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The catastrophead of the English foemen told.

accessible only from the west, by a steep and rocky His acton pierced and tore,
path. The apartments, as is usual in a Border keep, His axe and his dagger with blood imbrued, -
or fortress, are placed one above another, and com But it was not English gore.
municate by a narrow stair; on the roof are two He lighted at the Chapellage,
bartizans, or platforms, for defence or pleasure. The

He held bim close and still;
inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron and he whistled thrice for his little foot-page,
gate; the distance between them being nine feet, the

His name was English Will. thickness, namely, of the wall. From the elevated

" Come thou hither, my little foot-page, situation of Smaylho'me Tower, it is seen many miles

Come hither to my knee; in every direction. Among the crags by which it is surrounded, one, more eminent, is called the Watch Though thou art young, and tender of age,

I think thou art true to me. fold, and is said to have been the station of a beacon, in the times of war with England. Without the “Come, tell me all that thou hast seen, tower-court is a ruined chapel. Brotherstone is a And look thou tell me true! heath, in the neighbourhood of Smaylho'me Tower.

Since I from Smaylho'me tower have been, This ballad was first printed in Mr. Lewis's Tales What did thy lady do ?”— of Wonder. It is here published, with some addi

“My lady, each night, sought the lonely light, tional illustrations, particularly an account of the

That burns on the wild Watchfold; battle of Ancram Moor; which seemed proper in a For, from height to beight, the beacons bright work upon Border antiquities. The catastrophe of the tale is founded upon a well-known Irish tradition. This ancient fortress and its vicinity formed

". The bittern clamour'd from the moss, the scene of the Editor's infancy, and seemed to claim

The wind blew loud and shrill; from him this attempt to celebrate them in a Border Yet the craggy pathway she did cross, tale."

To the eiry Beacon Hill.

“I watch'd her steps, and silent came THE EVE OF ST. JOHN.

Where she sat her on a stone ;

No watchman stood by the dreary flame, The Baron of Smaylhoʼme rose with day,

It burned all alone. He spurr'd his courser on,

“ The second night I kept her in sight, Without stop or stay, down the rocky way,

Till to the fire she came, That leads to Brotherstone.

And, by Mary's might ! an Armed Knight He went not with the bold Buccleuch,

Stood by the lonely slame. His banner broad to rear;

“ And many a word that warlike lord He went not 'gainst the English yew,

Did speak to my lady there;
To lift the Scottish spear.

But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast,
Yet bis plate-jack' was braced, and his helmet was And I heard not what they were.
And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore; [laced,

“The third night there the sky was fair, At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel sperthe,

And the mountain-blast was still, Full ten pound weight and more.

As again I watch'd the secret pair, The Baron return’d in three days'space,

On the lonesome Beacon Hill. And his looks were sad and sour;

“And I heard her name the midnight hour, And weary was his courser's pace,

And name this holy eve; As he reach'd his rocky tower.

And say, “Come this night to thy lady's bower; He came not from where Ancram Moor 4

Ask no bold Baron's leave. Ran red with English blood :

“! He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch; Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch,

His lady is all alone; 'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood.

The door she'll undo, to her knight so true, Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd,

On the eve of good St. John.'—


· The following passage, in Dr. HENRY MORE'S Appendix to the (See the Introduction to the third canto of Marmion..... Antidote against Alheism, relates to a similar phenomenon :

" It was a barren scene, and wild, “I conless, that the bodies of devils may not be only warm, but

Wbere naked cliffs were rudely piled; sindgingly hol, as it was in him that took one of Melancthon's

But ever and anon between relations by the hand, and so scorched her, that she bare the

Lay velvet lusts ol softest green; mark of it to her dying day. But the examples of cold are more

And well the lonely infant knew frequent; as in that famous story of Cuntius, when he touched

Recesses where the wallflower grew," etc.-Ed.) the arm of a certain woman of Pentoch, as she lay in her bed, 3 The plate-jack is coat-armour; the vaunt-brace, or wamhe felt as cold as ice; and so did the spirit's claw to Anne Styles." brace, armour for the body : the sperthe, a battle-axe. -Ed. 1662, p. 155.

4 See Appendix, p. 267.

66 The grave

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“ ' I cannot come; I must not come;

deep and dark—and the corpse is stiff I dare not come to thee;

and starkOn the eve of St. John I must wander alone:

So I may not trust thy tale. In thy bower I may not be.'

" Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose, Now, out on thee, fainthearted knight!

And Eildon slopes to the plain, Thou shouldst not say me nay;

Full three nights ago, by some secret foe, For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,

That gay gallant was slain. Is worth the whole summer's day.

“The varying light deceived thy sight, "And I'll chain the blood-hound, and the warder

And the wild winds drown'd the name; shall not sound,

For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the white monks And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair ;

For Sir Richard of Coldinghame!”

(do sing, So, by the black rood-stone,' and by holy St. John, He pass’d the court-gate, and he oped the tower-gate, I conjure thee, my love, to be there!'

And he mounted the varrow stair,

To the bartizan seat, where, with maids that on her 6. Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush beneath my foot,

He found his lady fair.

And the warder his bugle should not blow, That lady sat in mournful mood;
Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the east, Look'd over hill and vale;
And my footstep he would know.'-

Over Tweed's fair flood, and Mertoun'sy wood,

And all down Teviotdale. "O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east ! For to Dryburgh the way he has ta'en;

“Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!”And there to say mass, till three days do pass,

“Now hail, thou Baron true! For the soul of a knight that is slayne.'—

What news, what news, from Ancram fight?

What news from the bold Buccleuch ? "“He turn'd him around, and grimly he frown'd; Then he laugh'd right scornfully

“ The Ancram Moor is red with gore, “He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight,

For many a southern fell;

And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore, May as well say mass for me :

To watch our beacons well." "At the lone midnight hour when bad spirits have In thy chamber will I be.'

The lady blush'd red, but nothing she said :

Nor added the Baron a word :
With that he was gone, and my lady left alone,
And no more did I see.”

Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,

And so did her moody lord.
Then changed, I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
From the dark to the blood-red high.

Io sleep the lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd and
And oft to bimself he said, -

[turn’d, Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,

“The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave For, by Mary, he shall die!”

It cannot give up the dead !”

[is deep..... “ His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red light; It was near the ringing of matin-bell, His plume it was scarlet and blue ;

The night was wellnigh done, On his 'ield was a hound, in a silver leash bound,

When a heavy sleep on that Baron fell, And his crest was a branch of the yew."

On the eve of good St. John. “ Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,

The lady look’d through the chamber fair, Loud dost thou lie to me!

By the light of a dying slame; For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,

And she was aware of a knight stood thereAll under the Eildon-tree.” 3

Sir Richard of Coldinghame! " Yet hear but my word, my noble lord!

“Alas ! away, away!” she cried, For I heard her name his name ;

“For the holy Virgin's sake!”– And that lady bright, she called the knight

“Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side; Sir Richard of Coldinghame."

But, lady, he will not awake.
The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow, “By Eildon-tree, for long nights three,
From high blood-red to pale-

In bloody grave have I lain;

1 The black-rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and of superior sanclity.

· Dryburgh Abbey is beautifully situated on the banks of the Tweed. After its dissolution, it became the property of the Halliburtons of Newmains, and is now the seat of the Right Honourable the Earl of Buchan. It belonged in the order of Premonstralenses.--[The ancient Barons of Newmains were ultimalely

represented by Sir Walter Scott, whose remains now repose iu
théir cemetery at Dryburgh.-ED. ]

3 Eildon is a high hill, terminating in three conical summits,
immediately above the town of Melrose, where are the admired
ruins of a magnificent monastery. Eildon-tree is said to be the spot
where Thomas the Rhymer uttered his prophecies. See p. 248.

4 Mertouu is the beautiful scat of Flugh Scolt, Esq. of Harden.

compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the King of England. Upon the 17th November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody ledger of Lord Evers :

Towns, towers, barnekynes, paryshe churches, bastill houses, burned and destroyed,

192 Scots slain.

403 Prisoners taken.

816 Nolt (cattle).

10,386 Shepe.

12,492 Nags and geldings.

1,296 Gayt.

200 Bolls of corn.

830 Insight gear, etc. (furniture) an incalculable quantity.

MURDINS State Papers, vol. 1. p. 5t.

For these services Sir Ralph Evers was made a Lord of Parliament. See a strain of exulting congratulation upon his promotion, poured forth by some contemporary minstrel, ante,

p. 73.

The mass and the death-prayer are said for me,

But, lady, they are said in vain. "By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,

Most foully slain, I fell;
And my restless sprite on the beacon's height,

For a space is dooni'd to dwell.
“At our trysting-place,' for a certain space,

I must wander to and fro;
But I had not had power to come to thy bower,

Had'st thou not conjured me so.”-
Love master'd fear-her brow she cross'd;

“How, Richard, hast thou sped ? And art thou saved, or art thou lost ?”.

The vision shook his head !
“Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life;

So bid thy lord believe :
That lawless love is guilt above,

This awful sign receive.”
He laid his left palm on an oaken beam;

His right upon her hand;
The lady shrunk, and fainting sunk,

For it scorch'd like a fiery brand.
The sable score, of fingers four,

Remains on that board impress’d;
And for evermore that lady wore

A covering on her wrist.
There is a nun in Dryburgh bower,

Ne'er looks upon the sun;
There is a monk in Melrose tower,

He speaketh word to none.
That nun, who ne'er beholds the day,"

That monk, who speaks to none--
That nun was Smaylho'me's Lady gay,

That monk the bold Baron.

The King of England had promised to these two barons a feudal grant of the country, which they had thus reduced to a desert; upon hearing which, Archibald Douglas, the seventh Earl of Angus, is said to have sworn to write the deed of investiture upon their skins, with sharp pens and bloody ink, in resenlment for their having defaced the tombs of his ancestors, at Melrose.--Godscroft. In 1545, Lord Evers and Latoun again entered Scotland, with an army consisting of 3000 mercenaries, 1500 English Borderers, and 700 assured Scottish-men, chiefly Armstrongs, Turnbulls, and other broken clans. In this second incursion, the English generals even exceeded their former cruelty. Evers burned the tower of Broomhouse, with its lady, (a noble and aged woman, says Lesley.) and her whole family. The English penetrated as far as Melrose, which they had destroyed last year, and which they now again pillaged. As they returned towards Jedburgh, they were followed by Angus, at the head of 1000 horse, who was shortly after joined by the famous Norman Lesley, with a body of Fife-men. The English, being probably unwilling to cross the Teviot, while the Scots hung upon their rear, halted upon Ancram Moor; above the village of that name; and the Scottish general was deliberating whether to advance or retire, when Sir Walter Scott, 3 of Buccleuch, came up at full speed, with a small but chosen body of his retainers, the rest of whom were near at hand. By the advice of this experienced warrior, (lo whose conduct Pitscollie and Buchanan ascribe the success of the engagement, ) Angus withdrew from the height which he occupied, and drew up his forces behind it, upon a piece of low flat ground, called Panier-heugh, or Paniel-heugh. The spare horses being sent to an eminence in their rear, appeared to the English to be the main body of the Scots, in the act of flight. Under this persuasion, Evers and Latoun hurried precipitately forward, and, having ascended the hill, which their foes had abandoned, were no less dismayed than astonished, to find the phalanx of Scottish spearmen drawn up, In firm array, upon the flat ground below. The Scots in their turn became the assailants. A heron, roused from the marshes by the tumult, soared away betwixt the encountering armies : "0!" exclaimed Angus," that I had here my white goss-hawk, that we might all yoke at once!"-Godscroft. The English, breathless and fatigued, having the setting sun and wind full in their faces, were unable to withstand the resolute and




Lord Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1514, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers,

· Trysting-place-Place of rendezvous.

regarded, by the well-informed, with compassion, as deranged in • The circumstance of the nun, “who never saw the day," is her understanding; and by the vulgar, with some degree of terror. not entirely imaginary. About fifty years ago, an unfortunate The cause of her adopting this extraordinary mode of life she female wanderer took up her residence in a dark vault, among would never explain. It was, however, believed to have been the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, which, during the day, she never occasioned by a vow, that, during the absence of a man to whom quitted. When nighl fell, she issued from this miserable habita she was attached, she would never look upon the sun. Her lover tion, and went to the house of Mr. Haliburton of Newmains, the never returned. He fell during the civil war of 1745-6, and she Editor's great-grandfather, or to that of Mr. Erskine of Sheilfield, never more would behold the light of day. two gentlemen of the neighbourhood. From their charity, she The vault, or rather dungeon, in which this unfortunate woman obtained such necessaries as she could be prevailed upon to accept. lived and died, passes still by the name of the supernatural being, Al twelve, each night, she lighted her candle, and returned to her with which ils gloom was teuanted by her disturbed imagination, vault, assuring her friendly neighbours, thal, during her absence, and few of the neighbouring peasants dare enter it by night.her habitation was arranged by a spirit, to whom she gave the 1803. uncouth name of Fatlips; describing him as a little man, wearing 3 The Editor has found no instance upon record, of this family beavy iron shoes, with which he irampled the clay floor of the having taken assurance with England. Hence, they usually sufvault, to dispel the damps. This circumstance caused her to be fered dreadfully from the English forays. In August, 1844. (the

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