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Through the huge oaks of Evandale,
Whose limbs a thousand years have worn,
What sullen roar comes down the gale,
Mightiest of all the beasts of chase,
That roam in woody Caledon, Crashing the forest in his race,
The mountain Bull comes thundering on.
Fierce, on the hunter's quiver'd band,
Spurns, with black hoof and horn, the sand,
Aim'd well, the Chieftain's lance has flown;
Struggling in blood the savage lies; His roar is sunk in hollow groan—
Sound, merry huntsmen! sound the pryse Z1
1 Pryse—The note blown at the death of the game.—In Caledonia olim frequens erat sylvestris quidam bos, nunc vero rarior, qui, colore candidissimo, jubam densam et demissam instar leonis gestat, truculentus ac ferus ab humano genere abhorrens, ui quoscunque homines vel manibus contreclarint, vel haHtu perfiaverint, ab Us multospost dies omnino ahstinuerunt. Ad hoc tanta audacia huic bovi indita erat, ut non solum irritatus equites furenter prosterneret,sed ne tantillum lacessitus omnes promiscue liomines cornibus ac ungulis peteret; ac canum, qui apud nosferocissimi sunt, impetus plane contemneret. Ejus carnes carHlaginosce, sed saporis suavissimi. Erat is olim per illam vastissimam Caledonia sylvam frequens, sed humana ingluvie jam assumptus tribus tantum hcis est reliquus, Strivilingii, Cum
'Tis noon—against the knotted oak
Curls through the trees the slender smoke,
Proudly the Chieftain mark'd his clan,
Yet miss'd his eye the boldest man,
"Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place,
Why comes he not our sport to grace?
Stern Claud replied,1 with darkening face,
"At merry feast, or buxom chase,
beiwaldice, et Kincarnim.—Lesl/eus, Scotise Descriptio, p. 13. —[See a note on Castle Dangerous, Waverley Novels, vol. xlvii. —ed.]
1 Lord Claud Hamilton, second son of the Duke of Chatelherault, and commendator of the Abbey of Paisley, acted a distinguished part during the troubles of Queen Mary's reign, and remained unalterably attached to the cause of that unfortunate princess. He led the van of her army at the fatal battle of Langside, and was one of the commanders at the Raid of Stirling, which had so nearly given complete success to the Queen's faction. He was ancestor of the present Marquis of Abercorn.
"Few suns have set since Woodhouselee1 Saw Bothwellhaugh's bright goblets foam,
When to his hearths, in social glee, The war-worn soldier turn'd him home.
"There, wan from her maternal throes, His Margaret, beautiful and mild,
Sate in her bower, a pallid rose, And peaceful nursed her new-born child.
"O change accursed! past are those days;
False Murray's ruthless spoilers came, And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,
Ascends destruction's volumed flame.
1 This barony, stretching along the banks of the Esk, near Auchendinny, belonged to Bothwellhaugh, in right of his wife. The ruins of the mansion, from whence she was expelled in the brutal manner which occasioned her death, are still to be seen in a hollow glen beside the river. Popular report tenants them with the restless ghost of the Lady Bothwellhaugh; whom, however, it confounds with Lady Anne Bothwell, whose Lament is so popular. This spectre is so tenacious of her rights, that, a part of the stones of the ancient edifice having been employed in building or repairing the present Woodhouselee, she has deemed it a part of her privilege to haunt that house also; and, even of very late years, has excited considerable disturbance and terror among the domestics. This is a more remarkable vindication of the rights of ghosts, as the present Woodhouselee, which gives his title to the Honourable Alexander Fraser Tytler, a senator of the College of Justice, is situated on the slope of the Pentland hills, distant at least four miles from her proper abode. She always appears in white, and with her child in her arms.
"What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
Where mountain Eske through woodland flows, Her arms enfold a shadowy child— Oh! is it she, the pallid rose?
"The wilder'd traveller sees her glide, And hears her feeble voice with awe—
'Revenge,' she cries, 'on Murray's pride!
He ceased—and cries of rage and grief
And half arose the kindling Chief, And half unsheath'd his Arran brand.
But who, o'er bush, o'er stream and rock,
Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke
Whose cheek is pale, whose eyeballs glare,
Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair?—
1 Birrel informs us, that Bothwellhaugh, being closely pursued, "after that spur and wand had failed him, he drew forth his dagger, and strocke his horse behind, whilk caused the horse to leap a very brode stanke [i. e. ditch], by whilk means he escapit, and gat away from all the rest of the horses."—Birrel's Diary, p. 18.
From gory selle,1 and reeling steed,
Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound,
And, reeking from the recent deed,
Sternly he spoke—" 'Tis sweet to hear
But sweeter to Revenge's ear,
"Your slaughter'd quarry proudly trode,
But prouder base-born Murray rode
Through old Linlithgow's crowded town.
"From the wild Border's humbled side,2 In haughty triumph, marched he,
1 SeHe—Saddle. A word used by Spenser, and other ancient authors.
2 Murray's death took place shortly after an expedition to the Borders; which is thus commemorated by the author of his Elegy:—
"So having stablischt all thing in this sort,
To Liddisdaill agane he did resort,
Throw Ewisdail, Eskdail, and all the daills rode he,
And also lay three nights in Cannabie,
Whair na prince lay thir hundred yeiris before.
Nae thief durst stir, they did him feir sa sair;
And, that thay suld na mair thair thift allege,
Threescore and twelf he brocht of thame in pledge,
Syne wardit thame, whilk maid the rest keep ordour;
Than mycht the rasch-bus keep ky on the Border."
Scottish Poerm, 16th century, p. 232. VOL. VI. 9