THE BLACK HORSEMAN

Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 240-242

EY! an there wus a kin’ o’ ghasit or spectre use’t tae be seen at Dalarran, yt they ca’t the Black Horseman, an folk said it wus the king o’ the Danes yt wus kill’t an bury’t aneath the mucke leck, an couldna rest acause he wusna bury’t at the Fintliach, at the ither side o’ the water.

There wus yin Geroge M’Millan, a son o’ Brocklach’s in Carsephairn, yt saw’t, an he tell’t the doctor a’ aboot it. It’s no sae mony year sin he wus leevin in Manchester.

It wus in 1809, an he wus takin his sister tae Dumfries tae the Boardin-skule, an she wus sittin ahint him on the beast; for it wus the fashion than for the women tae ride on the horse ahint the man, on a pillion.

It wus the grey o’ the mornin, for the Black Horseman wus never seen at nicht like ither ghaists, but ey whun it wus nearly daylicht. There wus nae brig ower the Garpel than, but just a ford, an whun they wur crossin’t they heard the fit o’ a beast comin doon the burn, an jaupin the water aboot it wi its feet. They never thocht o’ the Black Horseman, but wunner’t wha could be comin doon the burn at the time i’e mornin, an sae they stoppit till it cam up.

They had har’ly stoppit whun it cam bye them, no half-a-dizzen yairds aff, an keepit strecht on doon the burn, sae yt they had a gude sicht o’ him. The horse wus a big black yin, the biggest they had ever seen an had an awfu queer saddle on, an something like airmour on its neck, but there wus naething fleysome aboot it; an the man wus a perfet giant, wi gude features an black hair, an he wus dress’t in black airmour, an had on a helmet wit feathers on’t, an he cairry’t a big sword.

He took nae notice o’ them, an never loot on they wur there, an whun he had gane doon the burn a bit, he turn’t on tae the haugh, an strecht for Dalarran stane. He stoppit there a minute, an then gaed richt across the holm, an through The Ken, an up the hillside.

Geordie wus curious tae ken whaur he gaed tae, an follow’t him, but his horse walkit that fast they could har’ly keep up wi’t.

He gaed richt up the hill till he wun tae the muckle leck yt use’t tae stan ablow the Fintilach hoose, an he stoppit there an gradually fadit awa oot o’ their sicht.

Mony a yin had seen him at the ford, but naebuddy ever follow’t him afore, an they a’ gied the same decription o’ him, an thocht he had a verra melancholy coontenance.

A haena heard o’ him bein seen sin his grave wus hokit up.

Folk said he wus the king o’ the Danes yt wus kill’t by Grier o’ Lag at the time o’ The Persecution.

THE FAIRY BAN’

A POT O’ GOOLD

Partial Glossar

Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).

  • Leck ‘A flat stone or slab.’ [LECK]
  • Water ‘A large stream, usu. thought of as intermediate in size between a burn and a river, freq. a tributary of a main river or occas. applied to the upper reaches of what becomes a larger river.’ [WATER]
  • Ahint ‘Behind.’ [AHINT]
  • Pillion ‘A sack stuffed with rags, a pad, cushion, specif. one used as a saddle, a pad or cushion attached behind a saddle for a second rider or to carry luggage.’ [PILLION]
  • Grey ‘Dawn, esp. in phr. the grey o’ the mornin(g).’ [GRAY]
  • Jaup ‘To make a splash by throwing water, striking the surface of water, puddles or the like, in riding, walking, etc.’ [JAUP]
  • Fleysome ‘Frightful, terrible, terrifying.’ [FLEY]
  • Haugh ‘A piece of level ground, gen. alluvial, on the banks of a river, river-meadow land.’ [HAUGH]
  • Holm ‘A stretch of low-lying land beside a river; a meadow.’ [HOLM]
  • Wun ‘To reach (a place), gain, arrive at.’ [WIN]