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Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way, 'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
Through secret woes the world has never known, 'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day, Receding now, the dying numbers ring
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone. Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, That I o'erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own. And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spellHark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire, And now, 'tis silent all !—Enchantress, fare thee
Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string ! well! 1"On a comparison of the merits of this poem with the two vivacity-abonnding in images that are striking at first sight to former productions of the same unquestioned genius, we are minds of every contexture-and never expressing a sentiment inclined to bestow on it a very decided preference over both. which it can cost the most ordinary reader any exertion to It would perhaps be difficult to select any one passage of such comprehend. Upon the whole we are inclined to think more genuine inspiration as one or two that might be pointed out in highly of the Lady of the Lake than of either of its author's the Lay of the Last Minstrel-and perhaps, in strength and former publications. We are more sure, however, that it has discrimination of character, it may fall short of Marmion ; al- fewer faults than that it has greater beauties; and as its beauthough we are loth to resign either the rude and savage gen- ties bear a strong resemblance to those with which the public erosity of Roderick, the romantic chivalry of James, or the has been already made familiar in these celebrated works, we playful simplicity, the affectionate tenderness, the modest cour- should not be surprised if its popularity were less splendid and age of Ellen Douglas, to the claims of any competitors in the remarkable. For our own parts, however, we are of opinion last-mentioned poem. But, for interest and artificial manage- that it will be oftener read bereafter than either of them; and ment in the story, for general ease and grace of versification, that, if it had appeared first in the series, their reception would and correctness of language, the Lady of the Lake must be have been less favorable than that which it has experienced. universally allowed, we think, to excel, and very far excel, It is more polished in its diction, and more regular in its versieither of her predecessors."'--Critical Review.
fication ; the story is constructed with infinitely more skill and "There is nothing in Mr. Scott of the severe and majestic address; there is a greater proportion of pleasing and tender style of Milton-or of the terse and fine composition of Pope- passages, with much less antiquarian detail ; and, upon the or of the elaborate elegance and melody of Campbell-or even whole, a larger variety of characters, more artfully and judiof the flowing and redundant diction of Southey,—but there is ciously contrasted. There is nothing so fine, perhaps, as the a medley of bright images and glowing, set carelessly and battle in Marmion-or so picturesque as some of the scattered loosely together-a diction tinged successively with the careless sketches in the Lay; but there is a richness and a spirit in the richness of Shakespeare--the harshness and antique simplicity whole piece which does not pervade either of these poems-a of the old romances—the homeliness of vulgar ballads and profusion of incident, and a shifting brilliancy of coloring, that anecdotes—and the sentimental glitter of the most modern reminds us of the witchery of Ariosto—and a constant elasticity poetry,-passing from the borders of the ridiculous to those of and occasional energy, which seem to belong more peculiarly to the sublime-alternately minute and energetic-sometimes arti, the author now before us."'-JEFFREY. ficial, and frequently negligent, but always full of spirit and
For the death-wound and death-halloo,
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew.-P. 186.
When the stag turned to bay, the ancient hanter had the Ua-var, as the name is pronounced, or more properly Uaigh- perilous task of going in upon, and killing or disabling the desmor, is a mountain to the northeast of the village of Callender perate animal. At certain times of the year this was held parin Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies the great den, ticularly dangerous, a wound received from a stag's horn being or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south then deemed poisonous, and more dangerous than one from the side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode of a giant. In tusks of a boar, as the old rhyme testifies :latter times, it was the refuge of robbers and banditti, who have been only extirpated within these forty or fifty years. Strictly “If thou be hurt with hart, it brings thee to thy bier, speaking, this stronghold is not a cave, as the name would im- But barber's hand will boar's hurt beal, therefore thon ply, but a sort of small enclosure, or recess, surrounded with need'st not fear." large rocks, and open above head. It may have been originally designed as a toil for deer, who might get in from the outside, At all times, however, the task was dangerous, and to be adbut would find it difficult to return. This opinion prevails ventured upon wisely and warily, either by getting behind the among the old sportsmen and deerstalkers in the neighborhood. stag while he was gazing on the hounds, or by watching an op
portunity to gallop roundly in upon him, and kill him with the sword. See many directions to this purpose in the Booke of Hunting, chap. 41. Wilson the historian has recorded a proridential escape which befell him in this hazardous sport, while
a youth and follower of the Earl of Essex. NOTE B.
“Sir Peter Lee, of Lime, in Cheshire, invited my lord one
summer to hunt the stagg. And having a great stagg in chase, Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,
and many gentlemen in the pursuit, the stagg took soyle. And Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed.-P. 186.
divers, whereof I was one, alighted, and stood with swords
drawne, to have a cut at him, at his coming out of the water. " The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's hounds, are com- The staggs there being wonderfully fierce and dangerous, made monly all blacke, yet neuertheless, the race is so mingled at us youths more eager to be at him. But he escaped us all. these days, that we find them of all colours. These are the And it was my misfortune to be hindered of my coming nere hounds which the abbots of St. Hubert haue always kept some him, the way being sliperie, by a falle ; which gave occasion of their race or kind, in honour or remembrance of the saint, to some, who did not know mee, to speak as if I had falne which was a hunter with S. Eustace. Whereupon we may through feare. Which being told mee, I left the stagg, and conceiue that (by the grace of God) all good huntsmen shall followed the gentleman who [first] spake it. But I found him follow them into paradise. To return vnto my former purpose, of that cold temper, that it seems his words made an escape this kind of dogges hath bene dispersed through the counties of from him; as by his denial and repentance it appeared. But Henault, Lorayne, Flanders, and Burgoyne. They are mighty this made mee more violent in the pursuit of the stagg, to reof body, neuertheless their legges are low and short, likewise covor my reputation. And I happened to be the only horsethey are not swift, although they be very good of sent, hunting man in, when the dogs sett him up at bay; and approaching chaces which are farre straggled, fearing neither water nor cold, near him at horsebacke, he broke through the dogs, and ran at and doe more couet the chaces that smell, as foxes, bore, and mee, and tore my horse's side with his hornes, close by my such like, than other, because they find themselves neither of thigh. Then I quitted my horse, and grew more cunning (for swiftness nor courage to hunt and kill the chaces that are lighter the dogs had sette him up againe), stealing behind him with and swifter. The bloodhounds of this colour proue good, es- my sword, and cut his hamstrings; and then got upon his back, pecially those that are cole blacke, but I made no great account and cut his throate ; which, as I was doing, the company came to breed on them, or to keepe the kind, and yet I found a book in, and blamed my rashness for running such a hazard."which a hunter did dedicate to a prince of Lorayne, which Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, ii. 464. seemed to loue hunting much, wherein was a blason which the same hunter gave to his bloodhound, called Souyllard, which Was white :
And not to issue from the glen,
No pathway meets the wanderer's ken, Whereupon we may presume that some of the kind prone
Unless he climb, with footing nice, white sometimes, but they are not of the kind of the Greffiers
A far projecting precipice.-P. 187. or Bouxes, which we have at these dayes.”—The noble Art Until the present road was made through the romantic pass of Venerie or Hunting, translated and collected for the Use which I have presumptuously attempted to describe in the preof all Noblemen and Gentlemen. Lond. 1611. 4to, p. 15. ceding stanzas, there was no mode of issuing out of the defile called the Trosachs, excepting by a sort of ladder, composed of other. The true way of judging as to the time and circumthe branches and roots of trees.
stance of an object, is by observation ; for several persons of judgment, without this faculty, are more capable to judge of the design of a vision, than a novice that is a seer. If an ob
ject appear in the day or night, it will come to pass sooner or NOTE E.
later accordingly. To meet with Highland plunderers here,
** If an object is seen early in the morning (which is not freWere worse than loss of steed or deer.-P. 188.
quent), it will be accomplished in a few hours afterwards. If
at noon, it will commonly be accomplished that very day. If The elans who inhabited the romantic regions in the neigh- | in the evening, perhaps that night; if after candles be lighted, borhood of Loch Katrine, were, even until a late period, it will be accomplished that night : the later always in accommuch addicted to predatory incursions upon their Lowland plishment, by weeks, months, and sometimes years, according neighbors. “In former times, those parts of this district, which to the time of night the vision is seen. are situated beyond the Grampian range, were rendered almost " When a shroud is perceived about one, it is a sure proginaccessible by strong barriers of rocks, and mountains, and nostic of death; the time is judged according to the height of lakes. It was a border country, and, though on the very verge it about the person ; for if it is seen above the middle, death is of the low country, it was almost totally sequestered from the not to be expected for the space of a year, and perhaps some world, and, as it were, insulated with respect to society. "Tis months longer; and as it is frequently seen to ascend higher well known that in the Highlands, it was, in former times, ac- towards the head, death is concluded to be at hand within a counted not only lawful, but honorable, among hostile tribes, few days, if not hours, as daily experience confirms. Examto commit depredations on one another; and these habits of the ples of this kind were shown me, when the persons of whom age were perhaps strengthened in this district, by the circum- the observations were then made, enjoyed perfect health. stances which have been mentioned. It bordered on a country, “One instance was lately foretold by a seer, that was a novthe inhabitants of which, while they were richer, were less ice, concerning the death of one of my acquaintance; this warlike than they, and widely differenced by language and man- was communicated to a few only, and with great confidence : ners.”—GRAHAM's Sketches of Scenery in Perthshire. Edin. 1 being one of the number, did not in the least regard it, until 1806, p. 97. The reader will therefore be pleased to remem- the death of the person, about the time foretold, did confirm ber, that the scene of this poem is laid in a time,
me of the certainty of the prediction. The novice mentioned
above, is now a skilful seer, as appears from many late instan* When tooming faulds, or sweeping of a glen,
ces; he lives in the parish of St. Mary's, the most northern in Had still been held the deed of gallant men."
“ 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
others, or unmarried at the time of the apparition. NOTE F.
• If two or three women are seen at once near a man's left
hand, she that is next him will undoubtedly be his wife first, A gray-hair'd sire, whose eye intent,
and so on, whether all three, or the man, be single or married Was on the vision'd future bent.-P. 189.
at the time of the vision or not; of which there are several If force of evidence could authorize us to believe facts incon- late instances among those of my acquaintance. It is an ordisistent with the general laws of nature, enough might be pro- nary thing for them to see a man that is to come to the house duced in favor of the existence of the Second-sight. It is called shortly after: and if he is not of the seer's acquaintance, yet in Galic Taishitaraugh, from Taish, an unreal or shadowy he gives such a lively description of his stature, complexion, appearance; and those possessed of the faculty are called Taish- habit, &c. that upon his arrival he answers the character given atrix, which may be aptly translated visionaries. Martin, a him in all respects. steady believer in the second-sight, gives the following account “ If the person so appearing be one of the seer's acquaintof it:
ance, he will tell his name, as well as other particulars, and he " The second-sight is a singular faculty, of seeing an other- can tell by his countenance whether he comes in a good or bad wise invisible object, without any previous means used by the humour. person that used it for that end: the vision makes such a lively "I have been seen thus myself by seers of both sexes, at impression upon the seers, that they neither see, nor think of some hundred miles' distance; some that saw me in this manany thing else, except the vision, as long as it continues ; and ner had never seen me personally, and it happened according then they appear pensive or jovial, according to the object that to their vision, without any previous design of mine to go to was represented to them.
those places, my coming there being purely accidental. " At the sight of a vision, the eyelids of the person are " It is ordinary with them to see houses, gardens, and trees, erected, and the eyes continge staring until the object vanish. in places void of all three : and this in progress of time uses to This is obvious to others who are by, when the persons happen be accomplished : as at Mogshot, in the Isle of Skie, where to see a vision, and occurred more than once to my own obser- there were but a few sorry cowhouses, thatched with straw, Fation, and to others that were with me.
yet in a very few years after, the vision, which appeared often, "There is one in Skie, of whom his acquaintance observed, was accomplished, by the building of several good houses on that when he sees a vision, the inner part of his eyelids turns the very spot represented by the seers, and by the planting of so far opwards, that, after the object disappears, he must draw orchards there. them down with his fingers, and sometimes employ others to “ To see a spark of fire fall upon one's arm or breast, is a draw them down, which he finds to be the much easier way. forerunner of a dead child to be seen in the arms of those
per" This faculty of the second-sight does not lineally descend sons; of which there are several fresh instances. in a family, as some imagine, for I know several parents who “ To see a seat empty at the time of one's sitting in it, is a are endowed with it, but their children not, and vice versa ; presage of that person's death soon after. neither is it acquired by any previous compact. And, after a “When a novice, or one that has lately obtained the secondstrict inquiry, I could never learn that this faculty was com- sight, sees a vision in the night-time without-doors, and he be monicable any way whatsoever.
near a fire, he presently falls into a swoon. "The seer knows neither the object, time, nor place of a "Some find themselves as it were in a crowd of people, havvision, before it appears; and the same object is often seen by 'ing a corpse which they carry along with them; and after different persons living at a considerable distance from one an- such visions, the seers come in sweating, and describe the peo
ple that appeared : if there be any of their acquaintance among 'em, they give an account of their names, as also of the bearers, but they know nothing concerning the corpse.
" All those who have the second-sight do not always see these visions at once, though they be together at the time. But if one who has this faculty, designedly touch his fellowseer at the instant of a vision's appearing, then the second sees it as well as the first; and this is sometimes discerned by those that are near them on such occasions."-MARTIN's description of the Western Islands, 1710, 8vo, p. 300, et seq.
To these particulars innumerable examples might be added, all attested by grave and credible authors. But, in despite of evidence which neither Bacon, Boyle, nor Johnson were able to resist, the Taisch, with all its visionary properties, seems to be now universally abandoned to the use of poetry. The exquisitely beautiful poem of Lochiel will at once occur to the recollection of every reader.
Stout he was and fers,
Vernagu he hight.
With King Charls to fight.
No greued him, aplight.
Thilke painim hede,
And fifteen in brede.
He that it seighe it sede.
Auchinleck Ms., folio 265. Ascapart, or Ascabart, makes a very material figure in the History of Bevis of Hampton, by whom he was conquered. His effigies may be seen guarding one side of a gate at Southampton, while the other is occupied by Sir Bevis himself. The dimensions of Ascabart were little inferior to those of Ferragus, if the following description be correct :
* They metten with a geaunt,
With a lotheliche semblaunt.
Some chief had framed a rustic bower.--P. 190. The Celtic chieftains, whose lives were continually exposed to peril, bad usually, in the most retired spot of their domains, some place of retreat for the hour of necessity, which, as circumstances would admit, was a tower, a cavern, or a rustic hut, in a strong and secluded situation. One of these last gave refuge to the unfortunate Charles Edward, in his perilous wanderings after the battle of Culloden.
" It was situated in the face of a very rough, high, and rocky mountain, called Letternilichk, still a part of Benalder, full of great stones and crevices, and some scattered wood interspersed. The habitation called the Cage, in the face of that mountain, was within a small thick bush of wood. There were first some rows of trees laid down, in order to level the floor for a habitation; and as the place was steep, this raised the lower side to an equal height with the other : and these trees, in the way of joists or planks, were levelled with earth and gravel. There were betwixt the trees, growing naturally on their own roots, some stakes fixed in the earth, which, 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 or rather oval shape ; and the whole thatched and covered over with fog. The whole fabric hung, as it were, by a large tree, which reclined from the one end, all along the roof, to the other, and which gave it the name of the Cage; and by chance there happened to be two stones at a small distance from one another, in the side next the precipice, resembling the pillars of a chimney, where the fire was placed. The smoke had its vent out here, all along the fall of the rock, which was so much of the same color, that one could discover no difference in the clearest day."--Home's History of the Rebellion, Lond. 1802, 4to. p. 381.
“ Beues hadde of him wonder gret,
Of Ferragus or Ascobart.--P. 190. These two sons of Anak flourished in romantic fable. The first is well known to the admirers of Ariosto, by the name of Ferrau. He was an antagonist of Orlando, and was at length slain by him in single combat. There is a romance in the Auchinleck MS., in which Ferragus is thus described :
“On a day come tiding
Al of a doughti knight
And askede him what a het, 12
Sir Bevis of Hamplon, I. 2512.
Auchinleck Ms. fol. 189.
NOTE I. Though all unask'd his birth and name.-P. 191. The Highlanders, who carried hospitality to a punctilious excess, are said to have considered it as churlish, to ask a stranger his name or lineage, before he had taken refreshment.
1 Found, proved. Had.-3 Mensured. 4 Breadth - 5 Were.-- Black. -1 Fully-8 Rough.-9 His.--10 Give.-11 The stem of a little oak-tree, -12 He hight, was called.-13 11.-14 Great.--15 He said.-16 Slay. 17 H18.--18 My.-19 Little.-20 Lean.-21 Dwarf.--92 Greater, taller, 23 Ten
Feads were so frequent among them, that a contrary rule would ance, over a cup of ale. Poor inspiration! They were not in many cases have produced the discovery of some circum- asked to drink a glass of wine at our table, though the whole stance, which might bave excluded the guest from the benefit company consisted only of the great man, one of his near reof the assistance he stood in need of.
lations, 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 of few various
notes, began, as I was told, one of his own lyricks; and when Nore K.
he had proceeded to the fourth or fifth stanza, I perceived, by and still a harp unseen,
the names of several persons, glens, and mountains, which I Fild up the symphony between.-P. 191.
had known or heard of before, that it was an account of some “They'' (meaning the Highlanders) " delight much in mu
clan battle. But in his going on, the chief (who piques him
self upon his school-learning), at some particular passage, bid sieke, bat chiefly in harps and clairschoes of their own fashion.
him cease, and cried out, “There's nothing like that in Virgil The strings of the clairschoes are made of brass wire, and the
or Homer.' I bowed, and told him I believed so. strings of the harps, of sinews; which strings they strike either
may believe was very edifying and delightful.”—Letters, ii. with their nayles, growing long, or else with an instrument ap
167. pointed for that use. They take great pleasure to decke their harps and clairschoes with silver and precious stones ; the poore ones that cannot attayne hereunto, decke them with christall. They sing verses prettily compound, contayning (for the most
NOTE M. part) prayses of valiant men. There is not almost any other
The Grame.-P. 194. argument, whereof their rhymes intreat. They speak the ancient. French language altered a little.”_" The harp and The ancient and powerful family of Graham (which, for metclairschoes are now only heard in the Highlands in ancient song. rical reasons, is here spelt after the Scottish pronunciation) At what period these instruments ceased to be used, is not on held extensive possessions in the counties of Dumbarton and record; and tradition is silent on this head. But, as Irish harp- Stirling. Few families can boast of more historical renown, er occasionally visited the Highlands and Western Isles till having claim to three of the most remarkable characters in the lately, the harp might have been extant so late as the middle Scottish annals. Sir John the Græme, the faithful and unof the last century. Thus far we know, that from remote daunted partaker of the labors and patriotic warfare of Waltimes down to the present, harpers were received as welcome lace, fell in the unfortunate field of Falkirk, in 1298. The celguests, particularly in the Highlands of Scotland ; and so late ebrated Marquis of Montrose, in whom De Retz saw realized as the latter end of the sixteenth century as appears by the his abstract idea of the heroes of antiquity, was the second of above quotation; the harp was in common use among the na- these worthies. And, notwithstanding the severity of his temtives of the Western Isles. How it happened that the noisy | per, and the rigor with which he executed the oppressive manand unharmonious bagpipes banished the soft and expressive dates of the princes whom he served, I do not hesitate to name harp, we cannot say; but certain it that the bagpipe is now as a third, John Græme of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, the only instrument that obtains universally in the Highland whose heroic death in the arms of victory may be allowed to districts."'--CAMPBELL's Journey through North Britain. cancel the memory of his cruelty to the non-conformists, during Lond. 1808, 4to. I. 175.
the reigns of Charles II. and James II. Mr. Gunn, of Edinburgh, has lately published a curious Essay upon the Harp and Harp Music of the Highlands of Scotland. That the instrument was once in common use there, is most certain. Clelland numbers an acquaintance with it among
NOTE N. the few accomplishments which his satire allows to the Highlanders :-
This harp, which erst Saint Modan sway'd.-P. 194. “ In nothing they're accounted sharp,
I am not prepared to show that Saint Modan was a perExcept in bagpipe or in harp."
former on the harp. It was, however, no unsaintly accomplishment ; for Saint Dunstan certainly did play upon that instrument, which retaining, as was natural, a portion of the
sanctity attached to its master's character, announced futore NOTE L.
events by its spontaneous sound. “But laboring once in Morn's genial influence toused a minstrel gray.--P. 193.
these mechanic arts for a devout matrone that had sett him
on work, his violl, that hung by him on the wall, of its own That Highland chieftains, to a late period, retained in their accord, without anie man's helpe, distinctly sounded this anservice the bard, as a family officer, admits of very easy proof. thime :-Gaudent in cælis animæ sanctorum qui Christi The author of the Letters from the North of Scotland, an offi- vestigia sunt secuti; et quia pro eius amore sanguinem cer of engineers, quartered at Inverness about 1720, who cer- suum fuderunt, ideo cum Christo gaudent æternum. Where tainly cannot be deemed a favorable witness, gives the follow- at all the companie being much astonished, turned their eyes ing account of the office, and of a bard whom he heard exer- from beholding him working, to looke on that strange accicise his talent of recitation :—“The bard is skilled in the gene
* “Not long after, manie of the court that alogy of all the Highland families, sometimes preceptor to the hitherunto had borne a kind of fayned friendship towards bim, young laird, celebrates in Irish verse the original of the tribe, began now greatly to envie at his progress and rising in goodthe famous warlike actions of the successive heads, and sings nes, using manie crooked, backbiting meanes to diffame his verhis own lyricks as an opiate to the chief when indisposed for tues with the black maskes of hypocrisie. And the better to sleep; but poets are not equally esteemed and honored in all authorize their calumnie, they brought in this that happened countries. I happened to be a witness of the dishonor done to in the violl, affirming it to have been done by art magick. the mase at the house of one of the chiefs, where two of these What more? This wicked rumour increased dayly, till the bards were set at a good distance, at the lower end of a long king and others of the nobilitie taking hould thereof, Dunstan table, with a parcel of Highlanders of no extraordinary appear- grew odious in their sight. Therefore he resolued to leave the
court and go to Elphegus, surnamed the Banld, then Bishop of 1 Vide, “ Certayne Matters concerning the Realme of Scotland, &c, ng
Winchester, who was his cozen. Which his enemies underthey were Anno Domini 1591. Lond. 1603." 4to.
standing, they layd wayt for him in the way, and haaing