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Speaking of dogs,I love the ballad that commemorates the day that The Bruce
and Sir William de St Clair of Rosslyn were out hunting.William had his two
hunting hounds called 'Help' and 'Hold' and they were in the Pentland Hills
hunting an elusive white hind.When they spotted the hind,the hounds set off
in pursuit and it was an even bet that the hind would escape by swimming a
burn or the hounds would bring it down.William wagered his life against
ownership of the land they were hunting on that his hounds would win.The
Bruce accepted this reckless wager and the ballad descibes how close a call
it was when the two hounds catch the deer in mid burn and drag it back to the
The last two verses--
The bold St Clair he sleeps in Spain,
For with good Lord James he did part.
When they hewed a red path through the host of slain
To follow the Bruce's heart.
But Help and Hold,as I've been told,
May be seen in St Katherine's chapelle:
And scion and heir of the house of St Clair
Still love a good hound well.
I fondly think that the last line refers not to a love of hunting but more to
a love of dogs.It certainly applies to this Sinclair.
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- Re: clan dogs
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