ページの画像
PDF

join* the Forth near Stirling. The pass of Lenny is immediately above Callender, and is the principal access lo the Highlands from that town. Glenarlney is a forest nrar Benvoirlich. The whole forms a sublime tract of Alpine scenery.

0 Hose a rie'! O hone a ric'! ■
The pride of Albyn's line is o'er.

And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree;
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!

0, sprung from great Maegillianore,
The chief that never fcar'd a foe,

How matchless was thy broad claymore.
How deadly thine unerring how!

Well can the Saxon widows tell, (i)
How, on the Teith's resounding shore.

The boldest Lowland warriors fell,
As down from Lenny's pass you bore.

But o'er his hills, on festal day.

How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane tree; (?.'j While youths and maids the light strathspey

So nimbly danced, with Highland glee.

Cheer'd by the strength of Ronald's shell.
E'en age forgot his tresses hoar;

But now the loud lament we swell,
O, ne'er to see Lord Ronald more!

From distant isles a chieftain came,
The joys of Ronald's ball to find.

And chase with him the dark brown game,
That bounds o'er Albyu's hills of wind.

T was Mov; whom, iu Columba's isle,
The seer's prophetic spirit found, (3]

As, with a minstrels fire the while,

He waked bis harp's harmonious sound.

Full many a spell to bill) was known,
Which wandering spirits shrink to hear;

And many a lay of pulenl lone.
Was never meant for mortal ear.

For there, *t is said, in mystic mood.
High converse with the dead they hold,

And oft e«py the fated shroud,-
That shall the future corpse enfold.

O so it Ml, that ou a day,

To rouse the red deer from their den, The chiefs have ta'en their distant way,

And scour'd the deep Glcufmla^ glen.

No vassals wait, their sports to aid,
To watch their safety, deck their board:

Their simple dress, the Highland plaid;
Their trusty guard, the Highland sword.

Three summer days, through brake and dell,
Their whislliug shafts successful flew;

'0 hone a rie »isnifie»-* Alai for the prince, or chiof.<

And still, when dewy evening fell,
The quarry to their hut they drew.

In gray Glenfinlas' deepest nook

The solitary cabin stood,
Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,

Which murmurs through that lonely wood.

Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,
When three successive days bad tlown;

And summer mist iu dewy halm

Steep'd heathy bauk, aud mossy stone.

The moon, half-hid iu silvery flakes,
Afar her dubious radiance shed,

Quivering on Katrine's distant lakes.
And resting ou Beiiledi's.head.

Now in their hut, iu social guise.
Their sylvau fare the chiefs enjoy;

And pleasure laughs in Ron;ild's cyi\
As mauy a pledge he quaffs to Moy.

—« What lack we lure lo crowu our bliss, While thus the pulse of joy heats high?

What, but fair woman's yielding kiss,
Her panting breath, aud melling eye?

«To chase the deer of yonder shades.
This morning left their father's pile

The fairest of our mountain maids,
The daughters of the proud Gleugyle.

« Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart,
Ami dropp'd the toai\ aud heaved the sigh:

But vain the lover's wily art,
Beneath a sister's watchful eye.

« But thou mnyst teach that guardian fair,
While fir with Mary I am flown,

Of other hearts to ce.isc her care,
And find it hard to guard her own.

M Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see

The lovely Flora of Glcngyle, Unmindful of her charge and me,

Haug on thy notes, 'iwixt tear and smile.

-Or, if she chiise a melting tale,

All underneath the green-wood bough.

Will good St Orans rule prevail, (A)
Stern huntsman of the rigid brow?w—

« Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death,

No more Oit me shall rapture rise;

Responsive to the panting breath,
Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.

« E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe. Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,

1 bade my liarp's wild wailing* How,
On mc the seer's sad spirit came.

«The last dread curse of angry Heaven,
With ghastly sights and sounds of,woe,

To dash each glimpse of joy, was given—
The gift, the future ill to know.

56

« The bark thou saw'st, yon summer morn.

So gaily part from Oban's bay, My eye beheld her da slid and torn,

Far on the rocky Colonsay.

« The Fergus too—thy sister's son.

Thou saw'&t, with pride, the gallant's power,

As marching gainst the lord of Downe,
He left the skirts of huge Benmore.

m Thou only saw'st their tartans • wave.
As down Denvoirlich's side they wound,

Heard'st but the pibroch,1 answering brave
To many a target clanking round.

« I beard the groans, I mark'd the tears,

I saw the wound his bosom bore, When on the serried Saxon spears

He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.

« And thou, who bid'st me think of bliss,
And bid'st my heart awake to glee,

And court, like thee, the wanton kiss,—
That heart, O Ronald, bleeds for thee!

« I see the death damps chill thy brow;
I hear thy Warning Spirit cry;

The corpse-lights dance—they're gone, and nonNo more is given to gifted eye !»

——« Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams,

Sad prophet of the evil hour!
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams,

Because to-morrow's storm may lourl

* Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe,
Claugilliau's chieftain ne'er shall fear;

His blood shall bound at rapture's glow,
Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spenr.

« E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,
My Mary's buskins brush the dcw.»—

He spoke, nor bade the chief farewell,
But call'd bis dogs, and gay withdrew.

Within an hourreturn'd each bound;
In rush'd the rouscrs of the deer; .
Tbcy how I'd in melancholy sound.
Then closely couch beside the Seer.

No Ronald yet; though midnight came,
And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams,

As, bending o'er the dyiug flame,

He fed the watch-fire's quivering gleams.

Sudden the bounds erect their ears,
And sudden cease their moaning howl;

Close press'd to Moy, they mark their fears
By shivering limbs, and stifled growl

[ocr errors]

Untouch'd, the harp began to ring,

As softly, slowly, oped the door, And shook responsive every string,

As light a footstep press'd the Moor.

And, by the watch-fire's glimmering light.
Close by the minstrel's side was seen

All huntress maid, in beauty bright,
All dropping wet her robes of green.

All dropping wet her garments seem,
ChilPd was her cheek, her bosom bare.

As, bending o'er the dying gleam,

She wrung the moisture from her hair.

With maiden blush she softly said,
«0 gentle buntsmin, hast thou seen.

In deep Clcnfinlas' moon-light glade,
A lovely maid in vest of greeul

« With her a chief in Highland pride.
His shoulders bear the hunter's bowf

The mountain dirk adorns his side.
Far on the wind his tartans flow?*

« And who art thou? and who are they?»

All ghastly gazing, Moy replied: « And why, beneath the moon's pale ray.

Dare ye thus roam CleufinUs' side?»

« Where wild Loch Katriue pours her tide. Blue, dark, and deep, round many an isie.

Our father's towers o'erhang her side,
The castle of the bold Glen gyle.

M To chase the dun Glenfinlas derr.

Our woodland course this morn we bore.

And haply met, while waudering here.
The sou of great Macgillianore.

« 0 aid me, then, to seek the pair.

Whom, loitering in the woods, I lost;

Alone, I dare not venture there.

Where walks, they say, tiic shrieking ghost

« Yes, many a shrieking ghost walks there;

Then, first, my own sad vow to keep, Here will I pour my midnight prayer.

Which still must rise when mortals sleep.*

« 0 first, for pity's gentle sake,

Guide a lone wanderer on her way!

For I must cross the haunted brake,
And reach my Father's towers ere day.»

« First, three times tell each Ave-bead.

And thrice a Pater-noster say; Then kiss with me the holy reed:

So shall we safely wind our way."

« O shame to knighthood, strange aod foal'
Co, doff the bonnet from thy brow,

And shroud thee in the monkish cowl,
Which best befits thy sullen Tow.

« Not so, by high DuointhmonVfirc,
Thy heart was froze lo love and joy,

When gaily rung thy raptured lyre,
To wanton Morna's melting eye.»

Wild stared the minstrel's eye of flame,

And high his sable locks arose.
And quick his colour went and came,

As fear and rage alternate rose.

« And thou ! when by the blazing oak

I lay, to her and love resign'd, Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke,

Or sail'd ye on the midnight wind?

"Not thine a race of mortal blood.
Nor old Clengyle's pretended line;

Tby dame, the Lady of the Hood,
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine.»

He mutierM thrice St Oran's rhyme,
And thrice St Fillan's powerful prayer; (It)

Then turn'd him to the eastern clime.
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.

And, bending o'er his harp, he flung
flis wildest witch-notes on the wind;

And loud, and highland strange, tliey run;;,
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 flew;

But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was waved by wind, or wet by dew.

Wild mingling with the howling gate,
Loud hursts of ghastly laughter rise;

High o'er the minstrel's head they sail.
And die amid the northern skies.

The voice of thunder fhook the wood,
As ceased the more than mortal yep;

And, spattering foul, a shower of blood
Upon the his&iug firebrands fell.

Next, dropp'd from high a mangled arm;

The fingers strain d a half-drawn blade; And last, the life-blood streaming warm,

Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.

Oft o'er that head, in battling field.

Stream d the proud crest of high Hen more;

That arm the broad claympre could wield,
Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.

Woe to Moneira's sullen rills!

Woe to Glenfinlas' dreary glen! There never son of Athyu's hills

Shall draw the hunter's shaft ageu!

E'en the tired pilgrim's burning feet
At noon shall shun that sheltering den.

Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet
The wayward Ladies of the Clen.

And we—behind the chieftain's shield,
No more shall we in safety dwell;

None leads the people to the field—
And we the loud lament must swell.

O hone a rie' ! O hone a rie"!

The pride of Alhyn's line is o'er, And fallen Glenartncy's stateliest tree;

We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!

NOTES.

Note 1. Stanza ill.

Well u 11 ttio Saion widow* tell.

The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the Highlanders to their Low-country neighbours. Note 2. Staiu.i rv.

How blazed Lord ItonaM't heliaoe Iree.

The fires lighted by the Highlanders on the first of May, in compliance with a custom derived from the Pagan limes, are termed, tin: Beltane Tree. It is a festival celebrated with various superstitious rites, both iu the north of Scotland and in Wales. Note 3. Stanza vii.

Tbe leer's prophetic spirit found, etc.

I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr Johnson's definition, who calls it *• an impression, cither 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 thev 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- Stania xxii.

Will pood St Oran* rule prerail.

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, lie conscuted to be buried 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; when Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgmeut, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth ouce more to be shovelled over htm with the utmost dispatch. The chapel, however, and the cemctry, was called Reilig Ourun; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.

Note 5. Stanza )v.
And thrice St Flllao'* powerful prayer.
St Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy

fountains, etc. in Scotland. He was, according to Camcrarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, in Fife, from which situation he retired, and died a hermit in the wilds of Glenurchy, A.D. 649. While cng'ged in transcribing the Scriptures, his left hand was observed to send forth such a splendour, as to nfford light to that with which he wrote; a miracle which saved many candles to the convent, as St Fillan used to spend whole nights in that exercise. The 9th of January was dedicated to this saint, who gate his name to Kilnllmi, in Renfrew, and St Phillans, or Forgcnd, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7. tells us, that Uobert the Bruce was possessed of Fillan's miraculous and luminous arm, which he inclosed in a silver shrine, and had it carried at the head of his army. Previous to the battle of tlannockburn, the king's chaplain, a man of little faith, abstracted the relic, and deposited it in some place of security, lest it should fall into the hands of the English. Rut, lo! while Robert was addressing his prayers to the empty casket, it was observed to open and shut suddenly; and,on inspection, the saint was found to have himself deposited his arm in the shrine, as an assurance of victory. Such is the tale of Lesley. Rut though Bruce little needed that the arm of St Fillan should assist his own, he dedicated to him, in gratitude, a priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay.

In the Scots Magazine for Julv, 1 80 a (a national periodical publication, which has lately revived with considerable energy), there is a copy of a very curious crown-grant, dated nth July, 1487, by which James III. confirms to Malice Doire, an inhabitant of Strathfillan, in Perthshire, the peaceable exercise and enjoyment of a relic of St Fillan, called the Quegrich, which he, and his predecessors, are said to have possessed since the days of Robert Bruce. As the Oucgrich was used to cure diseases, this document is, probably, the

Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd. His acton pierced and tore; most ancient patent ever granted for a quack medicine. ■ His axe aud his dagger with blood embrueu The ingenious correspondent, by whom it is furnished, further observes, that additional particulars concerning St Fillan are to be found in Ballknobn's Boece, Book 4, folio ccxiii, and in Pennant's Tour in Scotland, 1772, pp. 11, 15.

THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN.

Shatloo'me, or Small holm Tower, the scene of the following ballad, is situated on the northern boundary of Roxburghshire, among a cluster of wild rocks, called Saudiknow Crags, the property of Hugh Scott, Esq. of Harden. The toweris a high square building, surrounded by an outer wall, now ruinous. The circuit of the outer court, being defended, on three sides, by a precipice and morass, is accessible only from the west, by a steep and rocky path. The apartments, as is usual in .1 Border keep, or fortress, are placed one above another, and communicate by a narrow stair; on the roof are two bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron grate; the distance between them being nine feet, the thickness, namely, of the wall. From the elevated situation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many miles in every direction. Among the crags, by which it is surrounded, one, more eminent, is called The Watchfold; and is said to have been the station of a beacon, in the limes of war wiih Eagl.md. Without the lower-court

is a ruined chape]. Rrolherslone is a heath, in th? neighbourhood of Smaylho'me Tower.

This ancient fortress and its vicinity forraetl the seme of the author's infancy, and seemed to claim from hian this attempt to celebrate them in a Border tale. The catastrophe of the tale is founded upon a well-known Irish tradition.

Til Baron of Smaylho'me rose with day.

He spurr'd his courser on,
Without stop or stay, down the rocky way,

That leads to Rrothcrstone.

lie went not with the bold Ruccleuch,

His banner broad to rear;
He went not 'gainst the English yew

To lift the Scottish spear. 1

Yet his plate-jack1 was braced, and his helmet was laced,

And his v>itint-brace of proof he wore;
At his saddle-gcrthc was a good steel sperthe.

Full ten pound weight and more.

The baron return'd in three diys'space,

Aifd his looks were sad and sour; And weary was his coursers pice.

As lie rcach'd his rocky lower.

He came not from where Ancram Moor1

Ran red with English blood;
Where the Douglas true,and the bold Buccleuch.

'Caiust keen Lord Evers stood.

Rut it was not English gore.

lie lighted at the Chapcllagr,

He held him close aud still; And he whistled thrice for his little foot-page.

His name was English Will.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

«I watch'd her stops, and silent came

Where she sat her on a stone;
No watchman stood by the dreary flame;

It burned all alone.

•The second night I kept her in sight.

Till to the fire she came,
And, by !Mir y s might! an armed knight

Stood by the lonely flame.

« And many a word th.it warlike lord

Did speak to my lady there; Kut the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast, 'Aod I heard not what they were.

■ The third night there the sky was fair,

And the mountain blast was .still, As again I watch'd the secret pair, On the lonesome beacon hill.

■ And I heard her name the midnight hour.

And name this holy eve;
An.! say,l Come this night to thy lady's bower;
'Ask no bold baron's leave.

'lie lifts hit spear with the bold Buccleuch;

'Hi- I ulv is all alone; 'The door she II undo to her knight so true, On the eve of good St John.'

11 cannot come ; I must not come;

'I dare not come to thee;
'On the eve of Saint John I must wander alone—

'In thy bower I may not be.'

'Now. out on thee, faint-hearted knight!

'Thou sltotildst not say me nay; 'lor the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,

* U worth the whole summer's day.

1 And I 'II chain the blood-hound, and the warder shal not sound,

• And rushes shall be strew'd on the stwir,

; So, by the black rood-stone,' and by holy St John, 'I conjure, thee, my love, to be there!'

'Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush beneath my foot, 'And the warder his bugle should not blow,

■ Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the

east, 1 And my footstep he would know.'

'0 fear not the priest, who sleepelh to the east!

'For to Dryburgh' the way he has ta'en; 'And there to say mass, till three days do pass,

1 For the soul of a knight that is slayne.'

«He turn'd him round, and grimly he frown'd;

Then he laugh'd right scornfully— 'He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight

'May .is well say mass for me.

1 The Mack rood or Melrose w« a crucifix of black inarMc. au.l i-f *aj*rtor sanctity.

1 Dryburgh Abltey is beautiful)* situated on the bank* of the Tweed. After its dissolution, it became tbc pmj>eriy of the llalihariuoi of Xrnmaioj, and i» now ih<; seat of the right boaourai-lf ike Earl of Buchan. K belonged to the order of Premonitratenscs.

4 At the lone midnight hour, when bad spirits have power,

* In thy chamber will I be.'— With that he was gone, and my'lady left alone,

And no more did 1 sec.»—

Then changed. I trow, was that bold baron's brow.

From the dark to the blood-red high; « Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,

For, by Mary, he shall die!«

« His arms shone full bright in the beacon's red light,

His plume it was scarlet :uu[ blue;
On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound.

And his crest was a branch of the ycw.»

ccThou liest, thou licM, thou little foot-page,

Loud dost ihou lie to me!
For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,

All under the Eildon-tree.M1

« Yet hear but my word, my noble lord,

For I heard her name his name;
And that lady bright, she call'd the knight.

Sir Richard of Coldiughame.n

The bold barons brow then changed, I trow,

From high blood-red to pale— « The grave is deep and dark—aud the corpse is stiff and slark—

So I may not trust thy talc.

« Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,

And Eildon slopes to the plain,
Full three nights ago, by some secret foe.

That gay gallant was slain.

« The varying light deceived thy sight, And the wild winds drown'd the name;

Fur the Dryburgh bells rinrj, and tbc white monks do sing. For Sir Richard of Coldinghame !»

lie pass'd the court-gale, and be opeu'd the tower grate, And he mounted the narrow stair. To the bartizan-seat, where, with maids that on her wait, lie found his Jadv fair.

That lady sat in mournful mood;

Look it over hill and dale;
Over Tweed's fair flood, and McrtounV wood,

And all down Teviotdale.

« Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!"

« Now hail, thou baron true! What news, wha^news, from Ancram fight?

What news from the bold Buccleuch ?»

«<The Ancram Mnofris red with gore

For many a southern fell;
And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore,

To watcli our beacons well.»

I < Eildon Is n hifjh hill, terminating in three coajltal tiimmiti, ia>medlately ahe,TM the town of Melrose, where are ibe admired rum* of a magnilic nt tuoutulery. Eildon-tree it mid to be the spot where Thomas the nliymcr ullrrud bis prophecies.

» Merionii is the beautiful seat of llujtli Scvlt, Esq. of Uarden.

« 前へ次へ »