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Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending, And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone.
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; | Tbat lo'erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine on..
Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire, Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel harp! 'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
Receding now, the dying numbers ring And little reck I of the censure sharp
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, May idly cavil at an idle lay.
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way, A wandering witch-note of the distant spell
Through secret woes the world has never known, And now, 'tis silent all !--Enchantress, fare thee When ou the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
1 "On a comparison of the merits of this poem with the two of spirit and vivacity-abounding in images that are striking former productions of the same unquestioned genius, we are at first sight to minds of every contexture-and never expressinclined to bestow on it a very decided preference over both. ing a sentiment which it can cost the most ordinary reader It would perhaps be difficult to select any one passage of such any exertion to comprehend. Upon the whole, we are in. genuine inspiration as one or two that might be pointed out clined to think more highly of the Lady of the Lake than of in the Lay of the Last Minstrel--and perhaps, in strength and either of its author's former publications. We are more sure, discrimination of character, it may fall short of Marmion; al- ' however, that it has fewer faults than that it has greater though we are loth to resign either the rude and savage beauties; and as its beauties bear a strong resemblance to generosity of Roderick, the romantic chivalry of James, or those with which the public has been already made familiar the playful simplicity, the affectionate tenderness, the modest in these celebrated works, we should not be surprised if its courage of Ellen Douglas, to the claims of any competitors in popularity were less splendid and remarkable. For our own the last-mentioned poem. But, for interest and artificial parts, however, we are of opinion that it will be oftener read management in the story, for general ease and grace of versi- hereafter than either of them; and that, if it had appeared fication, and correctness of language, the Lady of the Lake first in the series, their reception would have been less favourmust be universally allowed, we think, to excel, and very far able than that which it has experienced. It is more polished excel, either of her predecessors."-Critical Revier.
in its diction, and more regular in its versification; the story “There is nothing in Mr. Scott of the severe and majestic is constructed with infinitely more skill and address; there is style of Milton-or of the terse and fine composition of Pope a greater proportion of pleasing and tender passages, with -or of the elaborate elegance and melody of Campbell-or! much less antiquarian detail; and, upon the whole, a larger even of the flowing and redundant diction of Southev,—but variety of characters, more artfully and judiciously contrasted. there is a medley of bright images and glowing, set carelessly There is nothing so fine, perhaps, as the battle in Marmionand loosely together— diction tinged successively with the or so picturesque as some of the scattered sketches in the careless richness of Shakespeare-the harshness and antique Lay; but there is a richness and a spirit in the whole piece simplicity of the old romances-the homeliness of vulgar bal- which does not pervade either of these poems—a profusion of lads and anecdotes and the sentimental glitter of the most incident, and a shifting brilliancy of colouring, that reminds modern poetry,-passing from the borders of the ridiculous us of the witchery of Ariosto--and a constant elasticity and to those of the sublime-alternately minute and energetic, occasional energy, which seem to belong more peculiarly to sometimes artificial, and frequently negligent, but always full / the author now before us." —Jeffrey.
or Bouxes, which we haue at these dayes." -The noble Art of Venerie or Hunting, translated and collected for the Use of all Noblemen and Gentlemen. Lond. 1611. 4to, p. 15.
the hcights of Uam-Var, And roused the cavern, where, 'tis told, A giant made his den of old.-P. 178.
Ua-var, as the name is pronounced, or more properly ! Vaighmor, is a mountain to the north-east of the village of Callender in Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies the
NOTE C. great den, or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode For the deat-wound and deuth-hullon, of a giant. In latter times, it was the refuge of robbers and Muster'd his breath, his whinyard dreu.--P. 179. banditti, who have been oply extirpated within these forty or fifty years. Strictly speaking, this stronghold is not a cave, When the stag turned to bay, the ancient hunter had the as the name would imply, but a sort of small enclosure, or perilous task of going in upon, and killing or disabling the desrecess, surrounded with large rocks, and open aboye head. It perate animal. At certain times of the year this was held may have been originally designed as a toil for deer, who particularly dangerous, a wound received from a stag's horn might get in from the outside, but would find it difficult to re- being then deemed poisonous, and more dangerous than one turn. This opinion prevails among the old sportsmen and from the tusks of a boar, as the old rhyme testifies :deer-stalkers in the neighbourhood.
"If thou be hurt with hart, it brings thee to thy bier,
need'st not fear."
At all times, however, the task was dangerous, and to be adTwo dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,
ventured upon wisely and warily, either by getting behind the Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed.-P. 179.
stag while he was gazing on the hounds, or by watching an
opportunity to gallop roundly in upon him, and kill him with “ The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's hounds, are the sword. See many directions to this purpose in the Booke commonly all blacke, yet neuertheless, the race is so mingled of Hunting, chap. 41. Wilson the historian has recorded a at these days, that we find them of all colours. These are the providential escape which befell him in this hazardous sport, hounds which the abbots of St. Hubert haue always kept some while a youth and follower of the Earl of Essex. of their race or kind, in hononr or remembrance of the saint, “Sir Peter Lee, of Lime, in Cheshire, invited my lord one which was a hunter with S. Eustace. Whereupon we may summer to hunt the stagg. And having a great stagg in chase, conceiue that (by the grace of God) all good huntsmen shall and many gentlemen in the pursuit, the stagg took soyle. And follow them into paradise. To return into my former pur- divers, whereof I was one, alighted, and stood with swords pose, this kind of dogges hath bene dispersed through the drawne, to have a cut at him, at his coming out of the water. counties of Henault, Lorayne, Flanders, and Burgoyne. They The staggs there being wonderfully fierce and dangerous, are mighty of body, ncuertheless their legges are low and short, made us youths more eager to be at him. But he escaped us likewise they are not swift, although they be very good of sent, all. And it was my misfortune to be hindered of my coming hunting chaces which are farre straggled, fearing neither wa- nere him, the way being sliperie, by a falle; which gave octer por cold, and doe more couet the chaces that smell, as casion to some, who did not know mce, to speak as if I had foxes, bore, and such like, than other, because they find them- falne for feare. Which being told mee, I left the stagg, and selves neither of swiftness nor courage to hunt and kill the followed the gentleman who (first) spake it. But I found him chaces that arc lighter and switter. The bloodhounds of this of that cold temper, that it seems his words made an escape colour proue good, especially those that are cole blacke, but from him; as by his denial and repentance it appeared. But I made no great account to breed on them, or to keepe the this made mee more violent in the pursuit of the stagg, to rekind, and yet I found a book which a hunter did dedicate to cover my reputation. And I happened to be the only horse& prince of Lorayne, which seemed to loue hunting much, man in, when the dogs sett him up at bay; and approaching wherein was a blason which the same hunter gaue to his near him on horsebacke, he broke through the dogs, and run bloodhound, called Souyllard, which was white :
at mee, and tore my horse's side with his hornes, close by my
thigh. Then I quitted my horse, and grew more cunning (for • My name came first from holy Hubert's race, the dogs had sette him up againe), stealing behind him with Souyllard my sire, a hound of singular grace.' my sword, and cut his hamstrings, and then got upon his
back, and cut his throate; which, as I was doing, the comWhereupon we may presume that some of the kind proue 'pany came in, and blamed my rashness for running such a ha white sometimes, but they are not of the kind of the Greftierszard."— Peck's Desiderula Curiosa, ü. 461.
" At the sight of a rision, the eyelids of the person ara Note D.
erected, and the eyes continue staring until the object vanish
This is obvious to others who are by, when the persons hap. And noo to issue from the glm,
pen to see a vision, and occurred more than once to my own No pathway meets the wanderer's ken,
observation, and to others that were with me. Unless he climb, soith footing nice,
“There is one in Skie, of whom his acquaintance observed, A fur projecting precipice.-P. 180.
that when he sees a vision, the inner part of his eyelids turns
so far upwards, that, after the object disappears, he must draw Until the present road was made through the romantic pass them down with his fingers, and sometimes employ others to which I have presumptuously attempted to describe in the draw them down, which he finds to be the much easier way. preceding stanzas, there was no mode of issuing out of the de- " This faculty of the second-sight does not lineally descend file called the Trosachs, excepting by a sort of ladder, com- in a family, as some imagine, for I know several parents who posed of the branches and roots of trees.
are endowed with it, but their children not, and vice versa ; neither is it acquired by any previous compact. And, after a strict enquiry, I could never learn that this faculty was communicable any way whatsoever.
“ The seer knows neither the object, time, nor place of a vision, before it appears; and the same object is often seen by
different persons living at a considerable distance from one Note E.
another. The true way of judging as to the time and circum
stance of an object, is by observation; for several persons of To meet with Highland plunderers here,
judgment, without this faculty, are more capable to judge of Were soorse than loss of steed or deer.-P. 181.
the design of a vision, than a norice that is a seer. If an ob
ject appear in the day or night, it will come to pass sooner or The clans who inhabited the romantic regions in the neigh- later accordingly. bourhood of Loch Katrine, were, even until a late period, “If an object is seen early in the morning (which is not much addicted to predatory excursions upon their Lowland frequent,) it will be accomplished in a few hours afterwards. neighbours." In former times, those parts of this district, if at noon, it will commonly be accomplished that very day. which are situated beyond the Grampian range, were rendered If in the evening, perhaps that night; if after candies be almost inaccessible by strong barriers of rocks, and mountains, lighted, it will be accomplished that night: the later al wars and lakes. It was a border country, and, though on the very in accomplishment, by weeks, months, and sometimes years, verge of the low country, it was almost totally sequestered according to the time of night the vision is seen. from the world, and, as it were, insulated with respect to so- " When a shroud is perceived about one, it is a sure prociety. 'Tis well known that in the Highlands, it was, in for- gnostic of death; the time is judged according to the height of mer times, accounted not only lawful, but honourable, among it about the person; for if it is seen above the middle, death hostile tribes, to commit depredations on one another; and is not to be expected for the space of a year, and perhaps some these habits of the age were perhaps strengthened in this dis- months longer; and as it is frequently seen to ascend higher trict, by the circumstances which have been mentioned. It towards the head, death is concluded to be at hand within a bordered on a country, the inhabitants of which, while they few days, if not hours, as daily experience confirms. Examwere richer, were less warlike than they, and widely differ- ples of this kind were shewn me, when the persons of whom enced by language and manners.”—GRAHAN's Sketches of the observations were then made, enjored perfect health. Scenery in Perthshire. Edin. 1806, p. 97. The reader will “One instance was lately foretold by a seer, that was a notherefore be pleased to remember, that the scene of this poem vice, concerning the death of one of my acquaintance; this is laid in a time,
was communicated to a few only, and with great confidence :
I being one of the number, did not in the least regard it, until “When tooming faulds, or sweeping of a glen, the death of the person, about the time foretold, did confirm Had still been held the deed of gallant men." me of the certainty of the prediction. The novice mentioned
above, is now a skilful seer, as appears from many late instances; he lives in the parish of St. Mary's, the most northern in Skie.
“If a woman is seen standing at a man's left hand, it is a
presage that she will be his wife, whether they be married to NOTE F.
others, or unmarried at the time of the apparition.
“ If two or three women are seen at once near a man's left A grey-hair'd sire, whose eye intent,
hand, she that is next him will undoubtedly be his wife first, was on the vision'd future bent.-P. 182.
and so on, whether all three, or the man, be single or mar
ried at the time of the vision or not; of which there are seveIf force of evidence could authorise us to believe facts in- ral late instances among those of my acquaintance. It is an consistent with the general laws of nature, enough might he ordinary thing for them to see a man that is to come to the produced in favour of the existence of the Second-sight. It is house shortly after: and if he is not of the seer's acquaintcalled in Gaelic Taishitaraugh, from Taish, an unreal or sha- ance, yet he gives such a lively description of his stature, comdowy appearance; and those possessed of the faculty are plexion, habit, &c. that upon his arrival he answers the chacalled Taishatrin, which may be aptly translated visionaries. racter given him in all respects. Martin, a steady believer in the second-sight, gives the follow- “ If the person so appearing be one of the seer's acquainting account of it:
ance, he will tell his name, as well as other particulars. and “The second-sight is a singular faculty, of seeing an other- he can tell by his countenance whether he comes in a good or wise invisible object, without any previous means used by the bad humour. person that used it for that end: the vision makes such a "I have been seen thus myself by seers of loth sexes, at lively impression upon the seers, that they neither see, nor some hundred miles' distance; some that saw me in this manthink of anything else, except the vision, as long as it conti- ner had never seen me personally, and it happened according nues; and then they appear pensive or jovial, according to the to their vision, without any previous design of me to go to object that was represented to them.
those places, my coming there being purely accidental.
• It is ordinary with them to see houses, gardens, and trees, from one another, in the side next the precípice, resembling in places void of all three; and this in progress of time uses to the pillars of a chimney, where the fire was placed. The be accomplished: as at Mogshot, in the Isle of Skie, where smoke had its vent out bere, all along the fall of the rock, there were but a few sorry cowhouses, thatched with straw, which was so much of the same colour, that one could discover yet in a very few years after, the vision, which appeared often, no difference in the clearest day."
."—Home's History of the Re. was accomplished, by the building of several good houses on bellion, Lond. 1802, 4to, p. 381. the very spot represented by the seers, and by the planting of orchards there.
“ To see a spark of fire fall upon one's arm or breast, is a forerunner of a dead child to be seen in the arms of those
NOTE H. persons; of which there are several fresh instances.
“ To see a scat empty at the time of one's sitting in it, is a presage of that person's death soon after.
Aty sire's tal form might grace the part " When a novice, or one that has lately obtained the se
Of Ferragus or Ascabart.-P. 183. cond-sight, sees a vision in the night-time without doors, and he be near a fire, he presently falls into a swoon.
These two sons of Anak flourished in romantic fable. The “ Some find themselves as it were in a crowd of people, ha- first is well known to the admirers of Ariosto, by the name of ving a corpse which they carry along with them; and after Ferrau. He was an antagonist of Orlando, and was at length such visions, the seers come in sweating, and describe the slain by him in single combat. There is a romance in the people that appeared : if there be any of their acquaintance Auchinleck Ms., in which Ferragus is thus described :among 'em, they give an account of their names, as also of the
“On a day come tiding bearers, but they know nothing concerning the corpse.
Unto Charls the King, “All those who have the second-sight do not always see
Al of a doughti knight these visions at once, though they be together at the time. But if one who has this faculty, designedly touch his fellow
Was comen to Navers,
Stout he was and fers, seer at the instant of a vision's appearing, then the second
Vernagu he hight. sees it as well as the first ; and this is sometimes discerned by
Of Babiloun the soudan those that are near them on such occasions.”—MARTIN'S DE
Thider him sende gan, scription of the Western Islands, 1716, 8vo, p. 301), et seq.
With King Charls to fight. To these particulars innumerable examples might be added,
So hard he was to fond ! all attested by grave and credible authors. But, in despite of evidence which neither Bacon, Boyle, nor Johnson were
That no dint of brond able to resist, the Taisch, with all its visionary properties,
No greued him, aplight.
He hadde twenti men strengthe seems to be now universally abandoned to the use of poetry. The exquisitely beautiful poem of Lochiel will at once occur
And forti fet of lengthe, to the recollection of every reader.
Thilke painim hede, 9
And fifteen in brede. 4
His nose was a fot and more :
His brow, as bristles wore : 5
He that it scighe it sede.
He loked lotheliche,
And was swart 6 as any piche,
Of him men might adrede." The Celtic chieftains, whose lives were continually exposed
Romance of Charlemagne, 1. 461-484. to peril, had usually, in the most retired spot of their domains,
Auchinleck MS., folio 265. some place of retreat for the hour of necessity, which, as circumstances would admit, was a tower, a cavern, or a rustic Ascapart, or Ascabart, makes a very material figure in the . hut, in a strong and secluded situation. One of these last History of Bevis of Hampton, by whom he was conquered. gave refuge to the unfortunate Charles Edward, in his perilous His effigies may be seen guarding one side of a gate at Southwanderings after the battle of Culloden.
ampton, while the other is occupied by Sir Bevis himself. “It was situated in the face of a very rough, high, and The dimensions of Ascabart were little inferior to those of rocky mountain, called Letternilichk, still a part of Benalder, Ferragus, if the following description be correct : full of great stones and crevices, and some scattered wood interspersed. The habitation called the Cage, in the face of
“ They metten with a geaunt, that mountain, was within a small thick bush of wood. There
With a lotheliche semblaunt. were first some rows of trees laid down, in order to level the
He was wonderliche strong, floor for a habitation ; and as the place was steep, this raised
Rome 7 thretti fote long the lower side to an equal height with the other: and these
His berd was bot gret and rowe: 8 trees, in the way of joists or planks, were levelled with earth
A space of a fot betweene is 9 browe; and gravel. There were betwixt the trees, growing naturally
His clob was, to yeue 10 a strok, on their own roots, some stakes fixed in the earth, which,
A lite bodi of an oak. 11 with the trees, were interwoven with ropes, made of heath and birch twigs, up to the top of the Cage, it being of a round
“ Benes hadde of him wonder gret, or rather oval shape; and the whole thatched and covered
And askede him what a het, 19 over with fog. The whole fabric hung, as it were, by a large
And yaf 13 men of his contré tree, which reclined from the one end, all along the roof, to
Were ase meche 14 ase was he. the other, and which gave it the name of the Cage ; and by
Me name,' a sede, 15 ‘is Ascopard, bance there happened to be two stones at a small distance
Garci me sent hiderward,
I Found, proved.--2 Had. --3 Measured. A Breadth.► Were.-6 Black.-7 Fully.- Rough.—. His.-10 Give.
11 The stem of a little oak-tree.-12 He hight, was called. 13 11.-14 Great.-15 He said.
Por to bring this quene ayen,
there, is most certain. Clelland numbers an acquaintance And the Benes her of-slen.
with it among the few accomplishinents which his satite allow
to the Highlanders :-
" In nothing they're accounted sharp,
Except in bagpipe or in harp."
Morn's genial influence roused a minstrel grey.-P. 196.
That Highland chieftains, to a late period, retained in their
service the bard, as a family officer, admits of very easy proof.
cannot be deemed a favourable witness, gives the following
account of the office, and of a bard whom he heard exercise
his talent of recitation :-" The bard is skilled in the geneaThough all unask'd his birth and name.-P. 184.
logy of all the Highland families, sometimes preceptor to the
young laird, celebrates in Irish verse the original of the tribe, The Highlanders, who carried hospitality to a punctilious, the famous warlike actions of the successive heads, and sings excess, are said to have considered it as churlish, to ask a his own lyricks as an opiate to the chief when indisposed for stranger his name or lineage, before he had taken refreshment. sleep ; but poets are not equally esteemed and honoured in Feuds were so frequent among them, that a contrary rule all countries. I happened to be a witness of the dishonour would in many cases have produced the discovery of some done to the muse at the house of one of the chiefs, where two circumstance, which might have excluded the guest from the of these bards were set at a good distance, at the lower end benefit of the assistance he stood in need of.
of a long table, with a parcel of Highlanders of no extraordi-
his near relations, and myself. After some little time, the
chief ordered one of them to sing me a Highland song. The
bard readily obeyed, and with a hoarse voice, and in a tune --and still a horp unscen,
of few various notes, began, as I was told, one of his own Fiud up the symphony between.-P. 184.
lyricks; and when he had proceeded to the fourth or fifth " They” (meaning the Highlanders) “ delight much in stanza, I perceived, by the names of several persons, glens, musicke, but chiefly in harps and clairschoes of their own and mountains, which I had known or heard of before, that fashion. The strings of the clairschoes are made of brass it was an account of some clan battle. But in his going on, wire, and the strings of the harps, of sinews ; which strings the chief (who piques himself upon his school-learning), at they strike either with their navles, growing long, or else with
some particular passage, bid him cease, and cried out, an instrument appointed for that use. Ther take great plea. "There's nothing like that in Virgil or Homer.' I bowed, and sure to decke their harps and clairschoes with silver and
told him I believed so. This you may beliere was very edify
precious stones; the poore ones that cannot attayne hereunto, ing and delightful."– Letters, ii. 167. decke them with christall. They sing verses prettily compound, contayning (for the most part) prayses of valiant men.. There is not almost any other argument, whereof their rhymes
XOTE M. intreat. They speak the ancient French language altered a little."9_" The harp and clairschoes are now only heard of
The Grame.-P. 187. in the Highlands in ancient song. At what period these instruments ceased to be used, is not on record; and tradition The ancient and powerful family of Graham (which, for is silent on this head. But, as Irish harpers occasionally metrical reasons, is here spelt after the Scottish pronunciavisited the Highlands and Western Isles till lately, the harp tion) held extensive possessions in the counties of Dumbarton might have been extant so late as the middle of the last and Stirling. Few families can boast of more historical recentury. Thus far we know, that from remote times down nown, having claim to three of the most remarkable characto the present, harpers were received as welcome guests, par- ters in the Scottish annals. Sir John the Græme, the faithful ticularly in the Highlands of Scotland ; and so late as the lat- and undaunted partaker of the labours and patriotic warfare ter end of the sixteenth century, as appears by the above quo- of Wallace, fell in the unfortunate field of Falkirk, in 1298. tation, the harp was in common use among the natives of the The celebrated Marquis of Montrose, in whom De Retz saw Western Isles. How it happened that the noisy and unhar- realized his abstract idea of the heroes of antiquity, was the monious bagpipe banished the soft and expressive harp, we second of these worthies. And, not withstanding the sererity cannot say; but certain it is, that the bagpipe is now the only of his temper, and the rigour with which be executed the opinstrument that obtains universally in the Highland districts." pressire mandates of the princes whom he served, I do not -CAMPBELL's Journey through North Brilain, Lond. 198. hesitate to name as a third, John Græme of Claverhouse, Vis4to. I. 175.
count of Dundee, whose heroic death in the arms of victory Mr. Gunn, of Edinburgh, has lately published a curious may be allowed to cancel the memory of his cruelty to the Essay upon the Harp and Harp Music of the Highlands of non-conformists, during the reigns of Charles II. and James Scotland. That the instrument was once in common use
| Slay.— His.-3 My.-- 4 Little. -5 Lean.–6 Dwarf.7 Grenter, taller._8 Ten.
9 Vide “Certayne Matters concerning the Realme of Scotland, &c. as they were Anno Domini 1507. Lond. 1613." 4to.