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But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Wild mingling with the howling gale,
High o'er the minstrel's head they sail,
The voice of thunder shook the wood,
The fingers strain'd an half-drawn blade:
Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.
Oft o'er that head, in battling field,
Stream'd the proud crest of high Benmore;That arm the broad claymore could wield, Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.
Woe to Moneira's sullen rills!
Woe to Glenfinlas' dreary glen! There never son of Albin's hills
Shall draw the hunter's shaft agen!
E'en the tired pilgrim's burning feet
Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet
And we—behind the Chieftain's shield,
None leads the people to the field—
O hone a rie'! O hone a rie'!
The pride of Albin's line is o'er! And fall'n Glenartney's stateliest tree;
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!
THE EVE OF ST. JOHN.
BY WALTER SCOTT.
Smaylho'me, or Smallholm Tower, the scene of the following ballad, is situated on the northern boundary of Roxburghshire, among a cluster of wild rocks, called Sandiknow^Crags, the property of Hugh Scott, Esq. of Harden. The tower is a high square building, surrounded by an outer wall, now ruinous. The circuit of the outer court, being defended on three sides, by a precipice and morass, is accessible only from the west, by a steep and rocky path. The apartments, as is usual in a Border keep, or fortress, are placed one above another, and communicate by a narrow stair; on the roof are two bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron gate; the distance between them being nine feet, the thickness, namely, of the wall. From the elevated situation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many miles in every direction. Among the crags by which it is surrounded, one, more eminent, is called the Watchfold, and is said to have been the station of a beacon, in the times of war with England. Without the towercourt is a ruined chapel. Brotherstone is a heath, in the neighbourhood of Smaylho'me Tower.
1 This place * is rendered interesting to poetical readers, by its having been the residence, in early life, of Mr Walter Scott, who has celebrated it in his 'Eve of St. John.' To it he probably alludes in the introduction to the third canto of Marmion.
'Then rise those crags, that mountain tower, Which charmed my fancy's wakening hour.'" Scots Mag. March, 1809. * The farm-house in the immediate vicinity of Smallholm. VOL. VI. 7
This ballad was first printed in Mr Lewis's Tales of Wonder. It is here published, with some additional illustrations, particularly an account of the battle of Ancram Moor; which seemed proper in a work upon Border antiquities. The catastrophe of the tale is founded upon a well-known Irish tradition.1 This ancient fortress and its vicinity formed the scene of the Editor's infancy, and seemed to claim from him this attempt to celebrate them in a Border tale.1
1 The following passage, in Dr Henry More's Appendix to the Antidote against Atheism, relates to a similar phenomenon: —" I confess, that the bodies of devils may not be only warm, but sindgingly hot, as it was in him that took one of Melancthon's relations by the hand, and so scorched her, that she bare the mark of it to her dying day. But the examples of cold are more frequent; as in that famous story of Cuntius, when he touched the arm of a certain woman of Pentoch, as she lay in her bed, he felt as cold as ice; and so did the spirit's claw to Anne Styles."—Ed. 1662, p.135.