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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Words of James Mackpherson Murderer'


The last Words of James Mackpherson Murderer.

I spent my time in rioting,
debauch'd my health and strength,
I pillag'd, plundred, murdered,
but now alas! at length;
I'm brought to punishment condign;
pale Death draws near to me,
The end I ever did project
to hang upon a Tree.
To hang upon a Tree a Tree
that curs'd unhappy Death;
like to a Wolf so worried be
and chocked in the breath;
It makes my very heart to break
when this I think upon

Did not my Courage singular
bid pensive thoughts begone.
No man on earth that draweth breath,
more Courage, had than I,
dar'd my Foes into their Face.
knew not what 'was to Fly;
A Grander stout I did keep out;
like Hector manfully.
Then wonder all that such a spark
should hang upon a tree,
The Egiptian Band I did command
with greater sway by far,
Than ever did a General
his Soldiers in the War;
Being fear'd be all and spar'd be all,
I lived most joyfullie
But ay pox take this fate of mine,
most hang upon a Tree.
No Grief at all I would take up,
is Justice would take place,
And bring my Fellow-plunderets
unto the same Disgrace.
For Peter Brown that notar lown
escap'd and was made free,
But ay pox take this fate of mine,
must hang upon a Tree,

Ah! Laws and Justice buried are,
Force, Fraud and Guile Succeed,
The Guilty pass unpunished.;
if Money interceed;
The Laird of Grant that highland saint
that mightie majesty,
Did plead the Cause for Peter Brown
and let Mackpherson dye.
The Destinies my Death contriv'd
Men whom I did oblige
Reward me much ill for good,
and left me no Refuge;

For Brake Duff in rage enuff
at length laid Hancs on me,
The which if Death do not prevent
revenged I shall be.
As for pale Death I do not care,
more courage nev'r had none,
Bur yet Hells Torments I do not fear;
when once my life is gone:
Therefore, good people all take heed,
this warning take by me
According to the Life ye lead,
rewarded ye shall be
As for my Death I'll not lament;
such things I do abhorre,
To part with life I'm well content;
as any heretofore;

Therefore my Council to you all
is to Repent and Turn,
Least afterwards it may befall
you in Hells fire shall burn.
For neither Death not Divels pow'rs
this rage of mine shall break,
For in the place to which I go
some Office I expect,
Then be content and not relent
my silly Soul until
The time may come wherein thou may
perform thy Latter will.      
In hopes whereof I poured forth
this with a dying Breath,
As joyfully as man could do
who hath in fight his Death

Than wontonly and rantingly
I am resolv'd to die                     
And with undaunted Courage I
shall mount this faull Tree.

        F I N I S

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Probable date of publication: 1700   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(029)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Words of James Mackpherson Murderer'
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