Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

313

4.
The white bread, the sweet milk,

And ripe fruits I found him,
And safe in my fond arms

I clasp'd and I wound him ;
I warn thee go not where

My true lover tarries,
For sharp smites the sword of
My gentle Hugh Herries.

5.
He rein'd his proud war

yar-steed,
Away he went sweeping,
And behind him dames wail'd, and

Fair maidens went weeping;
But deep in yon wild glen,

'Mang banks of blae-berries,
I dwelt with

loved one, My gentle Hugh Herries.

my

Concluding his song, he leaped to awe that I entered a place hallowed his feet, and motioning me to follow, by many a song and legend. As I went out of the house with a side- glided along the margin of the stream long hop and skip, and standing at the banks rose higher and steeper, the entrance of the linn, held both and the red freestone rock, hung with his hands along a rude zig-zag trod- streamers of ivy, shot over my path, den way, which, winding among jut- and nearly united the rugged sides. ting rocks and stunted bushes, dived The stream sounded louder, and into the centre of that unfrequented kept leaping from stone to stone region. Imagining that my Came- the trees, anxious for the fresh free air ronian friend had retired into the re- and the uninterrupted enjoyment of cesses of the linn, I questioned my light, shot upwards along the face of wayward guide, but all the response the precipice, and threw out their I could obtain was, “Deed are they- green tops into the open air at the trouth are they—twa o'them—twa o' height of eighty feet over-head ;them—the tane and the tither--daddie while among the green boughs, hawks and daughter. Ye'll never see mair o' and ravens, and many lesser birds of them-a' those who go into that linn carnage and rapine, sat looking down living are borne out dead-torn with on me from a stunted branch or a shot and hacked with iron, man and shattered crag. The linn grew more woman, and wee wailing wean.- wild and grand as I proceeded, exTrouth are they, trouth are they, panding below and narrowing above, twa o'them, twa o'them.” And these till a man, with a moderate exertion, disjointed expressions he continued might leap, and in several places step muttering with great earnestness and In one place it presented rapidity, all the while directing me deep and immense caverns, in another along the path. The sun had yet a it seemed smooth and regular, as if full hour's journey ere it reached the the hand of man had aided the lawestern hills, and, parting with the bours of nature. At my feet the simple lunatic, I proceeded along stream wheeled round and round in the path.

many a pool and trough, covered This remarkable glen, now called with a reddish foam, which it obthe Cameronian Linn, from the re- tained by chafing against the soft red fuge which it afforded to the perse- rock with its seams of golden clay; cuted Covenanters, was at that time while overhead, at the height of a fragrant with the bloom of summer, hundred feet, the freestone seam and the diminished waters of the opened and gave to view a long irrebrook allowed a broader path than gular line of blue sky sprinkled with usual to those who wished to wander dim stars. Around me in many into its recesses. It was not without places had the hands of man been

a

across.

1

a

busied—a rude altar, surmounted by Though worn with age, and changed a stone crucifix, defaced much by in look, there was something about time and more by the change of hu- him which recalled earlier days; but man opinion, still stood before a if I knew not for a surety that my little grotto or cave beneath a pro- ancient friend Luke Lorance was jecting rock; while on the other side before me, I could not be deceived the image of an armed man on a in the resemblance which a softer barbed horse was deeply etched in image that knelt at his side bore to the stone. Innumerable names and the companion of my youth. This dates, some of them several hundred was a maiden of some eighteen or years old, bore record of those whom twenty years old, clad in a kirtle war, or love of seclusion, had driven and jupes of grey, bare-footed and into this singular place of refuge. bare-headed, and trimmed out with

The sun, now moving down to the a strict regard to the simplicity and hill-top, streamed through the chasm, penitential decorum of dress so riand tinted with a thousand changes gidly enjoined by the professors of of light the boughs, and the stream, church discipline. But no neglect or and the rock, and fell full and undi- austerity of dress could take away vided on the leap of the linn, where or lessen the light—the modest light, the rivulet ground its way through of two sweet hazel eyes; or prevent the hard upper shelf of stone, and her handsome form and beautiful threw itself down at one uninter- face, slightly browned as it was rupted bound into a fathomless plump hy exposure to the sun, from inbelow. As I stood and gazed on fluencing the heart of man. A thouthis wild and beautiful sight, I was sand recollections of youthful times startled by the sound of a human rushed upon me as I gazed on the voice proceeding from a rude door or kneeling forms before me. I spoke opening in the face of the rock. Who not, lest I should interrupt what this might be, I stood short while seemed a devout humiliation of the to imagine ; but laying hold of some spirit ; and I imagined it cost a long streamers of honeysuckle which, strong religious effort to restrain the rooted in the upper ground, dropped old man from welcoming me with an their thick and odorous blossom embrace. He subdued, however, the down to the surface of the stream, I swellings of his heart, and, as he ascended a steep and winding path rose from his knees, motioned me to or stair which conducted me to the a seat hewn from the rock, and entrance of a large chamber or ca- closing the sacred book, proceeded vern. There, beside a block or table to sing to a prolonged and solemn of stone, knelt an old man--an open sort of melody the following rude Bible before him-his hands clasped and mysterious verses. In this kind together, and his head, with its re- of half sacred and half-profane, half maining locks made lint-white by true and half prophetic poetry, the time and sorrow, stooped so low as old ministers of the word allowed to touch the floor. His dress was of their hearers to indulge-- with the that homespun and common sort hope, perhaps, that devotional verse called moorland grey, and a large would triumph over common songbroad westland bonnet, much soiled an event which the joyousness of by long use, lay at his knees.- youth will keep ever at a distance.

[ocr errors]

THE CAMERONIAN SONG.

1.
I lay and slept on Wardlaw-hill,

A heavenly tongue came crying-
Ho! sleep ye when God's banner bright

Is on the rough wind flying,-
When swords are sharpen'd, lances whet,

And trumpets sound from Sion?
Awake! strike in your strength, and stride

O'er fields of dead and dying.

2. And lo! I woke, methought, and cried

Woe, woe to son and daughter ;To lord and loon, who scoff's God's cause,

Be hissing scorn and laughter; The blood of Scotland's chiefs shall flow

As rife as Lamma's water:Awake, awake! and draw your swords, The trumpet sounds to slaughter.

3. And as I cried, lo! there arose

A sweet wind softly blowing,
That stirred among the blooming heath,

Like waters gently flowing,
Or like the sound ’mongst forest leaves,

When July's drops are sowing ;-
God's slain saints came in garments white
As winter, when it's snowing.

4.
And first they sang unto the Lord
A song of praise and wonder,--

А
Then gazed on earth with eyes of fire,

And lips that utter'd thunder.
On proud men's necks they set the heel,

And trode the wicked under;
Shook thrones of evil kings, and cut
Their cords of strength asunder.

5.
Then the fierce whirlwind of his wrath

Along the land went sweeping;
I heard the gnashing of men's teeth,

And wailing and wild weeping.
God's sickle down the ripen'd ridge

Of wicked ones went reaping : O’er all the earth let there be mirth, And joy, and dance, and leaping.

6. The martyr'd saints rose from their graves

On moor and mountain hoary,
I heard bold Cameron's voice, who lives

In godly song and story,
And Peden fierce, and Renwick meek,

Who preach'd on Nith and Corrie:
They sang a new song o'er the earth-
A song of praise and glory.

7.
Young gentle Herries too was there

My three sons, tall and blooming
As when their bright brows to the dust

John Grahame stood sternly dooming.
My sweet wife came—from my dim eyes

I felt the big drops coming,
The light of heaven was in her looks,
And all the land did lumine.

8.
Oft in my slumberings at mid-night,

And visions dark and drearer, She comes and calls--the wind sinks down

And sighs in awe to hear her

Sleep’st thou, my love ?--then glides away

With many a fair form near her :-
The longer that I live, my love,
I love thee aye the dearer.

9.
Mine is a love which with the bloom

Of woman's cheek keeps growing,
But fades not when the lovely rose

Has had its time of blowing:
It is a love not born to die,

And flows while my blood's flowing.–
I've sung my song of sadness-now

Pray till the cocks are crowing. As the song proceeded I looked and the smell of liquor had not round on this cold and lonesome wholly left some sheafs of straw, chamber, past the door of which the where a horde of gipsies had endescending sun poured a few inef- joyed themselves. fectual streams of light. Its his- The old man put on his bonnet and tory was recorded on its walls-a took me by the hand:-“ Oh! Halhermit's cell—a robber's den—a place bert Herries, long have you lingered of refuge—and a haunt for vagrants. in a far country-lingered till the Crucifixes, with kneeling devotees, winds have shaken the grain which were deeply cut in the centre of the it was your duty to reap, and there side walls-attempts had been made is nought left to the gleaner but by some scrupulous occupant to efface stubble and chaff. The destroyer's them; while above, a long pilgrim- hand has been lifted against us, and age or procession of saints, with like the servant from the destruction images and torches, seemed winding of the house of him of Uz, I alone towards a kind of altar or shrine for am escaped to tell thee.” As Luke the purposes of making offerings and Lorance named my name, the

young performing devotion. In another maiden came forward-looked wistplace a much more hasty, or less fully in my face-the colour deepenskilful hand, had cut a scene of ing on her cheek, and the moisture deeper and more recent interest.- brightening in her eyes. “Aye, look Three youths knelt blindfolded-their on him well, my daughter," said the hands held upwards in prayer-and Cameronian, “ and see how much of their ancles wore fetters; at a little thy sweet mother's look is left in the distance stood soldiers with levelled face of her elder brother.” “ Ah! carbines, and some old men and wo- little, little I see of her meek endurmen wrung their hands, and seemed to ance of spirit,” answered the maiden; implore in vain, to a stern and deter- " I see a face changed by time and mined captain, for tenderness and mer- the suns of foreign lands, and I see cy. Texts from Scripture—of sorrow, an eye that looks coldly on fallen of triumph, or of fortitude-were scat- friends and on poor Scotland-of my tered thickly around,- and many a mother I see little--" and she sobbed “Well done, ye good and faithful aloud, covering her face with her servants," was lavished on a scene, hands, while the tears streamed bewhich, rude as the representation was, tween her round white fingers. “ And no one could look on without being are you indeed my ae sister's child ?" moved. At no distant period å I said : “ where are all her brave battle seemed to have been fought in brothers and relations whom I left the place — the walls were dinted full of youth and hope when I sailed with strokes of swords, and several to a far country?” “ All gone, Halmusket-balls had sunk deeply into bert Herries, all gone,” answered the soft rock. Occurrences of a less Luke; “ can man endure for aye?tragic nature had also taken place. does the sword of civil war spare the A fire of wood and turf had lately blood of the virtuous and the nobleblazed against the wall, and the floor minded? Alas! the purest blood is still bore marks of a recent feast. The as soon shed as the basest; domestic bones of lambs and fowls lay about, war-religious feud-sudden conspi

:

racy-open persecution-have each and I thought the wisest conrse in their turn visited the house of would be to allow him to tell me the Herries, and all that is spared is story of his woes in his own way. this young and tender maiden—the I expressed my sorrow, and said, I daughter of thy ae sister and sad had brought an unchanged heart and sorrowful Luke Lorance."

some wealth from a foreign land, and Alas !” I said, “where were all was come to end my days beside him. thine own brethren?

-were they not He seemed not to heed what I said, boldand forward in thy cause?-hadst but suddenly observed : “ This is a thou no sons ?-and does my sister cold and uncomfortable chamber to live?-much have I to ask.” The bid my Jean's brother welcome inmaiden wept, and throwing her arms but cold as it is, and damp and lonearound her father's neck, as if to some-floored and roofed with rock restrain him from outrage to his per- - with its chairs and tables of rude son, cried, “Oh father! my dear stone, and its curtains of creeping father, compose yourself, and dash woodbine, it is a place dearer than a not your grey hairs on the ground, palace to me. I have cause to reas you often do when my hapless member these walls-to think on brothers are named. Think of the this wild and caverned glen, and sacred cause in which they fell—that many a night I sit beside that little their young blood was not shed in vain stream, which you hear leaping from -that those who smote them with the linn to linn, and think on the fearful sword have also been smitten with the and stormy days which are passed, sword. Did you not say when you and which have swept away my saw them stretched and bloody on happiness with them. Martha, my the green sward, with their faces to love, bring me a draught of water heaven and their swords in their from yon little spring-pour out a hands, that they never seemed half cupful to Him above, as the pious so lovely; and when Isabel Rodan, king did, for it was once a place of who loved my young brother Reuben, blood—and bring the second cupful came with a shriek, and fainted at to me-for my lips are parched-on his side, did ye not as she came from this day have I vowed to humble her swoon say, "Why weep ye, myself from sunrise to sunset withmaiden, see ye not that the youth out food or drink, and the sun is has sought a sacred and a silent setting now.” And putting his hand bride-and that his bridal bed is before his eyes, and turning away ready.'" Her father stood for a little from me, he busied himself for a few space as fixed and as motionless as moments in prayer, while his daughmarble-his eyes and his hair seemed ter, with a small wooden cup, flew frozen, and his hand, placed on the to the spring, which sparkled clear tresses of his child, was moved with in a little trough of stone, and resomething between a shudder and a turned to his side, presenting the palsy. “ Thou sayest true, my water with a face of anxious condaughter,” he said, “ my ae sweet He spilt part of the water on child—but though the spirit exults, the floor, muttering a prayer as he the mortal part mourns--and I can- spilt it, and drinking the remainder not but feel that they were fair and off at a draught appeared much relovely-surpassed the youths of the freshed. Martha spread a small land—were dear to thy mother and white cloth over the rough table of me--that their days on earth were stone, placed some oaten bread, and few, and their call was sudden. But honey, and butter, upon it, and of them will I think no more, even poured out from a little jar a weak now, but welcome thy mother's bro- but very refreshing beveragema sort ther as well as I may."

of breg-wort, made from the refuse I was much moved by this brief of honey. Water was added from and broken account of the desolation the spring, with a few handfuls of which had befallen his house ; but wild blae-berries, which are plentimuch as I longed to learn the story ful in almost every lowland glen, and of his sorrows, my anxiety was re- after a blessing was pronounced on strained by his appearance ; deep them we began to partake. The grief and long mourning had preyed old Cameronian tasted of the honey upon him-had unsettled his spirit, and of the water, and thus he pro

6

a

cern.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »