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Like thunder, its voice o'er the wide welkin rair,
Its tears on the centinels fall. The full moon is up, Britain looks o'er the waves,
And seems thus the soldiers to tell“ Here made are your dead-clothes, your coffins and
graves, And how can you cry, 'All is well ?'
ELCINE DE AGGART.
Lang was she kent on Carrick shore,
These stanzas are founded on a tradition still well remem
bered in Ayrshire. When the Spaniards, in the year 1588, attempted to invade England, the ships whic escaped the vigilance of Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake were overtaken by a violent hurricane; and, as is well known, were wrecked among the rocks of the Hebrides, or on the western shores of Scotland. When some of them appeared first in the Clyde, it is reported that Elcine de Aggart, an old lady, who was honoured in Carrick with the title of Witch, and who, it would appear, made no scruple in turning her skill in the black art to the advantage of her country in the hour of danger, seated herself upon a promontory, holding a ball of blue
yarn in one of her hands, which may truly be called the Thread of Fate; as, by a mysterious application of it, she was understood to have absolute controul over the destiny of mortals, either individually or collectively, as she pleased. She had likewise, in common with other members of the same order, complete power over the elements; so that, opposed to such a powerful opponent, it was impossible for the invaders to escape irretrievable destruction. As the vessels bore up Channel, the tempest increased, and the weird sister sung as follows.
ELCINE DE AGGART.
Why gallops the palfrey with Lady Dunure ?
On this magic clue,
That in Fairyland grew, Old Elcine de Aggart has taken in hand To wind up their lives ere they win to our strand.
That heaven may favour this grand armament
By this mystic clue,
Made when Elfland was new, Old Elcine de Aggart will all countermand, And wind up their lives ere they win to our strand.
* The Cape of Cantyre is thus named.
They bring with them nobles our castles to fill,
But this mighty clue,
Of the indigo hue, Which few like De Aggart could e'er understand, Will baffle their hopes ere they win to our strand.
Was ever the sprite of the wind seen to low'r
With this magic clue,
That in Fairyland grew, Old Elcine de Aggart has wound to an end Their thread of existence, though far from the strand.
I sigh for their dames, who may now take the veil;
With this mystic clue,
Who will not give praise in her own native land, To Elcine de Aggart for guarding the strand.
Come back on your palfrey, my Lady Dunure;
And while such a clue,
Of the indigo hue,