Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Steeds snort; uncoupled stag-hounds bay,

And merry hunters quit the bower.
The drawbridge falls—they hurry out-

Clatters each plank and swinging chain,
As, dashing o'er, the jovial rout

Urge the shy steed, and slack the rein.
First of his troop, the chiefo rode on ;

His shouting merry-men throng behind;
The steed of princely Hamilton

Was fleeter than the mountain wind.
From the thick copse the roebucks bound,

The startling red-deer scuds the plain,
For the boarse bugle's warrior sound

Has roused their mountain haunts again.
Through the huge oaks of Evandale,

Whose limbs a thousand years have worn,
What sullen roar comes down the gale,

And drowns the hunter's pealing horn?
Mightiest of all the beasts of chace,

That roam in woody Caledon,
Crashing the forest in his race,

The Mountain Bull comes thundering on.
Fierce, on the hunters' quivered band,

He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow,
Spurns, with black hoof and horn, the sand,

And tosses high his mane of snow.
Aimed well, the chieftain's lance has flown;

Struggling in blood the savage lies;
His roar is sunk in hollow groan-

Sound, merry huntsmen! sound the pryse ! P
"Tis noon-against the knotted oak

The hunters rest the idle spear;
Curls through the trees the slender smoke,

Where yeomen dight the woodland cheer.
Proudly the chieftain marked his clan,

On greenwood lap all careless thrown,
Yet missed his eye the boldest man

That bore the name of Hamilton.
“Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place,

Still wont our weal and woe to share ?
Why comes he not our sport to grace ?

Why shares he not our hunter's fare?" • The head of the family of Hamilton, at this period, was James, earl of Arran, duke of Chatelherault, in France, and first peer of the Scottish realm. In 1569, he was appointed by Queen Mary her lieu. tenant-general in Scotland, under the singular title of her adopted father.

p The note blown at the death of the game.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Stern Claud replied, 9 with darkening face,

(Grey Pasley's baughty lord was he)
At merry feast, or buxom chase,

No more the warrior shalt thou see.
“Few suns have set, since Woodhouseleer

Saw Bothwellhaugh's bright goblets foam,
When to his hearths, in social glee,

The war-worn soldier turned him home.
There, wan from her maternal throes,

His Margaret, beautiful and mild,
Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,

And peaceful nursed her new-born child.
“y change accursed ! past are those days;

False Murray's ruthless spoilers came,
And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,

Ascends destruction's volumed flame.
What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
Where mountain Eske through woodland flows,
Her arms enfold a shadowy child-

Oh, is it she, the pallid rose ?
“The wildered traveller sees her glide,

And hears her feeble voice with awe-
Revenge,' she cries, ‘on Murray's pride!

And woe for injured Both wellhaugh !""
He ceased-and cries of rage and grief

Burst mingling from the kindred band,
And half arose the kindling chief,

And half unsheathed his Arran brand. 9 Lord Claud Hamilton, second son of the duke of Chatelherault, and commendator of the abbey of Paisley, acted a distinguished part during the troubles of Queen Mary's reign, and remained unalterably attached to the cause of that unfortunate princess. He led the van of her army at the fatal battle of Langside, and was one of the commanders at the Raid of Stirling, which had so nearly given complete success to the queen's faction. He was ancestor of the present marquis of Abercorn.

T This barony, stretching along the banks of the Eske, near Auchen. dinny, belonged to Bothwellhaugli, in right of his wife. The ruins of the mansion, from whence she was expelled in the brutal manner which occasioned her deaih, are still to be seen in a hollow glen beside the river. Popular report tenants them with the restless ghost of the Lady Bothwellhaugh; whom, however, it confounds with Lady Anne Bothwell, whose Lument is so popular. This spectre is so tenacious of her rights that, a part of the stones of the ancient edifice having been employed in building or repairing the present Woodhouselee, she has deemed it a part of her privilege to haunt that house also; and, even of very late years, has excited considerable disturbance and terror among the domestics. This is a more remarkable vindication of the rights of ghosts, as the present Woodhouselee, which gives bis title to the Honourable Alexander Fraser Tytler, a senator of the College of Justice, is situated on the slope of the Pentland hills, distant at least four miles from her proper abode. She always appeas in white, and with her child in her arms.

But who, o'er bush, o'er stream, and rock,

Rides headlong, with resistless speed,
Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke

Drives to the leap his jaded steed;
Whose cheek is pale, whose eyeballs glare,

As one, some visioned sight that saw,
Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair?

'Tis he! 'tis he ! 'tis Bothwellhaugh!
From gory selle,s and reeling steed,

Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound,
And, reeking from the recent deed,

He dashed his carbine on the ground.
Sternly he spoke—“'Tis sweet to hear

In good green-wood the bugle blown,
But sweeter to Revenge's ear,

To drink a tyrant's dying groan.
“Your slaughtered quarry proudly trod,

At dawning morn, o'er daie and down,
But prouder base-born Murray rode

Through old Linlithgow's crowded town.
“From the wild Border's humbled side,

In haughty triumph, marched he,
While Knox relaxed his bigot pride,

And smiled, the traitorous pomp to see.
“But can stern Power, with all his vaunt,

Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare,
The settled heart of Vengeance daunt,

Or change the purpose of Despair ?
“With hackbut bent, my secret stand

Dark as the purposed deed, I chose,
And marked, where, mingling in his band,

Trooped Scottish pikes and English bows.
“Dark Morton, girt with many a spear,

Murder's foul minion, led the van;
And clashed their broadswords in the rear,

The wild Macfarlanes'' plaided clan.

& Saddle. A word used by Spenser, and other old authors.

I. e. Gun cocked. The carbine with which the regent was shot is preserved at Hamilton Palace. It is a brass piece, of a middling length, very small in the bore, and what is rather extraordinary, appears to have been rifled or indented in the barrel. It had a matchlock, for which a modern firelock has been injudiciously substituted.

u Of this noted person it is enough to say, that he was active in the murder of David Rizzio, and at least privy to that of Darnley.

v This clan of Lennox Highlanders were attached to the regent Murray.

“Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh,

Obsequious at their Regent's rein,
And haggard Lindsay's iron eye,

That saw fair Mary weep in vain.
“ 'Mid pennoned spears, a steely grove,

Proud Murray's plumage floated high ;
Scarce could his trampling charger move,

So close the minions crowded nigh.y
“ From the raised visor's shade, his eye,

Dark rolling, glanced the ranks along,
And his steel truncheon, waved on high,

Seemed marshalling the iron throng.
“But yet his saddened brow confessed

A passing shade of doubt and awe;
Some fiend was whispering in his breast,

‘Beware of injured Bothwellhaugh!'
“ The death-shot parts—the charger springs

Wild rises tumult's startling roar ! -
And Murray's plumy helmet rings-

Rings on the ground, to rise no more.
“What joy the raptured youth can feel,

To hear her love the loved one tell,
Or he, who broaches on his steel

The wolf, by whom his infant fell !
“But dearer to my injured eye,

To see in dust proud Murray roll;
And mine was ten times trebled joy

To hear him groan his felon soul.
“My Margaret's spectre glided near;

With pride her bleeding victim saw;
And shrieked in his death-deafened ear,

Remember injured Bothwellhaugh!' w The earl of Glencairn was a steady adherent of the regent. George Douglas of Parkhead was a natural brother of the earl of Morton, whose horse was killed by the same ball by which Murray fell.

Lord Lindsay, of the Byres, was the most ferocious and brutal of the regent's faction, and, as such, was employed to extort Mary's signature to the deed of resignation presented to her in Lochleren Castle. He discharged his commission with the most savage rigour; and it is even said, that when the weeping captive, in the act of sign. ing, averted her eyes from the fatal deed, he pinched her arm with the grasp of his iron glove.

y Not only had the regent notice of the intended attempt upon his life, but even of the very house from which it was threatened. With that infatuation at which men wonder after such events have happened, he deemed it would be a sufficient precaution to ride briskly past the dangerous spot. But even this was prevented by the crowd: so that Bothwellhaugh had time to take a deliberate aim.-Spottiswoode, p.

Buchunun.

233.

“Then speed thee, noble Chatlerault!

Spread to the wind thy bannered tree!
Each warrior bend his Clydesdale bow !-

Murray is fallen, and Scotland free.”
Vaults every warrior to his steed;

Loud bugles join their wild acclaim-
Murray is fallen, and Scotland freed !

Couch, Arran! couch thy spear of flame!”
But, see ! minstrel vision fails-

The glimmering spears are seen no more;
The shouts of war die on the gales,

Or sink in Evan's lonely roar.
For the loud bugle, pealing high,

The blackbird whistles down the vale,
And sunk in ivied ruins lie

The bannered towers of Evandale.
For chiefs, intent on bloody deed,

And Vengeance, shouting o'er the slain,
Lo! high-born Beauty rules the steed,

Or graceful guides the silken rein.
And long may Peace and Pleasure own

The maids, who list the minstrel's tale;
Nor e'er a ruder guest be known

On the fair banks of Evandale !

THE GREY BROTHER.

A FRAGMENT.

The tradition, upon which the tale is founded, regards a house upon the barony of Gilmerton, near Lasswade, in MidLothian. This building, now called Gilmerton Grange, was formerly named Burndale, from the following tragic adven. ture:- The barony of Gilmerton belonged, of yore, to a gentleman named Heron, who had one beautiful daughter. This young lady was seduced by the abbot of Newbottle, a richly-endowed abbey, upon the banks of the South Eske, now a seat of the marquis of Lothian. Heron came to the knowledge of this circumstance, and learned, also, that the lovers carried on their guilty intercourse by the contrivance of the lady's nurse, who lived at this house of Gilmerton Grange, or Burndale. He formed a resolution of bloody vengeance, undeterred by the supposed sanctity of the clerical character, or by the stronger claims of natural affection. Choosing, therefore, a dark and windy night, when the objects of his vengeance were engaged in a stolen interview, he set fire to a stack of dried thorns and other combus

« AnteriorContinuar »