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Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant! Heaven repay
On thee, and on thy children's latest line,
The wild caprice of thy despotic sway,

The gory bridal bed, the plundered shrine,
The murdered Surrey's blood, the tears of Geraldine!


Both Scots, and Southern chiefs, prolong
Applauses of Fitztraver's song:
These hated Henry's name as death,
And those still held the ancient faith.-
Then, from his seat, with lofty air,
Rose Harold, bard of brave St. Clair; s
St. Clair, who, feasting high at Home,
Had with that lord to battle come.
Harold was born where restless seas
Howl round the storm-swept Orcades;
Where erst St. Clairs held princely sway
O'er isle and islet, strait and bay ;-
Still nods their palace to its fall,
Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall! t-
Thence oft he marked fierce Pentland rave,
As if grim Odin rode her wave;

And watched, the whilst, with visage pale,
And throbbing heart, the struggling sail;
For all of wonderful and wild

Had rapture for the lonely child.


And much of wild and wonderful,
In these rude isles might Fancy cull;
For thither came, in times afar,
Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war,
The Norsemen, trained to spoil and blood,
Skilled to prepare the raven's food;
Kings of the main their leaders brave,
Their barks the dragons of the wave."

s The St. Clairs are of Norman extraction, being descended from William de St. Clair, second son of Walderne Compte de St. Clair, and Margaret, daughter to Richard, duke of Normandy. He was called, for his fair deportment, the Seemly St. Clair, and settling in Scotland during the reign of Malcolm Ceanmore, obtained large grants of land in Mid-Lothian. These domains were increased by the liberality of succeeding monarchs to the descendants of the family, and comprehended the baronies of Rosline, Pentland, Cowsland, Cardaine, and several others.

* The castle of Kirkwall was built by the St. Clairs, while earls of Orkney. It was dismantled by the earl of Caithness about 1615, having been garrisoned against the government by Robert Stewart, natural son to the earl of Orkney.

u The chiefs of the Vikingr, or Scandinavian pirates, assumed the title of Sakonungr, or Sea-kings. Ships, in the inflated language of the Scalds, are often termed the serpents of the ocean.

And there, in many a stormy vale,
The Scald had told his wondrous tale;
And many a Runic column high
Had witnessed grim idolatry.

And thus had Harold, in his youth,
Learned many a Saga's rhyme uncouth,-
Of that Sea-Snake, tremendous curled,
Whose monstrous circle girds the world;
Of those dread Maids," whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell;
Of chiefs, who, guided through the gloom
By the pale death-lights of the tomb,
Ransacked the graves of warriors old,
Their falchions wrenched from corpses' hold,
Waked the deaf tomb with war's alarms,
And bade the dead arise to arms!
With war and wonder all on flame,
To Roslin's bowers young Harold came,
Where, by sweet glen and green wood tree,
He learned a milder minstrelsy;
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mixed with the softer numbers well.



O listen, listen, ladies gay!

No haughty feat of arms I tell :

Soft is the note, and sad the lay,

That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

-"Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,z

Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.

▾ The Jormungandr, or Snake of the Ocean, whose folds surround the earth, is one of the wildest fictions of the Edda. It was very nearly caught by the god Thor, who went to fish for it with a hook baited with a bull's head. In the battle betwixt the evil demons and the divinities of Odin, which is to precede the Ragnarockr, or Twilight of the Gods, this snake is to act a conspicuous part.

w These were the Valkyriur, or Selectors of the Slain, despatched by Odin from Valhalla, to choose those who were to die, and to distribute the contest. They are well known to the English reader, as Gray's Fatal Sisters.

x The northern warriors were usually entombed with their arms, and their other treasures.

y This was a family name in the house of St. Clair. Henry St. Clair, the second of the line, married Rosabelle, fourth daughter of the earl of Stratherne.

A large and strong castle, now ruinous, situated betwixt Kirkaldy and Dysart, on a steep crag, washed by the Firth of Forth. It was conferred on Sir William St. Clair, as a slight compensation for the


"The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the Water Sprite,
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
"Last night the gifted Seer did view

A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day ?".


'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

""Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide,

If 'tis not filled by Rosabelle."

O'er Roslin all that dreary night

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
'Twas broader than the watch-fire light,

And redder than the bright moon-beam.
It glared on Roslin's castled rock,

It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;
"Twas seen from Dreyden's groves of oak,

And seen from caverned Hawthornden.
Seemed all on fire that chapel a proud,

Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie;
Each Baron, for a sable shroud,

Sheathed in his iron panoply.

Seemed all on fire within, around,

Deep sacristy and altar's pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,

And glimmered all the dead men's mail.
Blazed battlement and pinnet high,

Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair-
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high St. Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold-

But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle !

earldom of Orkney, by a charter of King James III. dated in 1471. It was long a principal residence of the barons of Roslin.

a The beautiful chapel of Roslin is still in tolerable preservation. It was founded in 1446, by William St. Clair, who played a very important part in history.

And each St. Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell..
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.b


So sweet was Harold's piteous lay,

Scarce marked the guests the darkened hall,
Though, long before the sinking day,

A wondrous shade involved them all:
It was not eddying mist or fog,
Drained by the sun from fen or bog;
Of no eclipse had sages told;
And yet, as it came on apace,
Each one could scarce his neighbour's face,

Could scarce his own stretched hand behold.

A secret horror checked the feast,
And chilled the soul of every guest;
Even the high Dame stood half-aghast,
She knew some evil on the blast;
The elvish Page fell to the ground,

And, shuddering, muttered, "Found! found! found!"


Then, sudden, through the darkened air
A flash of lightning came;
So broad, so bright, so red the glare,
The castle seemed on flame;
Glanced every rafter of the hall,
Glanced every shield upon the wall;
Each trophied beam, each sculptured stone,
Were instant seen, and instant gone;
Full through the guests' bedazzled band
Resistless flashed the levin brand,
And filled the hall with smouldering smoke,
As on the elvish Page it broke.

It broke, with thunder long and loud,
Dismayed the brave, appalled the proud,―
From sea to sea the larum rung;
On Berwick wall, and at Carlisle withal,
To arms the startled warders sprung.
When ended was the dreadful roar,
The elvish Dwarf was seen no more!


Some heard a voice in Branksome Hall,
Some saw a sight, not seen by all;
That dreadful voice was heard by some,
Cry, with loud summons, GYLBIN, COME!" d


b There are some trifling changes in the text of this ballad from that of the first edition. c Lightning.

a The summons to the Goblin Page, according to the old story of Gilpin Horner.

And on the spot where burst the brand,
Just where the Page had flung him down,
Some saw an arm, and some a hand,

And some the waving of a gown.
The guests in silence prayed and shook,
And terror dimmed each lofty look:
But none of all the astonished train
Was so dismayed as Deloraine;
His blood did freeze, his brain did burn,
"Twas feared his mind would ne'er return;
For he was speechless, ghastly, wan,
Like him, of whom the story ran,
Who spoke the spectre-hound in Man.e
At length, by fits, he darkly told,
With broken hint, and shuddering cold-
That he had seen, right certainly,
A shape with amice wrapped around,
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea;
And knew-but how it mattered not-
It was the wizard, Michael Scott.


The anxious crowd, with horror pale,
All trembling, heard the wondrous tale:
No sound was made, no word was spoke,
Till noble Angus silence broke;

And he a solemn sacred plight
Did to St. Bryde f of Douglas make,
That he a pilgrimage would take
To Melrose Abbey, for the sake
Of Michael's restless sprite.
Then each, to ease his troubled breast,
To some blessed saint his prayers addressed-
Some to St. Modan made their vows,
Some to St. Mary of the Lowes,
Some to the Holy Rood of Lisle,
Some to Our Lady of the Isle;
Each did his patron witness make,
That he such pilgrimage would take,
And Monks should sing, and bells should toll,

All for the weal of Michael's soul.

While vows were ta'en, and prayers were prayed,
"Tis said the noble Dame, dismayed,
Renounced, for aye, dark magic's aid.

e This refers to a story told of the ancient castle of Peeltown, in the Isle of Man, which is said to have been haunted by an apparition, called in the Mankish language, the "Mauthe Doog."

This was a favourite saint of the house of Douglas, and of the earl of Angus in particular.

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