Rare Books Library at Guelph University #SO 231 b06]
CAP & THE GHAIST.
of St George slaying the dragon.]
Printed for the Booksellers
THOMAS LEARMANT, commonly called Thomas the Rhymer, was born in the east
corner of Fife, of a good family. His Prophecies have been more credited
than any that were ever recorded in the Scots Chronicle, as they have been
well attested, what of them is past, and what they allude to, in this
present century and period, and of his dark sayings yet to come.
many mystical prophecies anent all thye Kings of Europe, and what fell out
according to his prediction, in this ancient kingdom of Scotland; what is
past, present, and to come.
brief account is taken from the Record of Cryle, near which place he was
born and brought up.
father was said to be Laird of Balcomie, and the records of that family
are extant in the Rolls, for assisting at several councils for the honour
Scotland. And Sir Thomas the Rhymer’s prophecies and sayings are still
held in estimation.
in the reign of Alexander III, King of Scotland, in the year one thousand
two hundred and forty-eight, much regarded, and knighted by that king that
of his prophecies ever taken to be faithfully observed, was, that there
should be a storm on a certain day, that would surprise all Scotland.
Now, some gentlemen being with him that day, they began to joke him, and
said, “Sir Thomas, you are now mistaken, and we shall stay and see your
mistake, as we have heard so much of your prophecies.” He told them to
stay an hour longer, and they would see and believe. And in less time
than an hour, an express arrived to Sir Thomas from Edinburgh, of the
death of Margaret, Queen of Alexander III., who died that day. Upon
receiving the news, Sir Thomas told them that this was the storm, and it
would give rise to greater commotions in Scotland.
death of Queen Margaret, the King married Isabel, daughter to the Earl of
Driux; and Sir Thomas told within a few months of an earthquake at
Kinghorn, that would make Scotland tremble. An express accordingly came
to Cryle to Sir Thomas, that the King had fallen from his horse at
Kinghorn, and broke his neck. After the death of Alexander, he left no
heirs except a grandchild, Margaret, daughter of the King of Norway
soon died; but a short time before her death she was betrothed to Edward,
King of England. After this there were great commotions anent the
succession to the crown of Scotland, which occasioned great blood-shed,
particularly betwixt Bruce and Baliol, which you have recorded in the
of Spain, and the deceitful conduct of the French, as also concerning the
the Dutch, is all foretold. – Likewise the Scots battles at Torwood,
Bothwellbridge, Malpaickie, Killycrankie, Sheriffmuir, Proud-Preston, near
Gladsmuir, Falkirk, Culloden, the Camps in Moray-shire,on the Windmill
brae at Aberdeen, by General Coup, and at Dunbar.
In forty-five eighty two and three
Sir Thomas’ Works doth certify.
THOMAS THE RHYMER.
. . . . . . . . . .
As to his
prophetical sayings, they are hard to be understood, because they are
pointed out by the Coats of Arms which appertain to so many different
kingdoms and persons. Yet we may observe how he has pointed out plainly,
many things which have come to pass in our days; such as the extirpation
of the noble race of the Stewarts, the Revolution of Sheriffmuir, where he
That three Ships and a Shield,
That day shall keep the field;
And be the Antelop’s build.
three ships and a shield, are in the Duke of Argyle’s arms.
every particular of the rebellion 1745 and 1746, when pointing at it he
A Chieftain unchosen,
Shall choose forth himself,
And the realm as his own.
speaking of King Charles, he calls him “A sly Fox-bird, who would turn to
Christ with the wyles of tods and foxes,” meaning his swearing of the
speaking of the battle of Prestonpans, in the year 1745, He names the very
two neighbourin villages to the spot of ground whereon it was
fought, viz., Coyleford-green and Seton, saying, “Between Seton and the
sea sorrow should be wrought by the light of the moon.” – Which act,
really came to pass that morning the battle of Prestonpans was fought.
But how the Lion was hurt at this time, and not perceived, is yet a
mystery. Some are of opinion, that it was by taking away the power or
superiority from the chiefs of the Highland clans, so that they cannot
raise men in such a short time as formerly.
a few observations on things already come to pass; and as to what is yet
to come, there is some remark will yet happen, when the time draws nigh;
such as, “When Tarbet’s craigs are tumbled into the sea. And the next
season or summer thereafter, great sorrow and bloodshed happen to this
realm, the chief thereof especially, such as harling on sleds, and
chopping off heads.” This Tarbret stands near the root of the river
Clyde: but whether its being tumbled into the sea shall happen by an
earthquake, thunder, or by the hands of men, is a mystery unknown.
also mention made of a lord with a lucken, or doublehand, which certainly
is of royal blood, and will breed great stir and confusion in Britain.
This man is alive at this very present age, and of the Stewarts’ race, now
plainly pointed out, that in his time, a great battle should be seen in
“Where saddled horses should be seen,
Ty’d unto the trees green.
in Fife, but the four chief rivers of the realm, there should be a battle
on each of them, that should make the rivers run with blood, viz:- Tweed,
Clyde, Forth, and Tay
Last of all, a bloody desperate battle in
Northumberland, on the river Tyne. Also great havockand slaughter about
the broad walls of Berwick. All these things are yet to come to pass; and
when the first appears, the rest will soon follow after.
. . . . . . . . . . .
. . .
When HEMP is come and also gone,
Scotland and England shall be one.
, Edward, Mary, Philip of Spain, Elizabeth
VIII. VI. Q.M.’s
Praised be God alone,
For HEMP is come and gone,
And left us old Albion,
By peace join’d in one.
explication of the foregoing prophecy concerning Hemp being come and also
gone, leaving Scotland and England joined in one, is fulfilled in the late
king William, who came out of Holland, which, in old times, was vulgarly
called the land of Hemp, and the joining of the two nations together,
signifies the union.
things were foretold by the two Scots Prophets in the reign of King
Arthur. Afterwards, to the same purpose, these, and many other strange
things were foretold by Thomas Learmant, vulgarly called Thomas the
Because he spoke all his prophetical sayings
in rhyme,and so darkly that they could not be understood until they cameto
the prophets that ever were in Scotland, none of them attained to such
credit, because many of his predictions referred to our own country, and
were accomplished in the last and present centuries.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
THOMAS THE RHYMER’S
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
SCOTLAND be sad now and lament,
For honours thou hast lost,
But yet rejoice, in better times,
Which will pay the cost.
Tho’ unto thralldom you should
Brought by your enemies;
You shall have freedom from them all,
And enjoy your liberties.
The grave of the most noble
To all is great regret,
The subject to law, who both leave
The kingdom and estate.
O anguish great! where every
And ages doth lament
Whom bitter death has ta’en away,
Shall Scotland ore repent.
Lately a lamb or rich increase,
A nation stout and true,
Has lost their former dear estate,
Which they did hold of due.
By hard conflict, and by the
Of noble fortune’s force,
Thy hap and thy prosperity
May turn into worse.
Tho’ wont to won, may be
And come in under yoke;
Strangers may reign, and you destroy,
What likes him by sword’s stroke.
Will only win above.
This mighty nation was to force,
Invincible and stout,
Will yield slowly to destiny,
Great pity is but doubt.
In former age the Scots renown
Did flourish goodly gay!
But yet alas! will be overcome
With a great dark decay.
Then mark and see what is the
Of this so wond’rous fall!
Contempt of faith, falsehood, deceit,
The wrath of God withal.
Unsatiable greed of worldly
Oppression, cries of the poor;
A perpetual and slanderous race,
No justice put indure.
The haughty pride of mighty man,
Of former vice chief cause,
The nutriture of wickedness,
An unjust match of laws.
Therefore this cause the
Of long time did presage;
And now has happen’d every point
Into your present age.
Since fate is so, now Scotland
In patience to abide,
Slanders, great fears, and sudden plagues,
And great dolours beside.
For out of thee shall people
With divers happiness;
And yet a pen can scarcely write,
Thy hurt, skaith, and distress.
And yet beware thou not
Altho’ o’erwhelm’d with grief,
Thy stroke is not perpetual,
For thou shalt find relief.
I do suppose, although too late,
Old prophecies shall hold,
Hope thou in God’s goodness evrmore,
And mercies manifold.
For thou that now a patient is,
And seemeth to be bound;
At liberty shall free be set,
And with empire be crown’d.
From high above shall grace come
And thy state, Scotland, be,
In latter ends, more prosperous
That former age shall see.
Old prophecies foretell to thee,
A warlike heir he’s born,
Who shall recover new your right,
Advance this kingdom’s horn.
Then shall fair Scotland be
Above her enemies power;
Her cruel foes shall be dispers’d,
And scatter’d from her bower.
Fair Scotia’s enemies may
But not escape a plague;
With sword, and thirst, and tears, and pest,
With fears, and such like ague.
And after enemies thrown down,
And master’d in the war,
Then Scotland in peace and quietness
Pass joyful days for ever.
the curious may be more fully informed concerning the aforesaid
predictions, with respect to their being exactly fulfilled, they are
referred to the Scottish histories.
. . . . . . . . . . .
In ancient times, far I’ the north
A hundred miles ayont the Forth,
Upon a stormy winter day,
Twa men foregathered on the way;
Ane was a sturdy Bardoch chief,
An’ frae the weather happit weel,
Wi’ a milled plaiding jockey-coat,
And eke he on his head had got
A thrummy cap, baith large and stout,
Wi’ flaps a hind, as weel’s a snout,
Whilk buttoned close aneath his chin,
To keep the cauld frae getting in;
Upon his legs he had gamashes,
Whilksodgers term their spaterdashes;
An’ on his hands, instead o’ glo’es,
Large doddy mittens, whilk he’d roose
For warness, an’ an aiken stick,
Nae verra lang, but unco thick,
Intil his neive – he drave awa’,
And car’d for neither frost nor snaw.
The ither was just the reverse,
O claes and courage baith was scarce;
Sae in our tale, as we go on,
I think we’d ca’ him cowardly John.
Sae on they goed at a good scow’r.
‘Cause that they saw a gatherin showe
Grow verra thick upon the wind,
Whilk to their wae they soon did find;
A mighty shower of snaw and drift,
As ever dang down frae the lift!
Right wild and boisterous Boreas roar’d,
Preserve’s, quoth John, we’ll baith be smoor’d,
Our trystic end we’ll ne’er make out.
Cheer up, says Thrummy, never doubt;
But I’m some fly’d we’ve tint our way,
Howe’er at the neist house we’ll stay,
Until we see gif it grow fair,
Gin no, a’ night we’ll tarry there.
Weel, weel, says Johnny, we shall try.
Syne they a manion house did spy,
Upon the road, a piece afore,
Sae they gaed up unto the door,
Where Thrummy chappit wi’ his stick,
Syne to the door came verra quick,
A muckle dog, who barked siar,
But Thrummy for him didna care
He handled weel his aiken staff,
And spite o’s teeth he kept him aff,
Until the Landlord came to see,
And ken what might the matter be;
Then verra soon the dog did cease,
The Landlord then did spear the case.
Quoth Thrummy, Sir, we hae gane weal,
We thought we’d ne’er a house get till;
We near were smoor’d amo’ the drift’
An’ sure, gudeman,ye’ll make a shift,
To gie us quarters a’ this night,
For now we dinna hae the light,
Farer to gang tho’ it were fair’
See gin you hae a bed to spare;
What’er you charge, we sanna grudge,
But satisfy ye, ere we budge
To gang awa – and fan ‘tis day,
We’ll pack our all, and tak the way.
The Landlord said, O’ beds I’ve nane,
But gin ye gang but twa miles forret,
Aside the kirk dwalls Robbie Dorret,
Wha keeps a change house, sells guid drink,
His house you may make out I thin.
Quoth Thrummy,That’s o’er far awa,
The roads are sae blawn up wi’ snaw,
To mak it is not in our power;
For look ye, there a gathering shower
Is coming on – you’ll let us bide,
Tho’ we should sit by the fire-side.
The Landlord said to him, Na, na
I canna let you bide ava,
Chap off, for ‘tis no worth your while
To bide, when ye hae scrimp twa mile
To gang – sae quickly aff ye’ll steer,
For faith, I doubt ye’ll nae be here.
Twa mile! Quo’ Thrummy, de’il speed me
If frae your house this night I jee;
Are we to starve in Christian land?
As lang’s my stick bides in my hand,
An, silver plenty in my pouch,
To nane about your house I’ll crouch;
Landlord, you needna be sae rude,
For faith we’ll make our quarters good.
Come, John, let’s in, we’ll take a seat,
For sorrow gars you look sae blate?
Sae in he gangs and sets him down:
Says he, They’re nane about your town
Sall put me out, till a new-day,
As lang’s I’ve siller for to pay.
The Landlord said, Ye’re rather rash,
To turn ye out we sanna fash,
Since ye’re sae positive to bide,
But troth ye’s sit by the fire-side;
I tald ye else of beds I’ve nane
Unoccupied, except bare ane,
In it, I fear ye winna lye,
For stoutest hearts have aft been shy
To venture in within the room
After the night begins to gloom;
For in it they can ne’er get rest,
‘Tis haunted by a frightful ghaist!
Ourselves are terrified a’ night;
Sae ye may chance to get a sight,
Like that which some of our folk saw,
Far better till ye gang awa,
Or else ye’ll maybe rue the day,
Guid faith, says John, I’m thinking sae;
Better in the neuk to sit,
Than fly’d, guid keep’s, out o’ our wit;
Preserve us ever frae all evil,
I widna like to see the devil:
Whisht gowk, quo’ Thrummy, hand your peace,
That sanna gar me quit this place:
To great nor sma’ I ne’er did ill,
No ghasit, nor deil my sert shall spill.
I can defy the meikle deil,
An’ a’ his works I wat fu’ weel;
Fat sorry then maks you sae cery?
Fling by your fears, come then, be cheery.
Landlord, gin ye’ll make up that bed.
I promise I’ll be very glad,
Within the same a’ night to lie,
If that the room be warm and dry.
The Landlord says, Ye’s get a fire,
An’ candle too, gin ye desire,
Wi’ beuks to read, and for your bed,
I’ll orders gi’e to get it made.
John says, As I’m a Christian man,
Who never likes to curse nor ban,
Nor steal, nor lie, nor drink, nor whore,
I’ll never gang within its door,
But sit by the fire-side a’ night,
An’ gang awa whene’er ‘tis light.
Says Thrummy till him wi’ a glow’r,
Ye cowardly gowk, I’ll make ye cower,
Come up the stair alang wi’ me,
An’ I shall caution for you be.
Then Johnny faintly gaed consent,
An’ up stairs to the room they went,
Where seen they gat baith fire and light,
To haud them heart a’ the night;
The Landlord likewise gae them meat,
As meikle as they baith could eat;
Show’d them their bed, and bade them gang
To it, whene’er they did think lang;
And wishing them a gude repose,
Straight syne to his ain bed he goes.
Our travelers now being left alane.
‘Cause that the frost was nippen keen,
Cast off their shoon, and warm’d their feet
And syne gaed to their bed to sleep,
But cowardly John wi’ fear was quaking,
He cou’dna sleep, but still lay wauking,
Sae troubled wi’ his panic fright –
When near the twalt hour o’ the night,m
That Thrummy waken’d and thus spake;
Prserves! Quoth he, I am like to choak
Wi’ thirst, and I maun ha’e a drink;
I will gang down the stair I think,
And grapple for the water pail,
O for a waught o’ cawler ale!
Johnny grips to him, an’ says, Na,
I winna let you gang awa;
Wow will you gang and leave me here
Alane to die wi’ perfect fear?
Rise and go wi’ me then, quoth Thrummy,
Ye senseless gude-for-naething bummy,
I’m only gaun to seek some water,
I will be back just in a clatter.
Na, na, says John, I’ll rather lye.
But as I am likewise something dry,
Gif ye can get a jug or cap,
Fesh up to me a little drap.
Ay, ay, quoth Thrummy, that I will,
Altho, ye sudna get a gill.
Sae down he gaes to fetch a drink
And then he thinks he sees a blink
O’ light, that shone upo’ the floor,
Out thro’ the key hole o’ the door,
So setting up the door a jee,
Whatever’s there he thinks he’ll see;
So bauldly o’er the threshold ventures,
And in within the door he enters;
But, reader, judge of his surprise,
When there he saw with wondering eyes
A spacious vault, weel stored wi’ casks
O’ reaming ale, and some big flasks,
And stride legs o’er a cask of ale,
He saw the likeness o’ himself,
Just in the dress that he cast aff,
A Thrummy cap and aiken staff,
Gammashes and the jockey-coat;
And in his hand the Ghaist had got
A big four-legged timber bicker,
Filled to the brim wi’ nappy liquor;
Our hero at the spectre star’d,
But neither daunted was, nor car’d.
But to the Ghaist straight up did step,
An’ says, dear brother, Thrummy Cap,
The warst ye surely dinna drink;
Syne took a jug, pou’d out the pail,
And filled it up in the same ale.
Frae under where the spectre sat,
And up the stair wi’ it he gat;
Took a gude drink, gaed John anither,
But never tauld him o’ his brither
That he into the cellar saw,
Mair than he’d naething seen ava;
Right brown and nappy was the beer;
Whar did you get it? John did speer,
Says Thrummy, Sure youneedna care,
I’ll gae and try and get some mair.
Sae down the stair again he goes,
To get o’ drink, anither dose,
Being positive to hae some mair:
But still he fand the ghaist was there,
Now on a butt behind the door:
Says he, Ye didna ill befoe,
Dear brother Thrummy, sae I’ll try
You once again, because I’m dry.
He fills his jug straight out below,
An’ up the stair again does go.
John marvell’d sair but didna speer
Again, where did he get the beer,
For it was stronger than the first,
Sae they baith drank till like to burst;
Syne did compose themselves to rest,
To sleep a while they thought it best.
An hour in bed they hadna been.
And scarcely weel had closed their een,
When just into the neighb’ring cham’er
They heard a dreadful din and clamour,
Beneath the bed-claes John did cower.
But Thrummy jumped upon the floor,
Him by the sark-tail John did haud,
Lie still, quoth he, far, are you ma?
Thrummy then gaed a hasty jump,
And took John in the ribs a thump,
Till on the bed he tumbled down,
In little better than a swoon,
While Thrummy, fast as he could rin,
Set aff to see what made the din.
The chamber seemed to him as light
As gif the sun was shining bright;
The ghaist was stanin’ at the door,
In the same dress he had afore;
And o’er anent it at the wa’,
Were ither apparitions twa.
Thrummy beheld them for a wee,
But de’il a word as yet spoke he;
The spirits seemed to kick a ba’,
The Ghaist against the ither twa:
While close they drave baith back and fore
Atween the chimla and the door.
He stops a while and sees the play,
Syne rinning up he thus did say:
Ano for ane may well compare,
But twa for ane is rather sair:
The play’s nae equal, sae I vow,
Dear brother Thrummy, I’ll help you,
Then wi’ his feet he kicked the ba’,
Gard it play stot against the wa’:
Quick thenas lightning frae the sky
The Spectes, with a horrid cry,
A’ vanished in a clap of thun’er,
While Thrummy at the same did won’er
The room was quiet now and dark,
And Thrummy stripping in his sark:
Glauming the gate back to his bed,
Aye thinks he hears a person tread,
An’ ere he gat without the door,
The Ghaist again stood him before,
And in his face did staring stand,
Wi’ a big candle in his hand.
Quoth Thrummy, Friend, I want to know
What brings you from the shades below?
I, in my maker;s name, command
You tell your story just aff hand?
Fat wad you hae? – I’ll do my best
For you, to let you be at rest,
Then says the Ghaist, ‘Tis thirty years
Since I’ve been doom’d to wander here;
In all that time there has been none
Behav’d so bold as you have done;
Sae, if you’ll do a job for me,
Disturbance mair I’ll never gie;
Say on your tale, quoth Thrummy, I,
To do you justice, sure will try.
Then mark me weel, the Ghaist replied,
And you shall soon be satisfied;
Frae this aback near forty years,
I of this palce was overseer,
When this Laird’s father had the land
AA’ thing was then at my command,
Wi’ power to do as I thought fit,
In ilka cause I chief did sit;
The Laird paid great respect to me,
But I an ill return did gie:
The Title deeds of his estate,
Out of the same I did him cheat,
And staw them frae where they did lye;
Some days before the Laird did die.
His son, at that time, was in France,
And sae I thought I’d hae a chance,
Gif he should never come again,
That the estate would be my ain.
But scdarcely three bare weeks were past,
When death did come and grip me fast.
Sae sudden that I hadna power
The charter back for to restore.
Soon after that hame came the heir.
And syne got up the reefu’ rair,
What sorrow was come o’ the Rights
They sought them several days and nights
But never yet hae they been seen,
As I aneath a meikle stane,
Did hide them, I’ this chamber wa’,
We’ll showed up in a leather ba’,
But I was ne’er allowed to rest,
Until that I the same confst;
But this to do I hadna power,
Frae yon time to this verra hour,
That I’ve reveal’d it a’ to you:
And now I’ll tell you what to do.
Till nae langsyne nae mony kent,
That this same Laird the Rights did want,
But now they hae him at the law,
An’ the neist owk the Larid maun shaw,
Afore the Court, the Rights o’s land,
This puts him at an unco stand;
For if he disna shaw them there,
O’ a’ his lands he’ll be strip’d bare:
Nae hopes has he to save’s estate,
This makes him sour and unco blate;
He canna think whar’s Rights may be,
And ne’er expects them mair to see.
But now my friend, mark what I tell,
And ye’ll get something to yoursel’;
Tak out the stane there in the wa’,
And there ye’ll get the leather ba,
‘Tis just the same that you did see,
Whan that you said you wad help me;
The Rights are shew’d up in its heart:
But see you dinna wi’ them part,
Until the Laird shall pay you down
Just fifty guineas and a crown,
Whilk at my death was due to me,
This for thy trouble, I’ll give thee:
And I’ll disturb this house nae mair
‘Cause I’ll be free from all my care,
This Thrummy promised to do,
And syne the Ghaist bade him adieu,
And vanished with a pleasant sound,
Down thro’ the laft and thro’ the ground.
Thrummy gade back syne till his bed,
And cowardly John was verra glad,
That he his neighbour saw once mair,
For of his life he did despair.
Wow man, quo’ John, whar hae ye been,
Come tell me a’ fat yo hae seen!
Na, bide, says Thrummy, till day light,
And syne I’ll tell you hale and right.
Sae baith lay still and took a nap,
Until the ninth hour it did chap:
Thrummy syne raise, put on his claes,
And to the cham’er quick he gaes,
Taks out the stane into the wa’,
And soon he found the leather ba’;
Took out the Rights, replaced the stane,
Ere John did ken whar he had been:
Then baith came stappin’ down the stair.
The morning now was calm and fair.
Weel, says the laird, my trusty frien’,
Hae ye ought in your cham’er seen?
Quoth thrymmy, Sir, I naething saw
That did me ony ill ava.
Weel, quoth the Laird, ye now may gang
Ye ken the day’s nae verra lang:
In the meantime it’s calm and clear,
Ye lose your time in biding here.
Quoth Thrummy, Sir, mind what I tell,
I’ve mair right here than you yoursel’:
Sae till I like I here shall bide.
The Laird at this began to child.
Says he, My friend, you’re turning rude;
For here I, just before you a’,
The Rights o’ this estate can shaw,
And this is mair than you can do.
What! Quo’ the Laird, can that be ture!
‘Tis true, quoth Thrummy, look and see,
D’ye think that I would tell a lie.
The parchment from his pouch then drew
And down upon the table threw,
The Laird at this up to him ran,
And cryed where did ye get them, man!
Syne Thrummy tauld him all the tale,
As I’ve tauld you, baith clear and hale.
The Laird at this was fidging fain,
That he had got his Rights again;
And fifty guineas down did tell,
Besides a present frae himsel’.
Thrummy him thanked, and syne his goud
Intil a muckle purse he stowed,
An’ cramed it in his oxter pouch,
And syne sought out his aiken crutch:
Said, Fare-ye-weel, I maun awa,
An’ sin gin I get through the snaw.
Weel, fare-ye-weel, replied the Laird:
How comes it that ye ha’na shared,
Or gi’en your nei’bour o’ the money?
Na, by my saul, I sir, quo’ Thrummy,
When I the siller, sir did win,
To had done this wad been a sin,
For he cower’d, trembling in the bed,
While I it was the Ghaist had laid.
And sae my tale I here do end,
I hope no one it will offend;
My muse will no’ assist me langer,
The dorty jade sometimes does lang’or.
I thought her ance a gay smart lass,
But now she’s come to sic a pass,
That a’ my cudgeling and weeping,
Will hardly wake her out o-sleeping:
To plague her mair I winna try,
But dight my pen and lay it bye.