Elegy on Sir Robert Grierson, of Lag, who died December 23d, 1733, or, The prince of darkness' lamentation for the Laird of Lag, and others

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Elegy on Sir Robert Grierson, of Lag, who died December 23d, 1733, or, The prince of darkness' lamentation for the Laird of Lag, and others  (1817) 


No. 4.




Sir Robert Grierson,


Who died December 23d, 1733.


The Prince of Darkness' Lamentation

for the



The commendation of many of his best Friends,
who were chief Promoters of his interest,
and upholders of his kingdom in
the time of Persecution.

Very useful and necessary to be read by all who desire to be well informed concerning the chief Managers of the late Persecuting Period.





WHAT fatal news is this I hear?
On earth who shall my standard bear?
For Lag, who was my champion brave
Is dead, and now laid in his grave!
The want of him is a great grief;
He was my manager and chief,
Who sought my kingdom to improve,
And to my laws he had great love.
Could such a furious fiend as I
Shed tears, my cheeks would never dry,
But I would mourn both night and day,
'Cause Lag from earth is ta'en away.
It is no wonder I am sad,
A better friend I never had,
Thro' all the large tract of his time,
He never did my ways decline:
He was my trusty constant liege,
Who at all times did me oblige;
But now, what shall I think or say?
By death, at last, he's ta'en away.
He was a man of meikle zeal,
Who in my service did not fail:
He was no coward to relent,
No man dare say he did repent
Of the good service done to me;
For as he liy'd so did he die.
He bore my image on his brow,
My service he did still avow;
He had no other deity;
But this world, the flesh, and me;
Unto us he did homage pay,
And did us worship every day.
The thing that he delighted in,
Was that which pious folks call sin;
Adultery, whoredom, and such vice,
Such pleasures were his paradise.
To curse, to swear, and to blaspheme,
He gloried in, and thought no shame.
To excess he drank beer and wine,
Till he was drunken like a swine.
No sabbath day regarded he,
But spent it in profanity.
'Mongst other vices, as some say,
He ravish'd virgins on that day.
But that which rais'd his fame so hie,
Was the good service done to me,
In bearing of a deadly feud
'Gainst people who did pray and read ;
And sought my kingdom to impair,
These were the folk he did not spare.
Any who read the scriptures through,
I'm sure they'll find but very few
Of my best friends that's mention'd there,
That could with Grier of Lag compare.
Tho' Cain was a bloody man,
He to Lag's latchets never came,
In shedding of the blood of those,
Who did my laws and ways oppose.
He did resemble Pharaoh near,
In this, that he shook off all fear.
Harden'd, his heart would not obey,
But sought the Israelites to slay;
Like Saul, who David did pursue,
He rais'd on them the cry and hue;
And cruelly he did oppress,
Such as religion did profess.
Doeg, the Edomite, did slay
Fourscore and five priests in one day;
But if you'll take the will for deed,
Brave Lag did Doeg far exceed:
He of the blood royal was come,
Of Ahab he was a true son;
For he did sell himself to me,
To work sin and iniquity.
Herod for me he had great zeal,
Tho' his main purpose far did fail:
He many slew by a decree,
But did not toil so much for me
As Lag, who in his person went
To every place where he was sent,
To persecute both man and wife,
Who he knew led a pious life.
Brave Clavers flourish'd in his day,
And many lives did take away;
He to Rome's cause most firmly stood,
And drunken was with the saint's blood,
Which in abundance he did shed
Of those who from his presence fled,
In moss and mountain, cleugh and glen,
Were slaughter'd by his Highlandmen.
With great industry and fatigue,
He labour'd to root out that seed;
That where he came none might remain,
Who in the least did me defame.
He rifl’d houses and did plunder,
In moor and dale many a hunder.
He to his utmost did contrive,
How he might my kingdom thrive:
And how he should bring down all those,
That did my government oppose.
His mischief never prosper’d ill,
Except one time near Loudon Hill,
Where shamefully he did retreat.
Before a few who did him beat,
Till more assistance I did give,
And then brave Clavers did revive.
With fury then, and hellish rage,
He did these wanderers engage,
And sought their utter overthrow,
In every place where he did go,
When they were dead such was his rage.
No less his fury could assuage,
Than raise them up ’bove earth to lie,
As trophies of his victory.
He was made Viscount of Dundee,
For venturing his all for me;
This honour he enjoy’d not long,
Soon after this he was ta’en home;
By sudden fate at last he fell
At Killycranky, near Dunkel.
No longer could he serve me here;
But Lag surviv’d for many a year,
And constantly stood to his post,
When many a champion brave was lost.
Brave Charles Stuart, of renown.
The best that ever wore a crown.
For whoredom and adultery,
For incest and profanity,
For falsehood and for treachery,
For drunkenness and for perjury:
He neither word nor oath regarded,
With gibbets he His friends rewarded.
With opposition when he did meet,
He then did play the hypocrite,
And feign’d himself for reformation.
When he intended deformation.
At Spey and Scoon within a year,
The covenants he twice did swear;
And at Dunfermline did profess
His sorrow for his haughtiness;
But that was all to get the crown,
That he the better might pull down
That covenanted Presbyt’ry,
That was so opposite to me:
For afterwards he did rescind
These covenants no more to bind;
And solemnly he gave command
To burn them by the hangman’s hand.
He caus’d the nations to abjure,
What they call’d Reformation pure.
Brave Prelacy he did restore,
As it in Scotland was before;
And to this Dagon he caus’d bow,
Scotsmen, contrary to their vow.
He many a conscience did defile,
Which made me on his court to smile:
He tolerated Heresy,
All error and profanity;
A blasphemous supremacy,
Over the church usurped he;
And granted an indulgency,
Thereby to ruin Presbyt’ry.
My sceptre he did bravely sway,
And punish’d those that did gainsay,
By tortures that were most severe,
By prisoning and loss of gear;
And cruel murders many a way,
Because they from my laws did stray.
But kindness he did ever bear
To all the Popish far and near:
No Pope in Rome did ever dwell
That could this noble prince excel.
For in a word, he did advance
My kingdom more than Rome or France:
Neither Spain nor Germany,
Had so much true zeal for me.
He reigned long, but at the last,
His brother York gave him a cast;
He poison’d him, and made him die,
And sent him home to my country,
To Tophet that’s both wide and large,
Which he choos’d for his heritage.
Great Middleton, that man of might,
My service he did never slight;
To work he furiously did go,
The covenants to overthrow.
He like Nehushtan did them treat,
Like almanacks that’s out of date;
He did rescind their force and power,
And solemnly made them abjure:
He nullified all acts and laws
That favour’d the scripture cause;
And ruin’d many a family,
For nought but non-conformity:
If hirelings they would not hear,
Their purse he punish’d most severe.
He made the south of Scotland feel,
His gripping claws were made of steel.
They were so crooked, hard and sharp,
They pierc'd men's substance to the heart:
The king's commission while he did bear,
Men lost their conscience, life or gear:
But Charles too soon him discarded,
Yet I his kindness well rewarded;
And this I hope he'll not deny,
Since now he lives as well as I.
Fletcher, my friend, he was the first,
As advocate, who did insist
Against the Whigs in the king's name,
To bring them to an open shame:
Charles, my son, did him instal,
To bring those rebels under thrall,
Who still for covenants were pleading,
To justify their old proceeding,
He labour'd very earnestly
To please his sovereign and me,
By rooting out base Presbyt'ry,
And planting noble Prelacy;
By banishing some far away,
That us'd my dictates to gainsay;
By sumptuous fines, making them poor
That never could my yoke endure;
By shutting up in prison strong,
These men who did my interest wrong;
And thirsting for the blood of them
Who did my government contemn:
His malice was so set on fire,
That nothing could quench his desire,
Until Argyle, mine enemy,
Was brought condignly for die;
And Guthrie, who did me oppose,
By hanging he his days did close;
And Warriston the worst of all,
By my friend Fletcher he did fall.
Thus wonderfully he did please me,
When of these rebels he did ease me;
For which good service he doth sit
Among the princes of my pit.
And my dear cousin, Provost Mill,
Burnt covenants, yet thought no ill,
At Lithgow cross, with more disgrace,
Than ever was at any place.
He burnt Lex Rex, and other books,
Which sourly on my interest looks;
And many acts of kirk and state,
Which he knew well that I did hate,
'Cause they advanc'd a reformation,
That shook my kingdom thro' the nation.
He burnt old brechams, rocks and reel,
Also the picture o' the Deil;
I mean myself, 'cause he did think
My effigies would make all stink,
That he burnt on that solemn day,
Upon the twenty-ninth of May.
But my dear cousin was mista'en,
The covenants remain'd in fame,
By some that did love them so well,
That with their blood they did them seal;
Yet Provost Mill was not to blame,
Since he so basely did defame
All covenants, all acts and laws,
That favour'd the fanatic cause;
Himself to me he did surrender,
And for a time liv'd in great splendour;
Beloved well of all my friends,
Till at the last he lost his means,
And fell in want and poverty,
Which made him to the abbey fly,
He who the covenants did burn,
A cheating bankrupt did become.
He lost his senses, turn'd demented,
And none but me his case lamented;
And at the end of all did die,
Bemoaned by no man but me:
I did him visit in distress,
Where he is now you'll freely guess.
Turner did Galloway invade,
And took from many what they had;
He spared neither old nor young,
But plunder'd all where he did come:
Most savagely he did them treat,
And without mercy some did beat:
He spoil'd that country cruelly,
And acted like a man for me.
A very hellish life he led,
As in my cave he had been bred.
Carsphairn can well testify,
The cursing and profanity,
The outrages committed there,
The half of which might file the air,
By Turner and his company,
Which wonderfully pleased me.
Dalziel, who fought at Pentland Hill,
And many of my foes did kill,
And others, prisoners did lead,
Who after quarters were hang'd dead.
A downright atheist he did turn,
And ruin'd all where he did come,
That wanted the mark of the beast,
He did not spare them in the least;
But shot one Finlay at a post,
In serving me he made his boast:
He was so valiant in my cause,
And so observant of my laws,
That to commend him there's no need,
His works have prais'd hin since he's dead.
Nisbet of Dirleton in my stead,
In open courts 'gainst Whigs did plead;
And to the gallows did pursue
The Pentland-men, who did renew
The covenants at Lanark town,
Till they on gibbets were brought down.
And by his rigcrous pursuing;
He many other Whigs did ruin:
His great exploits pleas'd me so well,
That I his name cannot conceal,
But think fit that his deeds be told,
That so his name may be enrolld
'Mongst other worthies on record,
Who servid me as their sov'reign lord.
M'Kenzie, after, did succeed,
As advocate for me to plead;
He turned to apostacy,
And spent his time in blasphemy.
He pled that persons might go free
For murder and for sorcery;
But brought them in guilty of treason,
Who were religious out of season,
By keeping Presbytry in fame,
Which king and council did disclaim;
Who of their conscience were so tender,
Religion they would not surrender,
To please his Majesty and court,
And turn as changes came about.
To scripture they so firmly stood,
On then. I did spue out a flood
Of mischief and calamity.
M'Kenzie acted well for me.
Scripture religion at that time,
He made it such a heinous crime,
That for it nought could satisfy,
But guilty persons they must die.
He many a saint pursu'd to death;
He feared neither hell nor wrath.
His conscience was so cauteriz'd,
He refus'd nothing that I pleas'd:
For which he's had my kindness still,
Since he his labours did fulfil.
Rothes, like a sow in the mire,
Who of his whoredom did not tire;
But wailow'd in adultery,
In cursing and profanity,
And did allot the sabbath-day,
To spend it in his game and play:
Perjurd himself in Mitchell's case,
To bring that rebel to disgrace.
To Popery he was a good friend,
To set it up this man was keen,
His drunkenness I need not name,
My friend of this thought never shame.
He did contrive that rare engine,
That did make Hackstone dree great pine:
To rip his breast at my desire,
And burnt his heart quick in the fire;
Mangled his hands, and took them off,
That they might be the people's scoff,
And afterwards struck off his pow,
Set it on the Nether-bow;
And cut his body all asunder,
And plac'd it for a world's wonder.
Thus he shook off humanity,
For the respect he had for me:
At last, in horror he did die,
And went to Tophet dolefully.
Monmouth did me a noble turn,
When he to Bothwel-bridge did come,
With armed force, with power and might,
He slew, and put the Whigs to flight.
Altho' it was the sabbath-day,
He would not grant them a delay,
But instantly did hash them down,
And took them captives to the town:
They prisoners were in the Grey-friar,
Until a false oath they did swear;
Or in the dungeons were shut close,
Where they their lives were like to loss.
Some got the gallows, some the sea,
Some hang'd, some drown'd, that pleased me.
Earlshall, who serv'd me many a year,
And for my interest did appear;
He serv'd his 'prenticeship below,
Then to the mountains he did go,
The Cameronians to defeat,
People, whom I do greatly hate.
At Aird's-moss he surpriz'd that crew,
Cameron, their champion, he slew,
And desp'rately cut off his head,
Also his hands, and made him bleed.
Then in great triumph he did go
To Edinburgh with a great show;
Much boasting that he had supprest
The Cameronians in the west.
He did produce the hands and head
Of Cameron, whom he killed dead;
For which the council did him pay
A large reward, without delay.
And I myself on him did smile,
For that great action done in Kyle;
Because that he avenged me
Upon my stated enemy:
His kindness shall not be forgot,
As long as my furnace is hot.
York, who great Charles did succeed,
He was my constant friend indeed;
He was bred with me all his day,
And never from my laws did stray;
For he black Popery did profess,
In Scotland he set up the Mass.
A toleration he did give,
That mystery Babel might revive:
He took to him absolute power,
For to advance the Romish whore.
He stopped all the penal laws
Were made for weak’ning of my cause;
And gave a golden liberty
For all sorts of idolatry.
It criminal was in his day
To own the covenanted way;
For he intended in short time,
To make Pop’ry thro’ Scotland shine,
That from the greatest to the least,
All men might serve the Romish beast.
He deeply sworn was to Rome,
To seek all Presbyterians’ doom;
To abolish the memory
Of all that oppos'd Popery,
All Protestants he did despise,
And many slew without assise:
He order'd that they should be shot,
Where they were found in every spot,
By hellish soldiers, my drudges,
Whom he empower'd in place of judges,
Suspected persons for to try
And at their pleasure make them die,
Without allowing liberty
To fit them for eternity.
He fram'd all mischief by a law,
To make poor Scotland stand in awe:
Threaten'd to make a hunting field
Of shires that would not fully yield.
He all the venom in the pit,
In face of piety did spit.
He hated all maliciously,
And any sovereign but me.
Disdained common honesty,
Lov'd nothing but impiety:
He in my service posted fast,
Until his projects got a blast
When Orange did come o'er the sea,
Like a base coward he did flee;
Then he did abdicate the crown,
And after liv'd a vagabond;
Till at St. Germains he did die,
And then he did come to me.
I need not speak of Queensberry,
No man was loyaler than he;
He serv'd me well with all his might
Against the Whigs with great despite:
While York's commission he did bear,
Upon them he was most severe.
By him the parliament was led,
Saints' blood like water then he shed:
He confidently did declare,
They should not have time to prepare
For heaven; because he said that hell
Was too good a place for Whigs to dwell.
By thus he acted to his power,
Both scul and body to devour,
Which was the only thing I sought,
Altho' to pass it was not brought;
Yet thanks be unto Queensberry,
For his good will in serving me.
I Milton Maxwell must commend:
Ten Whigs at once he did condemn:
And after that he did devote
Himself, my kingdom to promote.
M'Cartney he did apprehend,
Brought him to an untimeous end.
He plagu'd the Presbyterians sore,
That dwelt on the water of Urr.
For Corsock's house he rifl'd bare,
And neither nurse nor child did spare,
But thrust them out from house and hold,
Expos'd then to hunger and cold;
He did leave nothing in that house,
That was to him of any use.
The horse, the nolt, the corn and sheep,
He every thing away did sweep.
He rang'd through like a greedy thief:
Took butter, cheese, mutton and beef:
The puddings he did scarcely spare,
For every thing away he bare:
Of cloth and clothes, silver and gold,
He took far more than can be told;
The blackest sight that courtry saw,
Worse than Pate Bailey or John Faw.
All his zeal was mixt with self,
He very greedy was of pelf;
Yet all he took but short time lasted,
The Whigs did say that it was blasted:
For all his offspring that remain,
Have none of his well gotten gain.
When I perceiv'd that it was gone,
I out of pity brought him home;
Now Whigs may sleep in a sound skin,
They'll never get mair skaith of him.
My friends that were of lower note,
In justice should not be forget;
As Allison, who here did dree
A hell on earth, for pleasing me.
Bonshare, more fierce than I can tell,
Who bade some send the Whigs to hell;
And my beloved Kennaway,
Who plagu'd the Hill-men every day.
And Charters, that was so severe;
'Bove twenty journeys in one year,
This varlet willingly did go,
To hasten the fanatics woe.
Strahan, Murray, and Annandale,
Who in my causes had great zeal;
Drummond, Streton, and bloody Reid,
Who shot my fồes till they were dead.
Buchan, Inglis, and Westerhall,
Balfour, and others great and small:
Stenhouse, Maitland, and Ballochmyle,
Colzean, and Sundrum, men of skill:
Crighton, Lauder, and many more,
Who sought the Hill-men’s overthrow.
Halton, who did himself perjure.
To bring Mitchell to an ill hour;
Lawrie of Maxwelton also,
Unto these wild men was a foe;
And so was Craig of Stewarton,
Baillie, and these, gave Smith his doom,
And all the Bishops in the land,
Were ready still at my command,
My statutes for to execute,
On all whom I do persecute.
Dumbarton, Bruce, and Rob. Dalziel,
And other worthies I could tell,
As Ezekiel Montgomery,
The worst cruel monster that could be;
And that vile wretch, call’d Sheriff Hunie,
That was right worthy of his room:
And old tree-legged Duncan Grant,
Who of his wickedness did vaunt.
Eglinton, Ironcaple, and Lord Ross,
Who did the Whigs murder and toss;
From sixty to the revolution,
Imbru’d their hands in persecution.
They murder’d and did stigmatize,
Such as my service did not please;
They banish’d them to foreign nations,
And sold them to the new plantations.
With rigour great they took their gear,
'Cause they my livery would not wear.
None forwarder among them all,
Than noble Grierson of Lag-hall;
Whose worthy actions makes him fit.
In the great chair now to sit,
'Bove Korah and his company,
For all his friendship done to me.
This honour he doth well deserve,
For he unweariedly did serve
Me, to his utmost every way,
To keep my kingdom from decay.
I must remember Bishop Sharp,
For the good service I did get
of him, when he was here away,
He did the Scottish kirk betray,
And all its privileges sold,
For pleasure here and love of gold.
He flld the land with perjury,
And all sorts of iniquity;
And did the force of Scotland lead
To persecute the woman's seed.
Judas, who did his master sell,
And afterwards went down to hell,
Had no more mischief in his mind
Than Sharp, this noble friend of mine.
A paction past 'twixt him and me,
That I from skaith should keep him free;
I gave him sorcery 'gainst lead,
That shooting should not be his dead;
And yet this did not him secure,
He lost his life on Magus Muir:
There some stout hearted men in Fife,
With swords of steel did take his life;
And very justly did him kill,
'Cause he their brethren's blood did spill.
So to this place he did descend;
But after him Lag did contend
For my kingdom many a day,
But now, alas! he's ta'en away.
What shall I say? for time would fail,
To tell you of brave Lauderdale,
А great apostate he did prove,
Because, with Balaam, he did love
The wages of iniquity,
To keep him in prosperity;
That his beastly belly might
Have epicurean delight,
To spend his time in carnal pleasure,
Which he esteem'd above all treasure.
He was a member among those,
Who strictest models did compose,
Upon the Presbyterian side,
But quickly he from them did slide.
These covenants which oft he swore,
Most solemnly he did abjure.
All tenderness he did cast off;
On scripture he did droll and scoff.
To Prelate Sharp he thought no shame,
Above Rabshaketh to blaspheme.
By habit he did curse and swear;
With harlots company did bear.
He did counsel and assist
The king, who after blood did thirst,
To bring all to a final end,
For covenants that did contend.
All public mischief in the land,
Was done at Lauderdale's command.
In Mitchell's case he did perjure
Himself, most wrongfully he swore:
For conscience he regarded not,
Himself, he wholly did devote
To serve King Charles and myself,
And to advance his wordly pelf.
Presiding in these courses still,
Did grieve and anger one Cargil:
So Charles, York, Monmouth, and he,
Were a’ delivered o’er to me:
Rothes, M‘Kenzie, and Dalziel,
Unto my jot each man they fell;
A company of as brave men,
As ever minister did send,
By such a sentence unto me,
Whom I embrac’d most willingly:
'Cause formerly I did commend,
In many things these worthy men.
Now these brave heroes I must leave,
And some few instances I’ll give
Of these brave actions which Lag did,
That ought no longer to be hid;
In Galloway he was well known,
His great exploits in it was shown;
He was my general in that place,
He did the Presbyterians chase,
Thro’ moss and muir, and many a hag,
They were pursu’d by my friend Lag.
Saints’ monuments that’s here and there
If any will to them repair,
'Mongst others here, they’ll read his name,
And know he was a man of fame.
On many there he forc’d the test,
By perjury them sore opprest;
And when he brought them to disgrace,
He mock’d them unto their face,
From others he did take their gear,
He neither mercy had nor fear;
Yet, this did not his wrath allay,
For others he did seek to slay.
Cubbin and Gordon near Hall-Hill,
He took their life, their blood to spill,
And left them hanging on a tree,
For disobedience unto me.
John Bell of White-side, he did slay,
And would not give them time to pray;
And other four in that same hour,
He shot upon Kirkconnel Muir.
Mayfield, Clement, and Irlington,
Macrabet also he brought down;
And made them all a sacrifice,
His hellish fury to appease.
Two men in Twingham some did find,
And with hair tethers did them bind,
Like sheep for slaughter there they lay,
George Short, and David Haliday.
Till Lag came up, and gave command,
To kill them quickly out of hand;
Against them he had such despite,
He would not let them live one night:
So in that posture they were shot,
Most cruelly upon the spot.
Lachland and Wilson in the sea
He drown'd, 'cause they obey'd not me;
Tho' they were of the weaker sex,
No favour they of him did get;
Unto a stake he did them tie,
Because they did my laws deny.
And cruelly he took the life
Both of a young maid and a wife.
Thus Lag did conquer in the field,
Such as to me would no ways yield.
When persecuting did delay,
He serv'd as well another way:
He ever loyal was and true,
And his allegiance did renew;
And for my sake did hatred bear,
By many a person far and near.
The kirk by excommunication,
Did banish him out of their region,
Because he would not satisfy
Them for his vile adultery.
Of this sentence he was content;
He never play'd the penitent,
For he no ill in it could see,
Since they deliver'd him to me.
For he well knew that I could thole,
His vices all without controul,
That he should have peace and ease,
In doing things that I do please:
Altho' they frighted him with terror,
He was not brought to such an error,
As to forsake his former way,
Or in the least from me to stray.
He clave as close unto my law
As any man I ever saw;
In atheism he his days did spend,
Until his time drew near an end.
Then for the fashion he did say,
That he was of the Popish way;
Because a priest made him believe,
That he to him would pardon give;
And would from Purgatory bring
Him to a place where he would sing;
But that was but a forged lie
For Lag lives hot and bien with me.
It was a spite he money gave
Unto the priest, that greedy slave;
For he had neither pith nor power,
To keep my friend from ine an hour:
For when I heard that he was dead,
A legion of my den did lead
Him to my place of residence,
Where still he'll stay and not go hence,
For Purgatory, I must tell,
It is the lowest place in hell;
Well plenish'd with the Romish sort.
Where thousands of them do resort.
There many a Prince and Pope do dwell,
Fast fetter'd in that lower cell.
And from that place they ne'er win free,
Tho' greedy priests for gain do lie,
In making ignorance conceive
They'll bring them from the infernal cave,
Such as do bribe them well with gold,
As heaven with pelf was bought and sold.
Sure that is but a vain deceit,
Contriv'd by Antichrist of late,
To keep the worshippers of the Whore
Senseless in sin, blind and secure;
And to make priests look fat and fine,
Who nought but carnal things do mind;
For this is what I truly know,
They come not back from whence they go.
They who take their abode with me,
From that place they are never free.
This Lag will know, and all the rest
Who of my lodging are possest.
On earth no more they can serve me,
But still I'll have their company.
With this I must my grief allay,
So I no more of Lag will say.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.