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« Not thine a race of mortal blood,
Nor old Glengyle's pretended line; Thy dame, the Lady of the Flood,
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine.»
He mutter'd thrice St Oran's rhyme,
And thrice St Fillan's powerful prayer; (5) Then turn'd him to the eastern clime,
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.
And, bending o'er his harp, he flung
His wildest wilch-notes on the wind; And loud, and high, and strange, they rung,
As many a magic change they find.
Tall wax'd the Spirit's altering form,
Till to the roof her stature grew; Then, mingling with the rising storm,
With one wild yell, away she flew.
Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear :
The slender hut in fragments (lew; But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was waved by wind, or wet by dew.
Wild mingling with the howling gale,
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise; High o'er the minstrel's head they sail,
And die amid the northern skies.
Note 1. Stanza iii.
Well can the Saxon widows tell. The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the Highlanders to their Low-country neighbours.
Note 2. Slanza iv.
How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane tree. The fires Jighted by the Highlanders on the first of May, in compliance with a custom derived from the Pagan times, are termed, the Beltane Tree. It is a festival celebrated with various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and in Wales.
Note 3. Stanza vii.
The seer's prophetic spirit found, etc. I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr Johnson's definition, who calls it u an impression, either by the mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived and seen as if they were present. To which I would only add, that the spectral appearances, thus presented, usually presage misfortune ; that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess it; and that they usually acquire it, while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.
Note 4. Stanza xxii.
Will Good St Oran's rule prevail. St Oran was a friend and follower of St Columba, and was buried in lcolmkill. His pretensions to be a Saint were rather dubious. According to the legend, he consented to be buricd alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed; wlien Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgment, nor a future state ! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost dispatch. The chapel, lowever, and the cemetry, was called Reilig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay lier devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.
Note 5, Stanza lv..
fountains, etc. in Scotland. He was, according to Ca. is a ruined chapel. Brotherstone is a heath, in the merarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, in Fife, from which neighbourhood of Smaylho'me Tower. situation he retired, and died a hermit in the wilds of This ancient fortress and its vicinity formed the scene Glenurchy, A.D. 649. While eng'ged in transcribing of the author's infancy, and seemed to claim from him the Scriptures, his left hand was observed to send forth this attempt to celebrate them in a Border tale. The such a splendour, as to afford light to that with which catastrophe of the cale is founded upon a well-known he wrote; a miracle which saved many candles to the Irish tradition. convent, as St Fillan used to spend whole nights in that exercise. The 9th of January was dedicated to this
Toe Baron of Smaylho'me rose with day, saint, who gave his name to Kilfillan, in Renfrew, and
He spurrd his courser on, St Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7. tells us, without siop or stay, down the rocky way, that Robert the Bruce was possessed of Fillan's miracu
That leads to Brotherstone. lous and luminous ann, which he inclosed in a silver shrine, and had it carried at the lead of bis army. Pre- Ile went not with the bold Buccleuch, vious to the battle of Bannockburn, the king's chap His banner broad to rear; lain, a man of little faith, abstracted the relic, and de. He went not gainst the English yew posited it in some place of security, lest it should fall To lift the Scottish spear. into the hands of the Englishı. But, lo! while Robert was addressing his prayers to the emply casket, it was Yet his plate-jack' was braced, and his helmet was laced, observed to open and shut suddenly; and, on inspection, And his vanni-brace of proof he wore ; the saint was found to bave himself deposited his arm At his saddle-gerihe was a good steel sperthe, in the shirine, as an assurance of victory. Such is the Full ten pound weight and more. tale of Lesley. But though Bruce little needed that the arm of St Fillan should assist his own, he dedicated to the baron return'd in three days' space, him, in gratitude, a priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay. And his looks were sad and sour;
In the Scots Magazine for July, 1802 (a national pe- And weary was his courser's pace, riodical publication, which has lately revived with con As be reach'd his rocky tower. siderable energy), there is a copy of a very curious crown-grant, dated uth July, 1487, by which James He came not from where Ancram Moor? III. confirms to Malice Doire, an inhabitant of Strath Rau red with English blood; fillan, in Perthshire, the peaceable exercise and enjoy- Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch, ment of a relic of St Fillan, called the Quegrich, which 'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood. he, and his predecessors, are said to have possessed since the days of Robert Bruce. As the Quegrich was Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd, used to cure diseases, this document is, probably, the His acton pierced and core ; most ancient patent ever granted for a quack medicine. Ilis axe and his dagger with blood embrued, The ingenious correspondent, by whom it is furnisheil,
But it was not English gore.
He hield him close and still;
His name was English Will.
pp. 11, 15.
«Come thou bither, my little foot-page; THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN.
Come liither to my knee;
Though thou art young, and tender of age,
Ànd look thou tell me true!
My lady, each night, sought the lonely light, a steep and rocky path. The apartments, as is usual in
That burns on the wild Watchfold; a Border keep, or fortress, are placed one above another, For, from height to height, the beacons bright and communicate by a narrow stair ; on the roof are
Of the English foemeur cold. two bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron
« The bittern clamonr'd from the moss, grate; the distance between them being nine feet, the
The wiod blew loud and shrill; thickness, namely, of the wall. From the elevatrd si-Yet the craguy pathway she did cross, tuation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many miles in
To the eiry beacon hill. every direction. Among the crags, by which it is stirrounded, one, more eminent, is called The Watch fold;
The plate-jock is coat-armour; the vaunt-brace, or wambrace,
armour for the body; the sperthe, a battle-are. and is said to have been the station of a beacon, in the
See an account of the battle of Ancram Noor, subjoined to the times of war with England. Without the lower-court ballad.
« And I heard her name the midnight hour,
« Yet hear but my word, my noble Jord, And name this holy eve;
For I heard her name his name ; And say, 'Come this night to thy lady's bower;
And that lady bright, she call'd the knight, “Ask oo bold baron's leave.
Sir Richard of Coldinghame.» He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch;
The bold baron's brow then changed, I trow, • His lady is all alone;
From high blood-red to pale"The door she 'll undo to her knight so true,
« The grave is deep and dark-and the corpse is stiff "On the eve of good St Jolin.'
and stark 'I cannot come; I must not come;
So I may not trust thy tale. I dare not come to thee;
« Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose, On the eve of Saint John I must wander alone
And Eildon slopes to the plain, In thy bower I may not be.'
Full three nights ago, by some secret foe,
That Now, out on thee, faint-hearted knight!
gay gallant was slain, • Thou shouldst not say me nay;
« The varying light deceived thy sight, . For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,
Aud the wild winds drown'd the name; * Is worth the whole summer's day.
For the Dryburglı bells ring, and the white monks do
sing, * And I 'll chain the blood-hound, and the warder shall
For Sir Richard of Coldinghame !» not sound, * And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair,
He pass'd the courl-gate, and he open'd the tower So, by the black rood-stone,' and by holy St John,'
grate, I conjure, thee, my love, to be there!'
And lie mounted the narrow stair,
To the bartizan-seal, where, with maids that on her • Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush be
wait, neath my foot,
He found his lady fair. * And the warder his bugle should not blow, Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the That lady sat in mournful mood; east,
Look'd over hull and dale ; • And my footstep he would know.'
Over Tweed's fair tlood, and Mertoun's? wood,
And all down Tevioidale. O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east ! . For to Dryburgh? the way he bas ta'en;
« Now hail, now bail, thou lady bright!» * And there to say mass, till three days do pass,
« Now hail, thou baron true! For the soul of a knight that is slaype.'
What news, what news, from Ancram fight?
What news from the bold Buccleuch ?» « He turn'd him round, and grimly he frown'd; Then be lauglid right scornfully
« The Ancram Moor is red with gore • He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight
For many a southieru fell; • May as well say mass for me.
And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore,
To watch our beacons well.» The black rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and of superior sanctily.
1 Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits, im: Dryburgb Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the mediately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins Tweed. After its dissolution, it became the property of the Hali- of a magnific ot monastery. Eildon-tree is said to be the spot buriods of New mains, and is now the seat of the right honourable where Thomas the Rlymer uttered bis prophecies. the Earl of Buchan. It belonged to the order of Premonstratenses. • Merioun is the beautiful seat of Hugh Scotl, Esq. of Hardon.
The lady blushi'd red, but nothing she said;
Nor added the baron a word; Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,
And so did dier moody lord.
who ne'er beholds the day, That monk, who speaks to none, That nun was Smaylho'me's lady gay,
That monk the bold baron.
In sleep the lady mourn'd, and the baron toss'd and
turn'd, And oft to himself he said « The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave
is deepIt cannot give up the dead.»
It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was well nigh done,
On the eve of good St Joliu.
By the light of a dying flame; And she was aware of a knight stood there
Sir Richard of Coldinghame! « Alas! away, away !» she cried,
« For the holy Virgin's sake!» « Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side :
But, lady, he will not awake.
« By Eildon-tree, for long nights three,
In bloody grave have I lain; The mass and the death-prayer are said for me,
But, lady, they are said in vain.
« By the baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,
Most foully slain I fell ;
For a space is doom'd to dwell.
BATTLE OF AYCRAM MOOR. Lord Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1544, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers, compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the King of England. Upon the işth November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody ledger of Lord Evers.
Towns, towers, barnekynes, paryshe
churches, bastill houses, burned
403 Prisoners taken
816 Nolt (cattle)
Murdin's State Papers, vol. i, p. 51. The King of England had promised to these two barons a feudal grant of the country, which they had thus reduced to a desert; upon hearing which, Archibald Douglas, the seventh carl of Angus, is said to have sworn to write the deed of investiture upon their skins, with sharp pens and bloody ink, in resentment for their having defaced the tombs of his ancestors, at Melrose.—Godscroft. In 1545, Lord Evers and Latoun again entered Scotland with an army, consisting of 3000 mercenaries, 1500 Euglish Borderers, and 700 assured Scottishmen, chiefly Armstrongs, Turnbulls, and other broken clans. In this second incursion, the English generals even exceeded their former cruelly. Evers burned the tower of Broomhouse with its lady (a noble and aged woman, says Lesley), and her whole family. The English penetrated as far as Melrose, which they had destroyed last year, and which they now again pillaged. As they returned towards Jedburgh, they were followed by Angus, at the head of 1000 horse, who was shortly after joined by the famous Norman Lesley, with a body of Fife-men. The English, being probably unwilling to cross the Tevior while the Scots hung upon their rear,
halted upon Ancram Moor, above the village of that name; and the Scottish general was deliberating whether, to advance or retire, when Sir Walter Scott
« At our trysting-place,' for a certain space,
I must wander to and fro;, But I had not had power to come to thy bower,
Hadst thou not conjured me so.»
Love master'd fear-her brow she cross'd ;
« How, Richard, hast thou sped ? And art thou saved, or art thou lost?»—
The Vision shook his head !
« Who spilleth life shall forfeit life ;
So bid thy lord believe:
This awful sign receive.»
His right upon her hand :
For it scorch'd like a fiery brand.
The sable score of fingers four,
Remains on th board impressid ; And for evermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.
Ne'er looks upon the sun:
Ile speaketh word to none.
The editor has found no instance upon record of this family having taken assurance with England. Honce they usually suffered dreadfully from the English forays. In August, 1541 (the year preceding the battle), the wbole lands belonging to Buccleuch, in West Tesjordale, were harried by Evers ; the out-works, or barokin, of the tower of Branxholm, barned ; cight Scots slain, thirty made prisoners, and an immense proy of horses, cattle, and sheep. carried off. The lands upon hale Water, belonging to the same chieftain, were also plundered, and much spoil obtained; thirty Scots slain, and the Moss Tower (a fortress near Eckford) spoked very sore. Thus Buccleuch had a long account to settle at Ancram Moor.-Nurdin's State Papers, pp. 45, 46.
' Trusting plane-Place of rendezvous.
of Buccleuch came up, at full speed, with a small but Fair maiden Lylliaru lies under this stane, cliosen body of his retainers, the rest of whom were
Little was her stature, but great was her fame; near at band. By the advice of this experienced war
l'pon the English louns she laid mony thumps,
And when her legs were catted off, she fought upon her stumps. rior (to whose conduct Pitscollie and Buchanan ascribe
Vide Account of the Parish of Melrose. the success of the engagement), Angus withdrew from
It the height which he occupied, and drew up his forces appears,
from a passage in Stowe, that an ancestor
of Lord Evers held also a grant of Scottish lands from behind it, upon a piece of low flat ground, called Panier-leugh, or Penici-hieugh. The spare horses, being an English monarch. « I have seen,» says the histosent to an eminence in their rear, appeared to the Eng- rian, « under the broad scale of the said King Edward lislı to be the main body of the Scots, in the act of "., a manor called Ketnes, in the countie of Ferfare, in flight. Under this persuasion, Evers and Latong lur Scotland, and neere the furthest part of the same naried precipitately forward, and, having ascended the
lion northward, given to Jolin Eure and his heirs, anhill, which their foes had abandoned, were no less dis- cestor to the Lord Eure that now is, and for his service mayed than astonished, to find the phalanx of Scottishi
done in these partes, with market, etc, dated at Lanerspearmen drawn up, in firm array, upon the flat ground cost, the 201h day of October, anno regis, 34.»—
Stowe's Annals, p. 210. below. The Scots in their turn became the assailants.
This grant, like that of A heron, roused from the marshes by the tumult, soar. Henry, must have been dangerous to the receiver, ed away betwixt the encountering armies: «0!» ex
Stanza xlviii. claimci Angus, u that I had here
There is a nun in Dryburgb bower. that we might all yoke at once!»--- Godscroft. The The circumstance of the nun, « who never saw the English, breathless and fatigued, having the setting sun day,» is not entirely imaginary. About fifty years ago, and wind full in their faces, were unable to withstand
an unfortunate female wanderer took up her residence the resolute and desperate charge of the Scottish lances in a dark vault, among the ruins of Dryburgh-Abbey, No sooner had they begun to waver, than their own al- which, during the day, she never quitted. When night lies, the assured Borderers, who bad been waiting the fell, she issued from this miserable habitation, and event, threw aside their red crosses, and, joining their went to tbe house of Mr Haliburton, of Newmajos, the countrymen, made a most merciless slaughter among editor's great-grandfather, or to that of Mr Erskine, of the English fugitives, the pursuers calling upon each shielfeld, (wo gentlemen of the neighbourhood. From other to « remember Broomhouse !»—Lesley, p. 478 their charity she obtained such necessaries as she could In the battle fell Lord Evers, and his son, together with
be prevailed upon to accept. At twelve, each night, Sir Brian Latoun, and 800 Englishmen, many of whom she lighted her candle, and returned to her vault; aswere persons of rank.
A thousand prisoners were suring her friendly neighbours that, during her abtaken. Among these was a patriotic alderman of Lon
sence, her habitation was arranged by a spirit, to whom don, Read by name, who, having contumaciously re she gave the uncouth name of Fatlips; describing him fused to pay his portion of a benevolence, demanded
as a little man, wearing heavy iron shoes, with which from the city by Henry VIII., was sent by royal autho- he trampled the clay floor of the vault, to dispel the rity to serve against the Scots. These, at settling bis damps. This circumstance caused her to be regarded, ransom, he found still more exorbitant in their exac
by the well-informed, with compassion, as deranged in tions than the monarch.— Redpatu's Border History, her understanding; and by the vulgar, with some deEvers was much regretted by King Henry,
of terror. The cause of her adopting this, extrawho swore to avenge his death upon Angus; against ordinary mode of life she would never explain. It was, whom he conceived himself to have particular grounds however
, believed to have been occasioned by a vow, of resentment, on account of favours received by the that, during the absence of a man, to whom she was earl at his hands. The answer of Angus was wortliy attached, she would never look upon the sun. Her of a Douglas.
« Is our brother-in-law offended,»' said lover never returned. He fell during the civil war of he, « that I, as a good Scotsman, have avenged my ra. 1745-6, and she never more would behold the light of vaged country, and the defaced tombs of my ancestors, day. upon Ralpli Evers? They were better men than he,
The vault, or rather dungeon, in which this unfortuand I was bound to do no less--and will he take niy nate woman lived and died, passes still by the name of life for that? Little knows King Henry the skirts of the supernatural being, with which its gloom was teKirnetable :: I can keep myself there against all his nanted by her disturbed imagination, and few of the English host.»—Godscroft.
neighbouring peasants dare enter it by night.
Such was the noted battle of Ancram Moor. The spot on which it was fought is called Lyliard's Edge, from an Amazonian Scottish woman of that name,
CADYOW CASTLE. who is reported, by tradition, to bave distinguislied herself in the same manner as Squire Witherington. The
ADDRESSED TO THE old people point out her monument, now broken and RIGHT HON. LADY ANNE HAMILTON. defaced. The inscription is said to have been legible within this century, and to have run thus:
Tae ruins of Cadyow, or Codzow Castle, the ancient Angus had married the widow of James IV., sister to king baronial residence of the family of Hamilton, are situHenry VIII.
ated upon the precipitous banks of the river Evan, * Kirnetable, now called Cairntable, is a mountainous tract at the
about two miles above its junction with the Clyde. It head of Douglasdale,
was dismantled in the conclusion of the civil wars,