Imágenes de páginas

Think'st thou he trow'd thine omen aught?
Oh no! 'twas apprehensive thought
For the kind youth,- for Roderick toom-
(Let me be just) that friend so true;
In danger both, and in our cause !
Minstrel, the Douglas dare not pause.
Why else that solemn warning given,

If not on earth, we meet in heaven!'
Why else, to Cambus-kenneth's fane,
If eve return him not again,
Am I to hie, and make me known?
Alas! he goes to Scotland's throne,
Buys his friend's safety with his own ;-
He goes to do-what I had done,
Had Douglas's daughter been his son !"-

XI. “Nay, lovely Ellen!—dearest, nay! If aught should his return delay, He only named yon holy fane As fitting place to meet again. Be sure he's safe ; and for the Græme,-Heaven's blessing on his gallant namelMy vision'd sight may yet prove true, Nor bode of ill to him or you. When did my gifted dream beguile? Think of the stranger at the isle, And think upon the harpings slow, That presaged this approaching woe!

Sooth was my prophecy of fear;
Believe it when it augurs cheer.
Would we had left this dismal spot !
Il luck still haunts a fairy grot.
Of such a wondrous tale I know-
Dear lady, change that look of woe,
My harp was wont thy grief to cheer.”-

Well, be it as thou wilt; I hear,
But cannot stop the bursting tear.”
The Minstrel tried his simple art,
But distant far was Ellen's heart.

Ballad. 1


Merry it is in the good greenwood,

When the mavis ? and merle: are singing, When the deer sweeps by, and the hounds are in cry

And the hunter's horn is ringing.

“O Alice Brand, my native land Is lost for love of

you: And we must hold by wood and wold,

As outlaws wont to do.

1 [See Appendix, Note K.] * Thrush.

3 Blackbird

“O Alice, 'twas all for thy locks so bright,

And 'twas all for thine eyes so blue, That on the night of our luckless flight,

Thy brother bold I slew.

66 Now must I teach to hew the beech

The hand that held the glaive, For leaves to spread our lowly bed,

And stakes to fence our cave.

" And for vest of pall, thy fingers small,

That wont on harp to stray, A cloak must shear from the slaughter'd deer,

To keep the cold away."

“ O Richard ! if my brother died,

'Twas but a fatal chance; For darkling was the battle tried,

And fortune sped the lance.?

“ If pall and vair no more I wear,

Nor thou the crimson sheen,
As warm, we'll say, is the russet grey

As gay the forest-green.

" And, Richard, if our lot be hard,

And lost thy native land,
.-"'Twas but a midnight chance;

For blindfold was the battle plied,
And fortune held the lance."]


[merged small][ocr errors]

'Tis merry,

Ballad continued.

'tis merry, in good greenwood. .
So blithe Lady Alice is singing;
On the beech's pride, and oak's brown side,

Lord Richard's axe is ringing.

[blocks in formation]

1 in a long dissertation upon the Fairy Superstitions, publish. ed in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, the most valuable part of which was supplied by my learned and indefatigable friend, Dr John Leyden, most of the circumstances are collected which can throw light upon the popular belief which even yet prevails respecting them in Scotland. Dr Graham, author of an entertaining work upon the Scenery of the Porthshire Highlands, already frequently quoted, has recorded, with great accuracy, the peculiar tenets held by the Highlanders on this topic, in the vicinity of Loch Katrine. The learned author is inclined to de. duce the whole mythology from the Druidical system,ếan opinion to which there are many objections.

“The Daoine Shi' or Men of Peace of the Highlanders, though pot absolutely malevolent, are believed to be a peovish, repining race of beings, who, possessing themselves but a scanty portion of happiness, are supposed to envy mankind their more complete and substantial enjoyments. They are supposed to enjoy in their subterraneous recesses, a sort of shadowy happiness,a tinsel grandeur; which, however, they would willingly exchange for the more solid joys of mortality.

Like wind in the porch of a ruin'd church,

His voice was ghostly shrill.


" They are believed to inhabit certain round grassy eminences, where they celebrate their nocturnal festivities by the light of the

About a mile beyond the source of the Forth above Lochcon, there is a place called Coirshi'an, or the core of the Men of Peace, which is still supposed to be a favourite place of their residence. In the neighbourhood are to be seen many round conical eminences; particularly one, near the head of the lake, by the skirts of which many are still afraid to pass after sunset. It is believed, that if, on Hallow-eve, any person, alone, goes round one of these hills nine times, towards the left hand (sinistrorsum) a door shall open, by which he will be admitted into their subterraneous abodes. Many, it is said, of mortal race, have been entertained in their secret recesses. There they have been received into the most splendid apartments, and regaled with the most sumptuous banquets, and delicious wines. Their females surpass the daughters of men in beauty. The seemingly happy inhabitants pass their time in festivity, and in dancing to notes of the softest music. But unhappy is the mortal who joins in their joys, or ventures to partake of their dainties. By this indulgence, he forfeits for ever the society of men, and is bound down irrevocably to the condition of Shi'ich, or Man of Peace.

“A woman, as is reported in the Highland tradition, was conveyed in days of yore, into the secret recesses of the Men of Peace. There she was recognised by one who had formerly been an ordinary mortal, but who had, by some fatality, become associated with the Shi'ichs. This acquaintance, still retaining some portion of human benevolence, warned her of her danger, and counselled her, as she valued her liberty, to abstain from eating and drinking with them for a certain space of time. She complied with the counsel of her friend; and when the period assigned was elapsed, she found herself again upon earth, restored to the society of mortals. It is added, that when she examined the viands which had been presented to her, and which had appeared so VIII.


« AnteriorContinuar »