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Through the huge oaks of Evandalc,
‘T is noon—against the knotted oak
Proudly the chieftain mark'd his clan,
On green-wood lap all careless thrown,
That bore the name of Hamilton.
it Why fills not Bothwcllhaugh his place,
Why comes he not our sport to grace’!
Stern Gland replied, with darkening face
st At merry feast, or buxom chase,
it Few suns have set, since VVoodh0uselee Saw Botltwellliauglfs bright goblets foam,
t( There, wan from her maternal throes,
Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,
ll 0 change accnrsed! past are those days;
And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,
(t What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
' Prysn—The note blown at the death of the game.
HI! cea5cd—and cries of rage and grief l
And half arose the kindling cliitrf,
' Seli'c—Snddle. A word used by Spenser, and other ancient
1 Hnulrl/uIbc1it—(iun cooked.
And his steel truncheon, waved on high,
The head of the family of Hamilton, at this period, was Jatrles, Earl of Arran, Duke of Chalelherault in France, and first peer of the Scottish realm. ln 1569, he was appointed by Queen Mary, her lieutenant-gene
ti In Caledonia olim frequens erat sylvestris quidam bos, nunc vero rarior, qui colore candidissimo, jubam denstlm et dernissam instar leonis gestat, truculentus ac ferns, ab humano genere abhorrcns, ut qaaucunque homines vel manibus contrectaverint, vel halitu perflaverint, ab iis multos post dies omnino abstinuerint. Ad 1100 tanta audacia huic bovi indita erat, ut non solum irritatus equites furenter prosterneret, sod ne tantillum lacessitus omnes promiscue homines cornibus, ac ungulis peterct; ac canum, qui apud nos ferocissimi sunt, impetus plane contemneret. Ejus carnes eartilaginosw sed saporis suavissimi. Erat is olim pet‘ illam vastissimam Caledonia: sylvam frequens, sed humans inglnvie jam assumptus tribus tantum locis est reliquus, Strivilingii, Cumbernaldiae, et Kincarnie.n—Leslz/eus, Scotia: Descriptio, p. 13.
Note 3. Stanza xxi.
Stern Claud replied, with dlrkening fnoo (Gray Pattley's haughty lord was be).
Lord Claud Hamilton, second son of the Duke of Chatelherault, and commendator of the abbey of Paisley, acted a distinguished part during the troubles ‘of Queen Mary's reign, and remained uualterably attached to the cause of that unfortunate princess. He led the van of her army at the fatal battle of Langsidc, and was one of the commanders at the Raid of Stirling, which had so nearly given complete success to the queen's faction. He was ancestor to the present Mar
quis of Abcrcorn.
Note 4. Stanza xxii.
This barony, stretching along the banks of the Esk, near Auchendinny, belonged to Bothwellhaugh, in right of his wife. The ruins of the mansion, from whence she was expelled in the brutal manner which occasioned her death, are still to be seen, in a hollow ‘glen beside the river. Popular report tenants them with the restless ghost of the Lady Bothwellhaugh; whom, however, it confounds with Lady Anne Bothwell, whose Lament is so popular. This spectre is so tenacious of her rights, that, a part of the stones of the ancient edifice having been employed in building or repairing the present Woodhouselee, she has deemed it a part of her privilege to‘haunt that house also; and, even of very late years, has excited considerable disturbance and terror among the domestics. This is a more remarkable vindication of the rights of ghosts, as the present Woodhouselee, which gives his title to the honourable Alexander Fraser Tytler, a senator of the College of Justice, is situated on the slope of the Pentland hills, distant at least four miles from her proper abode. She always appears in white, and with 0. child in her
arms. Note 5. Stanza xxvni.
Whose bloody pouiard's frantic stroke
Birrcll informs us, that liothwellhaugh, being closely pursued, it after that spur and wand had failed him, he drew forth his dagger, and strocke his horse behind,
whilk caused the horse to leap a very brode stank (i. e.
From the wild I}order's humbled side In haughty triumph marched ha.
Murray's death took place shortly after an expedition to the Borders; which is thus commemorated by the author of his elegy :
So having slablischt all thing in this sort,
To Liddisdaill again he did resort,
Throw Ewisdnll, Eskdail, and all the daills rode be,
Whair nu prince lay lhir hundred yeiris before,
the thiefdurst ltir, they did him feir hO sair;
And, that they suld no rnuir their thift ulledge,
Scottish Pmns, :61!» century, p. 13:.
The carabine, with which the regent was shot, is preserved at Hamilton Palace. It is a brass piece, of a middling length, very small in the bore, and, what is rather extraordinary, appears to have been ritled or indented in the barrel. It had a match-lock, for which a modern fire-lock has been injudiciously substituted.
Note 8. Stanza xxxvi. Dark Morton, girt with many a spear. Of this noted person it is enough to say, that he was active in the murder of David Rizzio, and at least privy to that of Darnley.
Note 9. Stanza xxxvi.
This clan of Lennox Highlanders were attached to the Regent Murray. l-lollinshed, speaking of the battle of Langside, says, (K In this batayle the valiancie of an llieland gentleman, named Macfarlztne, stood the regent's part in great steede; for, in the hottest brunte of the fighte, be came up with two hundred of his friendes and countrymen, and so manfully gave in upon the flankcs of the queene's people, that he was a great cause of the disordering of them. This l\lacfarlane had been lately before, as I have heard, condemned to die, for some outrage by him committed, and obtayning pardon through suyt of the Countess of Murray, he recompenced that clemencie by this piece of service now at this hataylem Calderwoods account is less favourable to the Macfarlanes. lie states, that ulllacfarlane, with his llighlandmen, fled from the wing where they were set. The Lord Lindesny, who stood nearest to them in the regent‘s battle, said, ‘Let them go! I shall fill their places be-ttercf and so stepping forward with a company of fresh men, charged the enemy, whose spears were now spent, with long weapons, so that they were driven back by force, being before almost overthrown by the avant-guard and barquebusiers, and so were turned to llight.»—Calder~ wood’: MS. apud Keith, p. 480. Melville mentions the flight of the van-guard, but states it to have been commtmtled by Morton, and composed chiefly of commoners of the horony of Renfrew.
brother of the Earl of Morton : his horse was killed by the same ball by which Murray fell.
George Douglas, of Parkhead, was a natural
Richard Bannatyne mentions in his journal, that John Knox repeatedly warned Murray to avoid Linlithgow.
Not only had the regent notice of the intended attempt upon his life, but even of the very house from which it was threatened.
With that infatuation, at which men wonder after such events have happened, he deemed it would be .1 sufficient precaution to ride briskly past the dangerous spot. But even this was prevented by the crowd: so that Bolhwcllhaugh had time to take a deliberate aim. —-Spotliswoodc, p. :33. Buchanan.
Tue imperfect state of this ballad, which was written several years ago, is not a circumstance affected for the purpose of giving it that peculiar interest, which is often found to arise from ungratified curiosity. On the contrary, it was the author's intention to have completed the tale, if he had found himself able to sueceed to his own satisfaction. Yielding to the opinion of persons, whose judgment, if not biased by the partiality of friendship, is entitled to deference, the author has preferred inserting these verses, as a fragment, to his intention of entirely suppressing them.
The tradition, upon which the tale is founded, regards a house, upon the barony of Gilmerton, near Lasswade, in Mid-Lothian. This building, now called (iilmerton Grange, was originally named Bumdale, from the following tragic adventure. The barony of Gilmerton belonged of yore to a gentleman, named Heron, who had one beautiful daughter. This young lady was seduced by the abbot of Ncwbattle, a richlyendowed abbey, upon the banks of the South Esk, now :1 seat of the Marquis of Lothian. Heron came to the knowledge of this circumstance, and learned, also, that the lovers carried on their guilty intercourse by the connivancc of the lady's nurse, who lived at this house, of Gilmerton Grange or Burndale. lle formed a resolution of bloody vengeance, undeterred by the supposed sanctity of the clerical character, or by the
stronger claims of natural affection. Chasing, therefore, a dark and windy night, when the objects of his vengeance were engaged in a stolen interview, he set fire to :1 stack of dried thorns, and other cornbustihles, which he had caused to be piled against the house, and reduced to a pile of glowing ashes the dwelling, with all its inmatcs.I _
The scene, with which the ballad opens, was suggested by the following curious passage, extracted from the Life of Alexander Pcden, one of the wandering and persecuted teachers of the sect of Cameronians, during the reign of Charles II and his successor, James. This person was supposed by his followers, and perhaps really believed himself, to he possessed of supernatural gifts; for the wild scenes, which they frequented, and the constant dangers, which were incurred though their prescription, deepened upon their minds the gloom of superstition, so general in that age.
a About the same time he (Peden) came to Andrew Normands house, in the parish of Alloway, in the shire of Ayr, being to preach at night in his barn. After he came in, he halted a little, leaning upon a chair-back, with his face covered; when he lifted up his head, he said, ‘There are in this house that I have not one word of salvation unto ;' he halted a little again, saying, ‘This is strange, that the devil will not go out, that we may begin our work!’ Then there was a woman went out, ill looked upon almost all her life, and to her dying hour, for a witch, with many prcsumptions of the same. It escaped me, in the former passages, that John Muirhead (whom I have often mentioned) told me, that when he came from Ireland to Galloway, he was at family-worship, and giving some notes upon the Scripture, when a very ill-looking man came, and sate down within the door, at the hack of the Italian (partition of the cottage); immediately he halted, and said, ‘ There is some unhappy body just now come into this house. I charge him to go out, and not stop my mouth!‘ The person went out, and he insisted (went on), yet he saw him neither come in nor go out.»The Life and Propltecies of Mr Alexander PCJBYL,
late Jllinister of the Gospel at New Glenluce, in Galloway, part ii, section 26.
Tina Pope he was saying the high, high mass,
With the power to him given, by the saints in heaven,
The Pope he was saying the blessed mass,
And from each man's soul his sins did pass,
And all, among the crowded throng, Was still, both limb and tongue,
While through vaulted roof, and aisles aloof,
l This tradition was communicated to me by John Clerk, Esq. of Eldin. author of an Essay upon Naval 7'm:li'c.1; who will be remembered by posterity, as having taught the Genius of Britain to concentrate her thunders, and to launch them against her fees with an unerrlng aim.