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after three days and three nights, hard contest, left the Scandinavian under the table, " And blew on the whistle his requiem shrill,”
Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before-mentioned, afterwards lost the whistle to Walter Riddel of Glenriddel, who had married a sister of Sir Walter's. On Friday, the 16th October 1790, at Friars-Carse, the whistle was once more contended for, as related in the Ballad, by the present Sir Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton; Robert Riddel, Esq. of Glenriddel, lineal descendant and representative of Walter Riddel, who won the whistle, and in whose family it had continued; and Alexander Ferguson, Esq. of Craigdarroch, likewise descended of the great Sir Robert; which last gentleman carried off the hard-won honours of the field.
I SING of a whistle, a whistle of worth, I sing of a whistle, the pride of the north, Was brought to the court of our good Scottish
And long with this whistle all Scotland shall ring.
Old Loda*, still rueing the arm of Fingal,
See Ossian's Caric-Thura.
"This whistle's your challenge, to Scotland get "o'er,
"And drink them to hell, Sir! or ne'er see me "more!"
Old poets have sung, and old chronicles tell, What champions ventur'd, what champions fell; The son of great Loda was conqueror still, And blew on the whistle his requiem shrill.
Till Robert, the lord of the Cairn and the Scaur, Unmatch'd at the bottle, unconquer'd in war, He drank his poor god-ship as deep as the sea, No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker than he.
Thus Robert, victorious, the trophy has gain'd, Which now in his house has for ages remain'd; Till three noble chieftains, and all of his blood, The jovial contest again have renew’d.
Three joyous good fellows, with hearts clear of flaw; Craigdarroch, so famous for wit, worth, and law; And trusty Glenriddel, so skill'd in old coins; And gallant Sir Robert, deep-read in old wines.
Craigdarroch began, with a tongue smooth as oil, Desiring Glenriddel to yield up the spoil; Or else he would muster the heads of the clan, And once more, in claret, try which was the man.
By the gods of the ancients!" Glenriddel replies,
"Before I surrender so glorious a prize,
"I'll conjure the ghost of the great Rorie More *, "And bumper his horn with him twenty times "o'er."
Sir Robert, a soldier, no speech would pretend, But he ne'er turn'd his back on his foe-or his friend,
Said, toss down the whistle, the prize of the field, And, knee-deep in claret, he'd die or he'd yield.
To the board of Glenriddel our heroes repair, So noted for drowning of sorrow and care; But for wine and for welcome not more known to
Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a sweet lovely
See Johnsons's Tour to the Hebrides.
A bard was selected to witness the fray, And tell future ages the feats of the day; A bard who detested all sadness and spleen, And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been.
The dinner being over, the claret they ply, And ev'ry new cork is a new spring of joy; In the bands of old friendship and kindred so set, And the bands grew the tighter the more they
Gay pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o'er ; Bright Phoebus ne'er witnessed so joyous a core, And vow'd that to leave them he was quite forlorn, Till Cynthia hinted he'd see them next morn.
Six bottles a-piece had well wore out the night, When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight, Turn'd o'er in one bumper a bottle of red, And swore 'twas the way that their ancestor did.
Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious and sage, No longer the warfare, ungodly, would wage; A high ruling elder to wallow in wine!
He left the foul business to folks less divine.