Page images

O TELL ME HOW TO WOO THEE. | shall take the liberty of quoting, as an introduction

to what he has to offer upon the saine subject. And The following verses are taken down from 'recita- if he shall have the misfortune to differ from the

tion, and are averred to be of the age of CHARLES learned gentleman, he will at least lay candidly beI. They have, indeed, much of the romantic er- fore the public the grounds of his opinion. pression of passion common to the poets of that “That the souters of Selkirk should, in 1513, amount period, whose lays still reflected the setting beams to fourscore fighting men, is a circumstance utterly of chivalry; but, since their publication in the incredible. It is scarcely to be supposed that all the first edition of this work, the Editor has been shoemakers in Scotland could have produced such assured that they were composed by the late Mr. an army, at a period when shoes must have been GRAHAM of Gartmore.*

still less worn than they are at present. Dr. John

son, indeed, was told at Aberdeen, that the people If doughty deeds my ladye please,

learned the art of making shoes from Cromwell's Right soon I'll mount my steed;

soldiers.— * The numbers,' he adds, that go bareAnd strong his arm, and fast his seat, foot, are still sufficient to show that shoes may be That bears frae me the meed.

spared; they are not yet considered as necessaries I'll wear thy colours in my cap,

of life; for tall boys, not otherwise meanly dressed, Thy picture in my heart;

run without them in the streets; and, in the islands, And he that bends not to thine eye

the sons of gentlemen pass several of their first Shall rue it to his smart.

years with naked feet.' ---(Journey to the Western Then tell me how to woo thee, love Islands, p. 55.) Away, then, with the fable of the O tell me how to woo thee!

Souters of Selkirk! Mr. Tytler, though he mentions For thy dear sake, nae care I'll take, it as the subject of a song, or ballad, does not reTho' ne'er another trow me.

member ever to have seen the original genuine If gay attire delight thine eye,

words,'-—as he obligingly acknowledged in a letter

to the Editor. Mr. Robertson, however, who gives l'il dight me in array;

the Statistical Account of the Parish of Selkirk, I'll tend thy chamber door all night, And squire thee all the day.

seems to know something more of the matter,

'Some,' says he, have very falsely attributed to this If sweetest sounds can win thy ear,

event (the battle of Flowden,) that song,
These sounds I'll strive to catch;
Thy voice I'll steal to woo thysell,

*Up wi' the souters of Selkirk,

And down with the Earl of Home.'
That voice that nane can match.
Then tell me how to woo thee, love;

"There was no Earl of Home,' he adds, 'at that O tell me how to woo thee!

time, nor was this song composed till long after. It

arose from a bet betwixt the Philiphaugh and Home For thy dear sake, nae care I'll take, Tho ne'er another trow me.

families; the souters (or shoemakers) of Selkirk,

against the men of Home, at a match of football, in But if fond love thy heart can gain,

which the souters of Selkirk completely gained, and I never broke a vow;

afterwards perpetuated their victory in that song. Nae maiden lays her skaith to me,

This is decisive; and so much for Scottish tradition." I never loved but you.

-Note to Historical Essay on Scollish Song, preFor you alone I ride the ring,

fixed to Scottish Songs, in 2 vols. 1794. For you I wear the blue;

It is proper to remark, that the passage of Mr. For you alone I strive to sing,

Robertson's Statistical Account, above quoted, does O tell me how to woo!

not relate to the authenticity of the tradition, but to O tell me how to woo thee, love;

the origin of the song, which is obviously a separate O tell me how to woo thee!

and distinct question. The entire passage in the For thy dear sake, nae care I'll take,

Statistical Account (of which a part only is quoted Tho' ne'er another trow me.

in the essay) runs thus:

"Here, too, the inhabitants of the town of Selkirk,

who breathed the manly spirit of real freedom, jusi. THE SOUTERS OF SELKIRK.

ly merit particular attention. Of one hundred citi

zens, who followed the fortunes of James IV. on the This little lyric piece, with those which immedi- plains of Flowden, a few returned, loaded with the ately follow in the collection, relates to the fatal spoils taken from the enemy. Some of these trophies battle of Flodden, in which the flower of the Scot-still survive the rust of time, and the effects of negtish nobility fell around their sovereign, James IV.

Tigence. The desperate valour of the citizens of The ancient and received tradition of the burgh of Selkirk, which, on that fatal day, was eminently Selkirk affirms, that the citizens of that town dis- conspicuous to both armies, produced very opposite tinguished themselves by their gallantry on that effecis. The implacable resentment of the English disastrous occasion. Eighty in number, and headed reduced their desenceless town to ashes; while their by their town-clerk, they joined their monarch on grateful sovereign (James V.) showed his sense of his entrance into England. James, pleased with the their valour, by a grant of an extensive portion of appearance of this gallant troop, knighted their lead- the forest, the trees for building their houses, and er, William Brydone, upon the field of battle, from the property, as the reward of their heroism. which few of the men of Selkirk were destined to note is added by Mr. Robertson :-"A standard, the return. They distinguished themselves in the con- appearance of which bespeaks its antiquity, is still flict, and were almost all slain. The few survivors, carried annually (on the day of riding their common) on their return home, found, by the side of Lady- by the corporation of weavers, by a member of which Wood Edge, the corpse of a female, wife to one of it was taken from the English in the field of Flowtheir fallen "comrades, with a child sucking at her den. It may be added, that the sword of William breast. In memory of this latter event, continues Brydone, the town-clerk, who led the citizens to the the tradition, the present arms of the burgh bear a battle, (and who is said to have been knighted for female, holding a child in her arms, and seated on a his valour.) is still in the possession of John Brysarcophagus, decorated with the Scottish lion; in done, a citizen of Selkirk, his lineal descendant." the background a wood.

An additional note contains the passage quoted in A learned antiquary,t whose judgment and accu- the Essay on Scottish Song. racy claim respect, has made some observations upon

If the testimony of Mr. Robertson is to be receithe probability of this tradition, which the Editor ved as decisive of the question, the learned author of

essay will surely admit

, upon re-perusal, that the Minstrelsy, Sir W. Scott told me he believed them to have been positive and unequivocal declaration of his belief in

. (When these verses were included in the first edition of the passage in the Statistical Account contains the most the composition of a nobler Grahame-the great Marquis of Mon the tradition. trose --ED1 + [The late Mr. Joseph Ritson.]

Neither does the story itself, upon close examina.

tion, contain any thing inconsistent with probability. I pressed: "We for the gude trew and thankful service The towns upon the Border, and especially Selkirk done and to be done to ws be owre lovittis the baillies and Jedburgh, were inhabited by a race of citizens, burgesses and communite of our burgh of Selkirk and who, from the necessity of their situation, and from for certain otheris reasonable causis and consideratioihe nature of their possessions, (held by burgage te nis moving ws be the tennor hereof grantis and gevis linure,) were inured to the use of arms. Selkirk was a cense to thame and thair successors to ryfe out breke county town, and a royal burgh; and when the ar- and teil yeirlie ane thousand* acres of their common ray of the kingdom, amounuing to no less than one landis of our said burgh in what part thairof thea hundred thousand warriors, was marshalled by the pleas for polecy strengthing, and bigging of the royal command, eighty men seems no unreasonable samyn for the wele of ws and of lieges repair and proportion from a place of consequence, lying so very thairio and defence againis owre auld innemyis of near the scene of action.

Ingland and other wayis and will and grantis that Neither is it necessary to suppose, literally, that thai sall nocht be callit accusit nor incur ony danger the men of Selkirk were all souters. This appella- or skaith thairthrow in thair personis landis nor ton was obviously bestowed on them, because it was gudes in ony wise in time coming NochtwITHSTANDthe trade most generally practised in the town, and ing ony owre actis or statutis maid or to be maid therefore passed into a general epithet. Even the in the contrar in ony panys contenit tharein anent erstence of such a craft, however, is accounted im- the quhilkis we dispens with thame be thir owre letprobable by the learned essayist, who seems hardly ters with power to them to occupy the saidis landis to allow, that the Scottish nation was, at that pe- with thare awne gudis or to set theme to tenentis as nat, acquainted with the art "of accommodating thai sall think maist expedient for the wele of our their feet with shoes." And here he attacks us with said burgh with frei ische and entri and with all and our own weapons, and wields the tradition of Aber- sindry utheris commoditeis freedomes asiamentis deen against that of Selkirk. We shall not stop to and richtuis pertenentis whatsumever pertenyng or ingure, in what respect Cromwell's regiment of that rychtuisly may pertene thairto perpetually in missionary cobblers deserves, in point of probability, tyme cuming frelie quietlie wele and in peace but ony to take precedence of the souters of Selkirk. But, revocatioun or agane calling, whatsumever Gevin allowing that all the shoemakers in England, with under owre signet and subscrivit with owre hand at Praise-the-Lord-Barebones at their head, had gene- Striveling the iwenty day of Junii 'The yere of God musly combined to instruct the men of Aberdeen in ane thousand five hundreth and thretty six yeris and the arts of psalmody and cobbling, it by no means of our regne the twenty thre year." Here follows bears upon the present question. If instruction was another grant: “We UNDERSTANDING that owre at all necessary, it must have been in teaching the burgh of Selkirk and inhabitants thairof CONTINUnatives how to make shocs, properly so called, in op-ALIE SEN THE FIELD OF FLODOUNE has been oppressit position to brogues: For there were cordiners in heriit and owre runin be theves and traitors whairAberdeen long before Cromwell's visit, and several throw the haunt of merchandice has cessit amangis fdl in the battle of the Bridge of Dee, as appears thame of langtyme bygane and thai heriit thairthrow from Spalding's History of the Troubles in Scotland, and we defraudit of ow re custumis

and dewitesvol. ii. p. 140. Now, the single-soled shoon,” made Thairfor and for divers utheris resonable causis and by the souters of Selkirk, were a sort of brogues, considerationes moving us be the tenor heirof of our with a single thin sole; the purchaser himself per- kinglie power fre motive and autoritie ryall grantis Esrining the farther operation of sewing on another and givis to thame and thair successors ane fair of thick leather. The rude and imperfect state of day begynand at the seist of the Conception of owre this manufacture sufficiently evinces the antiquity Lady next to cum aftere the day of the date hereof of the craft. Thus, the profession of the citizens of and be the octavis of the sammyn perpetualy in time Selkirk, instead of invalidating, confirms the tradi- cuming To be usit and exercit be thame als frelie in tonal account of their valour.

time cuming as ony uther fair is usit or exercit be ony The total devastation of this unfortunate burgh, otheris owre burrowis within our realme payand after the fatal battle of Flodden, is ascertained by the yeirlie custumis and doweities aucht and wont as efcharters under which the corporation hold their pri- feiris frelie quietlie wele and in pece but ony revocavileges. The first of these is granted by James V., tion obstakill impediment or agane calling whatand is dated 4th March, 1535-6. The narrative or sumever Subscrivit with owre hand and gevin under inductive clause of the deed, is in these words: "Sci-owre Signet at KIRKALDY the secund day of Sepaus quia nos considerantes et intelligentes quod Car tember The yere of God ane thousand five hundreih te Evidencie et litere veteris fundacionis et infeofa- and threty sex yeriş and of owre regne the twenty menti burgi nostri de Selkirk et libertatum ejusdem three yeir." The charter of confirmation, in which burgensibus et communitati ipsius per nobilissimos all these deeds and letters of donation are engrossed, progenitores nostros quorum animabus propicietur proceeds to ratify and confirm them in the most am: Deus dat, et concess. per guerrarum assultus pestem ple manner. The testing clause, as it is termed in combustionem et alias pro majore parte vastantur law language, is in these words: “In cujus rei Tesei distruuntur unde mercantiarum usus inter ipsos timonium huic presente carte nostre confirmationis burgenses cessavit in eorum magnam lesionem ac magnum sigillum nostrum apponi precepimus Tesreipublice et libertatis Burgi nostri antedict. destruc- tibus Reverendissimo reverendisque in Christo PaConern et prejudicium ac ingens nobis dampnum tribus Gawino Archiepisco. Glasguen. Cancellario penes nostras Custumas et firmas burgales ab eodem nostro; Georgio Episcopo Dunkelden. Henrico Episnobis debit. si subitum in eisdem remedium minime copo Candide Case nostreque Capelle regie Strivilbabitum fuerit-NOS igitur pietate et justicia moti ac engen. decano ; dilectis nostris consanguineis Jacobo uio policia et edificiis infra regnum nostrum habend. Moravie Comite, &c. Archibaldo Comite de Ergile de novo infeodamus," &c. The charter proceeds, in Domino Campbell et Lorne Magistro Hospicii noscommon form, to erect anew the town of Selkirk tri, Hugone Comite de Eglinton Domino Montgominto a royal burgh, with all the privileges annexed ery, Malcolmo Domino Flemyng magno Camerario to such corporations. This mark of royal favour nostro, Venerabilibus in Christo Patribus Patricio Priwas confirmed by a second charter, executed by the ore Ecclesie Metropolitane Sanctiandree, Alexandro same monarch, after he had attained the age of ma- Abbate Monasterii nostri

de Cambuskynneth-dilecjority, and dated April 8, 1538. This deed of confirm is familiaribus nostris Thomæ Erskin de Brechin, aton first narrates the charter, which has been Secretario nostro Jacobo Colville de Estwemis com: already quoted, and then proceeds to mention other potorum nostrorum rotulatore et nostre cancellarie gants which had been conferred upon the burgh, du- directore, militibus, et Magistro Jacobo Foulis de Coring the minority of James V., and which are thus ex- lintoun nostrorum rotulorum Registri et Concilii

* It is probable that Mr. Robertson had not seen this deed, been possessed of a spacious domain, to which a thousand acres when he wrote his Statistical Account of the Parish of Selkirk in tillage micht bear a due proportion. This circumstanco ascer for it appears, that, instead of a grant of lands, the privilege tains the antiquity and wer of the burgh; for, had this largo magled to the commumty was a right of uilling one thousand tract of land been granted during the minority of James V., the acres of those which already belonged to the burgh. Hence it donation, to be effectual, must have been included in the charters follows, that, previous to the field of Flodden, the town must have of confirmation.

[ocr errors]

clerico-apud Edinburgh octavo die mensis Aprilis ; on this point, and has been enabled to recover two Anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo trigesimo oc- additional verses of the song. tavo et regni nostri vicesimo quinto."

The yellow and green, mentioned in the second From these extracts, which are accurately copied verse, are the liveries of the house of Home. When from the original charters, * it may be safely conclu- the Lord Home came to attend the governor, Albany, ded, ist, that Selkirk was a place of importance be- his attendants were arrayed in Kendal Green. fore it was ruined by the English; and, 2d, “that GODSCROFT. the voice of merchants had ceased in her strects,' in consequence of the fatal field of Flodden. But fur

THE SOUTERS OF SELKIRK. ther, it seems reasonable to infer, that so many marks of royal favour, granted within so short a Up wi' the Souters of Selkirk, time of each other, evince the gratitude, as well as And down wi' the Earl of Home; the compassion, of the monarch, and were intended And up wi' a' the braw lads, to reward the valour, as well as to relieve the dis That sew the single-soled shoon. tress, of the men of Selkirk. Thus every circumstance of the written evidence, as far as it goes, tal Fye upon yellow and yellow, lies with the oral tradition of the inhabitants; and,

And fye upon yellow and green, therefore, though the latter may be exaggerated, it

But up wi' the true blue and scarlet, surely cannot be dismissed as entirely void of foun

up wi' the single-soled sheen. dation. That William Brydone actually enjoyed the Up w the Souters o' Selkirk, honour of knighthood, is ascertained by many of For they are baith trusty and leal; the deeds, in which his name appears as a notary And up wi' the Men o' the Forest, public. John Brydone, lineal descendant of the gal And down wi' the Mersett to the deil. #1 lant town-clerk, is still alive, and possessed of the relics mentioned by Mr. Robertson. The old man, though in an inferior station of life, receives consi THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST. derable attention from his fellow-citizens, and claims no small merit to himself on account of his brave

FIRST PART. ancestor.t Thus far concerning the tradition of the exploits of

The following well-known and beautiful stanzas the men of Selkirk, at Flodden field. Whether the were composed, many years ago, by a lady of family following verses do, or do not, bear any allusion to in Roxburghshire. The manner of the ancient minthat event, is a separate and less interesting ques- strels is so happily imitated, that it required the tion. The opinion

of Mr. Robertson, referring them most positive evidence to convince the Editor that to a different origin, has been already mentioned; the song was of modern date. Such evidence, howbut his authority, though highly respectable, is not ever, he has been able to procure: having been absolutely decisive of the question.

favoured, through the kind intervention of Dr. The late Mr. Plummer, 1 sheriff depute of the coun-Somerville, (well known to the literary world, as ty of Selkirk, a faithful and accurate antiquary, entertained a very opposite opinion. He has thus ex T Selkirkshire, otherwise called Ettrick Forest. pressed himself upon the subject, in the course of

** Berwickshire, otherwise called the Merse. his literary correspondence with Mr. Herd:

It is unnecessary here to enter into a formal refutation of the

popular calumny, which taxed Lord Home with being the mur “Of the souters of Selkirk, I never heard any erer of his sovereign, and the cause of the defeat at Flodden. words but the following verse :

So far from exhibiting any marks of cowardice or disaffection, the

division beaded by that unfortunate nobleman, was the only part *Up with the Souters of Selkirk,

of the Scottish army which was conducted with common pri And down wi' the Earl of Home;

dence on that fatal day. This body formed the vanguard, and err And up wi'a' the bra'lads

tirely routed the division of Sir Edmund Howard, to which they That sew the single-soled sboon.'

were opposed ; but the reserve of the English cavalry rendend

it impossible for Home, notwithstanding his success, to come to "It is evident that these words cannot be so an

the aid of the king, who was irretrievably ruined by his own im. cient as to come near the time when the battle was potuosity of temper. PINKERTON'S History. volii. p. 105. fought; as Lord Home was not created an Earl till The escape of James from the field of battle has long been do

servedly ranked with that of King Sebastian, and similar specionear a century after that period.

8C miracula with which the vulgur have been amused in all ages. "Our clergyman, in the Statistical Account,' vol. Indeed the Scottish nation were so very unwilling to admit

ang ïi. p. 48, note, says, that these words were composed advantage on the English part, that they seem actually to have upon a match at foot-ball, between the Philiphaught up pretensions to the victory.* Tho samo temper of mind lod and Home families. I was five years at school at to any cause, rather than to his own nuisconduct, and the superior Selkirk, have lived all my days within two miles of military skill of the English. There can be no doubt, that James that town, and never once heard a tradition of this actually fell on the field of battle, the slaughler-place of his no imaginary contest till I saw it in print.

bles. --PINKERTON, Ibid. His dead body was interred in the ne “Although the words are not very ancient, there mastery of Sheen, in Surry : and Stowe mentions, with regard to is every reason to believe, that they allude to the bat After the battle the bodie of the said king, being found, was tle of Flodden, and to the different behaviour of the closed in lead, and conveyed from thence to London, and to the Bouters, and Lord Home, upon that occasion. At in what order I am not certaine; But, since the dissolution of that election dinners, &c., when the Selkirk folks begin house, in the reign of Edward Vi., Henry Gray, Duke of Norfolke, to get fou' (merry,) they always call for music, and being lodged, and keeping house there, I have been shewed the for that tune in particular.S Át such times I never same bolie, so lapped in lead, close to the bead and bodie, throwne heard a souter hint at the foot-ball, but many times Since the which time, workmen there, for their foolish piræxure.

into a waste room, anongst the old tiiber, lead, and other rudible. speak of the battle of Flodden."--Letter from Mr. hewed off his head and Lancelot Yonng, master glazier to Plummer to Mr. Herd, 13th January, 1793.

Queen Elizabeth, fecling a sweet savour to come from thence, The Editor has taken every opportunity, which his and seeing the same dried from all moisture, and yet the form resituationli has afforded him, to obtain information London, to his house in woont struct, where for a time, he kept

it, for its sweetness, but, in the end, caused the sexton of that • The charters are preserved in the records of the burgh. church (SL Michael's, Woodl street) to bury it amongst other

* This person is lately dead, but his son is in possession of the bones taken out of their charnel."-STOWE'S Survey of London, weapons in question. 1810.

1 (Andrew Plummer, Esq., of Sunderland Hall, Selkirkshire. -ED.)

." Against the proud Scott's clatternig, A singular custom is observed at conferring the freedom of

That never wyll leave their trattlyingi the burgh. Four or five bristles, such as are used by shoemakers,

Wan they the field and lost theyr king ? are attached to the seal of the burgess ticket. These the new

They may well say, fie on that winning! made burgess must dip in his wine, and pass through his mouth,

"Lo these fonil soltes anil trattlying Scottex,

Howe they are blinde in their own minde, in token of respect for the souters of Selkirk. This ceremony is

And will not know theyr overthrow. on no account dispensed with.

At Branston moore they are so stovre, A That the Editor succeeded Mr. Plummer in his office of she

So frantik mand, and say they had, rifi depute, and has himself the honour to bo a souter of Selkirk,

And wan the field with sperre and shicide : may perhaps form the best upology for the length of this disser:

That is as true as black is stue,"&c. tution.

Skelton Laureate against the Scottes.

[ocr errors]

p. 539.


the historian of King William, &c.,) with the fol THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST. swing authentic copy of the Flowers of the Forest. From the same respectable authority, the Editor

PART SECOND. s enabled to state, that the tune of the ballad is ancent, as well as the two following lines of the first The following verses, adapted to the ancient air stanza:

of the Flowers of the Forest, are, like the elegy I've heard them lilting at the ewes milking,

which precedes them, the production of a lady. The

late Mrs. Cockburn, daughter of Rutherford of The flowers of the forest are a' wede away

Fairnalie, in Selkirkshire, and relict of Mr. CockSome years after the song was composed, a lady Clerk of Scotland) was the authoress. Mrs. Cock

burn of Ormiston, (whose father was Lord Justicewho is now dead, repeated to the author another burn has been dead but a few years. Even at an imperfect line of the original ballad, which presents age, advanced beyond the usual bounds of humania simple and affecting image to the mind :

ly, she retained a play of imagination, and an ac"I ride single on my saddle,

tivity of intellect, which must have been attractive For the flowers of the forest are a' wedo away."

and delightful in youth, but were almost preterThe first of these tritling fragments, joined to the natural at her period of life. Her active benevolence, remembrance of the fatal battle of Flodden, (in the keeping pace with her genius, rendered her equally calamities accompanying which the inhabitants of an object of love and admiration. The Editor, who Ettnck Forest suffered a distinguished share,) and knew her well, takes this opportunity of doing justo the present solitary and desolate appearance of tice to his own feelings; and they are in unison with the country, excited, in the mind of the author, the those of all who knew his regretted friend.ll Beas, which she has expressed in a strain of elegiac The verses which follow were written at an early suplicity and tenderness, which has seldom been period of life, and without peculiar relation to any equalled.

event, unless it were the depopulation of Ettrick THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST.


I've heard them lilting,* at the ewe-milking,

Lasses a' lilting, before dawn of day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning;
The flowers of the forest are a' wode awae.

I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling,

I've tasted her favours, and felt her decay: At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are Sweet is her blessing, and kind her caressing, scorning;

But soon it is tled-it is tled far away.
Lasses are lonely, and dowie, and wae;
Nae daffing, nae gabbing, but sighing and sabbing; I've seen the forest adorn’d of the foremost,

With towers of the fairest, both pleasant and gay; Ilk ane lists her leglin, and hies her awae.

Full sweet was their blooming, their scent the air In har'st, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeer perfuming, ing;

But now are they wither'd, and a' wede awae. Bandsters are runkled, and lyart or gray ; At fair, or at preaching,t nae wooing, nae fleech- I've seen the morning with gold the hills adorning, ing ;

And the red storin roaring, before the parting day: The flowers of the forest are a' wede awae.

I've seen Tweed's silver streams, glittering in the

sunny beams, At e'en, in the gloaming, nae younkers are roaming Turn drumlyat and dark, as they roll'd on their way. 'Bout stacks with the lasses at bogle to play; But ilk maid sits dreary, lamenting her deary

O fickle Fortune! why this cruel sporting? The flowers of the forest are weded awae.

Why thus perplex us poor sons of a day?

Thy frowns cannot fear me, thy smiles cannot cheer Dool and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border!

Since the flowers of the forest are a' wede awae.
The English, for ance, by guile wan the day :
The flowers of the forest, that fought aye the fore-

The prime of our land, are cauld in the clay.
We'll hear na mair lilting, at the ewe-milking;

This Ballad is a fragment from Mr. Herd's MS., Women and bairns are heartless and wae:

communicated to him by J. GROSSETT MURHEAD, Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning

Esq. of Breadesholm, near Glasgou; who stated The flowers of the forest are a' wede awae.I

thallc extracted it, as relating to his own family,

from the complete Song, in which the names of • The following explanation of provincial terms may be found tirenty or thirty gentlemen were mentioned, con

taince in a large Collection, belonging to Mr. Lating-Singing cheerfully. Loonins-A broad lane. Wede Re-Wedel out Scorning-Rallying. Dacic-Drrary.

ALEXANDER Monro, merchant in Lisbon, out supDefing and Scobing-Joking and chatting. Leslin-Milk pail. posed now to be lost. llar's: --Harvest. Shearing, heapung. Bandxlers-Shearlind it appears, from the appendir to Nisbet's Heraldry, Runkiet-Wrinkle L. Lyari-Inclining to gruy. Fleech

Glomning.-Twilight. inn - Cuacing.

p. 26-1, that MuirULEAD of Lachop and Bullis, the These lipes have been said to contain an anachronism ; the person here called the Laird of MURHEAD, was a und date of the lamentation being about to priod of the mun of rank, being rentaller, or perhaps fcuar, of FW of Fiudilen. 'The Editor can see no ground for this charge. Fars were bouw in Scotland from the most remote antiquity; the cultivation of their intellectual energics---but have not yet fet. and are from their sery nature, scones of pleasure and gallantry, bered them with that multiplicity of rules which forms them into Te preachines ofibe traca were, indeed, protesseilly, meetings for the mere machines of polished society? The minds of men in a save purp180 ; but we have the authority of the life of Bath, such a state are indeed less delicate, less attractive of general fourly most unquestionable in such a point,) that they weru fre sympathy, thin in succeeding periods; but they are more pollie, quently serverted to places of rendezvous :

more interesting in particular contemplation, more distinctly

marked and intelligible. We are not, then, to view these poems ** I had the better leisur for in pleie, And for to see, and eke to be seie

as facta u un uem-high-polished and cluborate specimens of Of lusty folk. What wist I where my grace

art--but as exhibiting the true sparks and Mushes of individual

nature. Hence we shall find a savage wildness in the superstiWas slapen for to be, or in what place Therefore I spade my visitations

tion of the Luke wake Dirge, and in the tumultuous rage of the To vel and to processions ;

Fray of Suport ; but we may trace gradntions from these to the To preachinga cke, and to thise pilgrimages,

emininite tenderness of the Flowers of the Forest."'-- Edinburgh

Rerice, 1503.1
Tu plays of iniracles, and marriazes," &c.

6 Edition of 1903.
Cun'erbury Tales.

i Mro. Cockburu was an intimate friend of Mrs. Scott, and : {** It is the business of portry to delincate foeling; and where among the first persons who discovered the expanding genius of sha" w kwik for forlog sı) undiuscel and powerful, as in those her son, ED.) early periods of civilization, which have already excited men to | Druriley-Discoloured.



many crown lands in Galloway; and was, in Wild to the harp's deep plaintive string, truth, slain in “Campo Belli de Northumberland The virgins raise the funeral strain, sub vexillo Regis," i. e. in the Field of Flodden. From Ord's black mountain to the northern main,

And mourn the emerald hue which paints the vest

of spring.t AFORE the King in order stude

Alas! that Scottish maid should sing The stout laird of Muirhead,

The combat where her lover fell ! Wi' that same twa-hand muckle sword

That Scottish bard should wake the string, That Bartram feli'd stark dead.

The triumph of our foes to tell ! He sware he wadna lose his right

Yet Teviot's sons, with high disdain, To fight in ilk a field;

Have kindled at the thrilling strain, Nor budge him from his liege's sight,

That mourn'd their martial father's bier; Till his last gasp should yield.

And at the sacred font, the priest

Through ages left the master-hand unblest, Twa hunder mair, of his ain name,

To urge, with keener aim, the blood-encrusted spear. Frae Torwood and the Clyde, Sware they would never gang to hame,

Red Flodden! when thy plaintive strain But a' die by his syde.

In early youth rose soft and sweet, And wondrous weel they kept their troth;

My life-blood through each throbbing vein,

With wild tumultuous passion beat;
This sturdy royal band
Rush'd down the brae, wi' sic a pith,

And oft, in fancied mighi, I trode
That nane could them withstand.

The spear-strewn path to Fame's abode,

Encircled with a sanguine flood; Mony a bloody blow they dealt,

And thought I heard the mingling hun, The like was never seen;

When, croaking hoarse, the birds of carrion And hadna that braw leader fall'n,

Afar, on rustling wing, to feast on English blood. They no'er had slain the king.

Rude Border Chiefs, of mighty name,

And iron soul, who sternly tore

The blossoms from the tree of fame,

And purpled deep their tints with gore,

Rush from brown ruins, scarr'd with age,
Green Flodden! on thy blood-stain's head

That frown o'er haunted Hermitage; Descend no rain nor vernal dew;

Where, long by spells mysterious bound, But still thou charnel of the dead,

They pace their round, with lifeless smile, May whitening bones thy surface strew!

And shake, with restless foot, the guilty pile, Soon as I tread thy rush-clad vale,

Till sink the mouldering towers beneath the burWild fancy feels the clasping mail;

den'd ground. S The rancour of a thousand years

Shades of the dead! on Alfer's plain Glows in my breast; again I burn

Who scorned with backward step to move, To see the banner'd pomp of war return,

But struggling mid the hills of slain, And mark, beneath the moon, the silver light of

Against the Sacred Standard strove ;!! spears.

Amid the lanes of war I trace Lo! bursting from their common tomb,

Each broad claymore and ponderous mace: The spirits of the ancient dead

Where'er the surge of arms is tost, Dinily streak the parted gloom

Your glittering spears in close array, With awful faces, ghastly red ;

Sweep like the spider's filmy web, away As once, around their martial king,

The flower of Norman pride, and England's victor They closed the death-devoted ring,

host. With dauntless hearts, unknown to yield;

But distant fleets cach warrior ghost, In slow procession round the pile

With surly sounds that murmur far; Of heaving.corses, moves each shadowy file,

Such sounds were heard when Syria's host And chants, in solemn strain, the dirge of Flodden

Rollid from the walls of proud Samàr. field.

Around my solitary head What youth, of graceful form and mien,

Gleam the blue lightnings of the dead, Foremost leads the spectred brave,

While murmur low the shadowy bandWhile o'er his mantle's folds of green

“Lament no more the warrior's doom! His amber locks redundant wave?

Blood, blood alone should dew the hero's tomb, When slow returns the fated day,

Who falls, ʼmid circling spears, to save his nauve That view'd their chieftain's long array,

land." * (These verses of Dr. Leyden appear to have been introduced of the land they used a damnable superstition, leaving the right in this place, as forming a sort of note on the Flowers of the armes of their infants, males, unchristened, (as they termed it.) to Forest. Among them are the four beautiful lines which were se. the end it might give a more ungracious and deadly blow."-P15. lected for the motto to Marmion

& Popular superstition in Scotland still retains so formidable "Alas! that Scottish maid should sing." &c.-ED.) an idea of the guilt of blood, that those ancient edifices, or cas• Under the vigorous administration of James IV:, the young tes, where enormous crimnes have been committed, are supposed Earl of Caithness incurred the penalty of outlawry and forfeit to sink gradually into the ground. With regard to the castle of ure, for revenging an ancient feud. On the evening, preceding Hermitage, in particular, the common people believe that thirty the battle of Flodden, accompanied by 300 young warriors, array, feet of the walls sunk, thirty feet fell, and thirty feet remain ed in green, he presented himself before the king, and submitted standing. to his mercy. This mark of attachinent was so agreeable to that The fatal battle of the Standard was fought on Cowton warlike prince, that he granted an immunity to the Earl and all Moor, near Northallerton, (A. S. Eufertun,) in Yorkshire, 113. bis followers. The parchment on which this immunity wns in David I. commanded the Scottish army. He was opposed by scribed, is said to be still preserved in the archives of the Earls Thurston, Archbishop of York, who, to animate his followers, of Caithness, and is marked with the drum-strings, having been had recourse to the impressions of religious enthusiasm. The cut out of a drum-head, as no other parchment could be found mast of a ship was fitted into the perch of a four-wheeled car in the army. The Earl and his gallant band perished to a man riage ; on its top was placed a little casket, containing a consein the battle of Flodden; since whiclı period, it has been reckon crated host. It also contained the banner of St. Cuthbert, round ed unlucky in Caithness to wear green or cross the Ord on a which were displayed those of St. Peter of York, St. John of Monday, the day of the week on which the Chieftain advanced Beverley, and St. Wilfred of Rippon. "This was the English into Sutherland.

standard, and was stationed in the centre of the army. Princo : In the Border counties of Scotland, it was formerly custom Henry, son of David, at the head of the men-of-arms, chiefly from ary, when any rancorius enmity subsisted between two clans, to Cumberland and Tevjotdale, charged, broke, and completely dis. leave the right hand of male children uinchristened, that it might persed the centre ; but unfortunately was not supported by the deal the more deadly, or according to the popular phrase, “unhal other divisions of the Scottish army. The expression of Alfred, lowed" blows to their enemies. By this superstitious rite, they were (p. 345,) describing this encounter, is more spirited than the genedevoted to bar the family feud, or enmity. The same practice sub ral tenor of monkish historiang ;--Ipsa globi australi, parte in. sisted in Ireland, as appears from the following passage in CHAM slar cassis aranea dissipata"-that division of the phalanx was PION'S History of Ireland, published in 1633. In some comers dispersed like a colweb.

« PreviousContinue »