when an old farmer, throwing his hat aside, advanced suddenly from the crowd to the side of the minister