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Few suns have set, since Woodhouselee
Saw Bothwellhaugh’s bright goblets foam, When to his hearths, in social glee,
The war-worn soldier turned him home.
There, wan from her maternal throes,
His Margaret, beautiful and mild, Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,
And peaceful nursed her new-born child.
O change accursed ! past are those days;
False Murray's ruthless spoilers came, And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,
Ascends destruction's volumed flame. What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
Where mountain Eske through woodland flows, Her arms infold a shadowy child
Oh, is it she, the pallid rose ?
The wildered traveller sees her glide,
And hears her feeble voice with awe• Revenge,' she cries, on Murray's pride !
And woe for injured Bothwellhaugh!'"
He ceased-and cries of rage and grief
Burst mingling from the kindred band, And balf arose the kindling chief,
And half unsheathed his Arran brand.
But who, o'er bush, o'er stream, and rock,
Rides headlong with resistless speed, Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke
Drives to the leap his jaded steed;
From gory selle, and reeling steed,
Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound, And, reeking from the recent deed,
He dashed his carbine on the ground.
Your slaughtered quarry proudly trod,
At dawning morn, o'er dale and down, But prouder base-born Murray rode
Through old Linlithgow's crowded town.
From the wild Border's humbled side,
In baughty triumph, marched he, While Knox relaxed his bigot pride,
And smiled, the trait'rous pomp to see. But can stern Power, with all his vaunt,
Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare, The settled heart of Vengeance daunt, Or change the purpose of Despair ? With hackbut bent, my secret stand
Dark as the purposed deed, I chose, And marked, where, mingling in his band,
Trooped Scottish pikes and English bows. Dark Morton, girt with many a spear,
Murder's foul minion, led the van; And clashed their broadswords in the rear,
The wild Macfarlanes' plaided clan. Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh,
Obsequious at their Regent's rein, And haggard Lindsay's iron eye,
That saw fair Mary weep in vain. 'Mid pennoned spears, a steely grove,
Proud Murray's plumage floated high; Scarce could his trampling charger move,
So close the minions crowded nigh.
From the raised visor's shade, his eye,
Dark rolling, glanced the ranks along, And his steel truncheon, waved on high,
Seemed marshalling the iron throng. But yet his saddened brow confessed
A passing shade of doubt and awe; Some fiend was whispering in his breast,
Beware of injured Both wellhaugh!"
The death-shot parts-the charger springs
Wild rises tumult's startling roar!-
Rings on the ground, to rise no more.
What joy the raptured youth can feel,
To hear her love the loved one tell,
The wolf, by whom his infant fell!
But dearer to my injured eye,
To see in dust proud Murray roll;
To hear him groan his felon soul.
My Margaret's spectre glided near ;
With pride her bleeding victim saw;
Remember injured Both wellhaugh !'
Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault !
Spread to the wind thy bannered tree!
Murray is fallen, and Scotland free.”
Vaults every warrior to his steed;
Loud bugles join their wild acclaim-
Couch, Arran! couch thy spear of flame!”
But, see! the minstrel vision fails—
The glimmering spears are seen no more :
Or sink in Evan's lonely roar.
For the loud bugle, pealing high,
The blackbird'whistles down the vale,
The bannered towers of Evandale.
For chiefs, intent on bloody deed,
And Vengeance, shouting o'er the slain,
Or graceful guides the silken rein.
And long may Peace and Pleasure own
The maids, who list the minstrel's tale;
On the fair banks of Evandale!
THE GREY BROTHER.
A FRAGMENT. .
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 Gilmerton Grange, was formerly named Burndale, 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 Newbottle, a richly-endowed abbey, upon the banks of the South Eske, now a 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 contrivance of the lady's nurse, who lived at this house of Gilmerton Grange, or Burndale. He formed a resolution of bloody vengeance, undeterred by the supposed sanctity of the clerical character, or by the stronger claims of natural affection. Choosing, therefore, a dark and windy night, when the objects of his vengeance were engaged in a stolen interview, he set fire to a stack of dried thorns and other combustibles, which he had caused to be piled against the house, and reduced to a pile of glowing ashes the dwelling, with all its inmates.
The scene with which the ballad opens, was suggested by a curious passage in the life of Alexander Peden, one of the wandering and persecuted teachers of the sect of Cameronians, during the reign of Charles II. and that of his successor James II.
The Pope he was saying the high, high mass,
All on Saint Peter's day,
To wash men's sins away.
The Pope he was saying the blessèd mass,
And the people kneeled around,
As he kissed the holy ground.
And all among the crowded throng,
Was still, both limb and tongue,
The holy accents rung.
And faltered in the sound-
He dropped it on the ground.
Pollutes our sacred day;
No part in what I say.
A being, whom no blessed word
To ghostly peace can bring;
Recoils each holy thing.
Up, up, unhappy! haste, arise!
My adjuration fear !
Nor longer tarry here!”
Amid them all a Pilgrim kneeled,
In gown of sackcloth grey:
He first saw Rome that day.
For forty days and rights so drear,
I ween, he had not spoke,
His fast he ne'er had broke.
Amid the penitential flock,
Seemed none more bent to pray; But, when the Holy Father spoke,
He roso, and went his way.
Again unto his native land
His weary course be drew,
And Pentland's mountains blue.
His unblessed feet his native seat,
'Mid Eske's fair woods, regain; Through woods more fair no stream more swect
Rolls to the eastern main.
And lords to meet the Pilgrim came,
And vassals bent the knee;
Was none more famed than he.
In battle he had stood,
Her noblest poured their blood.
By Eske's fair streams that run,
Impervious to the sun.
There the rapt poet's step may rove,
And yield the muse the day; There Beauty, led by timid Love, May shun the tell-tale ray;
From that fair dome, where suit is paid
By blast of bugle free,
And haunted Woodhouselee.
Who knows not Melville's beechy grove,
And Roslin's rocky glen,
And classic Hawthornden ?
Yet never a path, from day to day,
The Pilgrim's footsteps range, Save but the solitary way,
To Burndale's ruined Grange.
A woeful place was that, I ween,
As sorrow could desire ; For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall, And the roof was scathed with fire.