‘Thus far old Ned the story told
He turned towards the wall
Ashamed to let us see the tears
That from his eyes did fall ..
All around the fire felt sad at heart
For Charles and the maid
And all around sent forth their wrath
And upon the Saxon laid.
The ‘Naughan’ then went round the fire
The pipes were lit anew
The ashes raked, a sod put on
The bantam flapped and crew:
The lamps grew dim, the wag-o-wall
Struck morning’s smallest hour
And still we sat as if bound down
By some mysterious power.
Ned broke the silence, told us how
The youth had lived for years
He ne’er was known to laugh or smile
His cheeks ne’er wanted tears:
How neighbours kept him on their turn
Till death sent him release
All round the fire sent forth their prayer,
‘Lord rest his soul in peace’.
A fortnight from the funeral day
The snow was baked and depp
The shepherds trod the mountains o’er
In search of buried sheep.
They searched in places seldom trod
Where ewes would likely flock
And one came on a ghastly sight
Beneath the Tipin’s Rock.
He lifted up the human form
And cleared away the sand,
‘Ah me!’ says he, ‘this is the man
That claimed young Charlie’s land.’
The shepherds gathered, brought him home
His friends stood round the bier
And down he went into the grave
Without one honest tear.
Said Ned, ‘This is the finish
Of every treacherous knave
And now I’ve told you all I know
Of the ‘Long Woman’s Grave”.
We rose and went towards the door
The moon was shining bright
The master said: ‘Goodbye to all
Another tale next night.’