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is unblest feet his native seat,
The heavy knell, the choir's faint swell, 'Mid Eske's fair woods, regain;
Came slowly down the wind, hro' woods more fair no stream more And on the pilgrim's ear they fell, sweet
As his wonted path he did find. Rolls to the eastern main.
Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was, nd lords to meet the pilgrim came, Nor ever raised his eye, And vassals bent the knee;
Until he came to that dreary place, or all 'mid Scotland's chiefs of fame, Which did all in ruins lie. Was none more famed than he.
He gazed on the walls, so scathed with nd boldly for his country, still,
fire, In battle he had stood,
With many a bitter groan y, even when on the banks of Till And there was aware of a Gray Friar, Her noblest pour'd their blood.
Resting him on a stone. weet are the paths, O passing sweet! “Now, Christ thee save !" said the By Eske's fair streams that run,
Gray Brother; 'er airy steep, through copsewood “Some pilgrim thou seemest to be." deep,
But in sore amaze did Lord Albert gaze, Impervious to the sun.
Nor answer again made he. 'here the rapt poet's step may rove,
“O come ye from east, or come ye from And yield the muse the day ;
west, 'here Beauty, led by timid Love,
Or bring reliques from over the sea ; May shun the tell-tale ray ;
Or come ye from the shrine of St. James
the divine, rom that fair dome, where suit is paid, Or St. John of Beverley?”. By blast of bugle free, o Auchendinny's hazel glade,
“I come not from the shrine of St. And haunted Woodhouselee.
James the divine,
Nor bring reliques from over the sea ; Who knows not Melville's beechy grove, | I bring but a curse from our father, the And Roslin's rocky glen,
Pope, Dalkeith, which all the virtues love, Which for ever will cling to me.”— And classic Hawthornden ?
“Now, woful pilgrim, say not so ! V'et never a path, from day to day,
But kneel thee down to me, The pilgrim's footsteps range,
And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly Save but the solitary way
sin, To Burndale's ruin'd grange.
That absolved thou mayst be.”— A woful place was that, I ween,
“And who art thou, thou Gray Brother, As sorrow could desire;
That I should shrive to thee, For nodding to the fall was each crum When He, to whom are given the keys bling wall,
of earth and heaven, And the roof was scathed with fire. ! Has no power to pardon me ?”— It fell upon a summer's eve,
“O) I am sent from a distant clime, While, on Carnethy's head,
Five thousand miles away, The last faint gleams of the sun's low And all to absolve a foul, foul crime, beams
Done here 'twixt night and day.” Had streak’d the grey with red; The pilgrim kneel'd him on the sand, And the convent bell did vespers tell,
And thus began his sayeNewbattle's oaks among,
When on his neck an ice-cold hand And mingled with the solemn knell
Did that Gray Brother laye. Our Ladye's evening song :
[1799.] The following fragment of a ballad written at Bothwell Castle, in the autumn of 1799, was first printed in the Life of Sir Walter Scott, vol. ii. p. 28. WHEN fruitfulClydesdale's apple-bowers | And thou of deeds of other days Are mellowing in the noon;
Another tale wilt hear.When sighs round Pembroke's ruin'd towers
Then all beneath the spreading beech, The sultry breath of June;
Flung careless on the lea,
The Gothic muse the tale shall teach
Of Bothwell's sisters three.
Wight Wallace stood on Deckmont The angler guides his fly;
head, If chance by Bothwell's lovely braes
He blew his bugle round, A wanderer thou hast been,
Till the wild bull in Cadyow wood Or hid thee from the summer's blaze
Has started at the sound. In Blantyre's bowers of green,
St. George's cross, o'er Bothwell hung, Full where the copsewood opens wild Was waving far and wide, Thy pilgrim step hath staid,
And from the lofty turret flung
And rising at the bugle blast
That marked the Scottish foe,
Old England's yeomen muster'd fast, Of Bothwell's banks that bloom'd so
And bent the Norman bow. dear, And Bothwell's bonny Jean.
Tall in the midst Sir Aylmer rose, O, if with rugged minstrel lays
Proud Pembroke's Earl was heUnsated be thy ear,
While ”- . . . . . . .
THE SHEPHERD'S TALE.
[1799.] “ Another imperfect ballad, in which he had meant to blend together two legends familiar to every reader of Scottish history and romance, has been found, in the same portfolio, and the handwriting proves it to be of the same early date." -LOCKHART, vol. ii. p. 30.
| And frequent from the Whitelaw ridge 1 And ne'er but once, my son, he says,
The death-shot flash'd between.
The moonbeams through the misty When the land was left by God.
shower From Bewlie bog, with slaughter red, On yon dark cavern fell; A wanderer hither drew,
Through the cloudy night the snow And oft he stopt and turn'd his head,
gleam'd white, As by fits the night wind blew ;
Which sunbeam ne'er could quell. For trampling round by Cheviot edge
“Yon cavern dark is rough and rude, Were heard the troopers keen,
And cold its jaws of snow;
But more rough and rude are the men
of blood, That hunt my life below! ** Yon spell-bound den, as the aged tell,
Was hewn by demon's hands; But I had lourd * melle with the fiends
of hell, Than with Clavers and his band.” He heard the deep-mouth'd bloodhound
bark, He heard the horses neigh, He plunged him in the cavern dark,
And downward sped his way. Now faintly down the winding path
Came the cry of the faulting hound, And the mutter'd oath of baulked wrath
Was lost in hollow sound.
And held his breath for fear;
As the sounds died on his ear. “O bare thine arm, thou battling Lord,
For Scotland's wandering band; Dash from the oppressor's grasp the
sword, And sweep him from the land ! “Forget not thou thy people's groans
From dark Dunnotter's tower, Mix'd with the seafowl's shrilly moans,
And ocean's bursting roar! “O, in fell Clavers' hour of pride,
Even in his mightiest day, As bold he strides through conquest's
tide, O stretch him on the clay ! “His widow and his little ones,
O may their tower of trust Remove its strong foundation stones,
And crush them in the dust !” “Sweet prayers to me,” a voice replied,
“Thrice welcome, guest of mine!” And glimmering on the cavern side,
A light was seen to shine.
* Lourd: i.e. liefer-rather.
By powerful charm, a dead man's arm
The torch's light supplied.
Arose a ghastly flame,
Which through the cavern came.
That flamed the cavern o’er, But more deadly blue was the ghastly hue
Of his eyes who the taper bore. He laid on his head a hand like lead,
As heavy, pale, and cold“ Vengeance bethine, thou guest of mine,
If thy heart be firm and bold. “But if faint thy heart, and caitiff fear
Thy recreant sinews know, The mountain erne thy heart shall tear,
Thy nerves the hooded crow.” The wanderer raised him undismay'd :
“My soul, by dangers steel'd, Is stubborn as my border blade,
Which never knew to yield. “And if thy power can speed the hour
Of vengeance on my foes,
To feed the hooded crows.
And his colour fled with speed“I fear me,” quoth he,“uneath it will be
To match thy word and deed. “In ancient days when English bands
Sore ravaged Scotland fair, The sword and shield of Scottish land
Was valiant Halbert Kerr. “A warlock loved the warrior well,
Sir Michael Scott by name, And he sought for his sake a spell to
make, Should the Southern foemen tame. “Look thou,' he said, “from Cessford
head, As the July sun sinks low, And when glimmering white on Cheviot's
The spell is complete which shall bring
to thy feet The haughty Saxon foe.' ' “For many a year wrought the wizard
here, In Cheviot's bosom low, Till the spell was complete, and in July's
heat Appear'd December's snow; But Cessford's Halbert never came
The wondrous cause to know. “For years before in Bowden aisle
The warrior's bones had lain, And after short while, by female guile,
Sir Michael Scott was slain. “But me and my brethren in this cell
His mighty charms retain, And he that can quell the powerful spell
Shall o'er broad Scotland reign.” He led him through an iron door
And up a winding stair, And in wild amaze did the wanderer gaze
On the sight which open’d there. Through the gloomy night flash'd ruddy
light, A thousand torches glow; The cave rose high, like the vaulted sky,
O'er stalls in double row.
Stood a steed in barbing bright;
the head, Lay stretch'd a stalwart knight. In each mail'd hand was a naked brand;
As they lay on the black bull's hide, Each visage stern did upwards turn,
With eyeballs fix'd and wide. A launcegay strong, full twelve ells long,
By every warrior hung;
A Jedwood axe was slung.
The plumes waved mournfully
Through the hall of gramarye. The ruddy beam of the torches' gleam
That glared the warriors on,
Reflected light from armour bright,
In noontide splendour shone.
Still lengthening on the sight,'
And moved nor limb nor tongue; Each steed stood stiff as an earthfast clifit,
Nor hoof nor bridle rung.
The deadly still divide,
On an iron column boine,
Appear'd a sword and hom.
“Thy venturous fortune try;
In yon brand and bugle lie.”
But his soul did quiver and quail ;
heart, And left him wan and pale. The brand he forsook, and the horn be
That the Cheviot rock'd around
The awful bugle rung;
To arms the warders sprung.
The steeds did stamp and neigh;.
Sterte up with hoop and cry.
Why drew ye not the knightly sword
Before ye blew the horn?”
And on the bloody ground,
The mangled wretch was found.
Among the glidders grey,
And slow dissolving from the hill
Feed sparkling Bowmont's tide.
She seeks Till's sullen bed,
Around their monarch bled.
Heaves high her waves of foam,
Earth s mountain billows come.
(1799.1 Go sit old Cheviot's crest below, And pensive mark the lingering snow
In all his scaurs abide,
. : THE REIVER'S WEDDING.
[1802.] In “The Reiver's Wedding,” the Poet had evidently designed to blend together two traditional stories concerning his own forefathers, the Scots of Harden, which are detailed in the first chapters of his Life. The biographer adds :-“I know not for what reason, Lochwood, the ancient fortress of the Johnstones in Annandale, has been substituted for the real locality of his ancestor's drumhead Wedding Contract.”—Life, vol. ii. p. 94. O WILL ye hear a mirthful bourd ? Full many a chief of meikle pride Or will ye hear of courtesie?
That Border bugle bore-
He blew a note baith sharp and hie,
Till rock and water rang around“Ca' out the kye,” quo' the village herd,
out the kye, quo' the village herd, Three score of moss-troopers and three As he stood on the knowe,
Have mounted at that bugle sound. “Ca' this ane's nine and that ane's ten, And bauld Lord William's cow.”— | The Michaelmas moon had enter'd then,
And ere she wan the full, “Ah! by my sooth,” quoth William then,
Ye might see by her light in Harden glen “And stands it that way now,
A bow o'kye and a bassen'd bull. When knave and churl have nine and ten,
That the Lord has but his cow? And loud and loud in Harden tower “I swear by the light of the Michaelmas
The quaigh gaed round wi' meikleglee;
For the English beef was brought in bower moon, And the might of Mary high,
And the English ale flow'd merrilie. And by the edge of my braidsword brown,
And mony a guest from Teviotside They shall soon say Harden's kye.”
And Yarrow's Braes was there ; He took a bugle frae his side,
Was never a lord in Scotland wide With names carved o'er and o'er- - That made more dainty fare.