1899 Ballard Document

The Ballard was Transcribed by An Australian, along with Alan Macfarlane, Tikwis Begbie,
and others for the Benefit of Future Generations of the Baggett and Bagot Families.
Transcribed by Alan Macfarlane, November 2000.
A poem written by unknown, year unknown.
Original, or copy of original, in hands of an Australian in Adelaide, South Australia.
The Fragment Sent By Australian
(Page One)

The feast was over in Nurney Hall 
The clansmen met - it was bustle all
They luck and leave them for the fight
And tally forth in the dead of night
For there had formed a mighty band
To plunder and disturb the land
Then in the solemn hour of prayers,
Attacked a house when none were there
Or slightly guarded by the fair
Kildare was famed for warriors bold
Whose prowess shown in times of old
Bagot and Halstead every one
Headed by gallant Nurney John
Each mounted on his warlike steed
Of mettle high and well-tried speed
While each a double burden bore
In triumph from the Colonel’s door
They passed by Nurney’s western tower
Ere get hail? tolled that well-known hour
When midnight ghosts proclaim their power 
And reached the mouldering ruined wall
That village hinds at night appal.
They quickly gain Lochalur’s plain
And from their steeds they started
Procure a light!  Prepare for fight
Let none be now faint-hearted
Said Edward Grave “My comrades brave
Use caution and endeavour
To gain the den - surprise the men
Before they ? discover -
The Colonel had an eagle eye
The enemy by nights could spy
His bearing bold, his courage high
And warlike look the foe defy.
A glance around the clan he threw
And cried the castle is in view
Where once Macgahy’s forests grew
But now my friends – the outlaws haunt
The abode of villany and want
Then Nurney stumbled, Kildare tumbled
But Kloutstown? cleaned the foss
Brave Halstead followed, Fitzgerald bellowed 
“Fine? George, we all are lost!”
Regained their footing firm again
They marshalled all their good clansmen. 
When nearing to the Castle porch,
And beckoning Green who held the torch,

(Page Two)

Their leader cries “Surround the pile
And deathlike silence keep the while”
You gallant Nurney enter here
Whose hearties ever steeled to fear
And Haystead ? in the rear
The outlaws found resistance fain,
Against such an armed train
I’ll cry you mercy, those you seek,
Have left Ardillys hold a week,
Much in the speakers mieu appears
To justify suspicious fears
The clansmen onward quickly move,
The speakers words themselves to prove,
“Leave not a spot unseen, untried,
Where guilty cowardice may hide”
The Colonel says?, himself, from room to room
Midst darkness solitude and gloom,
Marched on with footsteps firm,
For in his search the taper bright,
Had vanished quickly into nights,
Appear two men of stature low,
At whom the Chieftain bent his brow,
“Stand at your peril” Nurney cries,
“Who moves one step that instant dies”
And having called his followers brave,
To them in charge these men he gave,
Meanwhile the Hometown? sought amain?
But priding? still his search in vain
He surrounded all his armed train,
When nearing to the chimney side,
Something suspicious there he spied,
For there a toe peeped out below,
Which proved him not mistaken,
My comrades dear, we have him here,
Smoked like a flitch of bacon”-
The search is o’er the postern passed,
Both chief and foeman feel the blast,
Nurney ? groves are far behind,
Whose boughs re-whistled to the wind,
That moated mound they soon ? view,
Where fairies feet still touch the dew,
Another hour went quickly by,
Ere yet they reached the fair abbey,
To wake the warden from his sleep-
And lodge the foes in dungeons deep,
And now ? that lonesome hour
You Nurney, try your vocal power.

End of poem/transcription.