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The riot rout then sallied out,
Like hounds upon their prey ; And gathered round her in the aisle
With many a hellish bray.
Each angry shade endeavours made
Their fangs in blood to stain, But all their efforts to be felt
Were impotent and vain
Whether the wretched mortal there
His filial hands imbrued, Or if the ruler of the sky
The scene with pity view'd
And sent the streaming bolt of heaven,
Ordained to interpose,
From these infernal foes,
No man can tell, how it befell;
Inquiry all was vain; But thence she never more returned,
She there that night was slain.
And Willie Wilkin's noble steed
Lay stiff upon the green.
Before had never been !
Loud thunders shook the vault of heaven,
The bolts with fury flew;
Whole flocks and herds it slew.
They gather'd up her mangled limbs,
And laid beneath a stone ;
From every hand were gone.
Her brains were dash'd against the wall,
Her blood upon the floor;
Hung on the chapel door.
To Auchincastle Wilkin hicd,
On Evan braes so green;
For aught that could be seen.
But gloomy, gloomy was his look ;
And froward was his way; And malice every action rul'd
Until his dying day.
And many a mermaid staid his call,
And many a mettled fay;
His summons to obey.
And many a wondrous work he wronght,
And many things foretold;
By either young or old.
NOTES TO WILLIE WILKIN.
He hied him to yon ancient fane
P. 83, v. 2. The name of this ancient fane is Dumgree. It is beautifully situated on the west side of the Kinnel, one of the rivers which joins the Annan from the west, and is now in ruins. It is still frequented by a few peaceable spirits at certain seasons. As an instance : Not many years ago, a neighbouring farmer, riding home at night upon a mare, who, besides knowing the road well enough, had her foal closed in at home, thought himself hard at his own house, but was surprised to find that his mare was stopped at the door of the old kirk of Dumgree. He mounted again, and essayed it a second and a third time; but always, when he thought hiniself
at home, he found himself at the door of the old church of Dumgree, and farther from home than when he first set out. He was now sensible that the beast was led by some invisible hand, so alighting, he went into the chapel and said his prayers; after which, he mounted, and rode as straight home as if it had be 'n noon.
To Auchincastle Wilkin hied
P. 90, v.4.
Auchincastle is situated on the west side of the Evan, another of the tributary streams of the Annan. It seems to have been a place of great strength and antiquity; is surrounded by a moat and a fosse, and is, perhaps, surpassed by none in Scotland for magnitude.
And lived and died like other men,
P. 90, v. 4.
If he lived and died like other men, it appears that he was not at all buried like other men. When on his death-bed, he charged his sons, as they valued their peace and prosperity, to sing no requiem, nor say any burial-service over his body; but to put a strong withie to each end of his coffin, by which they were to carry him away to Dumgree, and see that all the
attendants were well mounted. On the top of a certain eminence they were to set down the corpse and rest a few minutes, and if nothing interfered they might proceed. If they fulfilled these, he promised them the greatest happiness and prosperity for four genorations; but, if they neglected them in one point, the utmost misery and wretchedness. The lads performed every thing according to their father's directions; and they had scarcely well set down the corpse on the place he mentioned, when they were alarmed by the most horrible bellowing of bulls; and instantly two dreadful brindered ones appeared, roaring, and snuffing, and tossing up the earth with their horns and hoofs; on which the whole company turned and fled. When the bulls reached the coffin, they put each of them one of their horns into their respective withies, and ran off with the corpse, stretching their course straight to the westward. The relatives, and such as were well mounted, pursued them, and kept nigh them for several milos; but when they came to the small water Brann, in Nithsdale, the buils went straight through the air from the one hill head to the other, without descending to the bottom of the glen. This unexpected maneuvre threw the pursuers quite behind, though they need not have expected any thing else, having before observed, that their feet left no traces on the ground, though ever so soft. However, by dint of whip and spur, they again got sight of them; but when they came to Loch Ettrick, on the heights of Closeburn, they had all lost sight of them but two, who wcre far behind: but the bulls there meeting with another company, plunged into the lake with the corpse, and were never more seen at that time. Ever