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tibles, which he had caused to be piled against the house, and reduced to a pile of glowing ashes the dwelling, with all its inmates.

The scene with which the ballad opens, was suggested by a curious passage in the life of Alexander Peden, one of the wandering and persecuted teachers of the sect of Cameronians, during the reign of Charles II. and that of his successor James II.

THE Pope he was saying the high, high mass,

All on Saint Peter's day,
With the power to him given, by the saints in heaven,

To wash men's sins away.
The Pope he was saying the blessèd mass,

And the people kneeled around,
And from each man's soul his sins did pass,

As he kissed the holy ground.
And all among the crowded throng,

Was still, both limb and tongue,
While through vaulted roof, and aisles aloof,

The holy accents rung.
At the holiest word, he quivered for fear,

And faltered in the sound-
And, when he would the chalice rear,

He dropped it on the ground.
“ The breath of one, of evil deed,

Pollutes our sacred day;
He has no portion in our creed,

No part in what I say.
A being, whom no blessèd word

To ghostly peace can bring;
A wretch, at whose approach abborred,

Recoils each holy thing.
“Up, up, unhappy! haste, arise !

My adjuration fear !
I charge thee not to stop my voice,

Nor longer tarry here!”
Amid them all a Pilgrim kneeled,

In gown of sackcloth grey :
Far journeying

from his native field,
He first saw Rome that day.
For forty days and nights so drear,

I ween, he had not spoke,
And, save with bread and water clear,

His fast he ne'er had broke.
Amid the penitential flock,

Seemed none more bent pray;

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But, when the Holy Father spoke,

He rose, and went his way.
Again unto his native land,

His weary course he drew,
To Lothian's fair and fertile strand,

And Pentland's mountains blue.
His unblessed feet his native seat,

'Mid Eske's fair woods, regain;
Through woods more fair no stream more sweet

Rolls to the eastern main.
And lords to meet the Pilgrim came,

And vassals bent the knee;
For all ʼmid Scotland's chiefs of fame,

Was none more famed than he.
And boldly for his country, still,

In battle he had stood,
Aye, e'en when, on the banks of Till,

Her noblest poured their blood.
Sweet are the paths, O, passing sweet !

By Eske's fair streams that run,
O’er airy steep, through copsewood deep,

Impervious to the sup.
There the rapt poet's step may rove,

And yield the muse the day;
There Beauty, led by timid Love,

May shun the tell-tale ray;
From that fair dome, where suit is paid

By blast of bugle free,
To Auchendinny'sa hazel glade,

And haunted Woodhouselee.
Who knows not Melville’sb beechy grove,

And Roslin's rocky glen, 2 The barony of Pennycuik is held by a singular tenure; the proprietor being bound to sit upon a large rocky fragment, called the Buckstane, and wind three blasts of a horn, when the king shall come to hunt on the Borough Muir, near Edinburgh. Hence the family have adopted as their crest a demi-forester proper, winding a horn, with the motto, Free for a Blast. The beautiful mansion-house of Pennycuik is much admired, both on account of the architecture and surrounding scenery.

a Auchendinny, situated upon the Eske, below Pennycuik, sometime the residence of the ingenious H. Mackenzie, esq., author of the “ Man of Feeling," &c.

b Melville Castle is delightfully situated upon the Eske, near Lass. wade. It gave the title of viscount to Lord Melville.

c The ruins of Roslin Castle, the baronial residence of the ancient family of St. Clair, the Gothic chapel, which is still in beautiful preservation, with the romantic and woody dell in which they are situated, belong to the right honourable the earl of Rosslyn, the representative of the former lords of Roslin.

1

Dalkeith, which all the virtues love,

And classic Hawthorndene
Yet never a path, from day to day,

The Pilgrim's footsteps range,
Save but the solitary way,

To Burndale's ruined Grange.
A woeful place was that, I ween,

As sorrow could desire;
For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall,

And the roof was scathed with fire.
It fell upon a summer's eve,

While on Carnethy's head,
The last faint gleams of the sun's low beams

Had streaked the grey with red;
And the convent bell did vespers tell,

Newbottle's oaks among,
And mingled with the solemn knell

Our Ladye's evening song:
The heavy knell, the choir's faint swell,

Came slowly down the wind,
And on the Pilgrim's ear they fell

As his wonted path he did find.
Deep sunk in thought, I ween he was,

Nor ever raised his eye,
Until he came to that dreary place,

Which did all in ruins lie.
He gazed on the walls, so scathed with fire,

With many a bitter groan-
And there was aware of a Grey Friar,

Resting him on a stone.
"Now, Christ thee save !" said the Grey Brother ;

Some pilgrim thou seem'st to be;"
But in sore amaze did Lord Albert gaze,

Nor answer again made he.
O come ye from east, or come ye from west,

Or bring relics from over the sea ;
The village and castle of Dalkeith belonged, of old, to the famous
earl of Morton, but is now the residence of the noble family of Buc.
cleuch. The park extends along the Eske, which is there joined by
its sister stream of the same name.

e Hawthornden, the residence of the poet Drummond. Here Drum. mond received Ben Jonson, who journeyed from London on foot in order to visit him. The beauty of this striking scene has been much injured of late years, by the indiscriminate use of the axe. Upon the whole, tracing the Eske from its source till it joins the sea at Musselburgh, no stream in Scotland can boast such a varied succession of the most interesting objects, as well as of the most romantic and beautiful scenery.

Or come ye from the shrine of Saint James the divine,

Or Saint John of Beverley ?”
I come not from the shrine of Saint James the divine,

Nor bring relics from over the sea;
I bring but a curse from our father, the Pope,

Which for ever will cling to me.'
“Now, woeful pilgrim, say not so!

But kneel thee down by me,
And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly sin,

That absolvèd thou mayst be.”
“And who art thou, thou Grey Brother,

That I should shrive to thee,
When he, to whom are given the keys of earth and

heaven,
Has no power to pardon me ?”
“O I am sent from a distant clime,

Five thousand miles away,
And all to absolve a foul, foul crime,

Done here 'twixt night and day.”
The pilgrim kneeled him on the sand,

And thus began his saye-
When on his neck an ice-cold hand

Did that Grey Brother laye.

C

a

THOMAS THE RHYMER.

IN THREE PARTS.

FEW personages are so renowned in tradition as Thomas of Ercildoune, known by the appellation of The Rhymer. Uniting, or supposing to unite, in his person, the powers of poetical composition and of vaticination, his memory, even after the lapse of five hundred years, is regarded with veneration by his countrymen. To give anything like a certain history of this remarkable man would be indeed difficult; but the curious may derive some satisfaction from the particulars here brought together.

It is agreed on all hands, that the residence, and probably the birthplace, of this ancient bard, was Ercildoune, a village situated upon the Leader, two miles above its junction with the Tweed. The ruins of an ancient tower are still pointed out as the Rhymer's castle. The uniform tradition bears, that his surname was Lermont, or Learmont; and that the appellation of The Rhymer was conferred upon him in consequence of his poetical compositions. There remains, nevertheless, some doubt upon the subject. ·

We are better able to ascertain the period at which Thomas of Ercildoune lived, being the latter end of the thirteentb century. I am inclined to place his death a little farther back than Mr. Pinkerton, who supposes that he was alive in 1300 (List of Scottish Poets). It cannot be doubted, that Thomas of Ercildoune was a remarkable and important person in his own time, since, very shortly after his death, we find him celebrated as a prophet and as a poet. Whether he bimself made any pretensions to the first of these characters, or whether it was gratuitously conferred upon him by the credulity of posterity, it seems difficult to decide. If we may believe Mackenzie, Learmont only versified the prophecies delivered by Eliza, an inspired nun of a convent at Haddington. But of this there seems not to be most distant proof. On the contrary, all ancient authors, who quote the Rhymer's prophecies, uniformly suppose them to have been emitted by himself.

The popular tale bears, that Thomas was carried off, at an early age, to the Fairy Land, where he acquired all the knowledge, which made him afterwards so famous. After seven years' residence, he was permitted to return to the earth, to enlighten and astonish his countrymen by his prophetic powers; still, however, remaining bound to return to his royal mistress, when she should intimate her pleasure. Ac. cordingly, while Thomas was making merry with his friends in the Tower of Ercildoune, a person came running in, and told, with marks of fear and astonishment, that a hart and hind had left the neighbouring forest, and were, composedly and slowly, parading the street of the village. The prophet instantly arose, left his habitation, and followed the wonderful animals to the forest, whence he was never seen to return. According to the popular belief, he still “drees his weird” in Fairy Land, and is one day expected to revisit earth. In the meanwhile, his memory is held in the most profound respect. The Eildon Tree, from beneath the shade of which he delivered his prophecies, now no longer exists; but the spot is marked by a large stone, called the Eildon Tree Stone. A neighbouring rivulet takes the name of the Bogle Burn (Goblin Brook) from the Rhymer's supernatural visitants.

It seemed to the Editor unpardonable to dismiss a person so important in Border tradicion as the Rhymer, without some farther notice than a simple commentary upon the following ballad. It is given from a copy, obtained from a lady residing not far from Ercildoune, corrected and enlarged by one in Mrs. Brown's MSS. The former copy, however, as might be expected, is far more minute as to local description. To this old tale the Editor has ventured to add a Second Part, consisting of a kind of cento, from the printed prophecies vulgarly ascribed to the Rhymer; and a Third Part, entirely modern, founded upon the tradition of his having

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