« AnteriorContinuar »
“And thou, when by the blazing oak
I lay, to her and love resigned,
Or sailed ye on the midnight wind ?
Nor old Glengyle's pretended line;
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine.”
And thrice St. Fillan'sh powerful prayer;
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.
His wildest witch-notes on the wind;
As many a magic change they find.
Till to the roof her stature grew;
With one wild yell, away she flew.
The slender hut in fragments flew;
Was waved by wind, or wet by dew.
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise ;
And die amid the northern skies.
As ceased the more than mortal yell;
Upon the hissing firebrands fell.
The fingers strained a half-drawn blade:
Torn from the trunk, a gasping head.
Streamed the proud crest of high Benmore,
h St. Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy fountains, &c. in Scotland. He was, according to Camerarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, in 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 Kilfllan, in Renfrew, and St. Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife.
That arm the broad claymore could wield,
Which dyed the Teith with Saxon gore.
Woe to Glenfinlas' dreary glen!
Shall draw the hunter's shaft agen!
At noon shall shun that sheltering den,
The wayward Ladies of the Glen.
No more shall we in safety dwell;
And we the loud lament must swell.
The pride of Albin's line is o'er,
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!
THE EVE OF ST. JOHN. SMAYLHO'ME, or Smallholm Tower, the scene of the fol. lowing ballad, is situated on the northern boundary of Roxburghshire, among a cluster of wild rocks, called Sandiknow. Crags. 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 gate ; 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.
This ballad was first printed in Mr. Lewis's “Tales of Wonder.” It is here published, with some additional illustrations, particularly an account of the battle of Ancram Moor; which seemed proper in a work upon Border antiquities. The catastrophe of the tale is founded upon a wellknown Irish tradition. This ancient fortress and its vicinity formed the scene of the Editor's infancy, and seemed to claim from him this attempt to celebrate them in a Border tale.
TAE Baron of Smaylho’me rose with day,
He spurred his courser on,
That leads to Brotherstone.
His banner broad to rear;
To lift the Scottish spear.
Full ten pound weight and more.
And his looks were sad and sour;
As he reached his rocky tower.
Ran red with English blood;
'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood.
i The plate-jack is coat armour; the vaunt-brace, or wam-brace, armour for the body; the sperthe, a battle-axe.
i 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 November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody ledger of Lord Evers :Towns, towers, barnekynes, paryshe churches, bastill houses, burned and destroyed
192 Scots slain
403 Prisoners taken
816 Nolt (cattle)
12,492 Nags and geldings
200 Bolls of corn ::
850 Insight gear, &c. (furniture) an incalculable quantity.
MURDIN's State Papers, vol. i. p. 51. For these services Sir Ralph Evers was made a lord of parliament. In 1545 they again entered Scotland, and even exceeded their former cruelty. They penetrated as far as Melrose, but on their return to. wards Jedburgh were followed by Angus, who defeated their army at Ancram Moor, and slew both Evers and Latoun. The spot, on which the battle was fought, is called Lilyard'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.
Yet was his helmet hacked and hewed,
His acton pierced and tore; His axe and his dagger with blood imbrued,
But it was not English gore. He lighted at the Chapellage,
He held him close and still; And he whistled thrice for his little foot-page,
His name was English Will.
Come hither to my knee;
I think thou art true to me.
And look thou tell me true!
What did thy lady do ?” "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 wind blew loud and shrill;
To the eiry Beacon Hill.
Where she sat her on a stone;
It burnèd all alone.
Till to the fire she came,
Stood by the lonely flame.
Did speak to my lady there;
And I heard not what they were.
And the mountain blast was still,
On the lonesome Beacon Hill. “And I heard her name the midnight hour,
And name this holy eve; 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."
I dare not come to thee;
In thy bower I may not be.'
Thou shouldst not say me nay;
Is worth the whole summer's day.
shall not sound,
I conjure thee, my love, to be there!'
beneath my foot,
And my footstep he would know.'
For to Dryburgh' the way he has ta’en;
For the soul of a knight that is slayne.'
Then he laughed right scornfully-
May as well say mass for me.
And no more did I see.”-
From the dark to the blood-red high;
For, by Mary, he shall die!”
His plume it was scarlet and blue;
And his crest was a branch of the yew." k The black rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and cf superior sanctity.
I Dryburgh Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the Tweed. After its dissolution, it became the property of the Halliburtons of Newmains, and is now the seat of the right honourable the earl of Buchan. It belonged to the order of Premonstratenses.