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1 An exact reprint of these prophecies, from the edition of
3 The uncertainty which long prevailed in Scotland, COD Waldegrave, in 1643, collated with Hart's, of 1615, from the cerning the fate of James IV., is well known. copy in the Abbotsford Library, was completed for the Ban- 4 One of Thomas's rhymes, preserved by tradition, rune natyne Club, under the care of the learned antiquary, Mr. thus:David Laing of Edinburgh. -Ed. 1833.
" The burn of breid
Shall run fow reid." : King Alexander, killed by a fall from his horse, near Bannock-burn is the brook here meant. The Scots give the inghorn
of bannock to a thick round cake of unleavened brend.
BY WALTER SCOTT.
* A French Queen shall bear the son,
ferred to, by the minstrels of Normandy and Bretagne Shall rule all Britain to the sea;
Having arrived at a part of the romance where reHe of the Bruce's blood shall come,
citers were wont to differ in the mode of telling the As near as in the ninth degree.
story, the French bard expressly cites the authority
of the poet of Ercildoune: « The waters worship shall his race;
Plusurs de nos granter ne volent, Likewise the waves of the farthest sea;
Co que del naim dire se solent, For they shall ride over ocean wide,
Ki femme Kaherdin dut aimer,
Li naim redut Tristram narrer,
Enveiad Tristram Guvernal,
En Engleterre pur Ysolt :
Et si volt par raisun mostrer,
Qu'ico ne put pas esteer," &c.
romance in prose, originally compiled on the same THOMAS THE RHYMER was renowned among his subject by Rusticien de Puise, and analyzed by M. de contemporaries, as the author of the celebrated ro- Tressan; but agrees in every essential particular with mance of Sir Tristrem. Of this once-admired poem the metrical performance just quoted, which is a work only one copy is now known to exist, which is in the of much higher antiquity. Advocates' Library. The Editor, in 1804, published The following attempt to commemorate the Rhyma small edition of this curious work ; which, if it does er's poetical fame, and the traditional account of his not revive the reputation of the bard of Ercildoune, marvellous return to Fairy Land, being entirely mois at least the earliest specimen of Scottish poetry dern, would have been placed with greater propriety hitherto published. Some account of this romance has among the class of Modern Ballads, had it it not been already been given to the world in Mr. Ellis's Speci- for its immediate connexion with the first and second mens of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. p. 165, iii. p. 410; a parts of the same story. work to which our predecessors and our posterity are alike obliged; the former, for the preservation of the best-selected examples of their poetical taste; and the latter, for a history of the English language, which will only cease to be interesting with the existence of
THOMAS THE RHYMER. our mother-tongue, and all that genius and learning have recorded in it. It is sufficient here to mention, that so great was the reputation of the romance of Sir
PART THIRD. Tristrem, that few were thought capable of reciting it after the manner of the author-a circumstance al
WHEN seven years more were come and gonn, luded to by Robert de Brunne, the annalist :
Was war through Scotland spread,
And Ruberslaw show'd high Dunyon'
His beacon blazing red.
Then all by bonny Coldingknow,
Pitch'd palliouns took their room,
And crested helms, and spears a-rowe,
Glanced gaily through the broom.
The Leader, rolling to the Tweed, century, penes Mr. Douce of London, containing a Resounds the epsenzie ;3 French metrical romance of Sir Tristrem, that the They roused the deer from Caddenhead, work of our Thomas the Rhymer was known, and re- To distant Torwoodlee.4
| Ruberslaw and Dunyon, are two hills near Jedburgh. The spot is rendered classical by its having given name to
9 An ancient tower near Ercildoune, belonging to a family the beautiful melody called the Broom o' the Cowdenknoros. of the name oi tlome. One of Thomas's prophecies is said to have run thus .
3 Ensenzie-War-cry, or gathering word. “ Vengeance ! vengeance! when and where ?
4 Torwoodlee and Caddenhead are places in Selkirkshire; On the house of Coldingknow, now and ever mair!" both the property of Mr. Pringle of Torwoodlen.
I Quaighs-Wooden cups, composed of staves hooped toge- 1804, as a noble contrast to the ordinary humility of the gether.
nuine ballad diction.-ED,
4 See, in the Fabliaux of Monsieur le Grand, elegantly 2 See Introduction to this ballad.
translated by the late Gregory Way, Esq., the tale of the % This stanza was quoted by the Edinburgh Reviewer, of Knight and the Sword. [Vol. ii. p. 3.1
NOTE A.-P. 572.
dibus meis Magistro domus Sanctæ Trinitatis de Soltre et
fratribus ejusdem domus totam terram meam cum omnibar: From the Chartulary of the Trinity House of Soltra. pertinentibus suis quam in tenemento de Ercildoun heredi. Advocates' Library, W. 4. 14.
tarie tenui renunciando de toto pro me et heredibus men ERSYLTON.
omni jure et clameo quæ ego seu antecessores mei in eadem
terra alioque tempore de perpetuo habuimus sive de futum OMNIBUS has literas visuris vel audituris Thomas de Ercil- habere possumus. In cujus rei testimonio presentibus his doun filius ct heres Thomæ Rymour de Ercildoun salutem in sigillum meum apposui data apud Ercildoun die Martis proxi. Domino. Noveritis me per fustem et baculum in pleno judicio mo post festum Sanctorum Apostolorum Symonis et Jude resignasse ac per presentes quietem clamasse pro me et here- | Anno Domini Millesimo cc. Nonagesimo Nono.
. An ancient seat upon the Tweed, in Selkirkshire. In a pupolar edition of the first part of Thomas the Rhymer, the Fairy Queen thus addresses him :
ye wad meet wi' me again,
Gang to the bonny banks of Faimalie."
NOTE B.-P. 574. The reader is here presented, from an old, and unfortunately an imperfect MS., with the undoubted original of Thomas the Rhymer's intrigue with the Queen of Faëry. It will afford great amusement to those who would study the nature of traditional poetry, and the changes effected by oral tradition, to compare this ancient romance with the foregoing ballad. The same incidents are narrated, even the expression is often the same; yet the poems are as different in appearance, as if the older tale had been regularly and systematically modernized by a poet of the present day.
Incipit Prophesia Thome de Erseldoun.
In a lande as I was lent,
Queen of Heaven as you may well be,
pray ye, Thomas, late me be,