Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

29/9/2004

Scottish Legends

The Fian Warriors
There is an ancient legend that an army of sleeping warriors is waiting in a cave in the Eildon Hills until the day comes when all Gaeldom shall rise against its oppressors. Sir Walter Scott related the following story in his “Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft”.

“The story has often been told, of a daring horse-jockey having sold a black horse to a man of venerable and antique appearance, who appointed the remarkable hillock upon Eildon hills, called the Lucken-hare, as the place where at twelve o’clock at night, he should receive the price. He came, his money was paid in ancient coin, and he was invited by his customer to view his residence. The trader in horses followed his guide in the deepest astonishment through several long ranges of stalls, in each of which a horse stood motionless, while an armed warrior lay equally still at the charger’s feet.
“All these men”, said the wizard in a whisper,”will awaken at the battle of Sheriffmuir.” At the extremity of this extraordinary depot hung a sword and a horn, which the prophet pointed out to the horse-dealer as containing means of dissolving the spell. The man in confusion took the horn and attempted to wind it. The horses instantly started in their stalls, stamped, and shook their bridles, the men arose and clashed their armour, and the mortal, terrified by the tumult he had excited, dropped the horn from his hand. A voice like that of a giant, louder even than the tumult around, pronounced these words:
‘Woe to the coward that ever he was born
That did not draw the sword before he blew the horn.’
A whirlwind expelled the horse-dealer from the cavern, the entrance to which he could never find again.” Scott says that the wizard was Thomas of Ercildoune, known as the Rhymer.

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