Clear uprose the plaintive moorland psalm,
Heard high above the plover's wailing cry,
From simple hearts in whom the spirit strong
Of hills was consecrated by heavenly grace
And firmly nerved to meet, whene'er it came
In His own time the call of martyrdom.
Those who attended conventicles took their lives in their hands.
Many a time have the fervid prayers of the preacher been interrupted by the sight of the red coats and cantering horses of dragoons, who came to slay without trial or to drag off to torture or banishment, the gallant little flocks of those whose dogged loyalty their beliefs kept them faithful unto death.
Little wonder it is that that psalm, of which the mournful wail has still the power to recall the hardships of the hunted hill-folk who net by stealth to praise God in the way they deemed best, should bear the significant title of "Martyrdom."
In Selkirk there was a respectable woman who, for her good offices to Presbyterian ministers and other sufferers for the cause, was "severely tossed by several hands" (in a blanket or otherwise), was imprisoned in Edinburgh Tolbooth, and narrowly escaped being sent to the plantations.