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LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
Call it not vain :—they do not err,
that when the Poet dies, Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
And celebrates his obsequies :
Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn
But that the stream, the wood, the gale,
groans the lonely caverns fill,
Scarcely the hot assault was stayed,
from Branksome's towers, The advancing march of martial powers.
Thick clouds of dust afar appear'd,
Vails not to tell each hardy clan,
From the fair Middle Marches came; The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,
Announcing Douglas, dreaded name ! 2 Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn, Where the Seven Spears of Wedderburne *
[ Orig. Spear-heads above the columns dun.”—ED.] 2 The chief of this potent race of heroes, about the date of the poem, was Archibald Douglas, seventh Earl of Angus, a man of great courage and activity. The Bloody Heart was the well-known cognizance of the house of Douglas, assumed from the time of good Lord James, to whose care Robert Bruce committed his heart, to be carried to the Holy Land. 8 [In the first edition we read
« Vails not to tell what hundreds more
From the rich Merse and Lammermore," &c. The lines on Wedderburne and Swinton were inserted in the second edition.-ED.)
4 Sir David Home of Wedderburne, who was slain in the fatal battle of Flodden, left seven sons by his wife, Isabel, daughter of Hoppringle of Galashiels, (now Pringle, of Whitebank.) They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.