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“ You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
Dark, deep, and strong is he, And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
Unless you pity me.
At which I knock in vain ;
Who hears me thus complain.
When old and frail you be,
You never may the shelter want,
That's now denied to me.”
And heard him plead in vain ;
He'll hear that voice again :
Morn shone on Ettrick fair,
The Palmer welter'd there.
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
(1806.] There is a tradition in Tweeddale, that, when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence the lady fell into a consumption; and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have dis. tinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognising her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants., There is an incident similar to this traditional tale in Count Hamilton's “Fleur d'Epine.”
O LOVERS' eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers' ears in hearing; And love, in life's extremity,
Can lend an hour of cheering. Disease had been in Mary's bower,
And slow decay from mourning,
To watch her love's returning.
Her form decay'd by pining,
You saw the taper shining ;
Across her cheek were flying ; By fits, so ashy pale she grew,
Her maidens thought her dying.
| Yet keenest powers to see and hear,
Seem'd in her frame residing;
She heard her lover's riding;
She knew, and waved to greet him ;
As on the wing to meet him.
As o'er some stranger glancing ;
Lost in his courser's prancing-
Returns each whisper spoken,
Which told her heart was broken.
[1806.] ALL joy was bereft me the day that you left me,
And climb'd the tall vessel to sail yon wide sea; O weary betide it ! I wander'd beside it,
And bann'd it for parting my Willie and me. Far o'er the wave hast thou follow'd thy fortune,
Oft fought the squadrons of France and of Spain; Ae kiss of welcome's worth twenty at parting,
Now I hae gotten my Willie again.
I sat on the beach wi' the tear in my ee,
And wish'd that the tempest could a' blaw on me.
Now that my wanderer's in safety at hame, Music to me were the wildest winds' roaring,
That e'er o'er Inch-Keith drove the dark ocean faem. When the lights they did blaze, and the guns they did rattle,
And blithe was each heart for the great victory, In secret I wept for the dangers of battle,
And thy glory itself was scarce comfort to me. But now shalt thou tell, while I eagerly listen,
Of each bold adventure, and every brave scar; And trust me, I'll smile, though my een they may glisten;
For sweet after danger's the tale of the war. And oh, how we doubt when there's distance 'tween lovers,
When there's naething to speak to the heart thro' the ee; How often the kindest and warmest prove rovers,
And the love of the faithfullest ebbs like the sea.
If love could change notes like the bird on the tree-
Enough, thy leal heart has been constant to me. Welcome, from sweeping o'er sea and through channel,
Hardships and danger despising for fame, Furnishing story for glory's bright annal,
Welcome, my wanderer, to Jeanie and hame! Enough now thy story in annals of glory
Has humbled the pride of France, Holland, and Spain ; No more shalt thou grieve me, no more shalt thou leave me,
I never will part with my Willie again.
(1808.] WAKEN, lords and ladies gay,
| Waken, lords and ladies gay, On the mountain dawns the day,
To the green-wood haste away ; All the jolly chase is here,
We can show you where he lies, With hawk, and horse, and hunting-spear! Fleet of foot, and tall of size; Hounds are in their couples yelling, We can show the marks he made, Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling, When 'gainst the oak his antlers fray'd; Merrily, merrily, mingle they,
You shall see him brought to bay, “Waken, lords and ladies gay.” “Waken, lords and ladies gay." Waken, lords and ladies gay,
Louder, louder chant the lay, The mist has left the mountain grey, Waken, lords and ladies gay! Springlets in the dawn are steaming, Tell them youth, and mirth, and glee, Diamonds on the brake are gleaming : Run a course as well as we; And foresters have busy been,
Time, stern huntsman ! who can baulk, To track the buck in thicket green ; Stanch as hound, and fleet as hawk; Now we come to chant our lay,
Think of this, and rise with day, “Waken, lords and ladies gay.” | Gentle lords and ladies gay.
Oh, say not, my love, with that mortified air,
That your spring-time of pleasure is flown,
For those raptures that still are thine own.
Its tendrils in infancy curl'd,
Whose life-blood enlivens the world.
Has assumed a proportion more round,
¡Looks soberly now on the ground, -
Thy steps still with ecstasy move ;
For me the kind language of love.
ON THE MASSACRE OF GLENCOE.
(1814.] “In the beginning of the year 1692, an action of unexampled barbarity disgraced the government of King William III. in Scotland. In the August preceding, a proclamation had been issued, offering an indemnity to such insurgents as should take the oaths to the King and Queen, on or before the last day of December ; and the chiefs of such tribes as had been in arms for James, soon after took advantage of the proclamation. But Macdonald of Glencoe was prevented by accident, rather than design, from tendering his submission within the limited time. In the end of December he went to Colonel Hill, who commanded the garrison in Fort-William, to take the oaths of allegiance to the Government ; and the latter having furnished him with a letter to Sir Colin Campbell, sheriff of the county of Argyll, directed him to repair immediately to Inverary, to make his submission in a legal manner before that magistrate. But the way to Inverary lay through almost impassable mountains, the season was extremely rigorous, and the whole country was covered with a deep snow. So eager, however, was Macdonald to take the oaths before the limited time should expire, that, though the road lay within half a mile of his own house, he stopped not to visit his family, and, after various obstructions, arrived at Inverary. The time had elapsed, and the sheriff hesitated to receive his submission; but Macdonald prevailed by his importunities, and even tears, in inducing that functionary to administer to him the oath of allegiance, and to certify the cause of his delay. At this time Sir John Dalrymple, afterwards Earl of Stair, being in attendance upon William as Secretary of State for Scotland, took advantage of Macdonald's neglecting to take the oath within the time prescribed, and procured from the king a warrant of military execution against that chief and his whole clan. This was done at the instigation of the Earl of Breadalbane, whose lands the Glencoe men had plundered, and whose treachery to Government in negotiating with the Highland clans, Macdonald himself had exposed. The King was accordingly persuaded that Glencoe was the main obstacle to the pacification of the Highlands; and the fact of the unfortunate chief's submission having been concealed, the sanguinary orders for proceeding to military execution against his clan were in consequence obtained.The warrant was both signed and countersigned by the King's own hand, and the Secretary urged the officers who commanded in the Highlands to execute their orders with the utmost rigour. Campbell of Glenlyon, a captain in Argyle's regiment, and two subalterns, were ordered to repair to Glencoe on the Ist of February with a hundred and twenty men. Campbell, being uncle to young Macdonald's wife, was received by the father with all manner of friendship and hospitality. The men were lodged at free quarters in the houses of his tenants, and received the kindest entertainment. Till the 13th of the month the troops lived in the utmost harmony and familiarity with the people; and on the very night of the massacre, the officers passed the evening at cards in Macdonald's house. In the night, Lieutenant Lindsay, with a party of soldiers, called in a friendly manner at his door, and was instantly admitted. Macdonald, while in the act of rising to receive his guest, was shot dead through the back with two bullets. His wife had already dressed ; but she was stripped naked by the soldiers, who tore the rings off her fingers with their teeth. The slaughter now became general, and neither age nor infirmity was spared. Some women, in defending their children, were killed; boys imploring mercy, were shot dead by officers on whose knees they hung. In one place nine persons, as they sat enjoying themselves at table, were butchered by the soldiers. 'In Inverriggon, Campbell's own quarters, nine men were first bound by the soldiers, and then shot at intervals, one by one. Nearly forty persons were massacred by the troops ; and several who fled to the mountains perished by famine and the inclemency of the season. Those who escaped owed their lives to a tempestuous night. Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, who had received the charge of the execution from Dalrymple, was on his march with four hundred men, to guard all the passes from the valley of Glencoe ; but he was obliged to stop by the severity of the weather, which proved the safety of the unfortunate clan." Next day he entered the valley, laid the houses in ashes, and carried away the cattle and spoil, which were divided among the officers and soldiers." -Article “ BRITAIN;" Encyc. Britannica-New Edition.
“O Tell me, Harper, wherefore flow “Then woman's shriek was heard in vain, Thy wayward notes of wail and woe Nor infancy's unpitied plain, Far down the desert of Glencoe,
More than the warrior's groan, could gain Where none may list their melody? Respite from ruthless butchery ! Say, harp'st thou to the mists that fly, The winter wind that whistled shrill, Or to the dun-deer glancing by,
The snows that night that cloked the hill, Or to the eagle that from high
Though wild and pitiless, had still Screams chorus to thy minstrelsy?” Far more than Southern clemency.
“Long have my harp's best notes been “No, not to these, for they have rest,
gone, The mist-wreath has the mountain-crest, Few are its strings, and faint their tone, The stag his lair, the erne her nest, They can but sound in desert lone Abode of lone security.
Their grey-hair'd master's misery. But those for whom I pour the lay, Were each grey hair a minstrel string, Not wild-wood deep, nor mountain grey, 1 Each chord should imprecations Aling, Not this deep dell, that shrouds from day, Till startled Scotland loud should ring,
Could screen from treach'rous cruelty. 'Revenge for blood and treachery !"" “ Their flag was furld, and mute their
ADDRESSED TO RANALD MACDONALD, The very household dogs were dumb,
ESQ. OF STAFFA.
(1814.] His blithest notes the piper plied, STAFFA, sprung from high Macdonald, Her gayest snood the maiden tied,
Worthy branch of old Clan-Ranald! The dame her distaff flung aside,
Staffa! king of all kind fellows! To tend her kindly housewifery. Well befall thy hills and valleys,
Lakes and inlets, deeps and shallows“The hand that mingled in the meal, Cliffs of darkness, caves of wonder, At midnight drew the felon steel,
Echoing the Atlantic thunder ; And gave the host's kind breast to feel Mountains which the grey mist covers, Meed for his hospitality!
Where the Chieftain spirit hovers, The friendly hearth which warm'd that Pausing while his pinions quiver, hand,
Stretch'd to quit our land for ever! At midnight arm'd it with the brand, Each kind influence reign above thee! That bade destruction's flames expand Warmer heart, 'twixt this and Staffa Their red and fearful blazonry.
Beats not, than in heart of Staffa !
LETTER IN VERSE,
ON THE VOYAGE WITH THE COMMISSIONERS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS.
“Of the letters which Scott wrote to his friends during those happy six weeks, I have recovered only one, and it is, thanks to the leisure of the yacht, in verse. The strong and easy' heroics of the first section prove, I think, that Mr. Canning did not err when he told him that if he chose he might emulate even Dryden's command of that noble measure ; and the dancing anapæsts of the second, show that he could with equal facility have rivalled the gay graces of Cotton, Anstey, or Moore.”—LOCKHART, Life, vol. iv. p. 372.