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"The breath of one of evil deed
Pollutes our sacred day;
No part in what I say.
"A being, whom no blessed word To ghostly peace can bring;
A wretch, at whose approach abhorr'd, Recoils each holy thing.
"Up, up, unhappy! haste, arise!
My adjuration fear!
Nor longer tarry here !"—
Amid them all a pilgrim kneel'd,
Far journeying from his native field,
For forty days and nights so drear,
I ween he had not spoke, And, save with bread and water clear,
His fast he ne'er had broke.
Amid the penitential flock,
Seem'd none more bent to pray;
But, when the Holy Father spoke,
Again unto his native land
To Lothian's fair and fertile strand,
His unblest feet his native seat,
Mid Eske's fair woods, regain; Thro' woods more fair no stream more sweet
Rolls to the eastern main.
And lords to meet the pilgrim came,
And vassals bent the knee;
Was none more famed than he.
And boldly for his country, still,
In battle he had stood,
Her noblest pour'd their blood.
Sweet are the paths, O passing sweet!
By Eske's fair streams that run,
Impervious to the sun.
There the rapt poet's step may rove,
And yield the muse the day; There Beauty, led by timid Love,
May shun the tell-tale ray;
From that fair dome, where suit is paid,
1 The barony of Pennycuick, the property of Sir George Clerk, Bart., is held by a singular tenure; the proprietor be
To Auchendinny's hazel glade,1
Who knows not Melville's beechy grove,8
And Roslin's rocky glen,4 Dalkeith, which all the virtues love,5
And classic Hawthornden ?6
ing bound to sit upon a large rocky fragment, called the Buckstane, and wind three blasts of a horn, when the king shall come to hunt on the Borough Muir, near Edinburgh. Hence, the family have adopted, as their crest, a demi-forester proper, winding a horn, with the motto, Free for a Blast. The beautiful mansion-house of Pennycuick is much admired, both on account of the architecture and surrounding scenery.
1 Auchendinny, situated upon the Eske, below Pennycuick, the present residence of the ingenious H. Mackenzie, Esq., author of the Man of Feeling, <fc.—Edition 1803.
2 For the traditions connected with this ruinous mansion, see Ballad of Cadyow Castle, p. 211.
3 Melville Castle, the seat of the Right Honourable Lord Melville, to whom it gives the title of Viscount, is delightfully situated upon the Eske, near Lasswade.
4 The ruins of Roslin Castle, the baronial residence of the ancient family of St. Clair. The Gothic Chapel, which is still in beautiful preservation, with the romantic and woody dell in which they are situated, belong to the Right Honourable the Earl of Rosslyn, the representative of the former Lords of Roslin.
6 The village and castle of Dalkeith belonged, of old, to the famous Earl of Morton, but is now the residence of the noble family of Buccleuch. The park extends along the Eske, which is there joined by its sister stream, of the same name.
6 Hawthornden, the residence of the poet Drummond. A house, of more modern date, is enclosed, as it were, by the ruins of the ancient castle, and overhangs a tremendous precipice, upon the banks of the Eske, perforated by winding
Yet never a path, from day to day,
The pilgrim's footsteps range, Save but the solitary way
To Burndale's ruin'd grange.
A woful place was that, I ween,
As sorrow could desire; For nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall,
And the roof was scathed with fire.
It fell upon a summer's eve,
While, on Carnethy's head,
Had streak'd the gray with red;
And the convent bell did vespers tell,
caves, which, in former times, were a refuge to the oppressed patriots of Scotland. Here Drummond received Ben Jonson, who journeyed from London, on foot, in order to visit him. The beauty of this striking scene has been much injured, of late years, by the indiscriminate use of the axe. The traveller now looks in vain for the leafy bower,
"Where Jonson sat in Drummond's social shade."
Upon the whole, tracing the Eske from its source, till it joins the sea at Musselburgh, no stream in Scotland can boast such a varied succession of the most interesting objects, as well as of the most romantic and beautiful scenery. 1803. —The beautiful scenery of Hawthornden has, since the above note was written, recovered all its proper ornament of wood. 1831.
And mingled with the solemn knell
The heavy knell, the choir's faint swell,
Came slowly down the wind,
As his wonted path he did find.
Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was,
Nor ever raised his eye,
Which did all in ruins lie.
He gazed on the walls, so scathed with fire,
With many a bitter groan—
Resting him on a stone.
"Now, Christ thee save!" said the Gray Brother;
"Some pilgrim thou seemest to be."
"O come ye from east, or come ye from west,