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You, Herbert and Luffness, alight,
XVIII. "Stand, Bayard, stand!"—the steed obey'd, With arching neck and bended head, And glancing eye and quivering ear, As if he loved his lord to hear. No foot Fitz-James in stirrup staid, No grasp upon the saddle laid, But wreath'd his left hand in the mane, And lightly bounded from the plain, Turn’d on the horse his armed heel, And stirr d his courage with the steel. Bounded the fiery steed in air, The rider sate erect and fair, Then like a bolt from steel crossbow Forth launch'd, along the plain they go. They dash'd that rapid current through, And up Carhonie's hill they flew;
Still at the gallop prick'd the Knight,
1 [The ruins of Doune Castle, formerly the residence of the Earls of Menteith, now the property of the Earl of Moray, are si. tuated at the confluence of the Ardoch and the Teith.]
2 (MS.—"Blair-Drummond saw their hoofs of fire."]
3 [It may be worth noting, that the Poet marks the progress of the King by naming in succession places familiar and dear to his own early recollections-Blair-Drummond, the seat of the Homes of Kaimes; Kier, that of the principal family of the name of Stirling; Ochtertyre, that of John Ramsay, the well-known antiquary, and correspondent of Burns; and Craigforth, that of the Callenders of Craigforth, almost under the walls of Stirling Castle ;-all hospitable roofs, under which he had spent many of his younger days. -ED.)
Grey Stirling, with her towers and town,
Out, out, De Vaux! can fear supply,
1 [MS.-"As up the steepy path they strain'd.”]
3 [The Edinburgh Reviewer remarks on " that unhappy couplet, where the King himself is in such distress for a rhymo as to
Away, away, to court, to show
be obliged to apply to one of the obscurest saints in the calen. dar.” The reading of the MS. is
" 'Tis James of Douglas, by my word.
The uncle of the banish'd Lord."
And thou, O sad and fatal mound !?
1[An eminence on the north-east of the Castle, where state criminals were executed. Stirling was often polluted with noble blood. It is thus apostrophized by J. Johnston :
Lætior aut cæli frons geniusve soli.” The fate of William, eighth Earl of Douglas, whom James II. stabbed in Stirling Castle with his own hand, and while under his royal safe-conduct, is familiar to all who read Scottish history. Murdack Duke of Albany, Duncan Earl of Lennox, his father-in-law, and his two sons, Walter and Alexander Stuart, were executed at Stirling, in 1425. They were beheaded upon an eminence without the castle walls, but making part of the same hill, from whence they could behold their strong castle of Doune, and their extensive possessions. This “ heading hill,” as it was sometimes termed, bears commonly the less terrible name of Hurly-hacket, from its having been the scene of a courtly amusement alluded to by Sir David Lindsay, who says of the pastimes in which the young king was engaged,
"Some harled him to the Hurly-hacket;' which consisted in sliding, in some sort of chair, it may be sup. posed, from top to bottom of a smooth bank. The boys of Edin. burgh, about twenty years ago, used to play at hurly-hacket, on the Calton-hili, using for their seat a horse's skull.