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room, where he found a lady, newly delivered of an
Howell in his own house, after the manner he had infant.
He was commanded by his attendants to say seene in the French warres, and consumed with fire such prayers by her bed-side as were fitting for a per- his barnes and his out houses. Whilst he was thus asson not expected to survive a mortal disorder. He ven- saulting the ball, which Howell ap Rys and many other tured to remonstrate, and observe that her safe delivery people kept, being a very strong house, he was shot warranted better hopes.
But he was sternly com out of a crevice of the house, through the sight of his manded to obey the orders first given, and with diffi- beaver into the head, and slayne out-right, being otherculty recollected himself sufficiently to acquit himself wise armed at all points. Notwithstanding his death, of the task imposed on him. He was then again hur- the assault of the house was continued with great veheried into the chair; but, as they conducted him down mence, the doores fired with great burthens of straw; stairs, he heard the report of a pistol. He was safely besides this, the smoake of the out-houses and barnes conducted home; a purse of gold was forced upon him; not farre distant annoyed greatly the defendants, for but he was warned, at the same time, that the least al- that most of them lay under boordes and benches upon lusion to this dark transaction would cost him his life. the floore, in the hall, the better to avoyd the smoake. He betook himself to rest, and, after long and broken During this scene of confusion onely the old man, musing, fell into a deep sleep. From this he was Howell ap Rys, never stooped, but stood valiantly in awakened by his servant, with the dismal news, that a the middest of the floore, armed with a gleve in his fire of uncommon fury bad broken out in the house of hand, and called into them, and bid them arise like ****, near the head of the Canongate, and that it was men, for shame, for he had knowne there as greate a totally consumed; with the shocking addition, that the smoke in that hall upon Christmas even. In the end, daughter of the proprietor, a young lady eminent for sceing the house could no longer defend them, being beauty and accomplishments, had perished in the flames. overlayed with a multitude, upon parley betweene 'The clergyman had his suspicions, but to have made them, Howell ap Rys was content to yeald himself prithem public would have availed nothing. He was ti- soner to Morris ap John ap Meredith, John ap Meredith's mid; the family was of the first distinction; above eldest sonne, soe as he would swear unto him to bring all, the deed was done, and could not be amended. him safe to Carnarvon Castle, to abide the triall of the Time wore away, however, and with it his terrors. He law for the death of Graff
John ap Gronw, who was became unhappy at being the solitary depositary of this cosen-german removed to the said Howell ap Rys, and fearful mystery, and mentioned it to some of his bre- of the very same house he was of. Which Morris thren, through whom the anecdote acquired a sort of ap John ap Meredith undertaking, did put a guard publicity. The divine, however, had been long dead, and about the said Howell of his trustiest friends and serihe story in some degree forgotten, when a fire broke vants, who kept and defended him from the rage of his out again on the very same spot where the house of
kindred, and especialiy of Owen ap John ap Meredith, had formerly stood, and which was now occupied by his brother, who was very eager against him. They buildings of an inferior description. When the flames passed by leisure thence like a campe to Carnarvon ; were at their height, the tumult, which usually attends the whole countrie being assembled, Howell his friends such a scene, was suddenly suspended by an unex- posted a horseback from one place or other by the pected apparition. A beautiful female, in a night- way, who brought word that he was come tbither safe, dress, extremely rich, but at least half a century old, for they were in great fear lest he should be murthered, appeared in the very midst of the fire, and uttered and that Morris ap John ap Meredith could not be able these tremendous words in her vernacular idiom : to defend him, neither durst any of Howell's friends be « Anes burned ; twice burned; the third time I'll scare there, for fear of the kindred. In the end, being deliyou all!» The belief in this story was formerly so vered by Morris ap Johın ap Meredith to the constable strong, that on a fire breaking out, and sceming to ap- of Carnarvon Castle, and there kept safely in ward proach the fatal spot, there was a good deal of anxiety until the assises, it fell out by law that the burning of testified lest the apparition should make good her de Howell's houses, and assaulting him in his owne house, nunciation.
was a more hayvous offence in Morris ap John ap Note 11. Stanza xxxiii. Meredith and the rest, than the death of Graff John
ap ap Gronw in Howell, who did it in his own defence: As thick a smoke these hearths have given
whereupon Morris ap
ap Meredith, with thirty-five
more, were indicted of felony, as appeareth by the Such an exhortation was, in similar circumstances, copie of the indictment, which I had from the records.» actually given to his followers by a Welch chieftain : -Sir John Wynne's History of the Gwydir Family,
« Enmity did continue betweene Howell ap Rys ap Lond. 1770, 8vo, p. 116. Howell Vaughan and the sonnes of John
ap Meredith. After the death of Evan ap Robert, Griffith ap
Gronw (cozen-german to John
Meredith's sonnes of Gwyn-
Note 1. Stanza xxi.
O'er Hexbam's altar hung my glove.
At Hallowtide or Christmas even.
tricts, which it was the custom of that excellent man thentic form. The chief place of his retreat was not regularly to visit.
Lord's Island in Derwentwater, but Curwen's Island in This custom (of duels) still prevailed on the Bor- the Lake of Windermere :ders, where Saxon barbarism held its latest possession. « This island formerly belonged to the Philipsons, a These wild Northumbrians indeed went beyond the family of note in Westmoreland. During the civil ferocity of their ancestors. They were not content wars, two of them, an elder and a younger brother, with a duel : each contending party used to muster served the king. The former, who was the proprietor what adherents he could, and commence a kind of of it, commanded a regiment; the latter was a major. petty war. So that a private grudge would often occa « The major, whose name was Robert, was a man of sion much bloodshed.
great spirit and enterprise; and for his many feats of « It happened that a quarrel of this kind was on personal bravery had obtained, among the Oliverians foot when Mr Gilpin was at Rothbury, in those parts. of those parts, the appellation of Robin the Devil. During the two or three first days of his preaching, the « After the war had subsided, and the direful effects contending parties observed some decorum, and never of public opposition had ceased, revenge and malice appeared at church together. At length, however, they long kept alive the animosity of individuals. Colonel
One party had been early at church, and just as Briggs, a steady friend to usurpation, resided at this Mr Gilpin began his sermon the other entered. They time at Kendal, and, under the double character of a stood not long silent : 'inflamed at the sight of each leading magistrate (for he was a justice of peace) and other, they began to clash their weapons, for they were an active commander, held the country in awe. This all armed with javelins and swords, and mutually ap- person, having heard that Major Philipson was at his proach. Awed, however, by the sacredness of the brother's house on the island in Windermere, resolved, place, the tumult in some degree ceased. Mr Gilpin if possible, to seize and punish a man who had made proceeded : when again the combatants began to bran- himself so particularly obnoxious. How it was condish their
weapons, and draw towards each other. As ducted, my authority does not inform us, whether lie a fray seemed near, Mr Gilpin stepped from the pulpit, got together the navigation of the lake, and blockaded went between them, and addressed the leaders, put an
the place by sea, or whether he landed and carried on end to the quarrel for the present, but could not effect his approaches in form. Neither do we learn the an entire reconciliation. They promised him, however, strength of the garrison within, nor of the works withthat till the sermon was over they would make no more
All we learn is, that Major Philipson endured a disturbance. He then went again into the pulpit, and siege of eight months with great gallantry, till bois brospent the rest of the time in endeavouring to make ther, the colonel, raised a party, and relieved him. them ashamed of what they had done. His behaviour
« It was now the major's turn to make reprisals. He and discourse affected them so much, that, at his far- put himself, therefore, at the head of a little troop of ther entreaty, they promised to forbear all acts of hos-horse, and rode to Kendal. Here, being informed that tility while he continued in the country. And so much Colonel Briggs was at prayers (for it was on a Sunday respected was he among them, that whoever was in morning), he stationed his men properly in the avenues, fear of his enemy used to resort where Mr Gilpin was, and himself, armed, rode directly into the church. It esteeming his presence the best protection.
probably was not a regular church, but some large « One Sunday morning, coming to a church in those place of meeting. It is said he intended to seize the parts before the people were assembled, he observed a colonel, and carry him off; hut as this seems to have glove hanging up, and was informed by the sexton that been totally impracticable, it is rather probable that bis it was meant as a challenge to any one who should intention was to kill him on the spot, and in the midst take it down. Mr Gilpin ordered the sexton to reach it of the confusion to' escape.
Whatever his intention him; but upon his utterly refusing to touch it, he took was, it was frustrated, for Briggs happened to be elseit down bimself, and put it in his breast.
When the where. people were assembled, he went into the pulpit, and, « The congregation, as might be expected, was before he concluded his sermon, took occasion to re-thrown into great confusion on seeing an armed man buke them severely for these inhuman challenges. 'I on horseback make his appearance among them; and hear,' saith he, 'that one among you hath hanged up the major, taking advantage of their astonishment, a glove, even in this sacred place, threatening to fight turned his horse round, and rode quietly out. But any one who taketh it down : see, I have taken it down;' having given an alarm, he was presently assaulted as he and, pulling out the glove, he held it up to the congre- left the assembly, and being seized, his girths were cut, gation, and then showed them how unsuitable such sa- and he was unhorsed. vage practices were to the profession of Christianity,
« At this instant his party made a furious attack on using such persuasives to mutual love as he thought the assailants, and the major killed with his own hand would most affect them.»-Life of Bernard Gilpin, the man who had seized him, clapped the saddle, unLond. 1753, Svo, p. 177.
girthed as it was, upon his horse, and vaulting into it,
rode full speed through the streets of Kendal, calling Note 2. Stanza xxxii.
his men to follow liim; and with his whole party made A horseman arm'd, at headlong speed.
a safe retreat to his asylum in the lake. The action This and what follows is taken from a real achieve- marked the man. Many knew him: and they who did ment of Major Robert Philipson, called, from his des not, knew as well from the exploit that it could be perate and adventurous courage, Robin the Devil ; nobody but Robin the Devil.» which, as being very inaccurately noticed in this note upon the first edition, shall be now given in a more au 1 Dr Burn's hair « History of Westmoreland..
The Lord of the Isles :
IN SIX CANTOS.
Deem'st thou these sadden'd scenes have pleasure still?
Lovest thou through Autumn's fading realms to stray, To see the heath-flower wither'd on the hill,
To listen to the wood's expiring lay, The Scene of this poem lies, at first, in the Castle of
To note the red leaf shivering on the spray, Artornish, on the coast of Argyleshire; and afterwards in the Islands of Skye and Arran, and upon the coast of On the waste fields to trace the gleaner's way,
To mark the last bright tints the mountain stain, Ayrshire. Finally, it is laid near Stirling. The story
And moralize on mortal joy and pain ?-opens in the Spring of the year 1307, when Bruce, who o!if such scenes thou lovest, scorn not the minstrel strain! had been driven out of Scotland by the English, and the Barons who adhered to that foreign interest, re
No! do not scorn, although its hoarser note turned from the Island of Rachrin on the coast of Ire
Scarce with the cushat's homely song can vie, land, again to assert his claims to the Scottish crown. Though faint its beauties as the tints remote Many of the personages and incidents introduced are of historical celebrity. The authorities used are chiefly And few as leaves that tremble, sear and dry,.
That gleam through mist in autumn's evening sky, those of the venerable Lord Hailes, as well entitled to
When wild November hath his bugle wound; be called the restorer of Scottish history, as Bruce the
toil-a lonely gleaner I, restorer of Scottish monarchy; and of Archdeacon
Through fields time-wasted, on sad inquest bound, Barbour, a correct edition of whose Metrical History of where happier bards of yore have richer harvest found. Robert Bruce will soon, I trust, appear, under the care of my learned friend, the Rev. Dr Jamieson.'
So shalt thou list, and haply not unmoved, Abbotsford, 10th December, 1814.
To a wild tale of Albyn's warrior day;
In distant lands, by the rough west reproved,
Still live some relics of the ancient lay.
With such the seer of Skye the eve beguiles;
In Harries known, and in Iona's piles, LORD OF THE ISLES.
Where rest from mortal coil the Mighty of the Isles.
AUTUMN departs—but still his mantle's fold
Rests on the groves of noble Somerville, Beneath a shroud of russet dropp'd with gold,
Tweed and his tributaries mingle still;
Yet lingering notes of sylvan music swell,
And yet some tints of summer splendour tell
Autumn departs—from Gala's fields no more
Come rural sounds our kindred banks to cheer; Blent with the stream, and gale that wafts it o'er,
No more the distant reaper's mirth we hear. The last blithe shout hath died upon our ear,
And harvest-home hath hush'd the clanging wain, On the waste hill no forms of life appear,
Save where, sad laggard of the autumnal train, Some age-struck wanderer gleans few ears of scatter'd
II. « Wake, Maid of Lorn !» 't was thus they sung, And yet more proud the descant rung,
Wake, Maid of Lorn! high right is ours,
As vainly had her maidens vied
III. «O wake, while dawn, with dewy shine, Wakes Nature's charms to vie with thine ! She bids the mottled thrush rejoice To mate thy melody of voice; The dew that on the violet lies Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes; But, Edith, wake, and all we see Of sweet and fair shall yield to thee!»« She comes not yet,» gray Ferrand cried : « Brethren, let softer spell be tried, Those notes prolong'd, that soothing theme, Which best may mix with beauty's dream, And whisper, with their silvery tone, The hope she loves, yet fears to own.»He spoke, and on the harp-strings died The strains of flattery and of pride; More soft, more low, more tender fell The lay of love he bade them tell.
0! lives there now so cold a maid,
charm that wins the heart,
IV. « Wake, Maid of Lorn! the mornents fly, Which
that maiden name allow; Wake, Maiden, wake! the hour is nigh,
When Love shall claim a plighted vow. By Fear, thy bosom's fluttering guest,
By Hope, that soon shall fears remove, We bid thee break the bonds of rest,
And wake thee at the call of Love!
VII. But Morag, to whose fostering care Proud Lorn had given his daughter fair, Morag, who saw a mother's aid By all a daughter's love repaid, (Strict was that bond-most kind of allInviolate in Highland hall-) Gray Morag sate a space apart In Edith's eyes to read her heart. In vain the attendants' fond appeal To Morag's skill, to Morag's zeal ; She mark'd her child receive their care, Cold as the image sculptured fair (Form of some sainted patroness) Which cloister'd maids combine to dress; She mark'd—and knew her nursling's heart In the vain pomp took little part. Wistful awhile she gazed—then press'd The maiden to her anxious breast In finish'd loveliness-and led To where a turret's airy head, Slender and steep, and battled round, O’erlook’d, dark Mull! thy mighty sound, (3) Where thwarting tides, with mingled roar, Part thy swarth hills from Morven's shore.
Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay
Lies many a galley gaily mann'd, We hear the merry pibrochs play,
We see the streamers' silken band. What chieftain's praise these pibrochs swell,
What crest is on these banners wove, The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell —
The riddle must be read by Love.»
V. Retired her maiden train among, Edith of Lorn received the song, But tamed the minstrel's pride had been That had her cold demeanour seen; For not upon her cheek awoke The glow of pride when flattery spoke, Nor could their tenderest numbers bring One sigh responsive to the string.
VIII. « Daughter,» she said, « these seas behold, Round twice an hundred islands roll'd, From Hirt, that hears their northern roar, To the green Ilay's fertile shore; (4) Or main-land turn, where many a lower Owns thy bold brother's feudal power,
Like perfume on the summer gale.
Each on its own dark
XI. « Since then, what thought had Edith's lieart, And
gave not plighted love its part
IX. Proud Edith's soul came to her eye, Resentment check'd the struggling sighi, Her hurrying hand indignant dried The burping tears of injured pride « Morag, forbear! or lend thy praise To swell yon hireling harper's lays ; Make to yon maids thy boast of power, That they may waste a wondering hour, Telling of banners proudly borne, Of pealing bell and bugle-horn, Or, theme more dear, of robes of price, Crownlets and gauds of rare device. But thou, experienced as thou art, Think'st thou with these to cheat the heart, That bound in strong affection's chain, Looks for return and looks in vain? No! sum thine Edith's wretched lot In these brief wordsHe loves her not!
XII. « Hush, daughter, hush! thy doubts remove, More nobly think of Ronald's love. Look, where beneath the castle gray His fleet unmoor from Aros-bay! Seest not each galley's topmast bend, As on the yards the sails ascend? Hiding the dark-blue land they rise, Like to the white clouds on April skies; The shouting vassals man the oars, Behind them sink Mull's mountain shores, Onward their merry course they keep, Through whistling breeze and foaming decp. And mark the headmost, seaward cast, Stoop to the freshening gale her mast, As if she vail'd its banner'd pride, To greet afar her prince's bride! Thy Ronald comes, and while in speed His galley mates the flying steed, He chides her sloth!»-Fair Edith sigh’d, Blush’d, sadly smiled, and thus replied :
X. « Debate it not-too long I strove To call his cold observance love, All blinded by the league that styled Edith of Lorn,-while, yet a child, She tripp'd the heath by Morag's side, – The brave Lord Ronald's destined bride. Ere yet I saw him, while afar His broadsword blazed in Scotland's war, Train’d to believe our fates the same, My bosom throbb'd when Ronald's name Came gracing Fame's heroic tale,
XIII. « Sweet thought, but vain!-No, Morag! mark, Type of his course, yon lonely bark, That oft hath shifted helm and sail, To win its way against the gale. Since peep of morn, my vacant eyes Have view'd by fits the course she tries ; Now, though the darkening scud comes on, And dawn's fair promises be gone, And though the weary crew may see Our sheltering haven on their lee, Still closer to the rising wind They strive her shivering sail to bind, Still nearer to the shelves' dread verge At every tack her course they urge, As if they fear'd Artornish more Than adverse winds and breakers' roar.»—