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Was Edward Mansell once ;-the lightest heart,
But he, whose humours spurn law's awful yoke,
Wild howled the wind the forest glades along, And oft the owl renewed her dismal song ; Around the spot where erst he felt the wound, Red William's spectre walked his midnight round. When o'er the swamp he cast his blighting look, From the green marshes of the stagnant brook The bittern's sullen shout the sedges shook ! The waning moon, with storm-presaging gleam, Now gave and now withheld her doubtful beam ; The old Oak stooped his arms, then fiung them high, Bellowing and groaning to the troubled sky'Twas then, that, couched amid the brushwood sere, In Malwood-walk young Mansell watched the deer: The fattest buck received his deadly shotThe watchful keeper heard, and sought the spot. Stout were their hearts, and stubborn was their strife, O’erpowered at length the outlaw drew his knife ! Next morn a corpse was found upon the fellThe rest his wakiug agony may tell !
Published in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1809. Ou, say not, my love, with that mortified air,
That your spring-time of pleasure is flown, Nor bid me to maids that are younger repair,
For those raptures that still are thine own.
Though April his temples may wreath with the vine,
Its tendrils in infancy curled,
Whose life-blood enlivens the world.
Though thy form, that was fashioned as light as a fay's,
Has assumed a proportion more round,
Looks soberly now on the ground, -
Thy steps still with ecstasy move;
For me the kind language of love. The rest was illegible, the fragment being torn across by a racket-stroke.
DESIGNED FOR A MONUMENT TO BE ERECTED IN LICHFIELD CATHE
DRAL, AGREEABLY TO THE BEQUEST OF THE LATE MISS ANNA SEWARD, TO DESIGNATE THE BURIAL-PLACE OF HER FATHER, THE REV. THOMAS SEWARD, A CANON OF THAT CATHEDRAL, IN WHICH SHE IS HERSELF INTERRED.
Published in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1809.
Amid these aisles, where once his precepts showed
Still wouldst thou know why o'er the marble spread,
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
The fcast was over in Branksome tower.-P. 6. In the reign of James I. Sir William Scott of Buccleuch, chief of the clan bearing that name, exchanged with Sir Thomas Inglis of Manor, the estate of Murdiestone, in Lanarkshire, for one-half of the barony of Branksome, or Branxholm, lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Hawick.
Nine-and-twenty knights of fame.-P. 6. The ancient barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendour and from their frontier situation, retained in their household at Branksome a number of gentlemen of their own name, who held lands from their chief, for the military service of watching and warding his castle.
And with Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow.-P.7. The Jedwood axe was a sort of partizan used by horsemen, as appears from the arms of Jedburgh, which bear a cavalier mounted and armed with this weapon. It is also called a Jedwood or Jeddart staff,
How Lord Walter fell.-P. 7. Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch succeeded to his grandfather, Sir David, in 1492. He was a brave and powerful baron, and warden of the west marches of Scotland. His death was the conscqucuce of feud betwixt the Scotts and Kerrs.
In mutual pilgrimage, they drew.-P. 7. Among other expedients resorted to for stanching the feud betwixt tho Scotts and the Kerrs, there was a bond executed, in 1529, between the heads of each clan, binding themselves to perform reciprocally the four principal pilgrimages of Scotland, for the benefit of the souls of those of the opposite name who had fallen in the quarrel.
While Cessford owns the rule of Car.-P. 8. The family of Ker, Kerr, or Car, was very powerful » the Border. Cessford Castle, the ancient baronial residence of tou family, is situated near the village of More battle, within two or three miles of the Cheviot Hills.
Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed.-P. 8. The Cranstouns, Lord Cranstoun, are an ancieut Bordor family, wliose chief seat was at Crailing, in Teviotuale.
Of Bethune's line of Picardie.-P. 8. The Bethunes were of French origin, and derived their name from a small town in Artois. The family of Bethune, or Beatoun, in Fife, produced three learned and dignified prelates, namely, Cardinal Beaton, and two successive archbishops of Glasgow.
In Padua, far beyond the sea.-P. 8. Padua was long supposed by the Scottish peasants to be the principal school of necromancy.
His form no darkening shadow traced.-P. 8. The shadow of a necromancer is independent of the sun.
The viewless forms of air.-P. 9. The Scotch still, in many places, believe in the existence of an intermediate class of spirits residing in the air, or in the waters, to whose agency they ascribe floods, storms, and all such phenomena as their own philosophy cannot readily explain.
A fancied moss-trooper, the boy.-P. 10. This was the usual appellation of the marauders upon the Borders.
Exalt the Crescent and the Star.-P. 11. The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a cheveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three mullets sable; crest, a unicorn's head erased proper. The Scotts of Buccleuch bore, Or on a bend azure; a star of six points betwixt two crescents of the first.
She called to her, William of Deloraine.-P. 11. The lands of Deloraine are joined to those of Buccleuch in Ettricke Forest. They were immemorially possessed by the Buccleuch family, although no charter was obtained from the crown until 1545.
Had baffled Percy's best bloodhounds.-P. 11. The kings and heroes of Scotland, as well as the Border-riders, were sometimes obliged to study how to evade the pursuit of blood hounds. Barbour informs us, that Robert Bruce was repeatedly tracked by sleuth-dogs. On one occasion he escaped by wading a bow-shot down a brook, and ascending into a tree by a branch which overhung the water; thus, leaving no trace on land of his footsteps, he baffled the scent. A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood upon the track, which destroyed the discriminating tineness of his scent. A captive was sometimes sacrificed on such occasions.
Dimly he viewed the Moat-hill's mound.-P. 12. This is a round artificial mount near Hawick, which was probably anciently used as a place for assembling a national council of the adjacent tribes.
Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.-P. 12. The estate of Hazeldean belonged formerly to a family of Scotts.
On Minto crags the moon-beams glint.-P. 13. A romantic assemblage of cliffs, which rise suddenly above the vale of Teviot, in the immediate vicinity of the family-seat, from which Lord Minto takes his title.
To ancient Riddel's fair dornain.-P. 13. Tradition carries the antiquity of the family of Riddel to a point extremely remote; and is, in some degree, sanctioned by the discovery of two stone coffins, one containing an earthen pot filled with ashes and arms, bearing a legible date, A.D. 727; the other dated 936, and filled with the bones of a man of gigantic size. These coffins were cliscovered in the foundations of what was, but has long ceased to be, the chapel of Riddell.
As glanced his eye o'er Halidon.-P. 13. Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now demo lished.
Old Melrose rose, and fair Tweed ran.-P. 14. The ancient and beautiful monastery of Melrose was founded by King David I. in 1136. Its ruins afford the finest specimen of Gothic architecture and Gothic sculpture which Scotland can boast. This superb convent was dedicated to St. Mary, and the monks were of the Cistertian order.
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die.-P. 15. The buttresses, ranged along the sides of Melrose Abbey, are riehly carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls bearing appropriate texts of Scripture.
Then vier St. David's ruined pile.-P. 15. David I. of Scotland purchased the reputation of sanctity, by founding, and liberally endowing, not only the monastery of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others.
Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose.-P. 15. The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the abbey of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II., Robert Scott, baron of Murdieston and Rankelburn (now Buccleuch), gave to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettricke Forest, pro salute aniinæ suæ.
And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.-P. 16. The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulture.
O gallant chief of Otterburne.-P. 17. The desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 15th August 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called Hotspur, and James, Earl of Douglas. Both these renowned champions were at the head of a chosen body of troops. Percy was made prisoner, and the Scots won the day, dearly purchased by the death of their gallant general, the Earl of Douglas, who was slain in the action. He was buried at Melrose, beneath the high altar.
And thine, dark Knight of Liddesdale.-P. 17. William Douglas, called the Knight of Liddesdale, flourished during the reign of David II.; and was so distinguished by his valour, that he was called the Flower of Chivalry. Nevertheless, he tarnished his renown by the cruel murder of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, originally his friend and brother in arms, because the king bad conferred upon Ramsay the sheriffdom of Teviotdale, to which Douglas pretended some claim.
The moon on the east oriel shone.-P. 17. It is impossible to conceive a more beautiful specimen of the lightnegs and elegance of Gothic architecture, when in its purity, thau the eastern window of Melrose Abbey.
They satc them down on a marble stone.-P. 17. A large marble stone, in the chancel of Melrose, is pointed out as the monument of Alexander II. ; others say it is the resting place of Waldeve, one of the oarly abbots.
To meet the wonderous Michael Scott.-P. 17. Sir Michael Scott of Balwearie flourished during the 13th cen. tury. By a poetical anachronism, he is here placed in a later era. He was a man of much learning. He appears to have been addicted to the abstruse studies of judicial astrology, alchymy, physiognomy, and chiromancy. Hence he passed among his contemporaries for a skilful magician.