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V. Upon a rock with lichens wild, Beside him Ellen sate and smiled.— Smiled she to see the stately drake Lead forth his fleet upon the lake, While her vexed spaniel, from the beach, Bay’d at the prize beyond his reach 2 Yet tell me, then, the maid who knows, Why deepen'd on her cheek the rose?— Forgive, forgive, Fidelity Perchance the maiden smiled to see Yon parting lingerer wave adieu, And stop and turn to wave anew ; And, lovely ladies, ere your ire Condemn the heroine of my lyre, Show me the fair would scorn to spy, And prize such conquest of her eye
And his dark stag-hounds by his side,
* [MS.—“The loveliest Lowland fair to spy.”]
* The ancient and powerful family of Graham (which, for metrical reasons is here spelt after the Scottish pronunciation) held extensive possessions in the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling. Few families can boast of more historical renown, having claim to three of the most remarkable characters in the Scottish annals. Sir John the Graeme, the faithful and undaunted partaker of the labours and patriotic warfare of Wallace, fell in the unfortunate field of Falkirk, in 1298. The celebrated Marquis of Montrose, in whom De Retz saw realized his abstract of the heroes of antiquity, was the second of these worthies. And, notwithstanding the severity of his temper, and the rigour with which he executed the oppressive mandates of the princes whom he served, I do not hesitate to name as a third, John Graeme, of Claverhouse,
Scarce from her lips the word had rush'd,
VII. The Minstrel waked his harp—three times Arose the well-known martial chimes, And thrice their high heroic pride In melancholy murmurs died. “Wainly thou bid'st, O noble maid,” Clasping his wither'd hands, he said, “Wainly thou bid'st me wake the strain, Though all unwont to bid in vain. Alas! than mine a mightier hand Has tuned my harp, my strings has spann'd 1 I touch the chords of joy, but low And mournful answer notes of woe ; And the proud march, which victors tread, Sinks in the wailing for the dead. O well for me, if mine alone That dirge's deep prophetic tone ! If, as my tuneful fathers said, This harp, which erst Saint Modan sway’d,
Wiscount of Dundee, whose heroic death, in the arms of victory, may be allowed to cancel the memory of his cruelty to the non-conformists, during the reigns of Charles II. and James II.
1 I am not prepared to show that Saint Modan was a performer on the harp. It was, however, no unsaintly accom.
Can thus its master's fate foretell,
plishment; for Saint Dunstan certainly did play upon that instrument, which retaining, as was natural, a portion of the sanctity attached to its master's character, announced future events by its spontaneous sound. “But labouring once in these mechanic arts for a devout matrone that had sett him: on work, his violl, that hung by him on the wall, of its own accord, without anie man's helpe, distinctly sounded this anthime: Gaudent in coolis anima, sanctorum qui Christi restigia sunt secuti; et quia pro eius amore sanguinem suum fuderunt, ideo cum Christo gaudent asternum. Whereat all the companie being much astonished, turned their eyes from beholding him
working, to look on that strange accident.” . . . . . “Not long
after, manie of the court that hitherunto had borne a kind of fayned friendship towards him, began now greatly to envie at his progresse and rising in goodnes, using manie crooked, backbiting meanes to diffame his vertues with the black maskes of hypocrisie. And the better to authorize their calumnie, they brought in this that happened in the violl, affirming it to have been done by art magick. What more? this wicked rumour encreased dayly, till the king and others of the nobilitie taking hould thereof, Dunstan grew odious in their sight. Therefore he resolued to leaue the court, and goe to Elphegus, surnamed the Bauld, then bishop of Winchester, who was his cozen. Which his enemies understanding, they layd wayt for him in the way, and hauing throwne him off his horse, beate him, and dragged him in the durt in the most miserable manner, meaning to have slaine him, had not a companie of mastiue dogges, that came unlookt uppon them, defended and redeemed him from their crueltie. When with sorrow he was ashamed to see dogges more humane than they. And giuing thankes to Almightie God, he sensibly again perceiued that the tunes of his violl had giuen him a warning of future accidents.”—Flower of the Lives of the most renowned Saincts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by the R. FATHER HIEROME PortER. Doway, 1632, 4to, tome i p. 438.
The same supernatural circumstance is alluded to by the anonymous author of “Grim, the Collier of Croydon.” “——[Dunstan's harp sounds on the wall.) “Forest. Hark, hark, my lords, the holy abbot's harp Sounds by itself so hanging on the wall! “Dunstan. Unhallow'd man, that scorn'st the sacred rede, Hark, how the testimony of my truth Sounds heavenly music with an angel's hand, To testify Dunstan's integrity, And prove thy active boast of no effect.” 1 The downfall of the Douglasses of the house of Angus, during the reign of James W., is the event alluded to in the text. The Earl of Angus, it will be remembered, had married the queen-dowager, and availed himself of the right which he thus acquired, as well as of his extensive power, to retain the king in a sort of tutelage, which approached very near to captivity. Several open attempts were made to rescue James from this thraldom, with which he was well known to be deeply disgusted; but the valour of the Douglasses, and their allies, gave them the victory in every conflict. At length, the king, while residing at Falkland, contrived to escape by night out of his own court and palace, and rode full speed to Stirling Castle, where the governor, who was of the opposite