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Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless flung
XXVIII. The wandering stranger round him gazed, And next the fallen
raised: Few were the arms whose sinewy strength Sufficed to stretch it forth at length.
1 [MS." Here grins the wolf as when he died,
There hung the wild-cat's brindled hide,
And as the brand he poised and sway'd,
I never knew but one,” he said,
1 [See Appendix, Note B.]
Young Ellen gave a mother's name."] 3 The Highlanders, who carried hospitality to a panctilious to age,
Such then the reverence to a guest,
excess, are said to have considered it as churlish, to ask a stranger his name or lineage, before he had taken refreshment. Feuds were so frequent among them, that a contrary rule would in many cases have produced the discovery of some circumstance, which might have excluded the guest from the benefit of the assistance he stood in need of.
1TMS.-"Well show'd the mother's easy mien.”?
Ellen, though more her looks display'd'
Weird women wel by dale and down
sung, and still a harp unseen
The simple heart of mountain maid,
The mother heard with silence grave."] * “ They” (meaning the Highlanders) “ delight much in music, but chiefly in harps and clairschoes of their own fashion. The strings of the clairschoes are made of brass wire, and the strings of the harps of sinews; which strings they strike either with their nayles, growing long, or else with an instrument appointed for that use. They take great pleasure to decke their harps and XXXI.
Song. Soldier, rest I thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking : Dream of battled fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking. clairschoes with silver and precious stones; the poor ones that cannot attayne hereunto, decke them with christall. They sing verses prettily compound, contayning (for the most part) prayses of valiant men. There is not almost any other argument, whereof their rhymes intreat. They speak the ancient French language altered a little.”l_"The harp and clairschoes are now only heard of in the Highlands in ancient song. At what period these instruments ceased to be used, is not on record; and tradition is silent on this head. But, as Irish harpers occasionally visited the Highlands and Western Isles till lately, the harp might have been extant so late as the middle of the present century. Thus far we know, that from remote times down to the present, harpers were received as welcome guests, particularly in the Highlands of Scotland; and so late as the latter end of the sixteenth century, as appears by the above quotation, the harp was in common use among the natives of the Western Isles. How it happened that the noisy and unharmonious bagpipe banished the soft and expressive harp, we cannot say; but certain it is, that the bagpipe is now the only instrument that obtains universally in the Highland districts.”—CAMPBELL's Journey through North Britain. Lond. 1808, 4to, I. 175.
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. Cleland numbers an acquaintance with it among the few accomplishments which his satire allows to the Highlanders :
"In nothing they're accounted sharp,
Except in bagpipe or in harp." 1 Vide“ Certayne Matters concerning tho Realme of Scotland, &c. de thos were Anno Domini 1597. Lond. 1603,” 4to.