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arms. Such happy deaths are recorded on humble tombstones; and there is one on which this inscription may be read" HERE LIE THE BODIES OF ADAM MORRISON AND OF HELEN ARMOUR HIS SPOUSE. THEY DIED ON THE 1ST OF May 17- HERE ALSO LIES THE BODY OF THEIR DAUGHTER, MARY MORRISON, WHO DIED, JUNE 2, 17—." The headstone is a granite slab--as they almost all are in that kirk-yard-and the kirk itself is of the same enduring material. But touching that grave is a marble monument, white almost as the very snow, and, in the midst of the emblazonry of death, adorned with the armorial bearings belonging to a family of the high-born.

Sworn brother of my soul! during the bright ardours of boyhood, when the present was all-sufficient in its own bliss, the past soon forgotten, and the future unfeared, what might have been thy lot, my beloved Harry Wilton, had thy span of life been prolonged to this very day? Better,-oh! far better was it for thee and thine that thou didst so early die, for it seemeth that a curse is on that Jofty lineage; and that, with all their genius, accomplishments, and virtues, dishonour comes and goes, a familiar and privileged guest, out and in their house. Shame never veiled the light of those bold eyes, nor tamed the eloquence of those sunny lips, nor ever for a single moment bowed down that young princely head, that, like a fast-growing flower, seemed each successive morning to be visibly rising up towards a stately manhood. But the time was not far distant, when, to thy soul and to all thy senses, life would have undergone a rueful transformation. Thy father, expatriated by the spells of a sorceress, and forced into foreign countries, to associate with vice, worthlessness, profligacy, and crime !-Thy mother, dead of a broken heart! And that lovely sister, who came to the Manse with her jewelled hair-But all these miserable things who could prophesy, at the hour when we and the weeping villagers laid thee, apart from the palace and the burial-vault of thy high-born ancestors, without anthem or organ-peal, among the humble dead? Needless and foolish were all those floods of tears. In thy brief and beautiful course, nothing have we that loved thee to lament or condemn. In few memories, indeed, doth thy image now survive ; for, in twenty years, what young face fadeth not away from eyes busied with the shows of this living world ?—What young voice is not bedumbed to ears for ever filled with its perplexing din? Yet thou, Nature, on this glorious May.day, rejoicing in all the plenitude of thy bliss- call upon thee to bear witness to the intensity of my never-dying grief! Ye fields, that long ago we so often trod together, with the wind-swept shadows hovering about our path-ye streams, whose murmur awoke our imaginations, as we lay reading, or musing together in day-dreams, among the broomy braes -ye woods, where we started at the startled cushat, or paused, without a word, to hear the creature's solitary moans and murmurs deepening the far-off hush, already so profound-ye moors and mosses, black yet beautiful, with your peat-trenches overshadowed with the heatherblossoms that scented the wilderness afar,—where the little maiden, sent from her shieling on errands to town or village in the country below, seemed, as we met her in the sunshine, to rise up before us for our delight, like a fairy from the desert bloom-thou loch, remote in thy treeless solitude, and with nought reflected in thy manyspringed waters but those low pastoral hills of such excessive green, and the white-barred blue of heaven; no creature on its shores but our two selves, keenly angling in the breezes, or lying in the shaded sunshine, with some book of old ballads, or strain of some immortal yet alive on earth-one and all, bear witness to my undying affection, that silently now feeds on grief?

And, oh! what overflowing thoughts did that shout of mine now awaken from the hanging tower of the old castle“ Wilton, Wilton!" The name of the long-ago buried faintly and afar off repeated by an echo!

A pensive shade, methinks, has fallen across MAY-DAY; and while the sun is behind those castellated clouds, my imagination is willing to retire into the saddest places of memory, and gather together stories and tales of tears. And many such there are, annually sprinkled all round the humble huts of our imaginative and religious land, even like the wild flowers that, in endless succession, disappearing and reappearing in their beauty, spring drops down upon every brae. And as ofttimes some one particular tune, some one pathetic but imperfect and fragmentary part of an old melody will nearly touch the heart, when it is dead to the finest and most finished strain ; so now a faint and dim tradition comes upon me, giving birth to uncertain and mysterious thoughts. It is an old tradition. They were called the Holy Family! Far up at the head of yonder glen of old was their dwelling, and in their garden sparkled the translucent well that is the source of the stream that animates the parish with a hundred waterfalls. Father, mother, and daughter -it was hard to say which of the three was thc most beloved! Yet they were not native here, but brought with them, from some distant place, the soft and silvery accents of the pure English tọngue, and manners most gracious in their serene simplicity; while over a life composed of acts of charity was spread a stillness that nothing ever disturbed—the stillness of a thoughtful pity for haman sins and sorrows, yet not unwilling to be moved to smiles by the breath of joy. In those days the heart of Scotland was distracted-persecution scattered her prayers—and during the summer months, families remained shut up in fear within their huts, as if the snowdrifts of winter had blocked up and buried their doors. It was as if the shadow of a thunder-cloud hung over all the land, so that men's hearts quaked as they looked up to heaven-when, lo! all at once, three gracious visitants appeared! Imagination invested their foreheads with a halo; and as they walked on their missions of mercy, exclaimed-How beautiful are their feet! Few words was the child ever heard to speak, except some words of prayer; but her image-like stillness breathed a blessing wherever it smiled, and all the little maidens loved her, when hushed almost into awe by her spiritual beauty, as she knelt with them in their morning and evening orisons. The mother's face, too, it is said, was pale as a face of grief, while her eyes seemed always happy, and a tone of thanksgiving was in her voice. Her husband leant upon her on his way to the gravemfor his eye's excessive brightness glittered with death-and often, as he prayed beside the sick-bed, his cheek became like ashes, for his heart in a moment ceased to beat, and then, as if about to burst in agony, sounded audibly in the silence. Journeying on did they all seem to heaven ; yet as they were passing by, how loving and how full of mercy! To them belonged some blessed power to wave away the sword that would fain have smitten the saints. The dew-drops on the greensward before the cottage-door, they suffered not to be polluted with blood. Guardian angels were they thought to be, and such indeed they were, for what else are the holy powers of innocence,-guardian angels sent to save some of God's servants on earth from the choking tide and the scorching fire. Often, in the clear and starry nights, did the dwellers among all these little dells, and up along all these low hill-sides, hear music flowing down from heaven, responsive to the hymns of the Holy Family Music without the syllabling of words—yet breathing worship, and with the spirit of piety filling all the night-heavens ! One whole day and night passed by, and not a hut had been enlightened by their presence. Perhaps they had gone away without warning, as they had come-having been sent on another mission. With soft steps one maiden, and then another, entered the door, and then was heard the voice of weeping and of loud lament. The three lay, side by side, with their pale faces up to heaven. Dora, for that is the name tradition has handed down-Dorothea, the gift of God, lay between her father and her mother, and all their hands were lovingly and peacefully entwined. No agonies had been there-unknown what hand, human or divine, had closed their eyelids and composed their limbs; but there they lay as if asleep, not to be awakened by the burst of sunshine that dazzled upon their smiling countenances, cheek to cheek in the awful beauty of united death!

The deep religion of that troubled time had sanctified the strangers almost into an angelic character; and when the little kirk-bells were again heard tinkling through the air of peace, (the number of the martyrs being complete,) the beauty with which their living foreheads had been invested, reappeared to the eyes of imagination, as the poets whom Nature kept to herself, walked along the

moonlight hills. The Holy Family," which had been as a household word, appertaining to them while they lived, now when centuries have gone by, is still of a dim but divine meaning; the spirit of the tradition having remained, while its framework has almost fallen into decay.

How beautifully emerges that sun-stricken cottage from the rocks, that all around it are ioating in a blue vapoury light! Were I so disposed, metbinks I could easily write a little book entirely about the obscure people that have lived and died about that farm, by name Logan BRAES ! Neither is it without its old traditions. One May-day long ago-some two or three centuries since that rural festival was there interrupted by a thunder-storm, and the party of youths and maidens, driven from the budding arbours, were all assembled in the ample kitchen. The house seemed to be in the very heart of the thunder; and the master began to read, without declaring it to be a religious service, a chapter of the Bible; but the frequent flashes of lightning so blinded bim, that he was forced to lay down the Book, and all then sat still, without speaking a word; many with pale faces, and none without a mingled sense of awe and fear. The maiden forgot her bashfulness as the rattling peal shook the roof-tree, and hid her face in her lover's bosom; the children crept closer and closer, each to some protecting knee, and the dogs came all into the house, and lay down in dark places. Now and then there was a convulsive, irrepressible, but half-stifled shriek—some sobbed—and a loud hysterical laugh from one overcome with terror sounded ghastlily between the deepest of all dread repose-that which separates one peal from another, when the flash and the roar are as one, and the thick air smells of sulphur. The body feels its perishable and mortal nature, and shrinks as if about to be withered into nothing. Now the muttering thunder seems to have changed its place to some distant cloud-now, as if returning to blast those whom it had spared, waxes louder and fiercer than before —till the great tree that shelters the house is shivered with a noise like the masts of a ship carried away by the board in battle. “Look, father, look—see yonder is an

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VOL. III.

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