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heraulds when he speaks of kingdoms whose insignia seldom game in his neighbourhood; and, having seated himself upon
Uniri numerum quas præ se solus agebat,
In solio mirans equitem, risumque movebat.
Ast ubi vidit eum vales, animoque quis esset
Calluit, extemplo.divulsit cornua cerro The strange occupation in which Waldhave beholds Merlin Quo gestabatur, vibrataque jecit in illum, engaged, derives some illustration from a curious passage in Et caput illius penitus contrivit, eumque Geoffrey of Monmouth's life of Merlin, above quoted. The Reddidit exanimem, vitamque fugavil in auras ; poem, after narrating that the prophet had fled to the forest Ocius inde suum, talorum verbere, cervum in a state of distraction, proceeds to mention, that, looking Diffugieris egit, silvasque redire paravit." upon the stars one clear evening, he discerned from his astrological knowledge, that his wife, Gunedolen, had resolved, For a perusal of this curious poem, accurately copied from upon the next morning, to take another husband. As he had a MS. in the Cotton Library, nearly coeral with the author, I presaged to her that this would happen, and had promised was indebted to my learned friend, the late Mr. Ritson. There her a nuptial gift (cautioning her, however, to keep the bride is an excellent paraphrase of it in the curious and entertain groom out of his sight,) he now resolved to make good his ing Specimens of Early English Romances, published by Mr. word. Accordingly, he collected all the stags and lesser | Ellis.
Lord Ronald's Coronach.'
The simple tradition, upon which the following the Virgin Mary. Day at length came, and the temptstanzas are founded, runs thus : While two Highland ress vanished. Searching in the forest, he found the hunters were passing the night in a solitary bothy, (a bones of his unfortunate friend, who had been torn hut, built for the purpose of hunting,) and making to pieces and devoured by the fiend into whose toils merry over their venison and whisky, one of them ex- he had fallen. The place was from thence called the pressed a wish that they had pretty lasses to complete Glen of the Green Women. their party. The words were scarcely uttered, when Glenfinlas is a tract of forest-ground, lying in the two beautiful young women, habited in green, entered Highlands of Perthshire, not far from Callender in the hut, dancing and singing. One of the hunters was Menteith. It was formerly a royal forest, and now seduced by the siren who attached herself particularly belongs to the Earl of Moray. This country, as well to him, to leave the hut: the other remained, and, as the adjacent district of Balquidder, was, in times suspicious of the fair seducers, continued to play upon of yore, chiefly inhabited by the Macgregors. To the a trump, or Jew's harp, some strain, consecrated to west of the Forest of Glenfinlas lies Loch Katrine,
and its romantic avenue, called the Troshachs. Ben1 Coronach is the lamentation for a deceased warrior, sung by ledi, Benmore, and Benvoirlich, are mountains in the the aged of the
same district, and at no great distance from Glenfin.
1 In 1801. See ante, p. 565–The scenery of this, the author's 3 The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the High
4 See Appendix, Note A. 9 O hone a ric' signifies" Alas for the prince or chief." 8 See Appendix, Note li
1 See Appendix, Note C.
3 Pibroch-A piece of martial music, adapted to the High8 Tartans-The full Highland dress, made of the chequered land bagpipe. stuff so termed.
In deep Glenfinlas' moonlight glade,
Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke, A lovely maid in vest of green:
Or sail'd ye on the midnight wind i
And we-behind the Chieftain's shield,
No more shall we in safety dwell; None leads the people to the field
And we the loud lament must swell.
O hone a rie'! O hone a rie'!
The pride of Albin's line is o'er!
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!
“Lewis's collection produced also what Scott justly calls makes a German use of his Scottish materials; that the le his first serious attempts in verse;' and of these the earliest gend, as briefly told in the simple prose of his preface, is more appears to have been the Glenfinlas. Here the scene is laid in affecting than the lofty and sonorous stanzas themselves; that the most favourite district of his favourite Perthshire High- the vague terror of the original dream loses, instead of gaining, lands; and the Gaelic tradition on which it is founded was far by the expanded elaboration of the detail. There may be more likely to draw out the secret strength of his genius, as something in these objections: but no man can pretend to be well as to arrest the feelings of his countrymen, than any sub- an impartial critic of the piece which first awoke his own ject with which the stores of German diablerie could have childish ear to the power of poetry and the melody of verse." supplied him. It has been alleged, however, that the poet - Life of Scott, vol. ii. p. 25.
How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane-tree.-P. 587.
And thrice Sl. Fillan's powerful prayer.-P. 589.
The fires lighted by the Highlanders, on the first of May, St. Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy foug. in compliance with a custom derived from the Pagan times, tains, &c. in Scotland. He was, according to Camerarius, an are termed The Bellane-tree. It is a festival celebrated with Abbot of Pittenweem, in Fife; from which situation he retired, various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and and died a hermit in the wilds of Glenurchy, A.D. 619. While in Wales.
engaged in transcribing the Scriptures, his left hand was observed to send forth such a splendour, as to afford light to that with which he wrote; a miracle which sared many can
dles to the convent, as St. Fillan used to spend whole nights NOTE B.
in that exercise. The 9th of January was dedicated to this
saint, who gave his name to Kilfillan, in Renfrew, and St. The seer's prophetic spirit found.-P. 587.
Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7, tells us, that
Robert the Bruce was possessed of Fillan's miraculous and I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr. John- luminous arm, which he enclosed in a silver shrine, and had son's definition, who calls it “ An impression, either by the it carried at the head of his army. Previous to the Battle of mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which Bannockburn, the king's chaplain, a man of little faith, abthings distant and future are perceived and seen as if they stracted the relict, and deposited it in a place of security, lest were present." To which I would only add, that the spec- it should fall into the hands of the English. But, lo! while tral appearances, thus presented, usually presage misfortune; Robert was addressing his prayers to the empty casket, it was that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess observed to open and shut suddenly; and, on inspection, the it; and that they usually acquire it while themselves under saint was found to have himself deposited his arm in the the pressure of melancholy.
shrine as an assurance of victory. Such is the tale of Lesley. But though Bruce little needed that the arm of St. Fillan should assist his own, he dedicated to him, in gratitude, a
priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay. NOTE C.
In the Scots Magazine for July, 1812, there is a copy of a
very curious crown grant, dated 11th July, 1487, by which Will good St. Oran's rule prevail ?—P. 588. James III. confirms, to Malice Doire, an inhabitant of Strath
fillan, in Perthshire, the peaceable exercise and enjoyment St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was of a relic of St. Fillan, being apparently the head of a pastoburied at Icolm kill. His pretensions to be a saint were ra- ral staff called the Quegrich, which he and his predecessors ther dubious. According to the legend, he consented to be are said to have possessed since the days of Robert Bruce. buried alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, As the Quegrich was used to cure discases, this document is who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. probably the most ancient patent ever granted for a quack Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after medicine. The ingenious correspondent, by whom it is furoliree days had elapsed; when Oran, to the horror and scan. nished, farther observes, that additional particulars, concern. dal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, ing St. Fillan, are to be found in BELLENDEN's Borce, Book 4, a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make folio ccxiii., and in PENNANT'S Tour in Scoliani, 1772, PP further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more
11, 15. to be shovelled over him with the utmost despatch. The cha- See a note on the lines in the first canto of Marmion. pel, however, and the cemetry, was called Relig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted
“ Thence to St. Fillan's blessed well, to pay her devotions, or be buried in that place. This is the
Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel, rule alluded to in the poem.
And the crazed brain restore," &c.ED.