Imágenes de páginas

And holy banner, flourish'd fair

Oh! on that day, that wrathful day, With the Redeemer's name.

When man to judgment wakes from clay, Above the prostrate pilgrim band

Be Tuou the trembling sinner's stay,
The mitred Abbot stretch'd his hand,

Though heaven and earth shall pass away!
And bless'd them as they kneeld;
With holy cross he sign d them all,
And pray'd they might be sage in hall,

Hesh'd is the harp—the Minstrel gone.
And fortunate in field.

And did he wander forth alone ? Then mass was sung, and prayers were said, Alone, in indigence and age, And solemn requiem for the dead ;

To linger out his pilgrimage! And bells tolld out their mighty peal,

No; close beneath proud Newark's tower,' For the departed spirit's weal ;

Arose the Minstrel's lowly bower ; And ever in the office close

A simple hut; but there was seen The hymn of intercession rose ;

The little garden hedged with green, And far the echoing aisles prolong

The cheerful hearth, and lattice clean. The awful burthen of the song,

There shelter'd wanderers, by the blaze, DIES IRÆ, DIES ILLA,

Oft heard the tale of other days; SOLVET SÆCLUM IN FAVILLA ;

For much he loved to ope his door, While the pealing organ rung ;

And give the aid he begg'd before. Were it meet with sacred strain

So pass'd the winter's day; but still, To close my lay, so light and vain,

When summer smiled on sweet Bowhill, Thus the holy Fathers sung.

And July's eve, with balmy breath,

Waved the blue-bells on Newark beath ;

When throstles sung in Harehead-shaw,
And corn was green on Carterhaugh,

And flourish d, broad, Blackandro's oak,
That day of wrath, that dreadful day,

The aged Harper's soul awoke! When heaven and earth shall pass away

Then would he sing achievements high, What power shall be the sinner's stay?

And circumstance of chivalry, How shall he meet that dreadful day?

Till the rapt traveller would stay,

Forgetful of the closing day; When, shriveling like a parched scroll,

And noble youths, the strain to hear, The faming heavens together roll ;

Forsook the hunting of the deer; When louder yet, and yet more dread,

And Yarrow, as he rollid along, Swells the high trump that wakes the dead ! Bore burden to the Minstrel's song.*


“the vale unfolds

tion and sentiment cast equally in the mould of the busy Rich groves of lofty stature,

world, and the secmingly habitual desire to dwell on nothing With Yarrow winding through the pomp

but what might be likely to excite curiosity, without too much Of cultivated nature ;

disturbing deeper feelings, in the saloons of polished life? And, rising from those lofty groves,

Such outbursts come forth dramatically in all his writings ; Behold a ruin hoary,

but in the interludes and passionate parentheses of the Lay The shattered front of Newark's towers,

of the Last Minstrel we have the poet's own inner soul and Renown'd in Border story.

temperament laid bare and throbbing before us. Even here, “Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,

indeed, he has a mask, and he trusts it – but fortunately it is For sportive youth to stray in;

a transparent one. Por manhood to enjoy his strength;

“ Many minor personal allusions have been explained in the And age to wear away in," &c.

notes to the last edition of the · Lay.' It was hardly necesWORDSWOnth's Yarrow Visited. sary even then to say that the choice of the hero had been 2 Bowhill is now, as has been mentioned already, a seat of

dictated by the poet's affection for the living descendants of

the Baron of Cranstoun; and now-none who have perused the Duke of Buccleuch. It stands immediately below Newark

the preceding pages can doubt that he had dressed out his Hill, and above the junction of the Yarrow and the Ettrick

tures of his own For the other places named in the text, the reader is referred Margaret of Branksome in the form and

first love. This poem may be considered as the bright conto various notes on the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.- Ep. 3 Orig.--"And grain wared green on Carterhaugh."

summate flower' in which all the dearest dreams of his youth

ful fancy had at length found expansion for their strength, 4 “The arch allusions which run through all these Introduc

spirit, tenderness, and beauty. tions, without in the least interrupting the truth and graceful pathos of their main impression, seem to me exquisitely cha

“In the closing lines-racteristic of Scott, whose delight and pride was to play with • Hush'd is the harp-the Minstrel gone; the genius which nerertheless mastered him at will. For, in

And did he wander forth alone? truth, what is it that gives to all his works their unique and

Alone, in indigence and age, marking charm, except the matchless effect which sudden ef

To linger out his pilgrimage? fusions of the purest heart-blood of nature derive from their

No!-close beneath proud Newark's tower being poured out, to all appearance involuntarily, amidst dic

Arose the Minstrel's humble bower,' &e

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-in these charming lines he hasembodied what was, at the time "From the various extracts we have given, our readers will when he penned them, the chief day-dream of Ashestiel. From be enabled to form a tolerably correct judgment of the poem; the moment that his uncle's death placed a considerable sum and, if they are pleased with those portions of it which have now of ready money at his command, he pleased himself, as we been exhibited, we may venture to assure them that they will have scen, with the idea of buying a mountain farm, and be- not be disappointed by the perusal of the whole. The whole coming not only the sheriff' (as he had in former days de night journey of Deloraine—the opening of the Wizard's tomb lighted to call himself), but the laird of the cairn and the -the march of the English battle--and the parley before the scaar.'"-LOCKLART. Life of Scott, Vol. II. p. 212.

walls of the castle, are all executed with the same spirit and " The large quotations we have made from this singular poetical energy, which we think is conspicuous in the specipuem must have convinced our readers that it abounds eqnal- mens we have already extracted ; and a great variety of short ly with poetical description, and with circumstances curious

passages occur in every part of the poem, which are still more to the antiquary. These are farther illustrated in copious and striking and meritorious, though it is impossible to detach very entertaining notes: they, as well as the poem, must be them, without injury, in the form of a quotation. It is but particularly interesting to those who are connected with Scot- fair to apprize the reader, on the other hand, that he will tish families, or conversant in their listory. The author has meet with very heavy passages, and with a variety of details managed the versification of the poem with great judgment, which are not likely to interest any one but a Borderer or an and the most happy effect. If he had aimed at the grave antiquary. We like very well to hear of the gallant Chiet and stately cadence of the epic, or any of our more regular of Otterburne,' or 'the Dark Knight of Liddesdale, and feel measures, it would have been impossible for him to have the elevating power of great names, when we read of the brought in such names as Watt Tinlinn, Black John, Priest- tribes that mustered to the war, . beneath the crest of Old haugh, Scrogg, and other Scottish names, or to have spoken of Dunbar and Hepburn's mingled banners.' But we really canthe lyke-rake, and the slogan, and driving of cattle, which not so far sympathize with the local partialities of the author, Pope and Gray would have thought as impossible to introduce as to fcel any glow of patriotism or ancient virtue in hearing into serious poetry, as Boileau did the names of towns in the of the Todrigor Johnston clans, or of Elliots, Armstrongs, and campaigns of Louis IV. Mr. Scott has, therefore, very judi- Tinlinns ; still less can we relish the introduction of Black ciously thrown in a great mixture of the familiar, and varied Jock of Alhelstane, Whitslade the Hawk, Arthur Fire-thethe measure; and if it has not the finished harmony, which, Braes, Red Roland Forster, or any other of those worthies, in such a subject, it were in vain to have attempted, it has who great ease and spirit, and never tires the readers. Indeed we

"Sought the beeves that made their broth, think we see a tendency in the public taste to go back to the

In Scotland and in England both,' more varied measures and familiar style of our earlier poets; a natural consequence of having been satiated with the regu- into a poem which has any pretensions to seriousness or diglar harmony of Pope and his school, and somewhat wearied nity. The ancient metrical romance might have admitted with the stiffness of lofty poetic language. We now know these homely personalities; but the present age will not enwhat can be done in that way, and we seek entertainment and dure them; and Mr. Scott must either sacrifice his Border Fariety, rather than finished modulation and uniform dignity. prejudices, or offend all his readers in the other part of the We now take our leave of this very elegant, spirited, and stri- empire "-JEFFREY. king poem.”— Annual Review, 1804.



copartment are sculptured the arms of Douglas, with this

inscription, “ DAME MARGARET DOUGLAS HIS spor's coxThe feast was over in Branksome tower.-P. 9. PLETIT THE FORESAID WORK IN OCTOBER 1576." Over an

arched door is inscribed the following moral verse :In the reign of James I., Sir William Scott of Buccleuch, chief of the clan bearing that name, exchanged, with Sir Thomas Inglis of Manor

, the estate of Murdiestone, in Lanark- en barld. is. nocht. nature. hes. brought gat. shire, for one-half of the barony of Branksome, or Brank

sal. lest. ay. holm, 1 lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Hawick Charefare. serve. God. keip. beil. ye. rod. thy. He was probably induced to this transaction from the vici

fame. sal. nocht, dekan. nity of Branksome to the extensive domain which he possessed in Ettrick Forest and in Teviotdale. In the former district Sir Walter Scott of branrbolm Knight. he held by occupancy the estate of Buceleuch, and much of

Margaret Douglas. 1571. the forest land on the river Ettrick. In Teviotdale, he enjoyed the barony of Eckford, by a grant from Robert II. to his ancestor, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, for the apprehending Branksome Castle continued to be the principal seat of the of Gilbert Ridderford, confirmed by Robert III. 3d May 1424. Buccleuch family, while security was any object in their Tradition imputes the exchange betwixt Scott and Inglis to a choice of a mansion. It has since been the residence of the conversation, in which the latter-a man, it would appear, Commissioners, or Chamberlains, of the family. From the of a mild and forbearing nature, complained much of the in- various alterations which the building has undergone, it is not juries which he was exposed to from the English Borderers, only greatly restricted in its dimensions, but retains little of who frequently plundered his lands of Branksome. Sir Wil-, the castellated form, if we except one square tower of massy liam Scott instantly offered bim the estate of Murdiestone, in thickness, the only part of the original building which now exchange for that which was subject to such egregious incon- remains. The whole forms a handsome modern residence, venience. When the bargain was completed, he dryly re-, lately inhabited by my deceased friend, Adam Ogilvy, Esq. marked, that the cattle in Cumberland were as good as those of Hart woodmyres, Commissioner of his Grace the Duke of of Teviotdale; and proceeded to commence a system of reprisals Buccleuch. upon the English, which was regularly pursued by his suc- The extent of the ancient edifice can still be traced by some cessors. In the next reign, James II. granted to Sir Walter vestiges of its foundation, and its strength is obvious from the Scott of Branksome, and to Sir David, his son, the remaining situation, on a deep bank surrounded by the Teviot, and half of the barony of Branksome, to be held in blanche for the flanked by a deep ravine, formed by a precipitous brook. It payment of a red rose. The cause assigned for the grant is, I was anciently surrounded by wood, as appears from the surtheir brave and faithful exertions in favour of the King against | vey of Roxburghshire, made for Pont's Atlas, and preserved the house of Douglas, with whom James had been recently in the Advocates' Library. This wood was cut about fifty tugging for the throne of Scotland. This charter is dated the years ago, but is now replaced by the thriving plantations, 20 February 1443 ; and, in the same month, part of the barony which have been formed by the noble proprietor, for miles of Langholm, and many lands in Lanarkshire, were conferred around the ancient mansion of his forefathers. upon Sir Walter and his son by the same monarch.

After the period of the exchange with Sir Thomas Inglis, Branksome became the principal seat of the Buccleuch family. The castle was enlarged and strengthened by Sir David Scott, the grandson of Sir William, its first possessor. But, in

NOTE B. 1570-1, the vengeance of Elizabeth, provoked by the inroads of Buccleuch, and his attachment to the cause of Queen Nine-and-twenty knights of fame Mary, destroyed the castle, and laid waste the lands of Brank

Hung their shields in Branksome-Hall.-P. 10. some. In the same year the castle was repaired and enlarged by Sir Walter Scott, its brave possessor; but the work was The ancient barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendour not completed until after his death, in 1574, when the widow and from their frontier situation, retained in their household finished the building. This appears from the following in- at Branksome, a number of gentlemen of their own name, who scriptions. Around a stone, bearing the arms of Scott of held lands from their chief, for the military service of watching Buccleuch, appears the following legend :-“ Sir tu. and warding his castle. Satchells tells us, in his doggrel poetry, Scott of Branrheim Kngt oe of Sir William Scott of Kirkurd Kngt began ye work upon

"No baron was better served in Britain ;

The barons of Buckleugh they kept their call, ye 24 of Marche 1571 year quha departit at

Four and twenty gentlemen in their hall, God's pleisour ye 17 April 1574." On a similar All being of his name and kin;

[ocr errors]

1 Branxholm is the proper name of the barony; but Brank- in the time of Scott of Satchells, many of the ancient harons some has been adopted, as suitable to the pronunciation, and of Buccleuch lie buried. There is also said to have been a more proper for poetry.

mill near this solitary spot; an extraordinary circumstance,

as little or no corn grows within several miles of Buccleuch. There are no vestiges of any building at Buccleuch, except Satchells says it was used to grind corn for the hounds of the the site of a chapel, where, according to a tradition current chieftain.

« AnteriorContinuar »