Imágenes de página

"And thou! when by the blazing oak
I lay, to her and love resign'd,
Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke,
Or sail'd ye on the midnight wind?
"Not thine a race of mortal blood,

Nor old Glengyle's pretended line; Thy dame, the lady of the flood,

Thy sire, the monarch of the mine."
He mutter'd thrice St. Oran's rhyme,

And thrice St. Fillan's powerful prayer;5
Then turned him to the eastern clime,
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.
And, bending o'er his harp, he flung

His wildest witch-notes on the wind;
And loud, and high, and strange, they rung,
As many a magic change they find.
Tall waxed the spirit's altering form,

Till to the roof her stature grew;
Then, mingling with the rising storm,
With one wild yell, away she flew.
Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear:
The slender hut in fragments flew;
But not a lock of Moy's loose hair

Was waved by wind, or wet by dew. Wild mingling with the howling gale,

Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise; High o'er the minstrel's head they sail, And die amid the northern skies.

The voice of thunder shook the wood,

As ceased the more than mortal yell; And, spattering foul, a shower of blood Upon the hissing firebrands fell.

Next, dropped from high a mangled arm;

The fingers strained a half-drawn blade;
And last, the life-blood streaming warm,

Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.
Oft o'er that head, in battling field,
Streamed the proud crest of high Benmore;
That arm the broad claymore could wield,
Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.
Wo to Moneira's sullen rills!

Wo to Glenfinlas' dreary glen!
There never son of Albyn's hills

Shall draw the hunter's shaft agen!
E'en the tired pilgrim's burning feet

At noon shall shun that sheltering den,
Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet
The wayward ladies of the glen.
And we-behind the chieftain's shield,

No more shall we in safety dwell;
None leads the people to the field-
And we the loud lament must swell.
O hone a rie'! O hone a rie'!

The pride of Albyn's line is o'er,
And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree;
We ne'er shall see lord Ronald more!

perstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and in Wales.

3. The seer's prophetic spirit found, &e.-P. 400. I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr. Johnson's definition, who calls it "an impression, either by the mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived and seen as if they were present." To which I would only add, that the speetral appearances, thus presented, usually presage misfortune; that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess it; and that they usually acquire it, while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.

5. And thrice St. Fillan's powerful prayer.-P. 402. St. Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy fountains, &c. in Scotland. He was, according to Camerarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, ia Fife, from which situation he retired, and died a hermit in the wilds of Glenurchy, A. D. 649. While engaged in transcribing the Scriptures, his left hand was observed to send forth such a splendour, as to afford light to that with which he wrote; a miracle which saved many candles to the convent, as St. Fillan used to spend whole nights in that exercise. The 9th of January was dedicated to this saint, who gave his name to Kilfillan, in Renfrew, and St. Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7, tells us, that Robert the Bruce was possessed of Fillan's miraculous and luminous arm, which he inclosed in a silver shrine, and had it carried at the head of his army. Previous to the battle of Bannockburn, the king's chaplain, a man of little faith, abstracted the relic, and deposited it in some place of security, lest it should fall into the hands of the English. But, lo! while Robert was addressing his prayers to the empty casket, it was observed to open and shut suddenly; and, on inspection, the saint was found to have himself deposited his arm in the shrine, as an assurance of victory. Such is the tale of Lesley. But though Bruce little needed that the arm of St. Fillan should assist his own, he dedicated to him, in gratitude, a priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay.


1. Well can the Saxon widows tell.-P. 400.

The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the highlanders to their low-country neighbours.

2. How blazed lord Ronald's beltane tree.-P. 400.

In the Scots Magazine for July, 1802 (a national periodical publication, which has lately revived with considerable energy,) there is a copy of a very curious crown-grant, dated 11th July, 1487, by which James III confirms to Malice Doire, an inhabitant of Strathfillan, in Perthshire, the peaceable exercise and enjoyment of a relic of St. FilTree. It is a festival celebrated with various su-lan, called the Quegrich, which he, and his pre

The fires lighted by the highlanders on the first of May, in compliance with a custom derived from the pagan times, are termed, the Beltane

4. Will good St. Oran's rule prevail.-P. 401. St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was buried in lcolmkill. His pretensions to be a saint were rather dubious. According to the legend, he consented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed, when Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost despatch. The chapel, however, and the cemetery, was called Reilig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.

decessors, are said to have possessed since the days of Robert Bruce. As the quegrich was used to cure diseases, this document is, probably, the most ancient patent ever granted for a quack medicine. The ingenious correspondent, by whom it is furnished, further observes, that additional particulars concerning St. Fillan are to be found in Bullenden's Boece, book 4, folio ccxiii, and in Pennant's Tour in Scotland, 1772, pp. 11, 15.


SMAYLHO'ME, or Smallholm Tower, the scene of the following ballad, is situated on the northern boundary of Roxburghshire, among a cluster of wild rocks, called Sandiknow Crags, the property. of Hugh Scott, Esq., of Harden. The tower is a high square building, surrounded by an outer wall,

now ruinous. The circuit of the outer court, being defended, on three sides, by a precipice and morass, is accessible only from the west, by a steep and rocky path. The apartments, as is usual in a border-keep, or fortress, are placed one above another, and communicate by a narrow stair; on the roof are two bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron grate; the distance between them being nine feet, the thickness, namely, of the wall. From the elevated situation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many miles in every direction. Among the crags by which it is surrounded, one, more eminent, is called The Watchfold; and is said to have been the station of a beacon, in the times of war with England. Without the tower-court is a ruined chapel. Brotherstone is a heath, in the neighbourhood of Smaylho'me Tower.

[blocks in formation]

This ancient fortress and its vicinity formed the scene of the author's infancy, and seemed to claim" from him this attempt to celebrate them in a border tale. The catastrophe of the tale is founded upon a well-known Irish tradition.

At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel sperthe,
Full ten pound weight and more.

The baron returned in three days' space,
And his looks were sad and sour;

And weary was his courser's pace,

As he reached his rocky tower.

He came not from where Ancram Moor!
Ran red with English blood;

Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch,
'Gainst keen lord Evers stood.

Yet was his helmet hacked and hewed,

His acton pierced and tore;

His axe and his dagger with blood embrued,
But it was not English gore.

And he whistled thrice for his little foot-page,
His name was English Will.
"Come thou hither, my little foot-page;
Come hither to my knee;
Though thou art young, and tender of age,

I think thou art true to me.
"Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,
And look thou tell me true!
Since I from Smaylho'me tower have been,
What did thy lady do?"

He lighted at the Chapellage,
He held him close and still;

"My lady, each night, sought the lonely light,
That burns on the wild Watchfold;
For, from height to height, the beacons bright
Of the English foemen told.

The bittern clamoured from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill;


the craggy pathway she did cross, To the eiry beacon hill.

"I watched her steps, and silent came
Where she sat her on a stone;
No watchman stood by the dreary flame;
It burned all alone.


The second night I kept her in sight,
Till to the fire she came,
And, by Mary's might! an armed knight
Stood by the lonely flame.


And many a word that warlike lord
Did speak to my lady there;
But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast,
And I heard not what they were.
"The third night there the sky was fair,
And the mountain blast was still,
As again I watched the secret pair,
On the lonesome beacon hill.

And I heard her name the midnight hour,
And name this holy eve;


The plate-jack is coat-armour; the vaunt-brace, or wambrace, armour for the body; the sperthe, a battle-axe.

And say, Come this night to thy lady's bower:
Ask no bold baron's leave.

"He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch; His lady is all alone,

The door she'll undo to her knight so true,
On the eve of good St. John.'

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


For, by Mary, he shall die!"


His plume it was scarlet and blue;

On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound,
And his crest was a branch of the yew."

"Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,

Loud dost thou lie to me!

For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,
All under the Eildon tree."*

It was near the ringing of matin bell,
The night was well nigh done,

"His arms shone full bright in the beacon's red When a heavy sleep on that baron fell,
On the eve of good St. John.

[blocks in formation]

do sing,

For sir Richard of Coldinghame!"


And he mounted the narrow stair,

To the bartizan seat, where, with maids that on

her wait,

He found his lady fair.

That lady sat in mournful mood;
Looked over hill and dale;

Over Tweed's fair flood, and Mertoun'st wood,
And all down Teviotdale.

"Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!" "Now hail, thou baron true!

"The Ancram Moor is red with gore,
For many a southron fell;

And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore,

To watch our beacons well."

What news, what news, from Ancram fight?
What news from the bold Buccleuch?"

The lady blushed red, but nothing she said:
Nor added the baron a word:

of the Haliburtons of Newmains, and is now the seat of the right honourable the earl of Buchan. It belonged to the order of Premonstratenses.

Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conieal summits, immediately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon tree is said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies.

+Mertoun is the beautiful seat of Hugh Scott, esq. of Harden

Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,

And so did her moody lord.

In sleep the lady mourned, and the baron tossed and turned,

And oft to himself he said,

"The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave is deep

It cannot give up the dead!"

He passed the court gate, and he op'd the tower "Who spilleth life shall forfeit life;

So bid thy lord believe:

That lawless love is guilt above,
This awful sign receive."

The lady looked through the chamber fair,
By the light of a dying flame;

And she was aware of a knight stood there,
Sir Richard of Coldinghame!
"Alas! away, away!" she cried,

"For the holy Virgin's sake!"
"Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side;
But, lady, he will not awake.

"By Eildon tree, for long nights three,
In bloody grave have I lain;

The mass and the death prayer are said for me,
But, lady, they are said in vain.

"By the baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,
Most foully slain I fell;

And my restless sprite on the beacon's height,
For a space is doomed to dwell.

"At our trysting-place, for a certain space,
I must wander to and fro;

But I had not had power to come to thy bower,
Hadst thou not conjured me so."

Love mastered fear; her brow she crossed;
"How, Richard, hast thou sped?

And art thou saved, or art thou lost?"
The Vision shook his head!

He laid his left palm on an oaken beam;
His right upon her hand:

The lady shrunk, and, fainting, sunk,
For it scorched like a fiery brand.
The sable score of fingers four,

Remains on that board impressed;
And for evermore that lady wore

A covering on her wrist.

There is a nun in Dryburgh bower,2
Ne'er looks upon the sun:
There is a monk in Melrose tower,
He speaketh word to none.

That nun, who ne'er beholds the day,

That monk, who speaks to none,
That nun was Smaylho'me's lady gay,
That monk the bold baron.

* Trysting-place, a place of rendezvous,

appeared to the English to be the main body of
the Scots, in the act of flight. Under this persua-
sion, Evers and Latoun hurried precipitately for-
ward, and, having ascended the hill, which their
foes had abandoned, were no less dismayed than
astonished, to find the phalanx of Scottish spear-
men drawn up, in firm array, upon the flat ground
below. The Scots in their turn became the as-
sailants. A heron, roused from the marshes by the
tumult, soared away betwixt the encountering ar-
mies: "O!" exclaimed Angus, "that I had here
my white goss hawk, that we might all yoke at
once!"-Godscroft. The English, breathless and
fatigued, having the setting sun and wind full in
their faces, were unable to withstand the resolute
and desperate charge of the Scottish lances. No
sooner had they begun to waver, than their own
allies, the assured borderers, who had been wait-
ing the event, threw aside their red crosses, and,
joining their countrymen, made a most merciless
slaughter among the English fugitives, the pur-
suers calling upon each other to "remember
Broomhouse!"-Lesley, p. 478. In the battle fell
lord Evers, and his son, together with sir Brian
Latoun, and 800 Englishmen, many of whom were
persons of rank. A thousand prisoners were taken.
Among these was a patriotic alderman of London,
Read by name, who, having contumaciously re-
fused to pay his portion of a benevolence, demand-
ed from the city by Henry VIII, was sent by royal
authority to serve against the Scots. These, at
settling his ransom, he found still more exorbitant
in their exactions than the monarch.-Redpath's

Bolls of corn. . . .
Insight gear, &c. (furniture) an incalcula-
ble quantity.

Murdin's State Papers, vol. i, p. 51. The king of England had promised to these two barons a feudal grant of the country, which they had thus reduced to a desert; upon hearing which, Archibald Douglas, the seventh earl of Angus, is said to have sworn to write the deed of investiture upon their skins, with sharp pens and bloody ink, in resentment for their having defaced the tombs of his ancestors, at Melrose.-Godscroft. In 1545, lord Evers and Latoun again entered Scotland with an army, consisting of 3000 mercenaries, 1500 English borderers, and 700 assured Scottish-Border History, p. 553. Evers was much regretmen, chiefly Armstrongs, Turnbulls, and other ted by king Henry, who swore to avenge his death broken clans. In this second incursion, the En- upon Angus; against whom he conceived himself glish generals even exceeded their former cruelty. to have particular grounds of resentment, on acEvers burned the tower of Broomhouse, with its count of favours received by the earl at his hands. Lady (a noble and aged woman, says Lesley,) and The answer of Angus was worthy of a Douglas. "Is our brother-in-law offended," said he, "that her whole family. The English penetrated as far I, as a good Scotsman, have avenged my ravaged as Melrose, which they had destroyed last year, and which they now again pillaged. As they re- country, and the defaced tombs of my ancestors, turned towards Jedburg, they were followed by upon Ralph Evers? They were better men than Angus, at the head of 1000 horse, who was shortly he, and I was bound to do no less-and will he after joined by the famous Norman Lesley, with take my life for that? Little knows king Henry a body of Fife-men. The English, being probably the skirts of Kirnetable:+ I can keep myself there unwilling to cross the Teviot while the Scots hung against all his English host."-Godscroft. upon their rear, halted upon Ancram moor, above the village of that name; and the Scottish general was deliberating whether to advance or retire, when sir Walter Scott* of Buccleuch came up, at full speed, with a small but chosen body of his retainers, the rest of whom were near at hand. By the advice of this experienced warrior (to whose conduct Pitscottie and Buchanan ascribe the success of the engagement,) Angus withdrew from the height which he occupied, and drew up his forces behind it, upon a piece of low flat ground, called Panier-heugh, or Peniel-heugh. The spare horses, being sent to an eminence in their rear,

Such was the noted battle of Ancram Moor. The spot on which it was fought is called Lyliard's Edge, from an Amazonian Scottish woman of that name, who is reported, by tradition, to have distinguished herself in the same manner as squire Witherington. The old people point out her monument, now broken and defaced. The inscription is said to have been legible within this century, and to have run thus:

Little was her but was her

Fair maiden Lylliard lies under this stane,
Upon the English louns she laid mony thumps,
And when her legs were cutted off, she fought upon her
Vide Account of the Parish of Melrose.



1. BATTLE OF ANCRAM MOOR.-P. 403. Lord Evers, and sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1544, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers, compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the king of England. Upon the 17th of November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody leger of lord Evers:

Towns, towers, barnekynes, pa-
ryshe churches, bastill houses,
burned and destroyed....

Scots slain......

Prisoners taken...

Nolt (cattle).

Nags and geldings..


192 403






The editor has found no instance upon record of this It appears, from a passage in Stowe, that an anfamily having taken assurance with England. Hence they usually suffered dreadfully from the English forays. cestor of lord Evers held also a grant of Scottish In August, 1544 (the year preceding the battle,) the whole lands from an English monarch. "I have seen," lands belonging to Buccleuch, in West Teviotdale, were says the historian, "under the broad seale of the harried by Evers; the out-works, or barnkin, of the tower said king Edward I, a manor called Ketnes, in of Branxholm, burned; eight Scots slain, thirty made prisoners, and an immense prey of horses, eattle, and the countie of Ferfare, in Scotland, and neere the sheep, carried off. The lands upon Kale Water, belong-furthest part of the same nation northward, given ing to the same chieftain, were also plundered, and much spoil obtained; thirty Scots slain, and the Moss Tower (a fortress near Eckford) smoked very sore. Thus Buccleuch had a long account to settle at Ancram Moor.-Murdin's State Papers, pp. 45, 46.

Angus had married the widow of James IV, sister king Henry VIII. +Kirnetable, now called Cairntable, is a mountainous tract at the head of Douglasdale.

[ocr errors]

to John Eure and his heirs, ancestor to the lord Eure that now is, and for his service done in these partes, with market, &c. dated at Lanercost, the 20th day of October, anno regis, 34."-Stowe's Annals, p. 210. This grant, like that of Henry, must have been dangerous to the receiver.

tle, until their ferocity occasioned their being ex-
tirpated, about forty years ago. Their appearance
was beautiful, being milk white, with black muz-
The bulls are described
zles, horns, and hoofs.
by ancient authors, as having white manes; but
those of latter days had lost that peculiarity, per-
haps by intermixture with the tame breed.**
in detailing the death of the regent Murray,

2. There is a nun in Dryburgh bower.- P. 404. The circumstance of the nun, "who never saw the day," is not entirely imaginary. About fifty which is made the subject of the following ballad, years ago, an unfortunate female wanderer took it would be injustice to my reader to use other up her residence in a dark vault, among the ruins words than those of Dr. Robertson, whose account of Dryburgh-abbey, which, during the day, she of that memorable event forms a beautiful piece of never quitted. When night fell, she issued from historical painting. "Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh was the person this miserable habitation, and went to the house of Mr. Haliburton, of Newmains, the editor's who committed this barbarous action. He had great-grandfather, or to that of Mr. Erskine, of been condemned to death soon after the battle of Shielfield, two gentlemen of the neighbourhood. Langside, as we have already related, and owed From their charity she obtained such necessaries his life to the regent's clemency. But part of his as she could be prevailed upon to accept. At estate had been bestowed upon one of the regent's twelve, each night, she lighted her candle, and favourites, † who siezed his house, and turned out returned to her vault; assuring her friendly neigh- his wife, naked, in a cold night, into the open bours that, during her absence, her habitation was fields, where, before next morning, she became arranged by a spirit, to whom she gave the un-furiously mad. This injury made a deeper imcouth name of Fatlips; describing him as a little pression on him than the benefit he had received, man, wearing heavy iron shoes, with which he and from that moment he vowed to be revenged of trampled the clay floor of the vault, to dispel the the regent. Party rage strengthened and inflamed damps. This circumstance caused her to be re- his private resentment. His kinsmen, the HamilThe maxims of garded, by the well-informed, with compassion, as tons, applauded the enterprise. deranged in her understanding; and by the vulgar, that age justified the most desperate course he The cause of her could take to obtain vengeance. He followed the with some degree of terror. adopting this extraordinary mode of life she would regent for some time, and watched for an oppornever explain. It was, however, believed to have tunity to strike the blow. He resolved, at last, to been occasioned by a vow, that, during the absence wait till his enemy should arrive at Linlithgow, of a man, to whom she was attached, she would through which he was to pass, in his way from never look upon the sun. Her lover never re- Stirling to Edinburgh. He took his stand in a turned. He fell during the civil war of 1745-6, wooden gallery, which had a window towards the and she never more would behold the light of day. street; spread a feather-bed on the floor, to hinder The vault, or rather dungeon, in which this un- the noise of his feet from being heard; hung up a fortunate woman lived and died, passes still by black cloth behind him, that his shadow might not the name of the supernatural being, with which be observed from without; and, after all this preits gloom was tenanted by her disturbed imagina-paration, calmly expected the regent's approach, tion, and few of the neighbouring peasants dare who had lodged, during the night, in a house not far distant. Some indistinct information of the enter it by night. danger which threatened him had been conveyed to the regent, and he paid so much regard to it, that he resolved to return by the same gate through which he had entered, and to fetch a compass round the town. But, as the crowd about the gate was great, and he himself unacquainted with fear, he proceeded directly along the street; and the throng of people obliging him to move very slowly, gave the assassin time to take so true an aim, that he shot him, with a single bullet, through the lower part of his belly, and killed the horse of a gentleman, who rode on his other side. His followers instantly endeavoured to break into the house whence the blow had come; but they found the door strongly barricaded, and, before it could be forced open, Hamilton had mounted a fleet horse,§ which stood ready for him at a back-passage, and




THE ruins of Cadyow, or Cadzow castle, the ancient baronial residence of the family of Hamilton, are situated upon the precipitous banks of the river Evan, about two miles above its junction with the Clyde. It was dismantled in the conclusion of the civil wars, during the reign of the unfortunate Mary, to whose cause the house of Hamilton devoted themselves with a generous zeal, which occasioned their temporary obscurity, and, very nearly, their total ruin. The situation of the ruins, embosomed in wood, darkened by ivy and creeping shrubs, and overhanging the brawling torrent, is romantic in the highest degree. In the immediate vicinity of Cadyow is a grove of immense oaks, the remains of the Caledonian forest, which anciently extended through the south of Scotland, from the Eastern to the Atlantic Ocean. Some of these trees measure twenty-five feet, and upwards, in circumference, and the state of decay, in which they now appear, shows, that they may have wit-of St. Andrews, a natural brother of the duke of Chatelnessed the rites of the druids. The whole scenery herault, and uncle to Bothwellhaugh. This, among many other circumstances, seems to evince the aid which Both is included in the magnificent and extensive park wellhaugh received from his clan in effecting his purpose. of the duke of Hamilton. There was long preserv- The gift of lord John Hamilton, commendator of Ar

They were formerly kept in the park at Drumlanrig and are still to be seen at Chillingham castle in Northum berland. For their nature and ferocity, see Notes.

This was sir James Ballenden, lord-justice-elerk whose shameful and inhuman rapacity occasioned the catastrophe in the text.-Spottiswoode.

This projecting gallery is still shown. The house to which it was attached was the property of the archbishop

d in this forest the breed of the Scottish wild cat-broath.

« AnteriorContinuar »