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Nor long was his abiding there,
Hail'd him with joy and fear;
Looks down upon the Wear;
But none may know the place,
Who share that wondrous grace.
Who may his miracles declare !
(Although with them they led
Before his standard fled.
Every one has heard, that when David I., with his son Henry, in vaded Northumberland in 1136, the English host marched against them under the holy banner of St. Cuthbert ; to the efficacy of which was imputed the great victory which they obtained in the bloody battle of Northallerton, or Cutonmoor. The conquerors were at least as much indebted to the jealousy and intractability of the different tribes who composed David's army; among whom, as mentioned in the text, were the Galwegians, the Britons of Strath
'Twas he, to vindicate his reign,
But fain Saint Hilda's nuns would learn
Clyde, the men of Teviotdale and Lothian, with many Norman and German warriors, who asserted the cause of the Empress Maud. See Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i., p. 622 ; a most laborious, curious, and interesting publication, from which considerable defects of style and manner ought not to turn aside the Scottish antiquary.
· Cuthbert, we have seen, had no great reason to spare the Danes, when opportunity offered. Accordingly, I find, in Simeon of Durham, that the Saint appeared in a vision to Alfred, when lurking in the marshes of Glastonbury, and promised him assistance and victory over his heathen enemies ; a consolation, which, as was reasonable, Alfred, after the victory of Ashendown, rewarded by a royal offering at the shrine of the Saint. As to William the Conqueror, the terror spread before his army, when he marched to punish the revolt of the Northumbrians, in 1096, had forced the monks to fly once more to Holy Island with the body of the Saint. It was, however, replaced before William left the north ; and, to balance accounts, the Conqueror having intimated an indiscreet curiosity to view the Saint's body, he was, while in the act of commanding the shrine to be opened, seized with heat and sickness, accompanied with such a panic terror, that, notwithstanding there was a sumptuous dinner prepared for him, he fled without eating a morsel (which the monkish historian seems to have thought no small part both of the miracle and the penance), and never drew his bridle till he got to the river Tees.
? Although we do not learn that Cuthbert was, during his life, such an artificer as Dunstan, his brother in sanctity, yet, since his death, he has acquired the reputation of forging those Entrochi which are found among
Such tales had Whitby's fishers told,
And hear his anvil sound ;
And night were closing round.
While round the fire such legends go,
Than the worst dungeon cell :
In penitence to dwell,
the rocks of Holy Island, and pass there by the name of St. Cuthbert's beads. While at this task, he is supposed to sit during the night upon a certain rock, and use another as bis anvil. This story was perhaps credited in former days; at least the Saint's legend contains some not more probable.
i Ceolwulf, or Colwulf, King of Northumberland, flourished in the eighth century. He was a man of some learning; for the venerable Bede dedicates to him his " Ecclesiastical History." He abdicated the throne about 738, and retired to Holy Island, where he died in the odour of sanctity. Saint as Colwulf was, however, I fear the foundation of the penance-vault does not correspond with his character; for it is recorded among his memorabilia, that, finding the air of the island raw and cold, he indulged the monks, whose rule had hitherto confined them to milk or water, with the comfortable privilege of using wine or ale. If any rigid antiquary insists on this objection, he is welcome to suppose the penance-vault was intended, by the founder, for the more genial purposes of a cellar.
These penitential vaults were the Geissel-gewölbe of German convents.
When he, for cowl and beads, laid down
Of feeling, hearing, sight,
Excluding air and light,
As reach'd the upper air,
Bemoan'd their torments there.
But though, in the monastic pile,
Some vague tradition go,
To that dread vault to go.
In the earlier and more rigid times of monastic discipline, they were sometimes used as a cemetery for the lay benefactors of the convent, whose unsanctified corpses were then seldom permitted to pollute the choir. They also served as places of meeting for the chapter, when measures of uncommon severity were to be adopted. But their most frequent use, as implied by the name, was as places for performing penances, or undergoing punishment.