Metrical Legends







IN calling the following pieces Metrical Legends, I do not use the term as denoting fictitious stories, but as chronicles or memorials. The acts of great men, as related in history, are so blended with the events of the times in which they lived, and with the acts of their contemporaries, that it is difficult for a great proportion of readers to form, at the conclusion of the history, a distinct idea of all they have really performed: and even of those who might do so without difficulty, how few bestow their leisure in fairly considering those claims of the great and the good to their respect and admiration! Biography, where sources of inform-

ation regarding the private character and habits of the individual remain, has made amends for this unavoidable defect in history, and is a most instructive and interesting study. Yet the minute detail of the character too often does the same injury to the departed Great, which a familiar acquaintance still oftener does to the living; for a lengthened, unrelieved account is very unfavourable to that rousing and generous admiration which the more simple and distant view of heroic worth is fitted to inspire;— an impulse most healthful and invigorating to the soul.

Romance, in verse and in prose, has, and often successfully, attempted to supply those deficiencies, by adding abundance of fictitious circumstances to the traces of history and biography—a task pleasing to the writer and the reader. But in her zeal to display the abstract perfections of a hero, she has not rested satisfied with additions; she has boldly and

unwarrantably made use of absolute contradictions to those traces, even when generally known and well authenticated. This is the greatest injury to the Mighty Dead. It is throwing over the venerated form of a majestic man, a gauzy veil, on which is delineated the fanciful figure of an angel. If time has removed that form to such a distance, that a faint outline only can be perceived, let us still behold the outline unshaded and unchanged. "Disturb not the ashes of the dead," is a sentiment acknowledged and obeyed by every feeling mind; but to disturb those memorials of worth—those shadowings of the soul—what may be called their intellectual remains, is by far the greater sacrilege.

My reader must not, however, suppose that I would debar romance from the use of every real name, and oblige her to people her stories entirely with beings fictitious both in name and character. This would be too rigid. Where

history is so obscure or remote, that we know little of a hero but his name, the romance writer may seize it as lawful spoil; for he cannot thereby confuse our ideas of truth and falsehood, or change and deform what has no form. It is only when a character known, though imperfectly, is wrested from the events with which it was really connected, and overlaid at the same time with fanciful attributes, that this can be justly complained of.

Having this view of the subject in my mind, and a great desire, notwithstanding, to pay some tribute to the memory of a few characters for whom I felt a peculiar admiration and respect, I have ventured upon what may be considered, in some degree, as a new attempt,—to give a short descriptive chronicle of those noble beings, whose existence has honoured human nature and benefited mankind.

In relating a true story, though we do not add any events or material circumstances to it,

and abstain from attributing any motives for action, which have not been credibly reported, or may not be fairly inferred, yet, how often do we spontaneously, almost unwittingly, add description similar to what we know must have belonged to the actors and scenery of our story! Our story, for instance, says, "that a man, travelling at night through a wild forest, was attacked by a band of robbers." Our story-teller adds, "that the night was dark as pitch, scarcely a star to be seen twinkling between the drifted clouds; that the blast shook the trees, and howled dismally around him." Our story says, "that hearing the sound of approaching steps, he went behind a tree to wait till the robbers should pass, but unfortunately stumbling, the noise of his fall betrayed him, and he was seized upon, wounded, and stripped of every thing he possessed." Our story-teller adds, (particularly if the subject of the story is known to be of a timid spirit), "that their footsteps
sounded along the hollow ground like the trampling of a host; that he stopped and listened with fearful anxiety; that, on their nearer approach, voices were mingled with the sound, like the hoarse deep accents of a murderer; that he trembled with fear; that, in quitting the path, every black stump or bush seemed to him a man in armour; that his limbs shook so violently, he could not raise his feet sufficiently to disentangle them from the fern and long grass which impeded him," &c. Or our story may say, "that the daughter of a proud chief stole from his castle on a summer morning, and joined her expecting lover in a neighbouring wood." The story-teller says, "she opened the door of her chamber with a beating heart, listened anxiously lest any one should be a-stir in the family; that the sun shone softly through the ruddy air, on the fresh green boughs and dewy-webbed plants as she passed, and that she sighed to think she might never return to the
haunts of her childhood any more." The story says, "she fled with him on horseback;" and the story-teller cannot well say less than, "that he set her on a beautiful steed, which stood ready caparisoned under the trees; that the voice of her lover gave her courage; that they passed over the silent country, in which not even a peasant was to be seen at his early labour, with the swiftness of an arrow, and every stream they crossed gave them confidence of escaping pursuit," &c. And thus our story-teller goes on, being present in imagination to every thing he relates, and describing the feelings, sounds, and appearances which he conceives must naturally have accompanied the different events of his story, almost, as I said before, without being aware that he is taking so much of what he relates entirely for granted.

In imitation then of this human propensity, from which we derive so much pleasure, though mischievous, when not indulged with charity

and moderation, I have written the following Metrical Legends, describing such scenes as truly belong to my story, with occasionally the feelings, figures, and gestures of those whose actions they relate, and also assigning their motives of action, as they may naturally be supposed to have existed.

The events they record are taken from sources sufficiently authentic; and where any thing has been reasonably questioned, I give some notice of the doubt. I have endeavoured to give them with the brief simplicity of a chronicle, though frequently stopping in my course, where occasion for reflection or remark naturally offered itself, or proceeding more slowly, when objects, capable of interesting or pleasing description, tempted me to linger. Though my great desire has been to display such portraitures of real worth and noble heroism, as might awaken high and generous feelings in a youthful mind; yet I have not, as far as I know, im-

puted to my heroes motives or sentiments beyond what their noble deeds do fairly warrant. I have made each Legend short enough to be read in one moderate sitting, that the impression might be undivided, and that the weariness of a story, not varied or enriched by minuter circumstances, might be, if possible, avoided.—It has, in short, been my aim to produce sentimental and descriptive memorials of exalted worth.

The manner of the rhyme and versification I have in some degree, borrowed from my great contemporary Sir Walter Scott; following in this respect, the example of many of the most popular poets of the present day. Let it not, however, be supposed, that I presume to believe myself a successful borrower. We often stretch out our hand for one thing, and catch another; and if, instead of the easy, light, rich, and fanciful variety of his rhyme and measure, the reader should perceive that I have,

unfortunately, found others of a far different character, I ought not to be greatly surprised or offended. But, indeed, I have been almost forced to be thus presumptuous; for blank verse, or heroic rhyme, being grave and uniform in themselves, require a story varied with many circumstances, and would only have added to the dryness of a chronicle, even though executed with a skill which I pretend not to possess. Yet when I say that I have borrowed, let it not be supposed I have attempted to imitate his particular expressions; I have only attempted to write in a certain free irregular measure, which, but for him, I should probably never have known or admired.

These days are rich in Poets, whose fertile imaginations have been chiefly employed in national or Eastern romance; the one abounding in variety of character, event, and description of familiar or grand objects, and enlivened with natural feelings and passions; the other, deco-

rated with more artificial and luxurious description, and animated with exaggerated and morbid emotions, each in its own way continually exciting the interest and curiosity of the reader, and leading him on through a paradise of fairyland. In these days, therefore, legends of real events, and characters already known to the world, even though animated with a warmth of sentiment, and vividness of description far exceeding my ability to give, have not the same chance for popularity which they might formerly have had. I own this, and am willing unrepiningly to submit to disadvantages which arise from such a delightful cause. For who would wish, were it possible, to remove such an impediment for his own convenience! It is better to take a humble place with such contemporaries, than to stand distinguished in a desert place. I only mention this circumstance to bespeak some consideration and indulgence from readers accustomed to such intoxicating entertainment.


The hero of my first legend is one, at the sound of whose name some sensation of pride and of gratitude passes over every Scottish heart. He belongs indeed to the "land of the mountain and the flood," which, till of later years, was considered by her more fertile neighbour as a land of poverty and barrenness; but the generous devotedness of a true patriot connects him with the noblest feelings of all mankind; or if the contemplation of that excellence be more circumscribed, the feeling in his countrymen which arises from it, is for that very reason the deeper and the dearer. The circumstances of the times which followed him,—the continuance of Edward's power in Scotland, destroyed, many years after, by the wisdom and perseverance of a most gallant and popular king, has made the name of Wallace occur but seldom in the regular histories of Scotland, while his great actions are mentioned so carelessly and briefly, that we read them with

disappointment and regret. But when we remember, that, from being the younger son of a private gentleman of small consideration, he became the military leader and governor of the whole nation, whose hereditary chieftains, accustomed to lead their clans to battle, were both proud and numerous, we may well suppose that all related of him by his friend and contemporary, Blair, which makes the substance of the blind Minstrel's poem, is true; or, at least, if not entirely correct, does not exceed the truth.

The mixture of fiction which is found in it, forms no reasonable objection to receiving those details that are probable and coincide with general history and the character and circumstances of the times. To raise his country from the oppression which her nobles so long and so basely endured; to make head against such a powerful, warlike and artful enemy; to be raised by so many hereditary chiefs to be warden or protector of the realm, on whose behalf he,

as a rival power, entered into compacts and treaties with the Monarch, who had England and some fair provinces of France under his dominion, presupposes a fortune and ability in war, joined with talents for governing, equal to all that his private historian or even tradition has ascribed to him. We may smile at the wonderful feats of strength related of him by Blind Harry, and traditionally received over the whole country; but when we consider that his personal acts, when still very young, are the only reason that can be given for attracting so many followers to his command, we must believe that his lofty soul and powerful intellect were united to a body of extraordinary strength and activity. Wallace Wight, or the Strong, is the appellation by which he is distinguished in his own country; and the romantic adventures of a Robin Hood are by tradition fondly joined to the mighty acts of Scotland's triumphant deliverer.

His character and story are in every point of view particularly fitted either for poetry or

romance; yet, till very lately, he has not been the subject, as far as I know, of any modern pen. Wallace, or the Field of Falkirk, written in nervous and harmonious verse, by a genius particularly successful in describing the warlike manners and deeds of ancient times, and in mixing the rougher qualities of the veteran leader with the supposed tenderness of a lover, is a poem that does honour to its author and to the subject she has chosen. Wallace, or the Scottish Chief, which through a rich variety of interesting, imaginary adventures, conducts a character of most perfect virtue and heroism to an affecting and tragical end—is a romance deservedly popular. This tribute to the name of Wallace from two distinguished English women, I mention with pleasure, notwithstanding all I have said against mixing true with fictitious history.

asterisk. ∗ Since the above observations were written, Mrs. Heman's prize-poem, on the given subject of the meeting between Wallace and Bruce on the banks of Carron, has appeared, with its fair-won honours on its brow; and there is a Play on the life of our hero, from the pen of a very young and promising dramatist, which is at present represented with success on the stage of Covent Garden.


Wallace, it must be owned, though several times the deliverer of his country from the immediate oppression of her formidable enemy, was cut off in the midst of his noble exertions and left her in the power of Edward; therefore he was not, in a full sense, the deliverer of Scotland, which was ultimately rescued from the yoke by Robert Bruce. But had there been no Wallace to precede him, in all human likelyhood, there would have been no Bruce. Had it not been for the successful struggles of the first hero, the country, with her submissive nobles, would have been so completely subdued and permanently settled under the iron yoke of Edward, that the second would never have conceived the possibility of recovering its

independence. The example set by Wallace, and the noble spirit he had breathed into his countrymen, were a preparation—one may almost say, the moral implements by which the valiant and persevering Bruce accomplished his glorious task.

The reader, perhaps, will smile at the earnestness with which I estimate the advantage of having been rescued from the domination of Edward, now, when England and Scotland are happily united; making one powerful and generous nation, which hath nobly maintained, for so many generations, a degree of rational liberty, under the form of a limited monarchy, hitherto enjoyed by no other people. But when we recollect the treatment which Ireland received as a conquered country, and of which she in some degree still feels the baleful effects, we shall acknowledge, with gratitude, the blessing of having been united to England under far different circumstances. Nay, it may not, per-

haps, be estimating the noble acts of William Wallace at an extravagant rate to believe, that England as well as Scotland, under Divine Providence, may owe its liberty to him: for, had the English crown, at so early a period, acquired such an accession of power, it would probably, like the other great crowns of Europe, have established for itself a despotism which could not have been shaken.

In comparing the two great heroes of that period, it should always be remembered, that Bruce fought for Scotland and her crown conjoined; Wallace, for Scotland alone; no Chronicler or Historian, either English or Scotch, having ever imputed to him any but the purest and most disinterested motives for his unwearied and glorious exertions.

The hero of my second Legend is Columbus; who, to the unfettered reach of thought belonging to a Philosopher, the sagacious intrepidity of a chieftain or leader, and the adventurous

boldness of a discoverer, added the gentleness and humanity of a Christian. For the first and last of these qualities he stands distinguished from all those enterprising chiefs who followed his steps. The greatest event in the history of Columbus takes place at the beginning, occasioning so strong an excitement that what follows after, as immediately connected with him, (his persecution and sufferings excepted,) are comparatively flat and uninteresting; and then it is our curiosity regarding the inhabitants and productions of the new world that chiefly occupy our attention. Landing on some new coast; receiving visits from the Indians and their Caziques; bartering beads and trinkets for gold or provisions, under circumstances similar to those attending his intercourse with so many other places; nautical observations, and continued mutinies and vexations arising from the avarice and ambition of his officers, are the changes continually recurring. His history, therefore,
circumstantially, rather obscures than displays his greatness; the outline being so grand and simple, the detail so unvaried and minute. The bloody, nefarious, and successful adventures of Cortes and Pizarro, keep their heroes (great men of a more vulgar cast,) constantly in possession of the reader's attention, and have rendered them favourable subjects of history, tragedy, and romance. But the great consequences and change in human affairs which flowed from the astonishing enterprise of Columbus, have made his existence as one of the loftiest landmarks in the rout of time. And he is a hero who may be said to have belonged to no particular country; for every nation has felt the effects of his powerful mind; and every nation, in the days at least in which he lived, was unworthy of him. This, notwithstanding these poetical defects in his story, has prevented him from being neglected by poets. The first epic poem produced in the continent which he
discovered, has, with great propriety, Columbus for its hero; and fragments of a poem on the same noble subject, published some years ago in this country, have given us cause to regret, that the too great fastidiousness of the author should have induced him to publish fragments only: a fastidiousness which, on this occasion, had been better employed, as such a disposition most commonly is, against others and not himself.

The subject of my third Legend is a woman, and one whose name is unknown in history. It was indeed unknown to myself till the publication of Mr. Rose's answer to Fox's History of James II., in the notes to which work a very interesting account of her will be found, given in extracts from Lady Murray's narrative, a MS. hitherto unpublished. My ignorance regarding her is the more extraordinary, as she married into a family of my own name, from which it is supposed, my forefathers took their

descent; one of my ancestors also being the friend of that Baillie of Jerviswood, who suffered for the religion and independence of his country, and engaged in the same noble cause which obliged him, about the time of Jerviswood's death, to fly from Scotland and spend several years in a foreign land. Had her character, claiming even this very distant and slight connection with it, been known to me in my youthful days, I might have suspected that early association had something to do in the great admiration with which it has inspired me; but becoming first acquainted with it when the season of ardour and enthusiasm is past, I believe I may be acquitted from all charge of partiality. It appears to me that a more perfect female character could scarcely be imagined; for while she is daily exercised in all that is useful, enlivening and endearing, her wisdom and courage on every extraordinary and difficult occasion, give a full assurance to the mind, that
the devoted daughter of Sir Patrick Hume, and, the tender help-mate of Baillie, would have made a most able and magnanimous queen.

The account we have of her is given by her own children; but there is a harmonious consistency, and an internal evidence of truth through the whole of it, which forbids us to doubt. At any rate, the leading and most singular events of her life, mentioned in the inscription on her tomb from the pen of Judge Burnet, must be true. But after having written the Legend from Mr. Rose's notes alone, I have been fortunate enough to see the original work from which they were taken; and, availing myself of this advantage, have added some passages to it which I thought would increase the interest of the whole, and set the character of the heroine in a still more favourable light. For this I am indebted to the kindness and liberality of Thomas Thomson, Esq. keeper of the Registers, Edinburgh, who will, I hope,

be induced, ere long, to give such a curious and interesting manuscript to the public.

I might have selected for my heroine women who, in high situations of trust, as sovereigns, regents, and temporary governors of towns, castles, or provinces, and even at the head of armies, have behaved with a wisdom and courage that would have been honourable for the noblest of the other sex. But to vindicate female courage and abilities has not been my aim. I wished to exhibit a perfection of character which is peculiar to woman, and makes her, in the family that is blessed with such an inmate, through every vicissitude of prosperity and distress, something which man can never be. He may indeed be, and often is, as tender and full of gentle offices as a woman; and she may be, and has often been found, on great occasions, as courageous, firm, and enterprising, as a man; but the character of both will be most admired when these qualities cross them

but transiently, like passing gleams of sunshine in a stormy day, and do not make the prevailing attribute of either. A man seldom becomes a careful and gentle nurse, but when actuated by strong affection; a woman is seldom roused to great and courageous exertion but when something most dear to her is in immediate danger: reverse the matter, and you deform the fair seemliness of both. It is from this general impression of their respective natures that tenderness in man is so pathetic, and valour in woman so sublime. A wise and benevolent Providence hath made them partake of each other's more peculiar qualities, that they may be meet and rational companions to one another—that man may be beloved, and woman regarded with respect.

What has been considered as the jealousy of man lest woman should become his rival, is founded, I believe, on a very different principle. In regard to mental acquirements of an abstruse or difficult kind, though a pretty general dis-

approbation of them, when found in the possession of women, is felt, and too often expressed in illiberal and unworthy phrase, yet I apprehend, that had these been supposed to be cultivated without interfering with domestic duties, no prejudice would ever have been entertained against them. To neglect useful and appropriate occupations, for those which may be supposed to be connected with vanity, rather than with any other gratification, is always offensive. But if a woman possess that strong natural bent for learning which enables her to acquire it quickly, without prejudice to what is more necessary; or if her fortune be so ample that the greater part of her time reasonably remains at her own disposal, there are few men, I believe, who will be disposed to find fault with her for all that she may know, provided she make no vain display of her acquirements; and amongst those few, I will venture to say, there will not be one truly learned man
to be found. Were learning chiefly confined to gownsmen, a country gentleman, who neglected his affairs and his husbandry to study the dead languages, would meet with as little quarter as she who is tauntingly called a learned lady. But as every one in the rank of a gentleman is obliged to spend so many years of his youth in learning Latin and Greek, whatever may be his natural bias or destined profession, he is never ridiculed, under any circumstances, for pursuing that which has already cost him so much labour. Women have this desirable privilege over the other sex, that they may be unlearned without any implied inferiority; and I hope our modern zeal for education will never proceed far enough to deprive them of this great advantage. At the same time they may avowedly and creditably possess as much learning, either in science or languages, as they can fairly and honestly attain, the neglect of more necessary occupations being here considered as approaching to a real breach of rectitude.


"My helpful child!" was the fond and grateful appellation bestowed upon our heroine, with her mother's dying blessing; and could the daughters of every family conceive the self-approbation and happiness of cheerful and useful occupation, the love of God and favour of man which is earned by this blessed character of helpfulness, how much vanity and weariness, and disappointment, and discontent, would be banished from many a prosperous home! "It is more blessed to minister than be ministered unto," said the most perfect character that ever appeared in human form. Could any young person of ever such a listless or idle disposition, not entirely debased by selfishness, read, in the narrative alluded to, of the different occupations of Lady Griseld Baillie and a sister of hers, nearly of her own age, whose time was mostly spent in reading or playing on a musical instrument, and wish for one moment to have been the last-mentioned lady rather than the other?


But in preferring a heroine of this class for my Legend, I encountered a difficulty which, I fear, I have not been able to overcome; the want of events, and the most striking circumstance of the story belonging to the earlier part of it, while the familiar domestic details of her life, which so faithfully reveal the sweetest traits of her character, are associated in our imaginations with what is considered as vulgar and mean. I have endeavoured by the selection I have made of things to be noticed, and in the expressions which convey them to the fancy, to offend, as little as might be, the fastidious reader; and I beg that he will on his part receive it with indulgence.

Of the few shorter pieces, contained in this small volume, I have little to say. The two first were originally written very rapidly for the amusement of a young friend, who was fond of frightful stories; but I have since endeavoured to correct some of the defects arising from hasty

composition. The third is taken from a true, or at least traditional story. It was told to me by Sir George Beaumont, as one which he had heard from his mother, the late Lady Beaumont, who said it was a tradition belonging to the castle of some baron in the north of England, where it was believed to have happened. It was recommended by him as a good subject for a ballad, and, with such a recommendation, I was easily tempted to endeavour, at least, to preserve its simple and striking circumstances, in that popular form. I have altered nothing of the story; nor have I added anything but the founding of the abbey and the baron's becoming a monk, in imitation of the ending of that exquisite ballad, The Eve of St. John, where so much is implied in so few words; the force and simplicity of which I have always particularly admired, though I readily own (and the reader will have too much reason to agree with me) that it is more easily admired than imitated.

"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'mes lady gay,
That monk the bold baron."

The fourth is taken from the popular story of Fadon, in the Blind Minstrel's Life of Wallace. That the hero, in those days of superstition, and under the influence of compunction for a hasty deed, might not have had some strong vision or dream which, related to his followers, might give rise to such a story, I will not pretend to say. However, it could not with propriety find a place in a legend which rejects fiction. Yet, thinking it peculiarly fitted for the subject of a mysterious ballad, and being loth to lose it entirely, I have ventured to introduce it to the reader in its present form. Ballads of this character generally arrest the attention and

excite some degree of interest. They must be very ill-written indeed if this fail to be the case; and if some modern ballads of extraordinary power, from a very witching pen, have not rendered the public less easy to please than they formerly were, I may hope that these productions, slight as they are, will at least be received with forbearance.

Having now said all which, I believe, I may reasonably say in explanation and behalf of the contents of my book, I leave my reader to peruse it, perhaps, in nearly the same disposition regarding it as if I had said nothing at all on the subject. But I have the satisfaction, at least, of having endeavoured to do justice to myself, and shall not be condemned unheard.


  • Page 13. line 14. for Graham, read Grame.
  • ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣30. line 11. for bent␣, read beat.
  • ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣56. line 4. for Sooke, read Spoke.
  • ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣86. line 6. for Barbrar, read Barbour.
  • ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣213. line 7. for hehind read behind.






  • I.

  • INSENSIBLE to high heroic deeds,
    Is there a spirit clothed in mortal weeds,
    Who at the Patriot's moving story,
    Devoted to his country's good,
    Devoted to his country's glory,
    Shedding for freemen's rights his generous blood;—
    List'neth not with breath heaved high,
    Quiv'ring nerve, and glistening eye,
    Feeling within a spark of heavenly flame,
    That with the hero's worth may humble kindred claim?


    If such there be, still let him plod
    On the dull foggy paths of care,
    Nor raise his eyes from the dank sod
    To view creation fair:
    What boots to him the wond'rous works of God?
    His soul with brutal things hath ta'en its earthy lair.
  • II.

  • Come, youths, whose eyes are forward cast,
    And in the future see the past,—
    The past, as winnow'd in the early mind
    With husk and prickle left behind!
    Come; whether under lowland vest,
    Or, by the mountain-tartan prest,
    Your gen'rous bosoms heave;
    Pausing a while in thoughtful rest,
    My legend lay receive.
    Come, aged sires, who love to tell
    What fields were fought, what deeds were done;
    What things in olden times befell,—
    Those good old times, whose term is run!


    Come ye, whose manly strength with pride
    Is breasting now the present tide
    Of worldly strife, and cast aside
    A hasty glance at what hath been!
    Come, courtly dames, in silken sheen,
    And ye, who under thatched roofs abide;
    Yea, ev'n the barefoot child by cottage fire,
    Who doth some shreds of northern lore acquire,
    By the stirr'd embers' scanty light,—
    List to my legend lay of Wallace wight.
  • III.

  • Scotland, with breast unmail'd, had sheath'd her sword,
    Stifling each rising curse and hopeless prayer,
    And sunk beneath the Southron's faithless lord
    In sullen, deep despair.
    The holds and castles of the land
    Were by her hateful foemen mann'd.
    To revels in each stately hall,
    Did tongues of foreign accent call,


    Where her quell'd chiefs must tamely bear
    From braggard pride the taunting jeer.
    Her harvest-fields, by strangers reap'd,
    Were in the stranger's garner heap'd
    The tenant of the poorest cot,
    Seeing the spoiler from his door
    Bear unreproved his hard-earn'd store,
    Blush'd thus to be, and be a Scot.
    The very infant, at his mother's beck,
    Tho' with writh'd lip and scowling eye,
    Was taught to keep his lisping tongue in check,
    Nor curse the Southron passing by.
  • IV.

  • Baron brave and girded knight,
    The tyrant's hireling slaves could be;
    Nor graced their state, nor held their right.
    Alone upon his rocky height,
    The eagle rear'd his unstain'd crest,
    And soaring from his cloudy nest,


    Turn'd to the sun his daring eye,
    And wing'd at will the azure sky,
    For he alone was free.
  • V.

  • Oh! who so base as not to feel
    The pride of freedom once enjoy'd,
    Tho' hostile gold or hostile steel
    Have long that bliss destroy'd!
    The meanest drudge will sometimes vaunt
    Of independent sires, who bore
    Names known to fame in days of yore,
    'Spite of the smiling stranger's taunt;
    But recent freedom lost—what heart
    Can bear the humbling thought—the quick'ning, mad'ning smart!
  • VI.

  • Yes, Caledonian hearts did burn,
    And their base chain in secret spurn;


    And, bold upon some future day,
    Swore to assert Old Scotland's native sway;
    But 'twas in fitful thoughts that pass'd in thought away.
    Tho' musing in lone cave or forest deep,
    Some generous youths might all indignant weep;
    Or in the vision'd hours of sleep,
    Gird on their swords for Scotland's right,
    And from her soil the spoiler sweep,
    Yet all this bold emprise pass'd with the passing night.
  • VII.

  • But in the woods of Allerslie,
    Within the walls of good Dundee,
    Or by the pleasant banks of Ayr,
    Wand'ring o'er heath or upland fair,
    Existed worth without alloy,
    In form a man, in years a boy,
    Whose nightly thoughts for Scotland's weal,
    Which clothed his form in mimick steel,


    Which helm'd his brow, and glav'd his hand,
    To drive the tyrant from the land,
    Pass'd not away with passing sleep;
    But did, as danger nearer drew,
    Their purpos'd bent the firmer keep,
    And still the bolder grew.
  • VIII.

  • 'Tis pleasant in his early frolick feats,
    Which fond tradition long and oft repeats,
    The op'ning of some dauntless soul to trace,
    Whose bright career of fame, a country's annals grace;
    Yet this brief legend must forbear to tell
    The bold adventures that befell
    The stripling Wallace, light and strong,
    The shady woods of Clyde among,
    Where, roaring o'er its rocky walls,
    The water's headlong torrent falls,
    Full, rapid, powerful, flashing to the light,


    Till sunk the boiling gulf beneath,
    It mounts again like snowy wreath,
    Which, scatter'd by contending blasts,
    Back to the clouds their treasure casts,
    A ceaseless wild turmoil, a grand and wondrous sight!
    Or, climbing Carthland's Craigs, that high
    O'er their pent river strike the eye,
    Wall above wall, half veil'd, half seen,
    The pendant folds of wood between,
    With jagged breach, and rift, and scar,
    Like the scorch'd wreck of ancient war,
    And seem, to musing fancy's gaze,
    The ruin'd holds of other days.
    His native scenes, sublime and wild,
    Where oft the youth his hours beguil'd,
    As forester with bugle horn;
    As angler in the pooly wave;
    As fugitive in lonely cave,
    Forsaken and forlorn!


    When still, as foeman cross'd his way,
    Alone, defenceless, or at bay,
    He raised his arm for freemen's right,
    And on proud robbers fell the power of Wallace wight.
  • IX.

  • There is a melancholy pleasure
    In tales of hapless love;—a treasure
    From which the sadden'd bosom borrows
    A short respite from present sorrows,
    And ev'n the gay delight to feel,
    As down young cheeks the soft tears steal;
    Yet will I not that woeful tale renew,
    And in light hasty words relate
    How the base Southron's arm a woman slew,
    And robb'd him of his wedded mate.
    The name of her, who shar'd his noble breast,
    Shall be remember'd and be blest.
    A sweeter lay, a gentler song,
    To those sad woes belong!

  • X.

  • As light'ning from some twilight cloud,
    At first but like a streaky line
    In the hush'd sky, with fitful shine
    Its unregarded brightness pours,
    Till from its spreading, darkly volumed shroud
    The bursting tempest roars;
    His countrymen with faithless gaze
    Beheld his valour's early blaze.
  • XI.

  • But rose at length with swelling fame
    The honours of his deathless name;
    Till, to the country's farthest bound,
    All gen'rous hearts stirr'd at the sound;
    Then Scotland's youth with new-wak'd pride,
    Flock'd gladly to the hero's side,
    In harness braced, with burnish'd brand,
    A brave and noble band!

  • XII.

  • Lenox, Douglas, Campbell, Hay,
    Boyd, Scrimger, Ruthven, Haliday,
    Gordon, Crawford, Keith, were there;
    Lander, Lundy, Cleland, Kerr,
    Steven, Ireland's vagrant lord;
    Newbiggen, Fraser, Rutherford,
    Dundas and Tinto, Currie, Scott;
    Nor be in this brave list forgot
    A Wallace of the hero's blood,
    With many patriots staunch and good;
    And first, though latest nam'd, there came,
    Within his gen'rous breast to hold
    A brother's place,—true war-mate bold!
    The good, the gallant Graham.
  • XIII.

  • Thus grown to strength, on Biggar's well-fought field
    He made on marshall'd host his first essay;
    Where Edward's gather'd powers, in strong array,


    Did to superior skill and valour yield,
    And gain'd the glorious day.
  • XIV.

  • Then at the Forest kirk, that spot of ground
    Long to be honour'd, flush'd with victory,
    Crowded the Scottish worthies, bold and free,
    Their noble chieftain round;
    Where many a generous heart beat high
    With glowing cheek and flashing eye,
    And many a portly figure trod
    With stately steps the trampled sod.
    Banners in the wind were streaming;
    In the morning light were gleaming
    Sword, and spear, and burnish'd mail
    And crested helm, and avantail,
    And tartan plaids, of many a hue,
    In flickering sunbeams brighter grew,
    While youthful warriors' weapons ring
    With hopeful, wanton brandishing.

  • XV.

  • There, midmost in the warlike throng,
    Stood William Wallace, tall and strong;
    Towering far above the rest,
    With portly mien and ample breast,
    Brow and eye of high command,
    Visage fair, and figure grand:
    Ev'n to the dullest peasant standing by,
    Who fasten'd still on him a wondering eye,
    He seem'd the master-spirit of the land.
  • XVI.

  • O for some magic power to give
    In vision'd form what then did live!
    That group of heroes to pourtray,
    Who from their trammell'd country broke
    The hateful tyrant's galling yoke
    On that eventful day!

  • XVII.

  • Behold! like changeful streamers of the North,
    Which tinge at times the wintry night,
    With many hues of glowing light,
    Their momentary forms break forth
    To Fancy's gifted sight.
    Each in his warlike panoply
    With sable plumage waving high,
    And burnish'd sword in sinewy hand,
    Appears a chieftain of command,
    Whose will, by look or sign to catch,
    A thousand eager vassals watch.
    What tho' those warriors, gleaming round,
    On peaceful death-bed never lay,
    But each, upon his fated day,
    His end on field or scaffold found;
    Oh! start not at the vision bright,
    As if it were a ghastly sight!
    For, 'midst their earthly coil, they knew
    Feelings of joy so keen, so true,


    As he who feels, with up-rais'd eye,
    Thanks Heaven for life, and cannot rue
    The gift, be what it may the death that he shall die.
  • XVIII.

  • Warden of Scotland, (not ashamed
    A native right of rule to own
    In worth and valour matchless shown)
    They William Wallace there proclaim'd;
    And there, exultingly, each gallant soul,
    Ev'n proudly yielded to such high controul.
    Greater than aught a tyrant ere achieved,
    Was power so given, and so receiv'd.
  • XIX.

  • This truth full well King Edward knew,
    And back his scatter'd host he drew,
    Suing for peace with prudent guile;
    And Wallace in his mind, the while,


    Scanning with wary, wise debate
    The various dangers of the state,
    Desire of further high revenge foregoes
    To give the land repose.
    But smother'd hatred, in the garb of peace,
    Did not, mean time, from hostile cunning cease;
    But still more cruel deeds devis'd,
    In that deceitful seeming guised.
  • XX.

  • The Southron rulers, phrasing fair
    Their notice, summon'd lord, and laird, and knight,
    To hold with them an ancient court of right,
    At the good town, so named, their court of Ayr.
    And at this general summons came
    The pride and hope of many a name,
    The love and anxious care of many a gentle dame.

  • XXI.

  • Ent'ring the fatal Barns, fair sight!
    Went one by one the manly train,
    But neither baron, laird, nor knight,
    Did e'er return again.
    A heaven-commission'd friend that day
    Stopp'd Wallace, hast'ning on his way,
    (Who, by some seeming chance detain'd,
    Had later at his home remain'd,)
    The horse's bridle sternly grasp'd,
    And then for rueful utterance gasp'd.
    "Oh! go not to the Barns of Ayr!
    "Kindred and friends are murder'd there.
    "The faithless Southrons, one by one,
    "On them the hangman's task hath done.
    "Oh! turn thy steed, and fearful ruin shun!"
    He, shudd'ring, heard, with visage pale,
    Which quickly chang'd to wrath's terrific hue;
    And then apace came sorrow's bursting wail;
    The noble heart could weep that could not quail,


    "My friends, my kinsmen, war-mates, bold and true!
    "Met ye a villain's end! Oh is it so with you!"
  • XXII.

  • The hero turn'd his chafing steed,
    And to the wild woods bent his speed.
    But not to keep in hiding there,
    Or give his sorrow to despair,
    For the fierce tumult in his breast
    To speedy, dreadful action press'd.
    And there within a tangled glade,
    List'ning the courser's coming tread,
    With hearts that shar'd his ire and grief,
    A faithful band receiv'd their chief.
  • XXIII.

  • In Ayr the guilty Southrons held a feast,
    When that dire day its direful course had run,
    And laid them down, their weary limbs to rest
    Where the foul deed was done.


    But ere beneath the cottage thatch
    Cocks had crow'd the second watch;
    When sleepers breathe in heavy plight,
    Press'd with the visions of the night,
    And spirits, from unhallow'd ground,
    Ascend, to walk their silent round;
    When trembles dell or desert heath,
    The witches' orgy dance beneath,—
    To the roused Warder's fearful gaze,
    The Barns of Ayr were in a blaze.
  • XXIV.

  • The dense, dun smoke was mounting slow
    And stately, from the flaming wreck below,
    And mantling far aloft in many a volumed wreath;
    Whilst town and woods, and ocean wide did lye,
    Tinctur'd like glowing furnace-iron, beneath
    Its awful canopy.
    Red mazy sparks soon with the dense smoke blended,
    And far around like fiery sleet descended.


    From the scorch'd and crackling pile
    Fierce burst the growing flames the while;
    Thro' creviced wall and buttress strong,
    Sweeping the rafter'd roofs along;
    Which, as with sudden crash they fell,
    Their raging fierceness seem'd to quell,
    And for a passing instant spread
    O'er land and sea a lurid shade;
    Then with increasing brightness, high
    In spiral form, shot to the sky
    With momentary height so grand,
    That chill'd beholders breathless stand.
  • XXV.

  • Thus rose and fell the flaming surgy flood,
    'Till fencing round the gulphy light,
    Black, jagg'd, and bare, a fearful sight!
    Like ruin grim of former days,
    Seen 'thwart the broad sun's setting rays,
    The guilty fabric stood.

  • XXVI.

  • And dreadful are the deaths, I ween,
    Which midst that fearful wreck have been.
    The pike and sword, and smoke and fire,
    Have minister'd to vengeful ire.
    New-waked wretches stood aghast
    To see the fire-flood in their rear,
    Close to their breast the pointed spear,
    And in wild horror yell'd their last.
  • XXVII.

  • But what dark figures now emerge
    From the dread gulph and cross the light,
    Appearing on its fearful verge,
    Each like an armed sprite?
    Whilst one above the rest doth tower,—
    A form of stern gigantic power,
    Whirling from his lofty stand
    The smold'ring stone or burning brand?
    Those are the leagued for Scotland's native right,


    Whose clashing arms rang Southron's knell,
    When to their fearful work they fell,—
    That form is Wallace wight.

  • And he like heaven's impetuous blast
    Which stops not on its mission'd way,
    By early morn, in strong array,
    Onward to Glasgow past;
    Where English Piercy held the rule;
    Too noble and too brave to be a tyrant's tool.
    A summon'd court should there have been,
    But there far other coil was seen.
    With fellest rage, in lane and street,
    Did harnass'd Scot and Southron meet;
    Well fought and bloody was the fierce afray:
    But Piercy was by Wallace slain,
    Who put to rout his num'rous train,
    And gain'd the town by noon of day.

  • XXIX.

  • Nor paused he there, for ev'ning tide
    Saw him at Bothwel's hostile gate,
    Which might not long assault abide,
    But yielded to its fate.
    And on from thence, with growing force,
    He held his rapid, glorious course;
    Whilst his roused clansmen, braced and bold,
    As town and castle, tower and hold,
    To the resistless victor fell,
    His patriot numbers swell.
    Thus when with current full and strong,
    The wintry river bears along
    Thro' mountain pass, and frith, and plain;—
    Streams that from many sources pour,
    Answer from far its kindred roar,
    And deep'ning echoes roar again.
    From its hill of heathy brown,
    The muirland streamlet hastens down;
    The mountain torrent from its rock,
    Shoots to the glen with furious shock;


    E'en runlet low, and sluggish burn,
    Speed to their chief with many a mazy turn,
    And in his mingled strength, roll proudly to the main.
  • XXX.

  • O'er Stirling's towers his standard plays,
    Lorn owns his rule, Argyle obeys.
    In Angus, Merns, and Aberdeen,
    Nor English Lord nor Cerf is seen;
    Dundee alone averts King Edward's fate,
    And Scotland's warden thunders at her gate.
  • XXXI.

  • But there his eager hopes are crost,
    For news are brought of English host,
    Which fast approaching thro' the land,
    At Stirling mean to make their stand.
    Faint speaks the haggard breathless scout,
    Like one escaped from bloody rout,—
    "On, Cressingham and Warren lead
    "The martial'd host with stalwart speed,


    "It numbers thirty thousand men,
    "And thine, bold chieftain, only ten."
  • XXXII.

  • But higher tower'd the chieftain's head,
    Broad grew his breast with ampler spread;
    O'er cheek and brow the deep flush past,
    And to high heaven his eyes he cast:
    Right plainly spoke that silent prayer,
    "My strength and aid are there!"
    Then look'd he round with kindly cheer
    On his brave war-mates standing near,
    Who scann'd his face with eager eye
    His secret feelings to descry.
    "Come Hearts! who, on your native soil,
    "For Scotland's cause have bravely stood,
    "Come, brace ye for another broil,
    "And prove your generous blood.
    "Let us but front the tyrant's train,
    "And he who lists may count their numbers then."


  • Nor dull of heart, nor slow were they
    Their noble Leader to obey.
    Cheer'd with loud shouts he gave his prompt command,
    Forthwith to bound them on their way.
    And straight their eager march they take
    O'er hill and heath, o'er burn and brake,
    Till marshall'd soon in dark array,
    Upon their destin'd field of war they stand.
  • XXXIV.

  • Behind them lay the hardy north;
    Before, the slowly winding Forth
    Flow'd o'er the noiseless sand;
    Its full broad tide with fossy sides,
    Which east and west the land divides,
    By wooden bridge was spann'd.
    Beyond it, on a craggy slope,
    Whose chimney'd roofs the steep ridge cope,
    There smoked an ancient town;


    While higher on the firm-based rock,
    Which oft had braved war's thunder-shock,
    Embattled turrets frown.
    A frith, with fields and woods, and hamlets gay,
    And mazy waters, slyly seen,
    Glancing thro' shades of Alder green,
    Wore eastward from the sight to distance grey;
    While broomy knoll and rocky peak,
    And heathy mountains, bare and bleak,
    A lofty screen on either hand,
    Majestic rose, and grand.
  • XXXV.

  • Such was the field on which with dauntless pride
    They did their coming foe abide;
    Nor waited long till from afar
    Were spy'd their moving ranks of war,
    Like rising storm, which, from the western main,
    Bears on in seried length its cloudy train;—
    Slowly approaching on the burthen'd wind,
    Moves each dark mass, and still another lowers behind.


    And soon upon the bridge appears,
    Darkly rising on the light,
    Nodding plumes and pointed spears,
    And, crowding close, full many a warlike knight,
    Who from its narrow gorge successive pour
    To form their ranks upon the northern shore.
  • XXXVI.

  • Now, with notes of practis'd skill,
    English trumpets, sounding shrill,
    The battle's boastful prelude give
    Which answer prompt and bold receive
    From Scottish drum's long rowling bent,
    And,—sound to valiant clansmen sweet!—
    The highland pipe, whose lengthen'd swell
    Of warlike pibroch, rose and fell,
    Like wailings of the midnight wind,
    With voice of distant streams combin'd,
    While mountain, rock, and dell, the martial din repeat.


  • Then many a high-plumed gallant rear'd his head,
    And proudly smote the ground with firmer tread,
    Who did, ere close of ev'ning, lye
    With ghastly face turn'd to the sky,
    No more again the rouse of war to hear.
    And many for the combat burn'd,
    Who never from its broil return'd,
    Kindred or home to cheer.
    How short the term that shall divide
    The firm-nerv'd youth's exerted force,—
    The warrior, glowing in his pride,
    From the cold stiffen'd corse!
    A little term, pass'd with such speed,
    As would in courtly revel scarce suffice,
    Mated with lady fair, in silken guise,
    The measur'd dance to lead.

  • His soldiers, firm as living rock,
    Now braced them for the battle's shock;


    And watch'd their chieftain's keen looks glancing
    From marshall'd clans to foes advancing;
    Smiled with the smile his eye that lighten'd,
    Glow'd with the glow his brow that brighten'd:
    But when his burnish'd brand he drew,
    His towering form terrific grew,
    And every Scotchman, at the sight,
    Felt thro' his nerves a giant's might,
    And drew his patriot sword with Wallace Wight.
  • XXXIX.

  • For what of thrilling sympathy,
    Did e'er in human bosom vye
    With that which stirs the soldier's breast,
    When, high in god-like worth confest,
    Some noble leader gives command,
    To combat for his native land?
    No; friendship's freely-flowing tide,
    The soul expanding; filial pride,
    That hears with craving, fond desire
    The bearings of a gallant sire;


    The yearnings of domestic bliss,
    Ev'n love itself will yield to this.
  • XL.

  • Few words the lofty hero utter'd,
    But deep response was widely mutter'd,
    Like echo'd echoes, circling round
    Some mountain lake's steep rocky bound.
  • XLI.

  • Then rush'd they fiercely on their foes,
    And loud o'er drum and war-pipe rose
    The battle's mingled roar.
    The eager shout, the weapon's clash;
    The adverse rank's first closing crash,
    The sullen hum of striving life,
    The busy beat of trampling strife,
    From castle, rocks, and mountains round,
    Down the long firth, a grand and awful sound,
    A thousand echoes bore.

  • XLII.

  • Spears cross'd spears, a bending grove,
    As front to front the warriors strove.
    Thro' the dust-clouds, rising dun,
    Their burnish'd brands flash'd to the sun
    With quickly changing, shiv'ring light,
    Like streamers on the northern night;
    While arrow-showers came hurtling past,
    Like splinter'd wreck driven by the blast,
    What time fierce winter is contending,
    With Norway's pines, their branches rending.
  • XLIII.

  • Long penants, flags, and banners move
    The fearful strife of arms above,
    Not as display'd in colours fair,
    They floated on the morning air;
    But with a quick, ungentle motion,
    As sheeted sails, torn by the blast,
    Flap round some vessel's rocking mast
    Upon a stormy ocean.

  • XLIV.

  • Opposing ranks, that onward bore,
    In tumult mix'd, are ranks no more;
    Nor aught discern'd of skill or form;—
    All a wild, bick'ring, steely storm!
    While oft around some fav'rite Chieftain's crest,
    The turmoil thick'ning, darkly rose,
    As on rough seas the billow grows,
    O'er lesser waves high-heaved, but soon deprest.
    So gallant Grame, thou noble Scot!
    Around thee rose the fearful fray,
    And other brave compeers of bold essay,
    Who did not spare their mothers' sons that day,
    And ne'er shall be forgot.
  • XLV.

  • But where the mighty Wallace fought,
    Like spirit quick, like giant strong,
    Plunging the foe's thick ranks among,
    Wide room in little time was hew'd,
    And grizly sights around were strew'd;


    Recoil'd aghast the helmed throng,
    And every hostile thing to earth was brought.
    Full strong and hardy was the foe
    To whom he gave a second blow.
    Many a knight and lord
    Fell victims to his sword,
    And Cressingham's proud crest lay low.
  • XLVI.

  • And yet, all Southrons as they were,
    Their ranks dispers'd, their leader slain,
    Passing the bridge with dauntless air,
    They still came pouring on the plain;
    But weaken'd of its rafter'd strength,
    'Tis said by warlike craft, and trod
    By such successive crowds, at length
    The fabrick fell with all its living load.
    Loud was the shriek the sinking Southrons gave,
    Thus dash'd into the deep and booming wave.
    For there a fearful death had they,


    Clutching each floating thing in vain,
    And struggling rose and sunk again,
    Who, 'midst the battle's loud affray,
    Had the fair meed of honour sought,
    And on the fieldlike lions fought.
  • XLVII.

  • And there, upon that field—a bloody field,
    Where many a wounded youth was lying,
    And many dead and many dying,
    Did England's arms to Scotland's heroes yield.
    The close confusion opening round,
    The wild pursuit's receding sound,
    Is ringing in their ears, who low
    On cloated earth are laid, nor know,
    When those who chase and those who fly,
    With hasty feet come clatt'ring by,
    Or who hath won or who hath lost;
    Save when some dying Scotchman lifts his head,
    And, asking faintly how the day hath sped,


    At the glad news, half from the ground
    Starts up, and gives a cheering sound
    And waves his hand and yields the ghost.
    A smile is on the corse's cheek,
    Stretch'd by the heather bush, on death bed bare and bleak.

  • With rueful eyes the wreck of that dire hour,
    The Southron's yet unbroken power,
    As on the river's adverse shore they stood,
    Silent beheld, till, like a mountain flood,
    Rush'd Stirling's castled warriors to the plain;
    Attack'd their now desponding force,
    And fiercely press'd their hasty course
    Back to their boasted native soil again.
  • XLIX.

  • Of foes so long detested,—fear'd,
    Were towns and castles quickly clear'd;
    Thro' all the land at will might free men range:


    Nor slave nor tyrant there appear'd;
    It was a blessed change!
  • L.

  • The peasant's cot and homely farm,
    Hall-house and tower, secure from harm
    Or lawless spoil, again became
    The cheerful charge of wife or dame.
    'Neath humble roofs, from rafter slung
    The harmless spear, on which was hung
    The flaxen yarn in spindles coil'd,
    And leathern pouch and hozen soil'd,
    And rush or osier creel, that held
    Both field and houshold geer; whilst swell'd
    With store of Scotland's fav'rite food,
    The seemly sack in corner stood;
    Remains of what the foe had left;
    Glad sight to folks so long bereft!


    And look'd at oft and wisely spared,
    Tho' still with poorer neighbours shared.
    The wooden quaigh and trencher placed
    On the shelv'd wall, its rudeness graced.
    Beneath the pot red faggots glanced,
    And on the hearth the spindle danced,
    As housewife's slight, so finely true,
    The lengthen'd thread from distaff drew,
    While she, belike, sang ditty shrill
    Of Southron louns with lengthen'd trill.

    asterisk. Creel, the common Scotch name for basket.

    asterisk. Quaigh, a stained drinking cup.

  • LI.

  • In castle hall with open gate,
    The noble lady kept her state,
    With girdle clasp'd by gem of price,
    Buckle or hasp of rare device,
    Which held, constrain'd o'er bodice tight,
    Her woollen robe of colours bright;
    And with bent head and tranquil eye,
    And gesture of fair courtesy,


    The stranger guest bade to her board
    Tho' far a field her warlike lord.
    A board where smoked on dishes clear
    Of massy pewter, sav'ry cheer,
    And potent ale was foaming seen
    O'er tankards bright of silver sheen,
    Which erst, when foe men bore the sway,
    Beneath the sod deep buried lay.
    For household goods, from many a hoard,
    Were now to household use restored.
  • LII.

  • Neighbours with neighbours join'd, begin
    Their cheerful toil, whilst mingled din
    Of saw or hammer cleave the air,
    The roofless bigging to repair,
    The woodman fells the gnarled tree,
    The ploughman whistles on the lea;


    The falkner keen his bird lets fly,
    As lordlings gaze with upcast eye;
    The arrow'd sportsman strays at will,
    And fearless strays o'er moor and hill;
    The traveller pricks along the plain;
    The herdboys shout and children play;
    Scotland is Scotland once again,
    And all are boon and gay.

    asterisk. ∗ Bigging, house or building of any kind, but generally rustic and mean.

  • LIII.

  • Thus, freedom from a grievous yoke,
    Like gleam of sunshine o'er them broke;
    And souls, when joy and peace were new,
    Of every nature, kindlier grew.
    It was a term of liberal dealing,
    And active hope and friendly feeling,
    Thro' all the land might freemen range,
    It was a blessed change!

  • LIV.

  • So, when thro' forest wild hath past
    The mingled fray of shower and blast,
    Tissue of threaded gems is worn
    By flower and fern and briar and thorn,
    While the scourged oak and shaken pine,
    Aloft in brighten'd verdure shine.
    Then Wallace to St. Johnston went,
    And thro' the country quickly sent
    Summons to burgher, knight, and lord,
    Who, there convened, with one accord,
    Took solemn oath with short debate,
    Of fealty to the state,
    Until a King's acknowledged, rightful sway,—
    A native King, they should with loyal hearts obey.
    And he with foresight wise, to spare
    Poor Scotland, scourged, exhausted, bare,
    Whose fields unplough'd, and pastures scant,
    Had brought her hardy sons to want,
    His conquering army southward led,
    Which was on England's plenty fed:


    And there, I trow, for many months they took
    Spoil of the land which ill that hateful change could brook.
  • LV.

  • Edward, meantime, asham'd and wroth
    At such unseemly foil, and loth
    So to be bearded, sent defiance
    To Scotland's chief, in sure reliance
    That he, with all which he may southward bring,
    Of warlike force, dare not encounter England's King.
  • LVI.

  • But Wallace, on the day appointed,
    Before this scepter'd and anointed,
    Who, strengthen'd with a num'rous host,
    There halted, to maintain his boast,
    On Stanmore's height, their battle ground,
    With all his valiant Scots was found.
    A narrow space of stony moor,
    With heath and likens mottled o'er,


    And cross'd with dew-webs wiry sheen,
    The adverse armies lay between.
    When upland mists had worn away,
    And blue sky over-head was clearing,
    And things of distant ken appearing
    Fair on the vision burst, that martial grand array.
    The force on haughty Edward's side,
    Spearmen and archers were descry'd,
    Line beyond line, spread far and wide,
    Receding from the eye;
    While bristling pikes distinct and dark,
    As traced aloft with edgy mark,
    Seem'd graven on the sky;
    And armed Knights arm'd steeds bestriding,
    Their morions glancing bright,
    And to and fro their gay squires riding,
    In warlike geer bedight.
    O'er all the royal standard flew,
    With crimson folds of gorgeous hue,
    And near it, ranged, in colours gay,
    Inferior flags and banners play,


    As broad-wing'd hawk keeps soaring high,
    Circled by lesser birds, that wheeling round him fly.
    Huge waggon, sleaded car, and wain,
    With dark, piled loads, a heavy train,
    Store-place of arms and yeoman's cheer,
    Frown'd in the further rear.
  • LVII.

  • And martial'd on the northern side,
    The northern ranks the charge abide,
    In numbers few, but stout of heart,
    Their nation's honour to assert.
  • LVIII.

  • Thus on the field with clans and liegemen good,
    England's great King, and Scotland's Warden stood.
    That Monarch proud, did rightly claim
    'Mongst Europe's lords the fairest fame,
    And had, in cause of Christentie,
    Fought with bold Saracens right gallantly.


    That Warden was the noblest man
    That e'er grac'd nation, race, or clan,
    And grasp'd within his brave right hand
    A sword, which from the dust had rais'd his native land.
  • LIX.

  • Who had not cried, that look'd upon
    So brave and grand a sight,
    "What stalwart deeds shall here be done
    "Before the close of night!"
    But Edward mark'd with falt'ring will,
    The Scottish battle ranged with skill,
    Which spoke the Leader's powerful mind.
    On England's host that number'd twice their foes,
    But newly raised, nor yet enured to blows,
    He rueful look'd, his purpose fail'd,
    He look'd again, his spirit quail'd,
    And battle gage declin'd.

  • LX.

  • And thus did he to Wallace yield,
    The bloodless honours of the field.
    But as the Southron ranks withdrew,
    Scarcely believing what he saw,
    The wary Chief might not expose
    His soldiers to returning foes,
    Or ambush'd snare, and gave the order,
    With beat of drum and trumpet sounding,
    The air with joyous shouts resounding,
    To cross with homeward steps the English border.
  • LXI.

  • Scotland thus, from foes secure,
    Her prudent Chieftain to enure
    His nobles still to martial toil,
    Sought contest on a distant soil;
    And many a young and valiant knight,
    For foreign wars were with their leader dight.
    And soon upon the seas careering


    In gallant ship, whose penants play,
    Waving and curling in the air,
    With changeful hues of colour fair,
    Themselves as gallant, boon, and gay,
    Their course with fav'ring breezes steering,
    To friendly France they held their way.
  • LXII.

  • And they upon the ocean met
    With warlike fleet, and sails full set,
    De Longoville, that bold outlaw,
    Whose name kept mariners in awe.
    This man, with all his desp'rate crew
    Did Wallace on the waves subdue.
    One Scottish ship the pirate thought
    As on her boarded deck he fought,
    Cheer'd by his sea-mates' warlike cries,
    A sure and easy prize.
    But Wallace's mighty arm he felt;
    Yea, at his conqueror's feet he knelt;


    And there disdained not to crave
    And take the mercy of the brave;
    For still, as thing by nature fit,
    The brave unto the brave are knit.
    Thus natives of one parent land,
    In crowded mart, on foreign strand,
    With quick glance recognize each other;
    "That mien! that step! it is a brother!
    "Tho' mingled with a meaner race,
    "In foreign garb, I know that face,
    "His features beam like those I love,
    "His limbs with mountain vigour move,
    "And tho' so strange and alien grown,
    "The kindred tie my soul will own."
    De Longoville, ev'n from that hour, a knight,
    True to his native King, true to the right,
    Fought with the Scottish hero to the end,
    In many a bloody field, his tried and valiant friend.

  • LXIII.

  • And nobly in the lists of France,
    Those noble Scots with brand and lance,
    'Midst foreign knights and warriors blended,
    In generous rivalry contended,
    Whilst their brave Chieftain taught them still,
    The soldier's dext'rous art and leader's nobler skill.
  • LXIV.

  • But English Edward, tired the while
    Of life inert and covert guile,
    Most faithless to the peace so lately made,
    Was northward bound again, poor Scotland to invade.
    Then Wallace, with his valiant band,
    By Scotland's faithful sons recall'd,
    Whom foreign yoke full sorely gall'd,
    Must raise again his glaved hand
    To smite the shackles from his native land.

  • LXV.

  • Brave hearts, who had in secret burn'd,
    To see their country bear the yoke,
    Hearing their Warden was return'd,
    Forth from their secret hidings broke,
    Wood, cave, or mountain-cliff, and ran
    To join the wond'rous man.
  • LXVI.

  • It was a sight to chase despair,
    His standard floating on the air,
    Which, curling oft with courteous wave,
    Still seem'd to beckon to the brave.
    And when approach'd within short space,
    They saw his form and knew his face,—
    That brow of hope, that step of power,
    Which stateliest strode in danger's hour,—
    How glow'd each heart!—"Himself we see!
    "What, tho' but few and spent we be!


    "The valiant heart despaireth never;
    "The rightful cause is strongest ever;
    "While Wallace lives, the land is free."
  • LXVII.

  • And he this flatt'ring hope pursued,
    And war with England's King renew'd.
    By martial stratagem he took
    St. Johnston's stubborn town, a hold
    So oft to faithless tyrants sold;
    And cautious patriots then forsook
    Ignoble shelter, kept so long,
    And join'd in arms the ardent throng,
    Who with the Warden southward past,
    Like clouds increasing on the blast.

  • Fife from the enemy he won,
    And in his prosp'rous course held on,
    Till Edward's strength, borne quickly down,
    Held scarcely castle, tower, or town,


    In all the southern shires; and then
    He turn'd him to the north again;
    Where from each wall'd defence, the foe expell'd,
    Fled fast, Dundee alone still for King Edward held.
  • LXIX.

  • But the oppressor, blushing on his throne
    To see the Scotch his warriors homeward chase,
    And those, so lately crush'd, so powerful grown,
    But ill could brook this sudden foul disgrace.
    And he a base, unprincely compact made
    With the red Cumming, traitor, black of heart!
    Who to their wicked plot, in secret laid,
    Some other chieftains gain'd with wily art.
    And he hath dared again to send
    A noble army, all too brave
    For such unmanly, hateful end,
    A land of freedom to enslave.
    At Falkirk soon was England's proudest boast
    Marshall'd in grand array, a brave and powerful host.

  • LXX.

  • But there with valiant foe to cope,
    Soon on the field stood Scotland's hope,
    Ev'n thirty thousand warriors, led
    By noble Wallace, each, that day,
    Had cheerfully his heart's blood shed
    The land to free from Southron's sway.
    Alas! had all her high-born chieftains been
    But as their leader and their clansmen true,
    She on that field a glorious day had seen,
    And made, tho' match'd with them, in number few,
    King Edward's vaunted host that fatal day to rue.
  • LXXI.

  • But envy of a hero's fame,
    Which so obscured each lofty name,
    Was meanly harbour'd in the breast
    Of those who bore an honour'd crest.
    But most of all Red Cumming nursed
    In his dark breast this bane accursed,


    That, with the lust of power combin'd,
    O'er-master'd all his wretched mind.
    Then to Lord Stewart, secretly,
    Spoke with smooth words the traitor sly,
    Advising that, to grace his name,
    Being by right confess'd the man,
    Who ought to lead the Scottish van,
    He should the proud distinction claim.
    And thus, as one of low estate,
    With lip of scorn, and brow elate,
    Did he, by traitors back'd, the godlike Wallace bate.
  • LXXII.

  • "Must noble chiefs of high degree,
    "Scotland's best blood, be led by thee?
    "Thou, who art great but as the owl,
    "Who plumed her wing from every fowl,
    "And, hooting on her blasted tree,
    "Would greater than the eagle be."


  • "I stood," said Wallace "for the right,
    "When ye in holes shrunk from the light;
    "My plumes spread to the blazing sun
    "Which coweringly ye sought to shun.
    "Ye are the owls, who from the gloom
    "Of cleft and cranny boasting come;
    "Yet, hoot and chatter as ye may,
    "I'll not to living man this day
    "Resign the baton of command,
    "Which Scotland's will gave to my hand,
    "When spoil'd, divided, conquer'd, maim'd,
    "None the dangerous honour claim'd;
    "Nor, till my head lie in the dust,
    "Will it betray her sacred trust."
  • LXXIV.

  • With flashing eye, and dark red brow,
    He utter'd then a hasty vow,
    Seeing the snare by treason laid,
    So strongly wove, so widely spread,


    And slowly from the field withdrew;
    While, slow and silent at his back,
    March'd on his wayward, cheerless track,
    Ten thousand Scotchmen staunch and true,
    Who would, let good or ill betide,
    By noble Wallace still abide.
  • LXXV.

  • To them it was a strange and irksome sight,
    As on a gentle hill apart they stood,
    To see arm'd squadrons closing in the fight,
    And the fierce onset to their work of blood.
    To see their well-known banners as they moved
    When dark opposing ranks with ranks are blending,
    To see the lofty plumes of those they loved
    Wave to and fro, with the brave foe contending.
  • LXXVI.

  • It hath been said, that gifted seer,
    On the dark mountain's cloudy screen,
    Forms of departed chiefs hath seen,


    In seeming armour braced with sword and spear,
    O'erlooking some dire field of death,
    Where warriors, warm with vital breath,
    Of kindred lineage, urge the glorious strife;
    They grasp their shadowy spears, and forward bend
    In eager sympathy, as if to lend
    Their aid to those, with whom in mortal life,
    They did such rousing, noble conflict share,—
    As if their phantom forms of empty air,
    Still own'd a kindred sense of what on earth they were.

  • So Wallace and his faithful band survey'd
    The fatal fight, when Scotland was betray'd
    By the false Cumming, who most basely fled,
    And from the field a thousand warriors led.
    O how his noble spirit burn'd,
    When from his post the traitor turn'd,
    Leaving the Stuart sorely prest!
    Who with his hardy Scots the wave


    Of hostile strength did stoutly breast,
    Like clansmen true and brave.
    His visage flush'd with angry glow,
    He clench'd his hand, and struck his brow.
    His heart within his bosom beat
    As it would break from mortal seat,
    And when at last they yielded space,
    And he beheld their piteous case,
    Big scalding tears cours'd down his manly face.

  • But, ah! that fatal vow, that pride
    Which doth in mortal breast reside,
    Of noble minds the earthly bane,
    His gen'rous impulse to restrain,
    Had power in that dark moment! still
    It struggled with his better will.
    And who, superior to this tempter's power,
    Hath ever braved it in the trying hour?
    O! only he, who, strong in heavenly grace,


    Taking from wretched thrals, of woman born,
    Their wicked mockery, their stripes, their scorn,
    Gave his devoted life for all the human race.
    He viewed the dire disast'rous fight,
    Like a fall'n cherubim of light,
    Whose tossing form now tow'rs, now bends,
    And with its darken'd self contends,
    Till many a brave and honour'd head
    Lay still'd upon a bloody bed,
    And Stuart, midst his clans, was number'd with the dead.
  • LXXIX.

  • Then rose he, like a rushing wind,
    Which strath or cavern hath confin'd,
    And straight thro' England's dark array,
    With his bold mates, hew'd out his bloody way.
    A perilous daring way, and dear the cost!
    For there the good, the gallant Grame he lost.
    The gallant Grame, whose name shall long
    Remember'd be in Scottish song.


    And second still to Wallace wight
    In lowland tale of winter's night,
    Who loved him as he never loved another.
    Low to the dust he bent his head,
    Deep was his anguish o'er the dead.—
    "That daring hand, that gentle heart!
    "That lofty mind! and must we part?
    "My brother, Oh, my brother!"
  • LXXX.

  • But how shall verse feign'd accents borrow,
    To speak with words their speechless sorrow,
    Who, on the trampled, blood-stain'd green
    Of battle-field, must leave behind
    What to their souls hath dearest been,
    To stiffen in the wind?
    The soldier there, or kern or chief,
    Short parley holds with shrewdest grief;
    Passing to noisy strife from what, alas!
    Shall from his sadden'd fancy never pass,—


    The look that ev'n thro' writhing pain,
    Says, "shall we never meet again!"
    The grasping hand or sign but known,
    Of tenderness, to one alone:
    The lip convulsed, the life's last shiver;
    The new-closed eye, yet closed for ever,
    The brave must quit;—but, from the ground,
    They, like th' enchafed lion bound.
    Rage is their sorrow, grimly fed,
    And blood the tears they shed.
  • LXXXI.

  • Too bold it were for me to tell,
    How Wallace fought; how on the brave
    The ruin of his anguish fell,
    Ere from the field, his bands to save,
    He broke away, and sternly bore
    Along the stony Carron's shore.
    The dark brown water, hurrying past,
    O'er stone and rocky fragment cast


    The white churn'd foam with angry bray,
    And wheel'd and bubbled on its way,
    And lash'd the margin's flinty guard,
    By him unheeded and unheard;
    Albeit, his mind, dark with despair,
    And grief, and rage, was imaged there.

  • And there, 'tis said, the Bruce descried
    Him marching on the rival side.
    The Bruce, whose right the country own'd,
    (Had he possess'd a princely soul,
    Disdaining Edward's base controul,)
    To be upon her chair of power enthron'd.

  • "Ho, chieftain!" said the princely slave,
    "Thou who pretend'st the land to save
    "With rebel sword, opposed to me,
    "Who should of right thy sovereign be;


    "Think'st thou the Scottish crown to wear,
    "Opposed by foreign power so great,
    "By those at home of high estate?
    "Cast the vain thought to empty air,
    "Thy fatal mad ambition to despair."

  • "No!" Wallace answer'd; "I have shewn
    "This sword to gain or power or throne
    "Was never drawn; no act of mine
    "Did e'er with selfish thought combine.
    "Courage to dare, when others lay
    "In brutish sloth, beneath the sway
    "Of foreign tyranny; to save
    "From thraldom, hateful to the brave,
    "My friends, my countrymen; to stand
    "For right and honour of the land,
    "When nobler arms shrunk from the task,
    "In a vile tyrant's smiles to bask,
    "Hath been my simple warrant of command.


    "And Scotland hath confirm'd it.—No;
    "Nor shall this hand her charge forego,
    "While Southron in the land is found
    "To lord it o'er one rood of Scottish ground,
    "Or till my head be low."
  • LXXXV.

  • Deep blush'd the Bruce, shame's conscious glow
    And own'd the hero's words were true;
    And with his followers, sad and slow
    To Edward's camp withdrew.

  • But fleeting was the mighty tyrant's boast,
    (So says the learned clerk of old,
    Who first our hero's story told,)
    Fleeting the triumph of his numerous host.
    For with the morning's early dawn
    The Scottish soldiers, scatter'd wide,


    Hath Wallace round his standard drawn,
    Hath cheer'd their spirits, rous'd their pride,
    And led them, where their foes they found,
    All listless, scatter'd on the ground.
    On whom with furious charge they set;
    And many a valiant Southron met
    A bloody death, waked from the gleam
    And inward vision of a morning's dream;
    Where Fancy in his native home
    Led him through well-known fields to roam,
    Where orchard, cot, and copse appear,
    And moving forms of kindred dear;—
    For in the rugged soldier's brain
    She oft will fairy court maintain
    Full gently, as beneath the dusk
    Of hard-ribb'd shell, the pearl lies,
    Or silken bud in prickly husk;—
    He from her vision's sweet unseals his eyes
    To see the stern foe o'er him darkly bending,
    To feel the deep-thrust blade his bosom rending,


  • So many Southrons there were slain,
    So fatal was the vengeance ta'en,
    That Edward, with enfeebled force,
    Check'd mad ambition's unbless'd course,
    And to his own fair land return'd again.

  • Then Wallace thought from tower and town
    And castled hold, as heretofore,
    To pull each English banner down
    And free the land once more.
    But ah! the generous hope he must forego!
    Envy and pride have Scotland's cause betrayed;
    All now are backward, listless, cold, and slow,
    His patriot arm to aid.

  • Then to St. Johnston, at his call,
    Met burghers, knights, and nobles all,


    Who on the pressing summons wait,
    A full assembly of the state.
    There he resign'd his ensigns of command,
    Which erst had kept the proudest Thanes in awe;
    Retaining in that potent hand
    Which thrice redeem'd its native land,
    His simple sword alone, with which he stood
    Midst all her haughty peers of princely blood,
    The noblest man e'er Scotland saw.
  • XC.

  • And thus did Scottish lords requite
    Him, who, in many a bloody fight,
    The country's champion stood; her people's Wallace wight.
    O black ingratitude! thy seemly place
    Is in the brutish, mean, and envious heart;
    How is it then, thou dost so oft disgrace
    The learn'd, the wise, the highly born, and art
    Like cank'ring blights, the oak that scathe,
    While fern and brushwood thrive beneath;


    Like dank mould on the marble tomb,
    While graves of turf with violets bloom.
    Selfish ambition makes the lordliest Thane
    A meaner man than him, who drives the loaded wain.
  • XCI.

  • And he with heavy heart his native shore
    Forsook to join his old ally once more.
    And in Guienne right valiant deeds he wrought;
    Till under iron yoke opprest,
    From north to south, from east to west,
    His most unhappy groaning country sought
    The generous aid she never sought in vain;
    And with a son's unwearied love,
    Which fortune, time, nor wrongs could move,
    He to maintain her cause again repass'd the main.
    The which right bravely he maintain'd;
    And divers castles soon regain'd.
    The sound ev'n of his whisper'd name
    Revived in faithful hearts the smother'd flame,
    And many secretly to join his standard came.


    St. Johnston's leaguered walls at length
    Were yielded to his growing strength;
    And on, with still increasing force,
    He southward held his glorious course.
  • XCII.

  • Then Edward thought the chief to gain,
    And win him to his princely side
    With treasur'd gold and honours vain,
    And English manors fair and wide.
    But with flush'd brow and angry eye
    And words that shrewdly from him broke,
    Stately and stern, he thus bespoke
    The secret embassy.
    "These kingly proffers made to me!
    "Return and say it may not be.
    "Lions shall troop with herdsmen's droves,
    "And eagles roost with household doves,
    "Ere William Wallace draw his blade
    "With those who Scotland's rights invade.


    "Yea, ev'n the touch of bondsman's chain,
    "Would in my thrilling members wake
    "A loathful sense of rankling pain
    "Like coiling of a venom'd snake."
    The King abash'd, in courtly hold,
    Receiv'd this answer sooth and bold.
  • XCIII.

  • But ah! the fated hour drew near
    That stopp'd him in his bold career.
    Monterith, a name which from that day, I ween,
    Hateful to every Scottish ear hath been,
    Which highland kern and lowland hind
    Have still with treacherous guile combin'd,—
    The false Monteith, who under show
    Of friendship, sold him to the foe,
    Stole on a weary secret hour,
    As sleeping and disarm'd he lay,
    And to King Edward's vengeful power
    Gave up the mighty prey.

  • XCIV.

  • At sight of noble Wallace bound,
    The Southrons raised a vaunting sound,
    As if the bands which round his limbs they drew,
    Had fetter'd Scotland too.
    They gaz'd and wonder'd at their mighty thrall;
    Then nearer drew with movements slow,
    And spoke in whispers deep and low.—
    "This is the man to whom did yield
    "The doughtiest knight in banner'd field,
    "Whose threat'ning frown the boldest did appal!"
    And, as his clanging fetters shook,
    Cast on him oft a fearful look,
    As doubting if in verity
    Such limbs with iron might holden be:
    While boldest spearmen by the pris'ner's side
    With beating heart and haggard visage ride.
  • XCV.

  • Thus on to London they have past,
    And in the Tower's dark dungeons cast


    The hero; where, in silent gloom,
    He must abide his fatal doom.
    There pent, from earthly strife apart,
    Scotland still rested on his heart.
    Aye; every son that breathed her air
    On cultur'd plain or mountain bare,
    From chief in princely castle bred
    To herdsman in his sheeling shed,
    From war-dight youth to barefoot child,
    Who picks in brake the berry wild;—
    Her gleamy lakes and torrents clear,
    Her towns, her towers, her forests green,
    Her fields where warlike coil hath been,
    Are to his soul most dear.
  • XCVI.

  • His fetter'd hands support a head,
    Whose nodding plume had terror spread
    O'er many a face, ev'n seen from far,
    When moving in the ranks of war.


    Lonely and dark, unseen of man,
    But in that Presence whose keen eye
    Can darkest breast of mortal scan,
    The bitter thought and heavy sigh
    Have way uncheck'd, and utter'd grief
    Gave to his burthen'd heart a soothing, sad relief.
  • XCVII.

  • "It hath not to this arm been given
    "From the fell tyrant's grinding hand
    "To set thee free, my native land!
    "I bow me to the will of Heaven!
    "But have I run my course in vain?
    "Shall thou in bondage still remain?
    "The spoiler o'er thee still have sway,
    "Till virtue, strength, and pride decay?
    "O no! still panting to be free,
    "Thy noblest hearts will think of me.
    "Some brave, devoted, happier son
    "Will do the work I would have done;


    "And blest be he, who nobly draws
    "His sword in Scotland's cause!"

  • Perhaps his vision'd eye might turn
    To him who fought at Bannockburn.
    Or is it wildness to believe
    A dying patriot may receive,
    (Who sees his mortal span diminish'd
    To nought, his generous task unfinish'd,)
    A seeming fruitless end to cheer,
    Some glimpses of the gifted seer?
    O no! 'tis to his closing sight
    A beacon on a distant height,—
    The moon's new crescent, seen in cloudy kirtled night.
  • XCIX.

  • And much he strove with Christian grace,
    Of those who Scotland's foes had been,
    His soul's strong hatred to efface,
    A work of grace, I ween!


    Meekly he bow'd o'er bead and book,
    And every worldly thought forsook.
  • C.

  • But when he on the scaffold stood,
    And cast aside his mantling hood,
    He eyed the crowd, whose sullen hum,
    Did from ten thousand upcast faces come,
    And armed guardsmen standing round,
    As he was wont on battle-ground,
    Where still with calm and portly air,
    He faced the foe with visage bare;
    As if with baton of command
    And vassal chiefs on either hand,
    Towering her marshall'd files between,
    He Scotland's warden still had been.
    This flash of mortal feeling past,—
    This gleam of pride, it was the last.
    As on the cloud's dense skirt will play,
    While the dark tempest rolls away,


    One parting blaze; then thunders cease,
    The sky is clear, and all is peace.
    And he with ready will a nobler head
    Than e'er was circled with a kingly crown,
    Upon the block to headsman's stroke laid down,
    And for his native land a generous victim bled.
  • CI.

  • What tho' that head o'er gate or tower,
    Like felons on the cursed tree,
    Visited by sun and shower,
    A ghastly spectacle may be!
    A fair renown, as years wear on,
    Shall Scotland give her noblest son.
    The course of ages shall not dim
    The love that she shall bear to him.
  • CII.

  • In many a castle, town, and plain,
    Mountain and forest, still remain


    Fondly cherish'd spots, which claim
    The proud distinction of his honour'd name.
  • CIII.

  • Swells the huge ruin's massy heap
    In castled court, 'tis Wallace's keep.
    What stateliest o'er the rest may lower
    Of time-worn wall, where rook and daw,
    With wheeling flight and ceaseless caw,
    Keep busy stir, is Wallace's tower.
    If thro' the green wood's hanging screen,
    High o'er the deeply-bedded wave,
    The mouth of arching cleft is seen
    Yawning dark, 'tis Wallace's cave.
    If o'er its jutting barrier grey,
    Tinted by time, with furious din,
    The rude crags silver'd with its sprey,
    Shoot the wild flood, 'tis Wallace's lin.
    And many a wood remains, and hill and glen
    Haunted, 'tis said, of old by Wallace and his men.

  • CIV.

  • There schoolboy still doth haunt the sacred ground,
    And musing oft its pleasing influence own,
    As, starting at his footsteps echo'd sound,
    He feels himself alone.
  • CV.

  • Yea, ev'n the cottage matron, at her wheel,
    Altho' with daily care and labour crost,
    Will o'er her heart the soothing magic feel,
    And of her country's ancient prowess boast;
    While on the little shelf of treasured books,
    For what can most of all her soul delight,
    Beyond or ballad, tale, or jest, she looks,—
    The history renown'd of Wallace wight.
  • CVI.

  • But chiefly to the soldier's breast
    A thought of him will kindling come,
    As waving high his bonnet's crest,
    He listens to the rolling drum,


    And trumpet's call and thrilling fife,
    And bagpipes' loud and stormy strain,
    Meet prelude to tumultuous strife
    On the embattled plain.
  • CVII.

  • Whether in highland garb array'd,
    With kirtle short and highland plaid,
    Or button'd close in lowland vest,
    Within his doughty grasp, broad sword, or gun be prest,—
    Rememb'ring him, he still maintains
    His country's cause on foreign plains,
    To grace her name and earn her praise,
    Led by the brave of modern days.
  • CVIII.

  • Such, Abercrombie, fought with thee
    On Egypt's dark embattled shore,
    And near Corunna's bark-clad sea
    With great and gallant Moore.


    Such fought with Ferguson and Graham,
    A leader worthy of the name,
    And fought in pride of Scotland's ancient fame
    With firmer nerve and warmer will:
    And wheresoe'er on hostile ground,
    Or Scot or hardy Celt are found,
    Thy spirit, noble Wallace, fighteth still.
  • CXIX.

  • O Scotland! proud may be thy boast!
    Since Time his course thro' circling years hath run,
    There hath not shone, in Fame's bright host,
    A nobler hero than thy patriot son.
  • CX.

  • Manly and most devoted was the love
    With which for thee unweariedly he strove;
    No selfish lust of power, not ev'n of fame,
    Gave ardour to the pure and generous flame.


    Rapid in action, terrible in fight,
    In counsel wise, inflexible in right,
    Was he, who did so oft, in olden days,
    Thy humbled head from base oppression raise.
    Then be it by thy generous spirit known,
    Ready in freedom's cause to bleed,
    Spurning corruption's worthless meed,
    That in thy heart thou feel'st this hero was thine own.




    • NOTE I.

    • And sunk beneath the Southron's faithless lord
      In sullen, deep despair.␣␣Page 5.

      The oppression under which Scotland groaned is thus detailed by Blind Harry, (page 7.)

      "When Saxon blood into the realm coming,
      Working the will of Edward, that false King,
      Many great wrongs they wrought in this region,
      Destroyed our lords and brake their biggins down.
      Both wives and widows they took at their own will,
      Nuns and maidens whom they lik'd to spill.
      King Herod's part they played here in Scotland,
      On young children that they before them fand.
      The bishopricks that were of greatest vail
      They took in hand of their archbishop's haill;
      Not for the Pope they would no kirk forbear,
      But gripped all thro' violence of weir.


      Glasgow they gave, as it o'er well was ken'd,
      To Diocie of Durham to a commend.
      Small benefices then they would pursue,
      And for the right full worthy clerks they slew."

      The grievous thraldom which Scotland endured after the rights of Baliol had been set aside by Edward, is thus recorded by Barbrar:

      "To Scotland went he (Edward) then in hy
      And all the land gan occupy:
      Sa hale that both castell and toune
      Was into his possessioune
      Fra Weik anent Orkenay
      To Muller Suwk in Galloway;
      And stuffet all with Inglissmen.
      Schyrreffys then and bailyheys made he then,
      And alkyn other officeries,
      That for to govern land afferis,
      He maid of Inglis nation;
      That worthyt than sa rych fellone,
      And sa wyckkyt and cowatouss,
      And sa hawten and dispitouss
      That Scottis men mycht do na thing
      That enir mycht pleyss to their liking.
      ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
      And gyff that ony man thaim by
      Had ony thing that was worthy,
      As horse or hund, or other thing,
      That was pleasand to thar liking,


      With rycht or wrang it have wald thai,
      And gyff ony man wald them withsay,
      Thai sald swa do that thai suld tyne
      Other land or lyff or leyff in pyne.''

      After expatiating further on the miserable condition of the Scotch, he breaks forth in a more empassioned strain than is often to be met with in the sober bards of those olden times.

      "A! freedome is a noble thing!
      Freedome mays man to haiff liking;
      Freedome all solace to man giffis;
      He levys at ess that frely levys!
      A noble heart may haiff nane ess,
      Na ellys nocht that may him pless,
      Gyff freedome faily he: for fre liking
      Is yharnyt our all other thing.
      Na he that ay has levyt fre,
      May nocht knaw weil the propyrte.
      The anger, na the wrechyt dome
      That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome.
      Bot gyff he had assayet it,
      Than all perquer he suld it wyt;
      And suld think freedome mar to pryss
      Than all the gold in warld that is."

    • NOTE II.

    • Existed worth without alloy,
      In form a man, in years a boy.␣␣P. 8.
      Blind Harry, page 7.

      "William Wallace, ere he was man of arms,
      Great pity thought that Scotland took sik harms.
      Meikle dolour it did him in his mind,
      For he was wise, right worthy, wight and kind.
      ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
      Into his heart he had full meikle care.
      He saw the Southerons multiply mare and mare,
      And to himself would often make his mone.
      Of his good kin they had slain many one.
      Yet he was then seemly, stark, and bold,
      And he of age was but eighteen years old."
    • NOTE III.

    • 'Tis pleasant in his early frolick feats
      Which fond tradition long and oft repeats,
      The op'ning of some dauntless soul to trace,
      Whose bright career of fame a country's annals grace.␣␣P. 9.

      Many of the early feats of Wallace are told by the Blind Bard very minutely, and sometimes with a degree of humour, as for instance, his slaying the constable's son of Dundee, told thus:—

      "Upon a day to Dundee he was send,
      Of cruelness full little they him kend.


      The constable, a fellon man of weir,
      That to the Scotts oft did full meikle deir,
      Selbie, he heght, dispiteful and outrage,
      A son he had near twenty years of age:
      Into the town he used every day,
      Three men or four there went with him to play.
      An hely shrew, wanton in his intent,
      Wallace he saw, and towards him he went;
      Likely he was right big and well beseen
      Into a weed of goodly ganand green;
      He call'd on him and said, thou Scot, abide,
      What devil thee graiths in so gay a weed?
      An Irish mantle is was thy kind to wear,
      A Scots whittle under thy belt to bear,
      Rough rulzions upon thy harlot feet,
      Give me thy knife; what doth thy gear so meet?
      To him he went, his knife to take him fra.
      Fast by the collar Wallace can him ta,
      Under his hand the knife he braideth out,
      For all his men that 'sembled him about.
      But help himself he knew of no remead,
      Without rescue, he sticked him to dead.
      The squire fell, of him there was no more,
      His men followed on Wallace wonder sore.
      The press was thick, and cumber'd them full fast,
      Wallace was speedy, and greatly als agast;


      The bloody knife bare drawn in his hand,
      He spared none that he before him fand.
      The house he knew his ome lodged in,
      Thither he fled, for out he might not win.
      The good-wife there, within the close saw he,
      And help, he cried, for him that died on tree,
      The young captain has fallen with me at strife.
      In at the door he went with this good-wife.
      A russet gown of her own she him gave
      Upon his weed that cover'd all the lave;
      A sudden courch o'er neck and head let fall,
      A woven white hat she braced on withall;
      For they should not tarry long at that inn,
      Gave him a rock, syne set him down to spin.
      The Southron sought where Wallace was in dread,
      They knew not well at what gate in he yeed.
      In that same house they sought him busily,
      But he sat still and span right cunningly,
      As of his time he had not learned lang.
      They left him so, and forth their gates can gang
      With heavy chear and sorrowful of thought,
      Mair wit of him as then get could they nought."
    • NOTE IV.
    • As angler in the pooly wave. P. 10.
    • Reduced, as he frequently was, to live in hiding, this would often be his means of providing food, though the following passage relates

      apparently to times of less necessity, when Wallace, attended only by a child, having gone to fish in the river of Irvine, met the attendants of Lord Piercy, who then commanded at Air. They rudely asking him to give them some of his fish, and not content with a part, which he had desired the child who carried the basket to give them, but insolently demanding the whole, and, on his refusal, attacking him with the sword, it is said,—

      "Wallace was woe he had no weapons there,
      But the pont-staff, the which in hand he bare.
      Wallace with it fast on the cheek him took
      With so good-will that while off his feet he shook.
      The sword flew from him a fur-broad on the land.
      Wallace was glad, and hint it soon in hand,
      And with the sword an awkward stroke him gave
      Under his head, the craig in sunder rave.
      By that the rest lighted about Wallace,
      He had no help, but only God his grace.
      On either side full fast on him they dang,
      Great peril was if that had lasted lang.
      Upon the head in great ire struck he one,
      The shearing blade glaid to the collar-bone.
      Another on the arm he hit so hardily,
      While hand and sword both on the field can lie.
      The other two fled to their house again;
      He sticketh him that last was on the plain.
      Three slew he there, two fled with all their might
      After their lord, but he was out of sight."

    • 92
    • NOTE V.

    • How the base Southron's arm a woman slew,
      And robbed him of his wedded mate.␣␣P. 11.

      From the same authority we have the following account of his love, which is somewhat curious.

      Page 96.

      "In Lanerk dwelt a gentlewoman there,
      A maiden mild, as my book will declare,
      Eighteen years old or little more of age,
      Als born she was to part of heritage,
      Her father was of worship and renown,
      And Hew Braidfoot he heght, of Laming toun,
      As feil others in the county were call'd,
      Before time they gentlemen were of all'd.
      But this good man and als his wife was dead,
      The maiden then wist of no other rede,
      But still she dwelt in tribute in the town
      And purchaced had King Edward's protection;
      Servants with her and friends at her own will,
      Thus lived she without desire of ill;
      A quiet house as she might hald in wear,
      For Hesilrig had done her meikle dear
      Slain her brother, which eldest was and heir.
      All suffered she and right lowly her bare,
      Amiable, so benign, ware and wise,
      Courteous and sweet, fulfilled of gentrice.


      Well ruled of tongue, hail of countenance,
      Of virtues she was worthy to advance,
      Humbly she held and purchast a good name,
      Of ilka wight she keeped her from blame,
      True right wise folk a great favour she lent.
      Upon a day to kirk as she went,
      Wallace her saw as he his eyes can cast,
      The print of love him punced at the last,
      So asperly thro' beauty of that bright,
      With great unease in presence bide he might."

      I hope I may be permitted to give a specimen of the ornamented passages of the Blind Bard's poem, which contains but very few of that character.

      "Into April when clothed is but ween
      The able ground by working of nature,
      And woods have won their worthy weeds of green,
      When Nympheus in building of his bour
      With oyl and balm, fulfilled of sweet odour,
      Fumous matters as they are wont to gang,
      Walking their course in every casual hour,
      To glad the hunter with his merry sang."

      I am tempted also to give a specimen of the more empassioned or declamatory parts, which are likewise very thinly scattered through the work. Speaking of Wallace, who was obliged to leave his new-married love, he exclaims,—

      "Now leave thy mirth, now leave thy haill pleasance,
      Now leave thy bliss, now leave thy childish age,


      Now leave thy youth, now follow thy hard chance,
      Now leave thy ease, now leave thy marriage,
      Now leave thy love, or thou shalt lose a gage
      Which never on earth shall be redeemed again;
      Follow fortune and all her fierce outrage,
      Go live in war, go live in cruel pain."

      The death of Wallace's wife is thus related in a plainer and less studied manner. After having told how the English, who were in possession of Lanerk, quarrelled with Wallace and his friend, Sir John Graham, on their way from church, scoffed at them for being so well dressed; and how, after coming to blows, and the two friends slaying several of them, they were overpowered by numbers, and gained with difficulty the house of Wallace's wife,— he proceeds,

      "The woman then which was full will of wane,
      The peril saw with fellon noise and din.
      Set up the gate and let them enter in.
      Thro' to a strength they passed off that stead.
      Fifty Southron upon the gate were dead.
      This fair woman did business in her might,
      The Englishmen to tarry with a slight,
      While that Wallace into the woods was past,
      Then Cartlan Crags they pursued fast.
      When Southron saw that scaped was Wallace,
      Again they turn'd, the woman took on case,
      Put her to death, I cannot tell you how,
      Of sik matter I may not tarry now."

    • NOTE VI.

    • His countrymen with faithless gaze,
      Beheld his valour's early blaze. P. 12.

      Wintown, in his chronicle, after telling how Wallace surrounded the sherrif of Lanerk in the town at his inn, and slew him; the conclusion of which story runs thus,

      Page 95.

      "The schyrrave by the throt he gat,
      And that hey stayre he hurlyd him down
      And slew him there wythin the town,"
      proceeds to say,

      "Fray he thus the scherrave slwe,
      Scottis men fast to him drew,
      That with the Inglis oft tyme ware,
      Aggrevyd and supprised sare."

      Holinshed, in his Chronicles, mentions him thus,—

      "In that season also the fame of William Wallace began to spring, a yoong gentleman of huge stature and notable strength of bodie, with such skill and knowledge of warlike enterprises, and hereto of such hardinesse of stomach, in attempting all manner of dangerous exploits, that his match was not any where lightlie to be found. He was son to one Sir Andrew Wallace of Craigie, and from his youth bore ever an inward hatred against the English nation. Sundrie notable feats he wrought also against the Englishmen in defence of the Scots, and was of such incredible force at his coming to perfect age, that of himselfe alone, without all helpe, he would

      not feare to set on three or four Englishmen, and vanquish them. When the fame, therefore, of his worthie acts was notified through the realme, manie were put in good hope that by his means the realme should be delivered from the servitude of the Englishmen within short time after. And hereupon a great number of the Scotch nation, as well of the nobilitie as others, were readie to assist him in all his enterprises. By reason whereof he might not easilie be entrapped, or taken of the Englishmen, that went about to have gotten him into their hands."

      Buchanan, in his history of Scotland, after mentioning the imprisonment of Baliol, and Edward's sailing to France, where he was then carrying on war, and Cumin, Earl of Buchan, taking advantage of his absence, to ravage Northumberland, and lay siege to Carlisle, continues, "Though this expedition did somewhat to encourage the before crest-fallen Scotch, and hinder the English from doing them further mischief, yet it contributed little or nothing to the main chance, in regard that all the places of strength were possessed by the enemy's garrisons; but when the nobility had neither strength nor courage to undertake great matters, there presently started up one William Wallace, a man of an ancient noble family, but one that had lived poorly and meanly, as having little or no estate; yet this man performed in this war, not only beyond the expectation, but even the belief of all the common people; for he was bold of spirit, and strong of body; and when he was but a youth, had slain a young English nobleman, who proudly domineered over him. For this fact he was forced to run away, and to skulk up and down in several places for some years to save his life, and by this course

      of living, his body was hardened against wind and weather, and his mind was likewise fortified to undergo greater hazards when time should serve. At length, growing weary of such a wandering unsettled way of living, he resolved to attempt something, though never so hazardous, and therefore gathered a band of men together of like fortune with himself, and did not only assault single persons, but even greater companies, though with an inferior number, and accordingly, slew several persons in divers places. He played his pranks with as much dispatch as boldness, and never gave his enemy any advantage to fight him; so that, in short time, his fame was spread over both nations, by which means many came in to him, moved by the likeness of their cause, or with like love of their country; thus he made up a considerable army. And seeing the nobles were sluggish in their management of affairs, either out of fear or dulness, this Wallace was proclaimed Regent by the tumultuous band that followed him, and so he managed things as a lawful magistrate, and the substitute of Baliol. He accepted of this name, not out of any ambition or desire to rule, but because it was a title given him by his countrymen out of pure love and good-will. The first remarkable exploit he performed with his army was near Lanerick, where he slew the major general of that precinct, being an Englishman of good descent. Afterwards he took and demolished many castles, which were either slenderly fortified or meanly garrisoned, or else guarded negligently; which petty attempts so encouraged his soldiers, that they shunned no service, no, not the most hazardous, under his conduct, as having experienced that his
      boldness was guided by counsel, and that his counsel was seconded by success."

    • NOTE VII.

    • What tho' those warriors, gleaming round,
      On peaceful death-bed never lay,
      But each, upon his fated day
      His end on field or scaffold found.— P. 16.

      That the greater part of those brave men died in the field I need scarcely maintain; and Barbour, in his Bruce, says, "that after the battle of Methven, the Scotch prisoners of distinction were kept till Edward's pleasure respecting them should be known, who ordered those who would not swear fealty to him, and abandon the cause of Bruce, to be executed. Of the five names which he particularly mentions, two, viz. Frazer and Hay, are found amongst Wallace's first associates; to which he adds, 'and other ma.' "

      "Sir Thomas Randall there was taen,
      That was a young bacheler."

      Then, further on,

      Thomas Randall was one of tha,
      That for his lyff become their man.
      Off othyr that were takyn than,
      Sum they ransowet, sum thai slew.
      And sum thai hangyt, and sum thai drew."


      Randall, who is the only person amongst them, noticed as proving unfaithful to Bruce, and as a young man, we may infer that the others were more advanced in years, and might, therefore, many of them, be the early companions of Wallace, who was himself only five and forty when he died.

    • NOTE VIII.

    • Ent'ring the fatal Barns, fair sight!
      Went one by one the manly train,
      But neither baron, laird, nor knight,
      Did e'er return again.—P. 19.

      In Blind Harry, book 7th, the account of this wicked massacre is thus given:—

      "A baulk [beam] was knit all full of ropes so keen
      Sick a Tolbooth sensyn was never seen.
      Stern men were set the entry for to hold,
      None might pass in but ay as they were call'd.
      Sir Ranald [the uncle of Wallace] first to make fewty for his land,
      The knight went in and would no longer stand;
      A running cord they slipt over his head
      Hard to the baulk and hanged him to dead.
      Sir Brice the Blair then with his ome in past
      Unto the dead they hasted him full fast,
      By [by the time] he enter'd, his head was in the snare,
      Tied to the baulk, hanged to the dead right there.
      The third enter'd that pity was for thy,
      A worthy knight, Sir Neal Montgomery,


      And other feil [many] of landed men about,
      Many yeed in, but no Scotsman came out."

      Proceeding with the story, he says,—

      "Thus eighteen score to that derf death they dight,
      Of barons bold, and many a worthy knight."

      Dr. Jamieson, in his ingenious and learned Notes to the Life of Wallace, by Harry the Minstrel, so satisfactorily confutes the doubts of Lord Hailes, respecting the authenticity of this event, that there is no occasion for me to say any thing on the subject. A transaction so atrocious as the hanging so many men of distinction, and getting them into the snare on pretence of a public meeting on national business, might be fictitious in a poem written many ages after the date of the supposed event; but when found in a metrical history by a simple bard, so near that period, and supported by the universal tradition of the country, one must be sceptical to a degree which would make the relation of old events absolutely spiritless and unprofitable, to reject it. It might be called the imbecillity of scepticism. This would be sufficient to establish it, even independent of the proof drawn from Barbour, and other old writers, which Dr. Jamieson has produced. I recommend it to the reader to see the above mentioned notes, page 401., for the answer given by Dr. Jamieson to another objection of Sir D. Dalrymple, respecting the authenticity of Monteith's treachery to Wallace.

    • 101
    • NOTE IX.
    • That form is Wallace wight. — P. 24.
    • Miss Porter, in her interesting novel of the Scottish Chiefs, gives the following powerful description of her hero, at the Barns of Ayr, from which it is probable I have borrowed somewhat, though at the time scarcely aware to whom I was obliged; for, as Harry the Minstrel has made the ghost of Fadon appear upon the battlements of the Castle, with a "prodigious rafter in his hand," that might also impress me with the idea. After telling what great piles of combustibles were, by the orders of Wallace, heaped up on the outside of the building, she adds,—

      "When all was ready, Wallace, with the mighty spirit of retribution, nerving every limb, mounted to the roof, and tearing off part of the tiling, with a flaming brand in his hand, shewed himself glittering in arms to the affrighted revellers beneath, and as he threw it blazing amongst them, he cried aloud, 'The blood of the murdered calls for vengeance, and it comes.' At that instant the matches were put to the faggots which surrounded the building, and the whole party, springing from their seats, hastened towards the doors: all were fastened, and, retreating again in the midst of the room, they fearfully looked up to the tremendous figure above, which, like a supernatural being, seemed to avenge their crimes, and rain down fire on their guilty heads. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ The rising smoke from within and without the building, now obscured his terrific form. The shouts of the Scots, as the fire covered its walls, and the streaming flames licking the windows, and pouring

      into every opening of the building, raised such a terror in the breasts of the wretches within, that with the most horrible cries they again and again flew to the doors to escape. Not an avenue appeared; almost suffocated with smoke, and scorched with the blazing rafters that fell from the roof, they at last made a desperate attempt to break a passage through the great portal."

      Though I have made a larger extract from this able and popular writer, than is necessary for my purpose, the terrific sublimity of the passage, which has tempted me to transgress, will also procure my pardon.

    • Note X.

    • O'er Stirling's towers his standard plays,
      Lorn owns his rule, Argyle obeys.
      In Angus, Merns, and Aberdeen,
      Nor English Lord nor Cerf is seen.— P. 26.

      Holinshed, after telling how Wallace received the army that John Cumin Earl of Buchan led before, and constrained those Scots that favoured King Edward to renounce all faith and promises made to him, says, "This done, he passed forth with great puissance against the Englishmen that held sundrie castels within Scotland, and with great hardinesse and manhood he wan the castels of Forfair, Dundee, Brechen, and Montrose, sleaing all such soldiers as he found within them. Wallace, now joiful of his prosperous successe, and hearing, that certeine of the chiefest officers of those Englishmen that kept the castel of Dunster, were gone forth to consult of other Englishmen of the forts next to them adjoining,

      came suddenlie to the said castell, and took it, not leaving a man alive of all those whom he found as then within it; then, after he had furnished the hold with his own souldiers in all defensible wise, he went to Aberdeen," &c.␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ Holinshed's Chronicles.

      Buchanan says, "When these things were spread abroad, (the fame of Wallace's exploits,) and, perhaps, somewhat enlarged beyond the truth, out of men's respect and favour to him, all that wished well to their country, or were afraid of their own particular conditions, flocked to him, as judging it fit to take opportunity by the forelock; so that, in a short time, he reduced all the castles which the English held on the other side of the Forth, though well fortified, and more carefully guarded for fear of his attacks. He took and demolished the castles of Dundee and Forfar, Brechin and Montrose. He seized on Dunster by surprise, and garrisoned it: he entered Aberdeen (which the enemy, for fear of his coming; had plundered and burnt) even whilst it was in flames; but a rumour being scattered abroad, concerning the coming of the English army, prevented his taking the castle; for he determined to meet them at the Forth, not being willing to hazard a battle, but in a place which he himself should pitch upon." Buch. Hist. of Scotland.

    • NOTE XI.

    • For news are brought of English host
      Which fast approaching thro' the land
      At Stirling mean to make their stand.— P. 26.

      Holinshed's Chronicles,—"But now being advertised of the coming of this armie against him, he (Wallace) raised his siege, and

      went to Striveling to defend the bridge there, that Hugh Cressingham with his army should not passe the same, according, as the report went, his intent was to doe. Heere, incountring with the enemies, the third ides of September, he obtained a very worthie victorie; for he slew not onlie the foresaid Cressingham, with a great part of his armie, being passed the river, but also forced the residue to flee in such sort, that a great number of them were drowned, and few escaped awai with life. Thus having gotten the upper hand of his enemies, here at Striveling, he returned again to the siege of Cowper, which, shortly after, upon his return thither, was rendered unto him by those that were within its garrison."

      Buchanan's History of Scotland:—"But he (King Edward) hearing of the exploits of Wallace, thought there was need of a greater force to suppress him; yet, that the expedition was not worthy of a King neither (as being only against a roving thief, for so the English called Wallace,) and therefore, he writes to Henry Piercy, Earl of Northumberland, and William Latimer, 'that they should speedily levy what forces they could out of neighbouring parts, and join themselves with Cressingham, who as yet remained in Scotland, to subdue the rebellious Scots.' Thomas Walsingham writes, 'that the Earl of Warren was general in this expedition. But Wallace, who was then besieging the castle of Cowper, in Fife, lest his army, which he had encreased against the approach of the English, should be idle; the English being near at hand, marched directly to Stirling. The river Forth, no where almost fordable, may there be passed over by a bridge of wood, though it be encreased by other rivers and the coming in of the tide. There Cressingham passed over with

      the greatest part of his army, but the bridge, either having its beams loosened or disjointed on purpose, by the skill of the architect, (as our writers say,) that so it might not be able to bear any great weight, or else being over-laden with the burden of so many horse and foot, and carriages, as passed over, was broken, and so the march of the rest of the English was obstructed: the Scots set upon those who were passed over, before they could put themselves into a posture; and, having slain their captain, drove the rest back into the river; the slaughter was so great, that they were almost all either killed or drowned. Wallace returned from this fight to the besieging of castells; and, in a short time, he so changed the face of affairs, that he left none of the English in Scotland, but such as were made prisoners. This victory, wherein none of distinction amongst the Scots fell, (save Andrew Murray, whose son some years after was regent of Scotland,) was obtained on the 13th of September, in the year of Christ 1297. Some say that Wallace was called off to this fight, not from the siege of Cowper, but Dundee, whither he returned after the fight. So John Major, and some books found in monasteries, do relate.' "

    • NOTE XII.

    • Then many a high-plum'd gallant rear'd his head,
      And proudly smote the ground with firmer tread,
      Who did, ere close of evening, lye
      With ghastly face turn'd to the sky.— P. 31.

      How often has the contrast of the field before a battle, and at the conclusion of the bloody day, been noticed by poets! And there is

      one passage from a most spirited and beautiful poem on my present subject, which I must beg leave to transcribe. Had not the plan of my legend been so totally different, I should never have presumed to enter upon ground which had already been so ably occupied. The poet, addressing the moon, as on the night before the fight of Falkirk, says,—

      "Why thou, fair orb, dost thou shine so bright
      As thou rollest on thy way!
      Canst thou not hide thy silver light
      That the heavens, all dark with the clouds of night,
      Might frown on yon fierce array!
      But why should'st thou hide thy shining brow
      Thou who look'st through the midnight sky!
      Tho' the dæmon who gives the world for woe
      Bids the tear descend and the life-blood flow,
      Thy place shall be still on high!
      Thou look'st on man,—thou see'st him blest
      In the light of his little day,—
      Thou look'st anon,—he is gone to rest!
      The cold worm creeps in his lordly breast,
      He sleeps in the grave's decay!
      Thou saw'st him rise,—thou shalt see him fall,
      Thou shalt stay till the tomb hath cover'd all;
      Till death has crush'd them one by one,
      Each frail but proud ephemeron!
      To morrow thy cold and tranquil eye
      Shall gaze again from the midnight sky;


      With unquenched light, with ray serene,
      Thou shalt glance on the field where death hath been;
      Thou shalt gild his features pale and wan,
      Thou shalt gaze on the form of murder'd man,
      On his broken armour scatter'd round,
      On the sever'd limb and yawning wound;
      But thou, amidst the wreck of time,
      Unfrowning passest on, and keep'st thy path sublime."
      Miss Holford's Wallace, Cant. II.
    • NOTE XIII.

    • Who did not spare their mothers' sons that day
      And ne'er shall be forgot.— P. 35.

      These words are nearly taken from an old song called Auld lang syne:—

      "Sir John the Grame of lasting fame
      Shall never be forgot;
      He was an honour to the name,
      A brave and valiant Scot.
      The Douglas and the great Montrose
      Were heroes in their time;
      These men spar'd not their mothers' sons
      For Auld lang syne."

    • NOTE XIV.

    • And he with foresight wise, to spare
      Poor Scotland, scourged, exhausted, bare.— P. 43.

      Buchanan's history:—"By means of these combustions, the fields lay untilled, insomuch that, after that overthrow, a famine ensued, and a pestilence after the famine. From whence a greater destruction was apprehended than from the war: Wallace, to prevent this misfortune as much as he could, called together all those who were fit for service, to appear at a certain day, with whom he marched into England, thinking, with himself, that their bodies being exercised with labour, would be more healthy, and that wintering in the enemy's country, provisions would be spared at home; and the soldiers, who were in much want, might reap some fruit of their labours in a rich country, and flourishing by reason of its continued peace. When he was entered into England, no man dared to attack him, so that he stayed there from the first of November to the first of February; and having refreshed and enriched his soldiers with the fruits and spoils of the enemy, he returned home with great renown. This expedition, as it encreased the fame and authority of Wallace amongst the vulgar, so it heightened the envy of the nobles," &c. &c.

      Holinshed also mentions Wallace's stay in England with his army.

    • Note XV.

    • Edward meantime asham'd and wroth
      At such unseemly foil, and loth
      So to be bearded, sent defiance
      To Scotland's Chief.—P. 44.

      Buchanan's history:—"Moreover, the King of England, finding the business greater than could be managed by his deputies, made some settlement of things in France, and returned home, and gathering together a great army, but hastily levied, (for he brought not back his veteran soldiers from beyond sea,) and for the most part raw and inexperienced men, he marches toward Scotland, supposing he had only to do with a disorderly band of robbers. But when he saw both armies in battle array, about five hundred paces from each other, in the plains of Stanmore, he admired the discipline, order, and confidence of his enemies. So that, though he himself had much greater force, yet he durst not put it to the hazard of a battle against such a veteran and so experienced a Captain, and against soldiers enured to all hardships, and marched slowly back. Wallace, on the other hand, durst not follow him, for fear of ambuscades," &c.

      Holinshed, who so often shews himself very inimical to the Scotch, gives an account of the meeting of the Scotch and English, on Stanmore, more favourable to the former than Buchanan:—

      "He (Wallace) entered into England at the time before appointed, where King Edward was readie with an armie, upon Stanemoore, double in number to the Scots, to give them battell; but

      when the time came that both were readie to have joined, the Englishmen withdrew, having no lust (as it should seem) to fight with the Scots at that time; who perceiving them to give backe, incontinentlie would have rushed foorth of their ranks to have pursued in chase after them, but Wallase, doubting least the Englishmen had ment some policie, and saying that it was enough for him that he had forced such a great Prince, in his own country, to forsake the field, caused the Scots to keep together in order of battell; and so, preserving them from the malice of their enemies, brought them into Scotland with lives and honours saved, besides the infinit spoiles and booties which they got in their jornie." Holinshed's Chronicles.

    • NOTE XVI.

    • And they upon the ocean met,
      With warlike fleet, and sails full set,
      De Longoville, that bold outlaw.— P. 49.

      Though, I believe, there is little mention made in history of Wallace's actions in France, yet his being engaged in the wars against the English in that country, is highly probable, because a contemporary writer of his life would not venture to advance it, if it were untrue; and those French wars are transmitted to posterity by French writers, who would not willingly give much credit to warriors of another nation; or by English, who would be as little inclined to mention the prowess of the Scotch, when listed under the banners of another kingdom. But so romantic a story as that of De Longoville on the high seas, might, perhaps, though entirely

      fanciful, expect to pass with impunity. However, since De Longoville is afterwards frequently mentioned as a stanch adherent of our hero, and also as fighting under Robert Bruce, and cannot therefore be supposed to be an imaginary personage, some credit is due to the account given of their first rencounter, and the generous beginning of their friendship.

    • NOTE XVII.

    • But envy of a Hero's fame
      Which so obscured each lofty name.— P. 55.

      Buchanan on this subject says:—"Having thus got a victory, though bloodless, (at Stanmore,) against so puissant a King, his enemies were so much the more enraged against him, and caused rumour to be scattered up and down, that Wallace did openly affect a supreme or tyrannical power, which the nobles, especially Bruce and the Cumins of the royal stock, took in mighty disdain. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ And therefore they determined by all means to undermine the authority of Wallace. Edward was not ignorant of these disgusts, and therefore the next summer he levies a great army, consisting partly of English, partly of Scots, who had remained faithful to him, and came to Falkirk, which is a village, built in the very track of the wall of Severus, and is distant from Stirling little more than six miles. The Scots' army were not far from them, of sufficient strength, for they were thirty thousand, if the generals and leaders had agreed amongst themselves: their generals were, John Cumin, John Stuart, and William Wallace, the most flourishing persons amongst the Scots; the two former for their high

      descent and opulency; the latter for the glory of his former exploits.

      "When the army, in three squadrons, was ready to fight, a new dispute arose, besides their former envy, who should lead the van of the army; and when all three stood upon their terms, the English decided the controversy, who, with banners displayed, marched with a swift pace towards them. Cumin and his forces retreated without striking a stroke; Stuart being beset before and behind, was slain, with all that followed him: Wallace was sorely pressed upon in the front, and Bruce had fetched a compass about a hill, and fell on his rear; yet he was as little disturbed as, in such circumstances, he could possibly be, but retreated beyond the River Carron, where by the interposition of the river, he had got an opportunity to defend himself, and also to gather up the straggling fugitives; and Bruce, desirous to speak with him, he agreed to it. They two stood over against one to another where the river hath the narrowest channel and the highest banks. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗
      This battle was fought on the 22d of July, when there fell of the Scots above ten thousand, of whom, of the nobles, were, John Stuart, Macduff, Earl of Fife, and of Wallace his army, John Greme, the most valiant person of the Scots, next to Wallace himself."

      Holinshed likewise mentions the envy and jealous hatred which many of the nobles, particularly Cumin, conceived against Wallace, as a man of comparatively mean origin, and their entering into a league with Edward to betray him. He notices the dispute between Wallace and Stuart about leading the van, at the battle of Falkirk, and Cumin and his followers quitting the field as the armies were

      about to join battle, and the great slaughter made of the Scots by Bruce; but he adds: "Yet Wallace left nothing undone that might perteine to the duty of a valiant capteine. But at length all his endeavours, notwithstanding the Scots (overcome with multitude of numbers, as the Scottish writers say,) were sleine in such huge numbers that he was constreined to draw out of the field with such small remnant as were left alive."

      He then relates the meeting between him and Bruce, on the banks of the Carron.


    • With flashing eye and dark red brow
      He uttered then a hasty vow.— P. 57.

      That Wallace withdrew from the field, in the bitterness of his resentment for the ingratitude of the nobles and the insults he received, binding himself by a rash vow from taking any part in the combat, is not mentioned, I believe, by any general historian or chronicler; but as it is stated so circumstantially by Harry the Minstrel, who professes to take the matter of his poem so scrupulously from the life of Wallace, written by his friend and contemporary Blair, and being the only shade cast upon the public virtue of our hero, which a friend would willingly (but for the love of truth) have omitted, I must consider it as authentic. The private visit received by him from Edward's Queen while in England, and other matters, tending to add to the glory of his friend and hero, are of a more doubtful character, and have not therefore been admitted into this legend.

    • NOTE XIX.

    • But from the ground
      They like th' enchafed lion bound,
      Rage is their sorrow, grimly fed,
      And blood the tears they shed.— P. 63.

      Blind Harry, page 328.—

      "When Wallace saw this knight [Grame] to dead was brought
      The piteous pain so sore thrill'd in his thought;
      All out of kind it alter'd his courage,
      His wit in war was then but a wood rage.
      His horse him bore in field where so him list,
      For of himself as then little he wist;
      Like a wild beast that were from reason rent,
      As witlessly into the host he went;
      Dinging on hard; what Southeron he right hit
      Straight upon horse again might never sit.
      Into that rage full feil folk he dang down,
      All about him was red a full great room."
    • NOTE XX.

    • The Scottish soldiers, scatter'd wide,
      Hath Wallace round his standard drawn,
      Hath cheer'd their spirits, rous'd their pride,
      And led them where their foes they found
      All listless, scatter'd on the ground.—P. 66, 67.

      As we find the English not pursuing this victory, but presently retiring to their own country, whilst Wallace is at liberty to sum-

      mons a general convention of the states at St. Johnston, it is probable they received some severe check from the arm of that chieftain after the battle, though it is not stated in general history. It is indeed said, that the English retired for fear of an attack from the French in their own country; but as no such attack followed or seemed really to have been intended, it is likely that this was only their excuse for retreating. This opinion is corroborated, too, by the manner in which Holinshed mentions Wallace's resignation of all public authority soon after, at Perth or St. Johnston:—

      "But notwithstanding all these valiant speeches of Wallace, (alluding to his conference with Bruce on the banks of the Carron,) when he considered the unfortunate discomfiture by him so treacherouslie received, he came to Perth, and there uttering, by complaint, the injurious envie of the nobles against him, he re- nounced and discharged himself of all the authority which had been committed to his hands touching the governance of the realme, and went into France, as saith Lesleus; but Johanus Maior saith, he never came there, though he will not flatlie denie it."

      Had Edward, after gaining so great a victory at Falkirk, received no check, Wallace could not have been in condition to renounce his authority in so high a tone as is here imputed to him by an English author, who certainly cannot be accused of any partiality to the Scotch.

    • NOTE XXI.

    • Retaining in that potent hand
      Which thrice redeem'd its native land.— P. 69.

      First after the battle of Biggar he freed the country generally from dependence on England, though Edward still held many places of strength in the Scotland; then, after the burning of the Barns of Air, he almost entirely drove his adherents out of it; and thirdly, after the battle of Stirling he completely freed Scotland from the enemy.

    • NOTE XXII.

    • The sound ev'n of his whisper'd name
      Revived in faithful hearts the smother'd flame,
      And many secretly to join his standard came.—P. 70.

      I have in this part of the story adhered to Blair and the Minstrel, though there is nothing correspondent to it in either Holinshed or Buchanan, except what may be gleaned from the following passages. After his account of the battle of Roslin, fought probably when Wallace was in France, and the succeeding invasion of Edward into Scotland, Holinshed says, "The Scots perceiving they were not of puissance able to resist his invasion, withdrew to their strengths, by means whereof the English army passed through all Scotland, even from the south parts unto the north, and found few or none to make resistance, except Wallace, and such as followed his opinion, who were fled to the mountains and the woods, &c.
      Buchanan says, "To blot out the ignominy (of his defeat at Roslin), and put an end at once to a long and tedeous war, he

      (Edward) therefore levies an army bigger than ever he had before, and assaulted Scotland both by sea and land, and made spoil of it even unto the uttermost borders of Ross, no man daring to oppose so great a force. Only Wallace and his men, sometimes in the front, sometimes in the rear, sometimes in the flanks, would snap either those that rashly went before or loitered behind, or that in plundering straggled too far from the main body; neither did he suffer them to stray from their colours.


    • Then Edward thought the Chief to gain,
      And win him to his princely side
      With treasur'd gold and honours vain.—P. 71.

      Holinshed's Chronicles:—"It is said that King Edward required by a messenger sent unto this Wallace, that if he would come in and be sworn his liege-man and true subject, he would have at his hands great lordships and possessions within England to mainteine his post, as was requisite to a man of verie honorable estate. But Wallace refused these offers, saieng that he preferred liberty with small revenues in Scotland before anie possession of lands in England, were the same never so great; considering he might not enjoy them under the yoke of bondage. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗
      Furthermore before his (King Edward's) departure out of Scotland, he appointed all the Scottish nobles to assemble at Scone, where he called them to take a new oth, that from hencefrorth they would take him for their Sovereigne Lord, and to obeie him in all things as loial subjects. All the nobility of Scotland was sworne to him

      that day, Wallace onlie excepted, who eschued more than the companie of a serpent to have anie thing to doo with the English, touching anie agreement to be made with them, agreeable to their desires."

      Buchanan also says, "Edward sought by great promises to bring him over to his party; but his constant tone was, that he devoted his life to his country, to which it was due; and if he could do it no further service, yet he would die in pious endeavours for its defence." He also mentions Wallace's refusing to take the oath of allegiance, taken by all the nobles of Scotland.

    • NOTE XXIV.

    • Monteith, a name which from that day, I ween,
      Hateful to every Scottish ear hath been.— P. 72.

      Buchanan, after relating the tyrannical use which Edward made of his power, burning the records of Scotland, &c. and the story of Bruce being betrayed by Cumin, &c. &c., says, "About this time also, Wallace was betrayed in the county of Glasgow (where he had hid himself) by his own familiar friend John Monteith, whom the English had corrupted with money, and so was sent to London, where by Edward's commands he was wofully butchered, and his limbs, for the terror of others, hanged up in the most noted places of London and Scotland."

      Holinshed says, "About the same time was William Wallace taken at Glasgow, by means of Sir John Monteith and others, in whom he had ever put a most speciall trust; but they being corrupted with the offer of large rewards, promised by King Edward to

      such as wuld helpe to take him, wrought such fetches, that he was apprehended at last by Odomere de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, who, with a great power of men, brought him to London, where he was put to death, and quarters sent to Scotland, and set up in sundrie great towns there for a spectacle, as it were, to give example to others."

    • NOTE XXV.

    • Meekly he bow'd o'er bead and book,
      And every worldly thought forsook.— P. 77.

      The blind Minstrel gives this account of his death, page 398.—

      "On Wednesday false Southeron forth him brought
      To martyr him, as they before had wrought.
      Right sooth it is a Martyr Wallace was,
      As Oswald, Edward, Edmund and Thomas.
      Of men in arms led him a full great rout.
      With a bold spirit Wallace blinked about.
      A Priest he asked for God who died on tree."

      Then, after telling how king Edward refused his request, and was rebuked for so doing by an English Bishop, he continues,—

      "A sheriff gart his clerk soon from him pass,
      Right as they durst, they grant what he would ask.
      A psalter book Wallace had on him ever,
      From his childhood with it he would not sever;
      Better he trowed in viage for to speed,
      But then he was dispulzied of his weed.


      This grace he ask'd of Lord Clifford, that knight,
      To let him have his psalter book in sight;
      He gart a Priest it open before him hold,
      While they to him had done all that they would.
      Steadfast he read for ought they did him thare,
      Feil Southerons said that Wallace felt no sare.
      Good devotion, so was his beginning,
      Continued therewith, and fair was his ending,
      While speech and spirit all at once can fair
      To lasting bliss, we trow, for ever mare."
    • NOTE XXVI.

    • In many a castle, town, and plain,
      Mountain and forest, still remain,
      Fondly cherish'd spots which claim,
      The proud distinction of his honour'd name.— P. 78, 79.

      This is too well known to require any confirmation; but I cannot help mentioning the pleasure I lately received in being shown, by two simple country children on the Blantyre Craigs, opposite to Bothwel Castle, (one of those castles which boasts the honour of having a Wallace's tower,) the mark of Wallace's footstep in the rocky brink of a little trickling well.


    • Led by the brave of modern days,—
      Such, Abercrombie, fought with thee!— P. 81.

      I have named our distinguished Scotch leaders only as being naturally connected with the subject. That I have meant no neglect to other brave commanders of these warlike days, when our troops from every part of the United Kingdoms have fought so valiantly and successfully, under the ablest general that has appeared since the time of the great Marlborough, will, I suppose, be readily believed.


    • O Scotland! proud may be thy boast!
      Since time his course thro' circling years hath run,
      There hath not shone in Fame's bright host,
      A nobler hero than thy patriot Son.— P. 82.
      Buchanan gives this noble testimony to his worth:—

      "Such an end had this person, the most famous man of the age in which he lived, who deserved to be compared to the most renowned captains of ancient times, both for his greatness of mind in undertaking dangers, and for his valour and wisdom in overcoming them. For love to his country, he was second to none; who, when others were slaves, was alone free, neither could be induced by any rewards or moved by threats to forsake the public cause which he had once undertaken."

      "A thousand thre hundyr and the fyft yhere
      Efter the byrth of our Lord dere,


      Schyre John of Menteth in tha days
      Tak in Glasgow Willame Walays,
      And send him in-till Ingland swne,
      Thare he was qwateryd and wndwne,
      Be dyspyte and hat enwy;
      There he tholyd this maryry.
      In all Ingland thare was nought thane
      As Willame Walays swa lele a mane.
      Quhat he did agayne that natyown
      Thai made him provocatyown:
      Na to them oblyst nevyr was he,
      In fayth full owschype na sawte;
      For in his tyme, I hard well say,
      That fykkit thai ware, all tyne of fay."
      Wyntown's Chronicle, page 130.







    Is there a man, that, from some lofty steep,
    Views in his wide survey the boundless deep,
    When its vast waters, lined with sun and shade,
    Wave beyond wave, in seried distance, fade
    To the pale sky;—or views it, dimly seen,
    The shifting skreens of drifted mist between,
    As the huge cloud dilates its sable form,
    When grandly curtain'd by th' approaching storm,—
    Who feels not his awed soul with wonder rise
    To Him whose power created sea and skies,
    Mountains and deserts, giving to the sight
    The wonders of the day and of the night?


    But let some fleet be seen in warlike pride,
    Whose stately ships the restless billows ride,
    While each, with lofty masts and bright'ning sheen
    Of fair spread sails, moves like a vested Queen;—
    Or rather, be some distant bark, astray,
    Seen like a pilgrim on his lonely way,
    Holding its steady course from port and shore,
    A form distinct, a speck, and seen no more,—
    How doth the pride, the sympathy, the flame,
    Of human feeling stir his thrilling frame!
    "O Thou! whose mandate dust inert obey'd!
    "What is this creature man whom thou hast made!"
  • I.

  • On Palos' shore, whose crowded strand
    Bore priests and nobles of the land,
    And rustic hinds and townsmen trim,
    And harness'd soldiers stern and grim,


    And lowly maids and dames of pride,
    And infants by their mother's side,—
    The boldest seaman stood that e'er
    Did bark or ship through tempest steer;
    And wise as bold, and good as wise;
    The magnet of a thousand eyes,
    That on his form and features cast,
    His noble mien and simple guise,
    In wonder seem'd to look their last.
    A form which conscious worth is gracing,
    A face where hope, the lines effacing
    Of thought and care, bestow'd, in truth,
    To the quick eyes' imperfect tracing
    The look and air of youth.
  • II.

  • Who, in his lofty gait, and high
    Expression of th' enlighten'd eye,
    Had recognis'd in that bright hour
    The disappointed suppliant of dull power,


    Who had in vain of states and kings desired
    The pittance for his vast emprise required?—
    The patient sage, who, by his lamp's faint light,
    O'er chart and map spent the long silent night?—
    The man who meekly fortune's buffets bore,
    Trusting in One alone, whom heaven and earth adore?
  • III.

  • Another world is in his mind,
    Peopled with creatures of his kind,
    With hearts to feel, with minds to soar,
    Thoughts to consider and explore;
    Souls, who might find, from trespass shriven,
    Virtue on earth and joy in heaven.
    "That Power divine, whom storms obey,"
    (Whisper'd his heart,) a leading star,
    Will guide him on his blessed way;
    Brothers to join by fate divided far.
    Vain thoughts! which heaven doth but ordain
    In part to be, the rest, alas! how vain!

  • IV.

  • But hath there liv'd of mortal mould,
    Whose fortunes with his thoughts could hold
    An even race? Earth's greatest son
    That e'er earn'd fame, or empire won,
    Hath but fulfill'd, within a narrow scope,
    A stinted portion of his ample hope.
    With heavy sigh and look depress'd,
    The greatest men will sometimes hear
    The story of their acts address'd
    To the young stranger's wond'ring ear,
    And check the half-swoln tear.
    Is it or modesty or pride
    Which may not open praise abide?
    No; read his inward thoughts: they tell,
    His deeds of fame he prizes well.
    But, ah! they in his fancy stand,
    As relicks of a blighted band,
    Who, lost to man's approving sight,
    Have perish'd in the gloom of night,


    Ere yet the glorious light of day
    Had glitter'd on their bright array.
    His mightiest feat had once another,
    Of high Imagination born,—
    A loftier and a nobler brother,
    From dear existence torn;
    And she for those, who are not, steeps
    Her soul in woe,—like Rachel, weeps.
  • V.

  • The signal given, with hasty strides,
    The sailors climb'd their ships' dark sides;
    Their anchors weigh'd; and from the shore
    Each stately vessel slowly bore.
    High o'er the deeply shadow'd flood,
    Upon his deck their leader stood,
    And turn'd him to the parted land,
    And bow'd his head and waved his hand.
    And then, along the crowded strand,
    A sound of many sounds combin'd,


    That wax'd and wan'd upon the wind,
    Burst like heaven's thunder, deep and grand;
    A lengthen'd peal, which paused, and then
    Renew'd, like that which loathly parts,
    Oft on the ear return'd again,
    The impulse of a thousand hearts.
    But as the lenghten'd shouts subside,
    Distincter accents strike the ear,
    Wafting across the current wide,
    Heart-utter'd words of parting cheer:
    "Oh! shall we ever see again
    "Those gallant souls re-cross the main?
    "God keep the brave! God be their guide!
    "God bear them safe thro' storm and tide!
    "Their sails with fav'ring breezes swell!
    "O brave Columbus! fare thee well!"
  • VI.

  • From shore and strait, and gulph and bay,
    The vessels held their daring way,


    Left far behind, in distance thrown,
    All land to Moor or Christian known,
    Left far behind the misty isle,
    Whose fitful shroud, withdrawn the while,
    Shews wood and hill and headland bright
    To later seamen's wond'ring sight,
    And tide and sea left far behind
    That e'er bore freight of human kind;
    Where ship or bark to shifting gales
    E'er tack'd their course or spread their sails.
    Around them lay a boundless main
    In which to hold their silent reign;
    But for the passing current's flow,
    And cleft waves, brawling round the prow,
    They might have thought some magic spell
    Had bound them, weary fate! for ever there to dwell.
  • VII.

  • What did this trackless waste supply
    To soothe the mind or please the eye?


    The rising morn thro' dim mist breaking,
    The flicker'd east with purple streaking;
    The mid-day cloud thro' thin air flying,
    With deeper blue the blue sea dying;
    Long ridgy waves their white mains rearing,
    And in the broad gleam disappearing;
    The broaden'd blazing sun declining,
    And western waves like fire-flood shining;
    The sky's vast dome to darkness given,
    And all the glorious host of heaven.
  • VIII.

  • Full oft upon the deck, while other's slept,
    To mark the bearing of each well-known star
    That shone aloft, or on th' horizon far,
    The anxious Chief his lonely vigil kept;
    The mournful wind, the hoarse wave breaking near,
    The breathing groans of sleep, the plunging lead
    The steer's man's call, and his own stilly tread,
    Are all the sounds of night that reach his ear.


    His darker form stalk'd through the sable gloom
    With gestures discomposed and features keen,
    That might not in the face of day be seen,
    Like some unblessed spirit from the tomb.
    Night after night, and day succeeding day,
    So pass'd their dull, unvaried time away;
    Till Hope, the seaman's worship'd queen, had flown
    From every valiant heart but his alone;
    Where still, by day, enthron'd, she held her state
    With sunny look and brow elate.
  • IX.

  • But soon his dauntless soul, which nought could bend,
    Nor hope delay'd, nor adverse fate subdue,
    With more redoubled danger must contend
    Than storm or wave—a fierce and angry crew.
    "Dearly," say they, "may we those visions rue
    "Which lured us from our native land,
    "A wretched, lost, devoted band,


    "Led on by hope's delusive gleam,
    "The victims of a madman's dream!
    "Nor gold shall e'er be ours, nor fame;
    "Not ev'n the remnant of a name,
    "On some rude-letter'd stone to tell
    "On what strange coast our wreck befell.
    "For us no requiem shall be sung,
    "Nor prayer be said, nor passing knell
    "In holy church be rung."
  • X.

  • To thoughts like these, all forms give way
    Of duty to a leader's sway;
    All habits of respect, that bind
    With easy tie the human mind.
    Ev'n love and admiration throw
    Their nobler bands aside, nor show
    A gentler mien; relations, friends,
    Glare on him now like angry fiends;


    And, as he moves, ah, wretched cheer!
    Their mutter'd curses reach his ear,
    But all undaunted, firm and sage,
    He scorns their threats, yet thus he soothes their rage:
    "I brought you from your native shore
    "An unknown ocean to explore.
    "I brought you, partners, by my side,
    "Want, toil, and danger, to abide.
    "Yet weary stillness hath so soon subdued
    "The buoyant soul, the heart of pride,
    "Men who in battle's brunt full oft have firmly stood.
    "That to some nearing coast we bear,
    "How many cheering signs declare!
    "Way-faring birds the blue air ranging,
    "Their shadowy line to blue air changing,
    "Pass o'er our heads in frequent flocks;
    "While sea-weed from the parent rocks
    "With fibry roots, but newly torn,
    "In tressy lengthen'd wreaths are on the clear wave borne.


    "Nay, has not ev'n the drifting current brought
    "Things of rude art,—of human cunning wrought?
    "Be yet two days your patience tried,
    "And if no shore is then descried,
    "Ev'n turn your dastard prows again,
    "And cast your leader to the main."
  • XI.

  • And thus awhile with steady hand
    He kept in check a wayward band,
    Who but with half-express'd disdain
    Their rebel spirit could restrain
    The vet'ran rough as war-worn steel,
    Oft spurn'd the deck with grating heel;
    The seaman, bending o'er the flood,
    With stony gaze all listless stood;
    The sturdy bandit, wildly rude,
    Sung, as he strode, some garbled strain,
    Expressive of each fitful mood,
    Timed by his sabre's jangling chain


    The proud Castilian, boasted name!
    Child of an ancient race
    Which proudly priz'd its spotless fame,
    And deem'd all fear disgrace,
    Felt quench'd within him honour's generous flame,
    And in his gather'd mantle wrapp'd his face.
  • XII.

  • So pass'd the day, the night, the second day
    With its red setting sun's extinguish'd ray.
    Dark, solemn midnight coped the ocean wide,
    When from his watchful stand Columbus cried,
    "A light, a light!"—blest sounds that rung
    In every ear.—At once they sprung
    With haste aloft, and, peering bright,
    Descried afar the blessed sight.
    "It moves, it slowly moves like ray
    "Of torch that guides some wand'rer's way!
    "And other lights more distant, seeming
    "As if from town or hamlet streaming!


    " 'Tis land, 'tis peopled land; man dwelleth there,
    "And thou, O God of Heaven! hast heard thy servant's prayer!"
  • XIII.

  • Returning day gave to their view
    The distant shore and headlands blue
    Of long-sought land. Then rose on air
    Loud shouts of joy, mix'd wildly strange
    With voice of weeping and of prayer,
    Expressive of their blessed change
    From death to life, from fierce to kind,
    From all that sinks, to all that elevates the mind.
    Those who, by faithless fear ensnared,
    Had their brave chief so rudely dared,
    Now, with keen self-upbraiding stung,
    With every manly feeling wrung,
    Repentant tears, looks that entreat,
    Are kneeling at his worshipp'd feet.


    "O pardon blinded, stubborn guilt!
    "O henceforth make us what thou wilt!
    "Our hands, our hearts, our lives, are thine,
    "Thou wond'rous man! led on by power divine!"
  • XIV.

  • Ah! would some magic could arrest
    The generous feelings of the breast,
    Which thwart the common baser mass
    Of sordid thoughts, so fleetly pass,—
    A sun glimpse thro' the storm!
    The rent cloud closes, tempests swell,
    And its late path we cannot tell;
    Lost is its trace and form.
    No; not on earth such fugitives are bound;
    In some veil'd future state will the bless'd charm be found.
  • XV.

  • Columbus led them to the shore,
    Which ship had never touch'd before;


    And there he knelt upon the strand
    To thank the God of sea and land;
    And there, with mien and look elate,
    Gave welcome to each toil-worn mate.
    And lured with courteous signs of cheer,
    The dusky natives gath'ring near;
    Who on them gazed with wond'ring eyes,
    As mission'd spirits from the skies.
    And there did he possession claim,
    In Isabella's royal name.
  • XVI.

  • It was a land, unmarr'd by art,
    To please the eye and cheer the heart:
    The natives' simple huts were seen
    Peeping their palmy groves between,—
    Groves, where each dome of sweepy leaves
    In air of morning gently heaves,
    And, as the deep vans fall and rise,
    Changes its richly verdant dies;


    A land whose simple sons till now
    Had scarcely seen a careful brow;
    They spent at will each passing day
    In lightsome toil or active play.
    Some their light canoes were guiding,
    Along the shore's sweet margin gliding.
    Some in the sunny sea were swimming,
    The bright waves o'er their dark forms gleaming;
    Some on the beach for shell-fish stooping,
    Or on the smooth sand gaily trooping;
    Or in link'd circles featly dancing
    With golden braid and bracelet glancing.
    By shelter'd door were infants creeping,
    Or on the shaded herbage sleeping;
    Gay feather'd birds the air were winging,
    And parrots on their high perch swinging,
    While humming-birds, like sparks of light,
    Twinkled and vanish'd from the sight.

  • XVII.

  • They eyed the wond'rous strangers o'er and o'er,—
    Those beings of the ocean and the air,
    With humble, timid rev'rence; all their store
    Of gather'd wealth inviting them to share;
    To share whate'er their lowly cabins hold;
    Their feather'd crowns, their fruits, their arms, their gold.
    Their gold, that fatal gift!—O foul disgrace!
    Repaid with cruel wreck of all their harmless race.
  • XVIII.

  • There some short, pleasing days with them he dwelt,
    And all their simple kindness dearly felt.
    But they of other countries told,
    Not distant, where the sun declines,
    Where reign Caziques o'er warriors bold,
    Rich with the gold of countless mines.
    And he to other islands sail'd,
    And was by other natives hail'd.


    Then on Hispaniola's shore,
    Where bays and harbours to explore
    Much time he spent, a simple tower
    Of wood he built, the seat to be
    And shelter of Spain's infant power;
    Hoping the nurseling fair to see,
    Amidst those harmless people shoot
    Its stately stem from slender root.
    There nine and thirty chosen men he placed,
    Gave parting words of counsel and of cheer;
    One after one his nobler friends embraced,
    And to the Indian chieftain, standing near,
    "Befriend, my friends, and give them aid,
    "When I am gone," he kindly said,
    Blest them, and left them there his homeward course to steer.
  • XIX.

  • His prayer to Heaven for them preferr'd
    Was not, alas! with favour heard.


    Oft, as his ship the land forsook,.
    He landward turned his farewell look,
    And cheer'd his Spaniards cross the wave,
    Who distant answer faintly gave;
    Distant but cheerful. On the strand
    He saw their clothed figures stand
    With naked forms link'd hand in hand;—
    Saw thus caress'd, assured, and bold,
    Those he should never more behold.
    Some simple Indians, gently won,
    To visit land, where sets the sun
    In clouds of amber, and behold,
    The wonders oft by Spaniards told;
    Stood silent by themselves apart,
    With nature's yearnings at their heart,
    And saw the coast of fading blue
    Wear soft and sadly from their view.
    But soon by their new comrades cheer'd,
    As o'er the waves the ship career'd,
    Their wond'ring eyes aloft were cast
    On white swoln sails and stately mast,


    And check'ring shrouds, depicted fair,
    On azure sea and azure air;
    And felt, as feels the truant boy,
    Who, having climb'd some crumbling mound
    Or ruin'd tower, looks wildly round,—
    A thrilling, fearful joy.
  • XX.

  • Then with his two small barks again
    The dauntless Chief travers'd the main;
    But not with fair and fav'ring gales
    That erst had fill'd his western sails:
    Fierce winds with adverse winds contended;
    Rose the dark deep,—dark heaven descended,
    And threaten'd, in the furious strife,
    The ships to sink with all their freight of precious life.
  • XXI.

  • In this dread case, well may be guess'd
    What dismal thoughts his soul depress'd:


    "And must I in th' o'erwhelming deep,
    "Our bold achievement all unknown,
    "With these my brave advent'rers sleep,—
    "What we have done to dark oblivion thrown?
    "Sink, body! to thy wat'ry grave,
    "If so God will; but let me save
    "This noble fruitage of my mind,
    "And leave my name and deeds behind!"
  • XXII.

  • Upon a scroll, with hasty pen,
    His wond'rous tale he traced,
    View'd it with tearful eyes, and then
    Within a casket placed.
    "Perhaps," said he, "by vessel bound
    "On western cruize, thou wilt be found;
    "Or make, sped by the current swift,
    "To Christian shore thy happy drift.
    "Thy story may by friendly eyes be read;
    "O'er our untimely fate warm tears be shed;


    "Our deeds rehears'd by many an eager tongue,
    "And requiems for our parted souls be sung."
    This casket to the sea he gave;
    Quick sunk and rose the freightage light,—
    Appear'd on many a booming wave,
    Then floated far away from his still gazing sight.
    Yet, after many a peril braved,—
    Of many an adverse wind the sport,
    He, by his Great Preserver saved,
    Anchor'd again in Palos' port.
  • XXIII.

  • O, who can tell the acclamation loud
    That, bursting, rose from the assembled crowd,
    To hail the Hero and his gallant train,
    From such adventure bold return'd again!—
    The warm embrace, the oft-repeated cheer,
    And many a wistful smile and many a tear!—
    How, pressing close, they stood;
    Look'd on Columbus with amaze,—
    "Is he," so spake their wond'ring gaze,


    "A man of flesh and blood?"
    While cannon far along the shore
    His welcome gave with deaf'ning roar.
  • XXIV.

  • And then with measur'd steps, sedate and slow,
    They to the Christian's sacred temple go.
    Soon as the chief within the house of God
    Upon the hallow'd pavement trod,
    He bowed with holy fear:—
    "The God of wisdom, mercy, might,
    "Creator of the day and night,
    "This sea-girt globe, and every star of light
    "Is worship'd here."
    Then on the altar's steps he knelt,
    And what his inward spirit felt,
    Was said unheard within that cell
    Where saintly thoughts and feelings dwell;
    But as the choral chaunters raise
    Thro' dome and aisle the hymn of praise,


    To heaven his glist'ning eyes were turn'd,
    With sacred love his bosom burn'd.
    On all the motley crowd
    The gen'rous impulse seized; high Dons of pride
    Wept like the meekest beedsman by their side,
    And women sobb'd aloud.
  • XXV.

  • Nor statesmen met in high debate
    Deciding on a country's fate,
    Nor saintly chiefs with fearless zeal
    Contending for their churches' weal,
    Nor warriors, midst the battle's roar,
    Who fiercely guard their native shore;
    No power by earthly coil possest
    To agitate the human breast,
    Shows, from its native source diverted,
    Man's nature noble, tho' perverted,
    So strongly as the transient power
    Of link'd devotion's sympathetic hour.


    It clothes with soft unwonted grace
    The traits of many a rugged face,
    As bend the knees unused to kneel,
    And glow the hearts unused to feel;
    While every soul, with holy passion moved,
    Claims one Almighty Sire, fear'd, and adored, and loved.
  • XXVI.

  • With western treasures, borne in fair display,
    To Barcelona's walls, in grand array,
    Columbus slowly held his inland way.
    And still where'er he pass'd along,
    In eager crowds the people throng.
    The wildest way o'er desert drear,
    Did like a city's mart appear.
    The shepherd swain forsook his sheep;
    The goat-herd from his craggy steep
    Shot like an arrow to the plain;
    Mechanics, housewives, left amain


    Their broken, tasks, and press'd beside
    The truant youth they meant to chide:
    The dull Hidalgo left his tower,
    The Donna fair her latticed bower;
    Together press'd, fair and uncouth,
    All motley forms of age and youth.
    And, still along the dark-ranged pile
    Of clust'ring life, was heard the while
    Mix'd brawling joy, and shouts that rung
    From many a loud and deaf'ning tongue.
    Ah! little thought the gazing throng,
    As pass'd that pageant show along,
    How Spain should rue, in future times,
    With desert plains and fields untill'd,
    And towns with listless loit'rers fill'd,
    The with'ring spoil receiv'd from foreign climes!
    Columbus gave thee, thankless Spain!
    A new-found world o'er which to reign:
    But could not with the gift impart
    A portion of his liberal heart


    And manly mind, to bid thee soar
    Above a robber's lust of ore,
    Which hath a curse entail'd on all thy countless store.
  • XXVII.

  • To Barcelona come, with honours meet
    Such glorious deeds to grace, his sov'reigns greet
    Their mariner's return. Or hall,
    Or room of state was deem'd too small
    For such reception. Pageant rare!
    Beneath heaven's dome, in open square,
    Their gorgeous thrones were placed;
    And near them on a humbler seat,
    While on each hand the titled great,
    Standing in dizen'd rows, were seen,
    Priests, guards, and crowds, a living screen,—
    Columbus sat, with noble mien,
    With princely honours graced.
    There to the royal pair his tale he told:
    A wond'rous tale, that did not want
    Or studied words or braggart's vaunt;


    When at their royal feet were laid
    Gems, pearls, and plumes of many a shade,
    And stores of virgin gold,
    Whilst, in their feathered guise arrayed,
    The Indians low obeisance paid.
    And at that wond'rous story's close
    The royal pair with rev'rence rose,
    And kneeling on the ground, aloud
    Gave thanks to Heaven. Then all the crowd,
    Joining, from impulse of the heart,
    The banded priest's extatic art,
    With mingled voice Te Deum sang;
    With the grand choral burst, walls; towers, and welkin rang.

  • This was his brightest hour, too bright
    For human weal;—a glaring light,
    Like sunbeam thro' the rent cloud pouring
    On the broad lake, when storms are roaring;
    Bright centre of a wild and sombre scene;
    More keenly bright than Summer's settled sheen.

  • XXIX.

  • With kingly favour brighten'd, all
    His favour court, obey his call.
    At princely boards, above the rest,
    He took his place, admir'd, caress'd:
    Proud was the Don of high degree,
    Whose honour'd guest he deign'd to be.
    Whate'er his purpos'd service wanted,
    With ready courtesy was granted:
    No envious foe durst cross his will.
    While eager ship-wrights ply their skill,
    To busy dock-yard, quay, or port,
    Priests, lords, and citizens resort:
    There wains the heavy planks are bringing,
    And hammers on the anvil ringing;
    The far-toss'd boards on boards are falling,
    And brawny mate to work-mate calling:
    The cable strong on windlass winding;
    On wheel of stone the edge-tool grinding;


    Red fire beneath the caldron gleaming,
    And pitchy fumes from caldron steaming.
    To sea and land's men too, I ween,
    It was a gay, attractive scene;
    Beheld, enjoyed, day after day,
    Till all his ships, in fair array,
    Were bounden for their course at last,
    And amply stored and bravely mann'd,
    Bore far from blue, receding land.
    Thus soon again, th' Atlantic vast
    With gallant fleet he past.
  • XXX.

  • By peaceful natives hail'd with kindly smiles,
    He shortly touch'd at various pleasant isles;
    And when at length her well-known shore appear'd,
    And he to fair Hispaniola near'd,
    Upon the deck, with eager eye,
    Some friendly signal to descry,
    He stood; then fir'd his signal shot,
    But answ'ring fire received not.


    "What may this dismal silence mean?
    "No floating flag in air is seen,
    "Nor ev'n the Tower itself, tho' well
    "Its lofty scite those landmarks tell.
    "Ha! have they so regardless proved
    "Of my command?— their station moved!"
    As closer to the shore they drew,
    To hail them came no light canoe;
    The beach was silent and forsaken:
    Nor cloth'd nor naked forms appear'd,
    Nor sound of human voice was heard;
    Naught but the sea-birds from the rock,
    With busy stir that flutt'ring broke;
    Sad signs, which in his mind portentous fears awaken.
  • XXXI.

  • Then eagerly on shore he went,
    His scouts abroad for tidings sent;
    But to his own loud echo'd cry
    An Indian came with fearful eye,


    Who guess'd his questions' hurried sound,
    And pointed to a little mound,
    Not distant far. With eager haste
    The loosen'd mould aside was cast.
    Bodies, alas! within that grave were found,
    Which had not long been laid to rest,
    Tho' so by changeful death defaced,
    Nor form, nor visage could be traced,—
    In Spanish garments dress'd.
    Back from each living Spaniard's cheek the blood
    Ran chill, as round their noble chief they stood,
    Who sternly spoke to check the rising tear.
    "Eight of my valiant men are buried here;
    "Where are the rest?" the timid Indian shook
    In every limb, and slow and faintly spoke.
    "Some are dead, some sick, some flown;
    "The rest are up the country gone,
    "Far, far away." A heavy groan
    Utters the Chief; his blanch'd lips quiver;
    He knows that they are gone for ever.

  • XXXII.

  • But here 'twere tedious and unmeet
    A dismal story to repeat,
    Which was from mild Cazique received,
    Their former friend, and half believed.
    Him, in his cabin far apart,
    Wounded they found, by Carib dart;
    Receiv'd, said he, from savage foe
    Spaniards defending. Then with accents low
    He spoke, and ruefully began to tell,
    What to those hapless mariners befell.
    How that from lust of pleasure and of gold,
    And mutual strife and war on Caribs made,
    Their strength divided was, and burnt their hold,
    And their unhappy heads beneath the still earth laid.

  • Yet, spite of adverse fate, he in those climes
    Spain's infant power establish'd; after-times
    Have seen it flourish, and her sway maintain
    In either world, o'er many a fair domain.


    But wayward was his irksome lot the while,
    Striving with malice, mutiny, and guile;
    Yet vainly striving: that which most
    His generous bosom sought to shun,
    Each wise and lib'ral purpose crost,
    Must now at Mammon's ruthless call be done.
    Upon their native soil,
    They who were wont in harmless play
    To frolic out the passing day,
    Must pine with hateful toil.
  • XXXIV.

  • Yea; this he did against his better will;
    For who may stern ambition serve, and still
    His nobler nature trust?
    May on unshaken strength relic,
    Cast Fortune as she will her dye,
    And say "I will be just?"

  • XXXV.

  • Envy mean, that in the dark
    Strikes surely at its noble mark,
    Against him rose with hatred fell,
    Which he could brave, but could not quell.
    Then he to Spain indignant went,
    And to his sov'reigns made complaint,
    With manly freedom, of their trust,
    Put, to his cost, in men unjust,
    And turbulent. They graciously
    His plaint and plea receiv'd; and hoisting high
    His famed and gallant flag upon the main,
    He to his western world return'd again.
    Where he, the sea's unwearied, dauntless rover,
    Thro' many a gulph and straight, did first discover
    That continent, whose mighty reach
    From th' utmost frozen north doth stretch
    Ev'n to the frozen south; a land
    Of surface fair and structure grand.

  • XXXVI.

  • There, thro' vast regions rivers pour,
    Whose mid-way skiff scarce sees the shore;
    Which, rolling on in lordly pride,
    Give to the main their ample tide;
    And dauntless then, with current strong,
    Impetuous, roaring, bear along,
    And still their sep'rate honours keep,
    In bold contention with the mighty deep.

  • There broad-based mountains from the sight
    Conceal in clouds their vasty height,
    Whose frozen peaks, a vision rare,
    Above the girdling clouds rear'd far in upper air,
    At times appear, and soothly seem
    To the far distant, up-cast eye,
    Like snowy watch-towers of the sky,—
    Like passing visions of a dream.


  • There forests grand of olden birth,
    O'er-canopy the darken'd earth,
    Whose trees, growth of unreckon'd time,
    Rear o'er whole regions far and wide
    A checker'd dome of lofty pride
    Silent, solemn, and sublime.—
    A pillar'd lab'rinth, in whose trackless gloom,
    Unguided feet might stray till close of mortal doom.
  • XXXIX.

  • There grassy plains of verdant green
    Spread far beyond man's ken are seen,
    Whose darker bushy spots that lye
    Strew'd o'er the level vast, descry
    Admiring strangers, from the brow
    Of hill or upland steep, and show,
    Like a calm ocean's peaceful isles,
    When morning light thro' rising vapours smiles.

  • XL.

  • O'er this, his last—his proudest fame,
    He did assert his mission'd claim.
    Yet dark ambitious envy, more
    Incens'd and violent than before,
    With crafty machinations gain'd
    His royal master's ear, who stain'd
    His princely faith, and gave it power
    To triumph, in a shameful hour.
    A mission'd gownsman o'er the sea
    Was sent his rights to supersede
    And all his noble schemes impede,—
    His tyrant, spy, and judge to be.
    With parchment scrolls and deeds he came
    To kindle fierce and wasteful flame.
    Columbus' firm and dauntless soul
    Submitted not to base controul.
    For who that hath high deeds achieved,
    Whose mind hath mighty plans conceived,


    Can of learn'd ignorance and pride
    The petty vexing rule abide?
    The lion trampled by an ass!—
    No; this all-school'd forbearance would surpass.
    Insulted with a felon's chain,
    This noble man must cross the main,
    And answer his foul charge to cold, ungrateful Spain.
  • XLI.

  • By India's gentle race alone
    Was pity to his suff'rings shown.
    They on his parting wait.
    And looks of kindness on him cast,
    Or touch'd his mantle as he past,
    And mourn'd his alter'd state.
    "May the Great Spirit smooth the tide
    "With gentle gales, and be thy guide!"
    And when his vessel wore from land,
    With meaning nods and gestures kind,
    He saw them still upon the strand
    Tossing their dark arms on the wind.


    He saw them like a helpless flock
    Who soon must bear the cruel shock
    Of savage wolves, yet reckless still,
    Feel but the pain of present ill.
    He saw the fate he could not now controul,
    And groan'd in bitter agony of soul.
  • XLII.

  • He trode the narrow deck with pain,
    And oft survey'd his rankling chain.
    The ship's brave captain grieved to see
    Base irons his noble pris'ner gall,
    And kindly sued to set him free;
    But proudly spoke the lofty thrall,
    "Until the King whom I have served,
    "Who thinks this recompense deserved,
    "Himself command th' unclasping stroke,
    "These gyved limbs will wear their yoke.
    "Yea, when my head lies in the dust,
    "These chains shall in my coffin rust.


    "Better than lesson'd saw, tho' rude,
    "As token, long preserv'd, of black ingratitude!"
  • XLIII.

  • Thus pent, his manly fortitude gave way
    To brooding passion's dark tumultuous sway.
    Dark was the gloom within, and darker grew
    Th' impending gloom without, as onward drew
    Th' embattled storm that, deep'ning on its way,
    With all its marshall'd host obscured the day.
    Volume o'er volume, roll'd the heavy clouds,
    And oft in dark dim masses, sinking slow,
    Hung in the nether air, like misty shrouds,
    Veiling the sombre, silent deep below.
    Like eddying snow-flakes from a lowering sky,
    Athwart the dismal gloom the frighten'd sea-fowl fly.
    Then from the solemn stillness round,
    Utters the storm its awful sound.
    It groans upon the distant waves;
    O'er the mid-ocean wildly raves;


    Recedes afar with dying strain,
    That sadly thro' the troubled air
    Comes like the wailings of despair,
    And with redoubled strength returns again:
    Through shrouds and rigging, boards and mast,
    Whistles, and howls, and roars th' outrageous blast.
  • XLIV.

  • From its vast bed profound with heaving throws
    The mighty waste of welt'ring waters rose.
    O'er countless waves, now mounting, now deprest,
    The ridgy surges swell with foaming crest,
    Like Alpine barriers of some distant shore,
    Now seen, now lost amidst the deaf'ning roar;
    While, higher still, on broad and sweepy base,
    Their growing bulk the mountain billows raise,
    Each far aloft in lordly grandeur rides,
    With many a vassal wave rough'ning his furrow'd sides.
    Heav'd to its height, the dizzy skiff
    Shoots like an eagle from his cliff


    Down to the fearful gulf, and then
    On the swoln waters mounts again,—
    A fearful way! a fearful state
    For vessel charged with living freight!
  • XLV.

  • Within, without the tossing tempests rage:
    This was, of all his earthly pilgrimage,
    The injur'd Hero's fellest, darkest hour.
    Yet swiftly pass'd its gloomy power;
    For as the wild winds louder blew,
    His troubled breast the calmer grew;
    And, long before the mighty hand,
    That rules the ocean and the land,
    Had calm'd the sea, with pious rev'rence fill'd,
    The warring passions of his soul were still'd.
    Through softly parting clouds the blue sky peer'd,
    And heaven-ward turn'd his eye with better feelings cheer'd.
    Meek are the wise, the great, the good;—
    He sighed, and thought of Him, who died on holy rood.

  • XLVI.

  • No more the angry tempest's sport,
    The vessel reach'd its destined port.
    A town of Christendom he greets,
    And treads again its well-known streets;
    A sight of wonder, grief, and shame
    To those who on his landing came,
    And on his state in silence gaz'd.
    "This is the man whose dauntless soul"—
    So spoke their looks—"Spain's power hath rais'd
    "To hold o'er worlds her proud controul!
    "His honour'd brows with laurel crown'd,
    "His hands with felon fetters bound!"
  • XLVII.

  • And he before his Sov'reign Dame
    And her stern Lord, indignant came;
    And bold in conscious honour, broke
    The silence of his smother'd flame,
    In words that all his inward anguish spoke.


    The gentle Queen's more noble breast
    Its generous sympathy exprest;
    And as his varied story show'd
    What wrongs from guileful malice flow'd,
    Th' indignant eye and flushing cheek
    Did oft her mind's emotion speak.
    The sordid King, with brow severe,
    Could, all unmov'd, his pleadings hear;
    Save, that, in spite of royal pride,
    Which self-reproach can ill abide,
    His crimson'd face did meanly show
    Of conscious shame th' unworthy glow.
    Baffled, disgraced, his enemies remain'd,
    And base ambition for a time restrain'd.

  • With four small vessels, small supply
    I trow! yet granted tardily,
    For such high service, he once more
    The western ocean to explore


    Directs his course. On many an isle
    He touch'd, where cheerly, for a while,
    His mariners their cares beguile
    Upon the busy shore.
    And there what wiles of barter keen
    Spaniard and native pass between;
    As feather'd crowns, whose colours change
    To every hue, with vizards strange,
    And gold and pearls are giv'n away,
    For beed or bell, or bauble gay!
    Full oft the mutt'ring Indian eyes
    With conscious smile his wond'rous prize,
    Beneath the shady plantain seated,
    And thinks he hath the stranger cheated;
    Or foots the ground like vaunting child,
    Snapping his thumbs with anticks wild.
  • XLIX.

  • But if, at length, tired of their guests,
    Consuming like those hateful pests,


    Locusts or ants, provisions stored
    For many days, they will afford
    No more, withholding fresh supplies,
    And strife and threat'ning clamours rise,—
    Columbus gentle craft pursues,
    And soon their noisy wrath subdues.
    Thus speaks the chief,—"Refuse us aid
    "From stores which Heaven for all hath made!
    "The moon, your mistress, will this night
    "From you withhold her blessed light,
    "Her ire to show; take ye the risk."
    Then, as half-frighten'd, half in jest,
    They turn'd their faces to the east,
    From ocean rose her broaden'd disk;
    But when the deep eclipse came on,
    By science sure to him foreknown,
    How cower'd each savage at his feet,
    Like spaniel couching to his lord,
    Awed by the whip or angry word,
    His pardon to entreat!


    "Take all we have, thou heavenly man!
    "And let our mistress smile again!"
  • L.

  • Or, should the ship, above, below,
    Be fill'd with crowds, who will not go;
    Again, to spare more hurtful force,
    To harmless guile he has recourse.
    "Ho! Gunner! let these scramblers know
    "The power we do not use:" when, lo!
    From cannon's mouth the silv'ry cloud
    Breaks forth, soft curling on the air,
    Thro' which appears the light'ning's glare,
    And bellowing roars the thunder loud.
    Quickly from bowsprit, shroud, or mast,
    Or vessel's side the Indians cast
    Their naked forms, the water dashing
    O'er their dark heads, as stoutly lashing
    The briny waves with arms out-spread,
    They gain the shore with terror's speed.

  • LI.

  • Thus checker'd still with shade and sheen
    Pass'd in the West his latter scene,
    As thro' the oak's toss'd branches pass
    Soft moon-beams, flickering on the grass;
    As on the lake's dark surface pour
    Broad flashing drops of summer-shower;—
    As the rude cavern's sparry sides
    When past the miner's taper glides.
    So roam'd the Chief, and many a sea
    Fathom'd and search'd unweariedly,
    Hoping a western way to gain
    To eastern climes,—an effort vain;
    For mighty thoughts, with error uncombin'd,
    Were never yet the meed of mortal mind.
  • LII.

  • At length, by wayward fortune crost,
    And oft-renew'd and irksome strife
    Of sordid men,— by tempests tost,


    And tir'd with turmoil of a wand'rer's life,
    He sail'd again for Europe's ancient shore,
    So will'd High Heav'n! to cross the seas no more.
    His anchor fix'd, his sails for ever furl'd,—
    A toil-worn pilgrim in a weary world.
  • LIII.

  • And thus the Hero's sun went down,
    Closing his day of bright renown.
    Eight times thro' breeze and storm he past
    O'er surge and wave th' Atlantic vast;
    And left on many an island fair
    Foundations which the after-care
    Of meaner chieftains shortly rear'd
    To seats of power, serv'd, envy'd, fear'd.
    No kingly conqueror, since time began
    The long career of ages, hath to man
    A scope so ample given for trade's bold range,
    Or caus'd on earth's wide stage such rapid mighty change.

  • LIV.

  • He, on the bed of sickness laid,
    Saw, unappall'd, death's closing shade;
    And there, in charity and love
    To man on earth and God above,
    Meekly to heaven his soul resign'd,
    His body to the earth consign'd.
    'Twas in Valladolid he breathed his last,
    And to a better, heavenly city past;
    But St. Dominga, in her sacred fane
    Doth his blest spot of rest and sculptur'd tomb contain.
  • LV.

  • There burghers, knights, advent'rers brave
    Stood round in fun'ral weeds bedight;
    And bow'd them to the closing grave,
    And wish'd his soul good night.

  • LVI.

  • Now all the bold companions of his toil
    Tenants of many a clime, who wont to come,
    (So fancy trows) when vex'd with worldly coil
    And linger sadly by his narrow home;—
    Repentant enemies, and friends that grieve
    In self-upbraiding tenderness, and say,
    "Cold was the love he did from us receive,"—
    The fleeting restless spirits of a day,
    All to their dread account are pass'd away.
  • LVII.

  • Silence, solemn, awful, deep,
    Doth in that hall of death her empire keep;
    Save when at times the hollow pavement, smote
    By solitary wand'rer's foot, amain
    From lofty dome and arch and aisle remote
    A circling loud response receives again.
    The stranger starts to hear the growing sound,


    And sees the blazon'd trophies waving near;—
    "Ha! tread my feet so near that sacred ground!"
    He stops and bows his head:—"Columbus resteth here!"
  • LVIII.

  • Some ardent youth, perhaps, ere from his home
    He launch his vent'rous bark, will hither come,
    Read fondly o'er and o'er his graven name
    With feelings keenly touch'd,—with heart of flame;
    Till wrapp'd in fancy's wild delusive dream,
    Times past and long forgotten, present seem.
    To his charm'd ear, the east wind rising shrill,
    Seems thro' the Hero's shroud to whistle still.
    The clock's deep pendulum swinging, thro' the blast
    Sounds like the rocking of his lofty mast;
    While fitful gusts rave like his clam'rous band,
    Mix'd with the accents of his high command.
    Slowly the stripling quits the pensive scene,
    And burns, and sighs, and weeps to be what he has been.

  • LIX.

  • O! who shall lightly say that fame
    Is nothing but an empty name!
    Whilst in that sound there is a charm
    The nerves to brace, the heart to warm,
    As, thinking of the mighty dead,
    The young, from slothful couch will start,
    And vow, with lifted hands outspread,
    Like them to act a noble part?
  • LX.

  • O! who shall lightly say that fame
    Is nothing but an empty name!
    When, but for those, our mighty dead,
    All ages past, a blank would be,
    Sunk in oblivion's murky bed,—
    A desert bare, a shipless sea?
    They are the distant objects seen,—
    The lofty marks of what hath been.

  • LXI.

  • O! who shall lightly say that fame
    Is nothing but an empty name!
    When mem'ry of the mighty dead
    To earth-worn pilgrim's wistful eye
    The brightest rays of cheering shed,
    That point to immortality?
  • LXII.

  • A twinkling speck, but fix'd and bright,
    To guide us thro' the dreary night,
    Each hero shines, and lures the soul
    To gain the distant happy goal.
    For is there one who, musing o'er the grave
    Where lies interr'd the good, the wise, the brave,
    Can poorly think, beneath the mould'ring heap,
    That noble being shall for ever sleep?
    No; saith the gen'rous heart, and proudly swells,—
    "Tho' his cered corse lies here, with God his spirit dwells."




    • NOTE I.

    • The magnet of a thousand eyes,
      That on his form and features cast,
      His noble mien and simple guise.—P. 127.

      Herrera's History of America, translated by Stevens, vol. i. p. 31. —"Columbus was tall of stature, long visaged, of a majestick aspect, his nose hooked, his eyes grey, a complexion clear, somewhat ruddy; his beard and hair, when young, fair, though through many hardships they soon turned grey. He was witty, and well-spoken, and eloquent, moderately grave, affable to strangers, to his own family mild. His conversation was discreet, which gained him the affection of those he had to deal with; and his presence attracted respect, having an air of authority and grandeur; always temperate in eating and drinking, and modest in his dress."

    • NOTE II.

    • Had recogniz'd, in that bright hour,
      The disappointed suppliant of dull power,
      Who had in vain of kings and states desired.—P. 127.

      It is curious to see the many objections, which were made by prejudice and ignorance, to his proposals; and also the means by

      which he became at length successful in his suit to the crown of Castile; to perceive what small considerations, and petty applications of individuals, are sometimes concerned in promoting or preventing the greatest events, see the Appendix, No. II.

    • NOTE III.

    • The patient sage, who by his lamp's faint light
      O'er chart and map spent the long silent night.—P. 128.

      Herrera:—"He was very knowing in astrology, expert in navigation, understood Latin, and made verses."

    • NOTE IV.

    • That Power Divine, whom storms obey,
      (Whisper'd his heart) a leading star,
      Will guide him on his blessed way.—P. 128.

      Herrera:—"As to religion, he was very zealous and devout, often saying, 'I will do this in the name of the Trinity;' kept the fasts of the church very strictly; often confessed and communicated; said all the canonical hours; abhorred swearing and blasphemy, had a peculiar devotion to our Lady and St. Francis; was very thankful to Almighty God for the mercies he received, zealous for God's honour, and very desirous of the conversion of the Indians. In other respects, he was a man of undaunted courage and high thought, fond of great enterprizes, patient, ready to forgive wrongs, and only desirous that offenders should be sensible of their faults; unmoved in the many troubles and adversities that attended him; ever relying on Divine Providence."

    • NOTE V.

    • With more redoubled danger must contend,
      Than storm or wave,—a fierce and angry crew.—P. 134.

      Herrera, vol. i. p. 37.—"The men being all unacquainted with that voyage, and seeing no hopes of any comfort, nothing appearing but sky and water for so many days, all of them carefully observed every token they saw, being then further from land than any man had ever been. The 19th of September, a sea-gull came to the Admiral's ship␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣As the aforesaid tokens proved of no effect, the men's fears increased, and they took occasion to mutter, gathering in parcels aboard the ships, saying that the Admiral, in a mad humour, had thought to make himself great at the expence of their lives, and though they had done their duty, and sailed further from land than ever any men had done before, they ought not to contribute to their own destruction, still proceeding without any reason till their provisions failed them, which, though they were ever so sparing, would not suffice to carry them back, no more than the ships, that were already very crazy, so that nobody would think they had done amiss; and that so many had opposed the Admiral's project, the more credit would be given to them. Nay, there wanted not some who said, that, to put an end to all debaits, the best way would be to throw him into the sea, and say he had unfortunately fallen in as he was attentively gazing on the stars; and since nobody would go about to inquire into the truth of it, that was the best means for them to return and save themselves. Thus the mutinous temper went on from day to day, and the evil designs of the men, which very much perplexed

      Columbus: but sometimes giving good words, and at other times putting them in mind of the punishment they would incur, if they obstructed the voyage, he cured their insolence with fear; and as a confirmation of the hopes he gave them of concluding their voyage successfully, he often put them in mind of the above-mentioned signs and tokens, promising they would soon find a vast rich country, where they would all conclude their labour well bestowed."

    • NOTE VI.

    • Descried afar the blessed sight.
      "It moves, it slowly moves, like ray
      "Of torch that guides some wanderer's way!"—P. 138.

      Herrera:—"......... But afterwards it was seen twice, and looked like a little candle raised up, and then taken down; and Columbus did not question but it was a true light, and that they were near land, and so it proved, and it was of people passing from one house to another."—(See Appendix, No. III.)

    • NOTE VII.

    • Columbus led them to the shore
      Which ship had never touched before,
      And there he knelt upon the strand,
      To thank the God of sea and land.—P. 140, 141.

      Herrera, vol. i. p. 46.—"When day appeared, they perceived it was an island fifteen leagues in length, plain, much wooded, well watered, having a lake of fresh water in the middle of it, well

      stored with people, who stood full of admiration on the shore imagining the ships to be some monsters, and with the utmost impatience to know what they were; and the Spaniards were no less eager to be on land. The Admiral went ashore in his boat, armed, and the royal colours flying, as did the captains Martin Monzo Pinzon and Vincent Yanez Pinzon, carrying the colours of their enterprize, being a green cross, with some crowns, and the names of their Catholic Majesties. Having all of them kissed the ground, and on their knees given thanks to God for the goodness he had shown them, the Admiral stood up, and gave that island the name of St. Salvador, which the natives call Cannaham, being one of those afterwards called the Lucayo Islands, 950 leagues from the Canaries, discovered after they had sailed thirty-three days. Then, with the proper solemnity of expressions, he took possession of it in the name of their Catholic Majesties, for the crowns of Castile and Leon, testified by Roderick Escovedo, notary of the fleet, a great multitude of the natives looking on. The Spaniards immediately owned him for their Admiral and Viceroy, and swore obedience to him as representing the King's person in that country, with all the joy and satisfaction that so great an event deserved, all of them begging his pardon for the trouble and uneasiness they had given him, by inconstancy and faint-heartedness."

    • NOTE VIII.

    • They eyed those wond'rous strangers o'er and o'er,—
      Those beings of the ocean and the air.— P. 143.

      It is often mentioned by Herrera, that the Indians considered the Spaniards as beings come from heaven. It is mentioned, page 55.,

      that in an island, where Columbus had sent his men to explore the interior, "The prime men came out to meet them, led them by the arms, and lodged them in one of those new houses, causing them to sit down on seats made of one solid piece of wood in the shape of a beast with very short legs, the tail turned up, and the head before, with eyes and ears of gold; and all the Indians sat about them on the ground, and one after another went to kiss their feet and hands, believing they came from heaven; and gave them boiled roots to eat, which tasted like chesnuts, (probably potatoes,) and entreated them to stay there, or at least rest themselves for five or six days, because the Indians that went with them said many kind things of them. Abundance of women coming in to see them, all the men went out, and they with the same admiration kissed their feet and hands, touching them as if they had been holy things, offering what they brought," &c. &c.

    • NOTE IX.

    • There nine-and-thirty chosen men he placed,
      Gave parting words of counsel and of cheer.—P. 144.

      Herrera, after mentioning the building of the fort or rather tower of wood, says, —"He made choice of thirty-nine men to stay in the fort, such as were most willing, cheerful, and of good disposition; the strongest and best able to endure fatigues of all that he had. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ Whom he furnished with biscuit and wine, and other provisions, for a year, leaving seeds to sow, and all the things he had brought to barter, being a great quantity, as also the great guns, and other arms, that were in the ship and

      boat that belonged to it." See Appendix, No. IV. for the speech which Columbus made to them on his departure.

    • NOTE X.

    • Upon a scroll, with hasty pen,
      His wond'rous tale he traced.—P. 147.

      Herrera, book ii. chap. 2. —"Tuesday, the 12th of February, the sea began to swell with great and dangerous storms, and he drove most of the night without any sail: afterwards he put out a little sail. The waves broke and wrecked the ships. The next morning the wind slackened; but on Wednesday night it rose again with dreadful waves, which hindered the ship's way, so that he could not shift them. The Admiral kept under a main-top-sail, reefed only to bear up the ship against the waves; but perceiving how great the danger was, he let it run before the wind, there being no remedy. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ The Admiral finding himself near death, to the end that some knowledge might come to their Catholic Majesties of what he had done in their service, he writ as much as he could of what he had discovered on a skin of parchment; and having wrapped it in a piece of ceer-cloth, he put it into a wooden cask, and cast it into the sea, all the men imagining it had been some piece of devotion, and presently the wind slackened."

    • NOTE XI.

    • He, by his Great Preserver saved,
      Anchor'd again in Palos' port.—P. 148.

      Herrera:—"Wednesday, the 13th of March, he sailed with his caravel for Sevil. Thursday, before sun-rising, he found himself off Cape St. Vincent, and Friday the l5th off Saltes, and at noon he passed over the bar, with the flood, into the port from whence he had first departed, on Friday the 3d of August the year before, so that he spent six months and a half on the voyage. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ He landed at Palos, was received with a solemn procession and much rejoicing of the whole town, all admiring so great an action," &c.

    • NOTE XII.

    • With western treasures, borne in fair display
      To Barcelona's walls, in grand array.—P. 151.

      Herrera:—"He carried with him green and red parrots, and other things to be admired, never before seen in Spain. He set out from Sevil, and the fame of this novelty being spread abroad, the people flocked to the road to see the Indians and the Admiral."

    • NOTE XIII.

    • And manly mind to bid thee soar
      Above a robber's lust of ore,
      Which hath a curse entail'd on all thy countless store.— P. 153.

      The effects of the narrow policy of the Spanish government, regarding her dealings with America, and the short-sighted avarice of

      the many adventurers sent out to her colonies there, are thus mentioned by Robertson.

      Robertson, Hist. of America, book 3.—"Under the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella, and Charles the Fifth, Spain was one of the most flourishing countries of Europe. Her manufactures in wool, and flax, and silk, were so extensive as not only to furnish what was necessary for her own consumption, but to afford a surplus for exportation. When a market for them formerly unknown, and to which she alone had access, was opened in America, she had recourse to her domestic store, and found there an abundant supply. This new employment must naturally have added vivacity to the spirit of industry, nourished and invigorated by it, the manufacturers, the population, the wealth of Spain, might have gone on encreasing in the same proportion with the growth of her colonies, &c. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ But various causes prevented this. The same thing happens to nations as to individuals. The wealth which flows in gradually and with moderate increase, feeds and nourishes that activity which is friendly to commerce, and calls it forth into vigorous and well-conducted exertions; but when opulence pours in suddenly, and with too full a stream, it overturns all sober plans of industry, and brings along with it a taste for what is wild and extravagant, and daring in business or in action. Such was the great and sudden augmentation of power and revenue that the possession of America brought into Spain, and some symptoms of its pernicious influence upon the political operations of that monarchy soon began to appear."

      (See this subject pursued further in the Appendix, No. III.)

    • NOTE XIV.

    • To Barcelona come, with honours meet
      Such glorious deeds to grace, his Sov'reigns greet.— P. 153.

      Herrera, vol. i. page 93.—"The Admiral arrived at Barcelona about the middle of April, where a solemn reception was made him, the whole court flocking out in such numbers, that the streets could not hold them, admiring to see the Admiral, the Indians, and the things he had brought, which were carried uncovered; and the more to honour the Admiral, their Majesties ordered their royale throne to be placed in public, where they sat, with Prince John. The Admiral came in attended by a multitude of gentlemen: when he came near, the King stood up and gave him his hand to kiss, bid him rise, ordered a chair to be brought, and him to sit down in the royal presence, where he gave an account, in a very sedate and discreet manner, of the mercy God had shewn him in favour of their Highnesses, of his voyage and discoveries, and the hopes he had conceived of discovering greater countries, and shewed him the Indians as they went in their own native places, and the other things he had brought. Their Majesties arose, and kneeling down with their hands lifted up and tears in their eyes, returned thanks to God, and then the singers of the chapel began the Te Deum."

    • NOTE XV.

    • With kingly favour brightened, all
      His favour court, obey his call.
      At princely boards, above the rest,
      He took his place, admir'd, caress'd.—P. 155.

      Herrera:—"The king took the Admiral by his side when he went along the city of Barcelona, and did him much honour other ways; and therefore, all the grandees and other noblemen honoured and invited him to dinner; and the cardinal of Spain, Don Pedro Gonzeles de Mendoza, a prince of much virtue and a noble spirit, was the first grandee, that, as they were going one day from the palace, carried the Admiral to dine with him, and seated him at the head of the table, and caused his meat to be served up covered and the essay to be taken, and from that time forward he was served in that manner."

    • NOTE XVI.

    • He stood; then fired his signal shot,
      But answ'ring fire received not.—P. 156.

      Herrera, vol. i. page 112.—"The next day, Monday, all the fleet entered the port: the Admiral saw the port burnt down, whence he concluded that all the Christians were dead, which troubled him very much, and the more because no Indians appeared. The next day he went ashore very melancholy, finding no body to enquire of. Some things belonging to the Spaniards were found, the sight whereof was grievous."

    • NOTE XVII.

    • Bodies alas! within that grave were found,
      Which had not long been laid to rest.—P. 158.

      Herrera:—"Wednesday the 27th of November, he came to anchor with his fleet at the mouth of the river Navedad. About midnight a canoe came aboard to the Admiral; the Indians cried "Amirante," that is, Admiral. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ He enquiring of them after the Spaniards, they said some had died, and that others were gone up the country with their wives. The Admiral guessed that they were all dead, but was obliged not to take notice of it. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ Near the fort they discovered seven or eight men buried and others not far off, whom they knew to be Christians by their being clad; and it appeared that they had not been buried above a month. Whilst they were searching about, one of Gascannagarie's (the Cazique's) brothers came with some Indians who had learnt a little Spanish. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ They said, that as soon as the Admiral was gone, they began to fall out among themselves and to disobey their commander, going about in an insolent manner to take what women and gold they pleased; and that Peter Gutierrez and Escovedo (Spaniards) killed one Taconn; and that they two, with nine others, went away with the women they had taken, and the baggage, to the country of a lord whose name was Caunabo and was lord of the mines, who killed them all."

      Further on it is said, that when Columbus went to visit the Cazique, he told him the same story, and shewed his wounds from Indian weapons, which he had received in defending the Spaniards.


      So many disasters, partly from misconduct, and partly from the difficulties they had to encounter from the climate, and depending on the old world for provisions, befell the first colonists which were settled in the West Indies, that the places where they had once been were afterwards looked upon by the Spaniards with a superstitious dread, as haunted by spectres and demons.

      (See Appendix, No. V. for a curious anecdote in confirmation of this.)


    • ————that which most
      His generous bosom sought to shun
      Must now at Mammon's ruthless call be done.—P. 160.

      It is sad to reflect that Columbus, always friendly and gentle to the natives, and most anxious to have them converted to the christian religion, was yet compelled, in order to satisfy the impatient cupidity of their Catholic Majesties, to make them work in the mines, which very soon caused great mortality amongst them. Gold must be sent to Spain; otherwise the government of those countries would have been transferred from him to a set of rapacious and profligate adventurers.

    • NOTE XIX.

    • Envy mean, that in the dark
      Strikes surely at its noble mark,
      Against him rose with hatred fell,
      Which he could brave, but could not quell.—P. 161.

      From evil reports sent against the admiral to Spain, one John Aguado was sent to the new world with credentials to this effect: "Gentlemen, Esquires, and others, who by our command are in the Indies, we send to you John Aguado, our groom, who will discourse you in our name. We desire you to give entire credit to him. Madrid, April 9th, 1495." This same groom, as might be expected, did not fail to thwart Columbus in many affairs, and set a bad example to others: he resolved therefore to return to Spain and clear himself of those slanders to their Majesties.

    • NOTE XX.

    • Impetuous, roaring, bear along,
      And still their sep'rate honours keep,
      In bold contention with the mighty deep.—P. 162.

      It is scarcely necessary to give any authority for the immense width and power of those rivers; but as this fact is implied in a sublime and descriptive simile in the writings of a modern poet, whose rich imagination is perhaps never betrayed into inaccuracy, I am tempted to insert it.

      ———"The battle's rage
      Was like the strife which currents wage,
      When Orinoco in his pride
      Rolls to the main no tribute tide,


      But 'gainst broad ocean urges far
      A rival sea of roaring war;
      While in ten thousand eddies driven,
      The billows fling their foam to heaven;
      And the pale pilot seeks in vain
      Where rolls the river, where the main."— Rookby.
    • NOTE XXI.

    • A mission'd gownsman o'er the sea
      Was sent his rights to supersede. —P. 164.

      Herrera, vol. i page 237.—"Mention has been made of the discoveries made by the Spaniards in the years 1499 and 1500 and of what the Portuguese found by chance, as also that the admiral's messengers arrived at the court with an account of the insurrection of Francis Roldan, and the persons sent by him, who gave their complaints against the admiral. Having heard both parties, their Majesties resolved to remove the admiral from the government, under colour that he himself desired a judge should be sent over to enquire into the insolencies committed by Roldan and his followers, and a lawyer that should take upon himself the administration of justice. ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ Their Majesties made choice of Francis Bovadilla, commendary of the order of Calatrava, a native of Medina del Campo, and gave him the title and commission of Examiner, under which he was to enter the island; as also governor, to make use of and publish these in due time." (He was at first to conceal the extent of his commission.)

      See, on this subject, Appendix, No. VI.

    • NOTE XXII.

    • He trode the narrow deck with pain,
      And oft survey'd his rankling chain.—P. 166.

      Herrera:—"In short, Bovadilla seized the admira land both his brothers, Don Bartholomew and Don James, without even so much as seeing or speaking to them. They were all put into irons, and no person permitted to converse with them; a most inhuman action, considering the dignity of the person, and the inestimable service he had done the crown of Spain. The admiral afterwards kept his fetters, and ordered they should be buried with him, in testimony of the ingratitude of this world. Bovadilla resolved to send the admiral into Spain, aboard the two ships that had brought him over. Alonzo de Vallejo was appointed to command the two caravels, and ordered, as soon as he arrived at Cadiz, to deliver the prisoners to the bishop, John Rodrigues de Fousico; and it was reported that Bovadilla had put this affront upon its admiral to please the bishop. It was never heard that Francis Roldan, or Don Fernando de Guevera, or any other of the mutineers who had committed so many outrages in that island, were punished, or any proceedings made against them."


    • Until the king whom I have served,
      Who thinks this recompense deserved,
      Himself command th' unclasping stroke.— P. 166.

      Herrera:—"Alonzo de Vallejo and the master of the caravel,

      Gordo, aboard which the admiral was brought over, treated him and his brothers very well, and would have knocked off their fetters but he would not consent to it himself, till it was done by order of their Majesties."

    • NOTE XXIV.

    • With four small vessels, small supply
      I trow! yet granted tardily
      For such high service.—P. 171.

      Herrera, vol. i. page 251.—"Admiral Columbus being come to court, after having made his complaints against Francis de Bovadillo, and what had been said as before ordered, never ceased soliciting to be restored to his full rights and prerogatives, since he had performed all he had promised, and had been so great a sufferer in the service of the crown, offering, though he was old and much broken, to make considerable discoveries, believing that he might find a streight or passage about that part where Nombre de Dios now stands. Their Majesties fed him with fair words and promises, till they could hear what account Nicholas de Obando would send them about affairs of the island. Columbus demanded four ships and provisions for two years, which they granted him, with a promise that, if he died by the way, his son Don James should succeed him in all his rights and prerogatives. The Admiral set out from Granada to forward this business at Sevil and Cadiz, where he brought four vessels, the biggest not above seventy ton, and the least not under fifty; with one hundred and fifty men, and all necessaries."

    • NOTE XXV.

    • And there what urges of barter keen
      Spaniard and native pass between.—P. 172.

      Many accounts given by Herrera of the barter carried on between the Spaniards and Indians, are not unlike that which I have given in this passage of the legend.

    • NOTE XXVI.

    • The moon, your mistress, will this night
      From you withhold her blessed light.—P. 173.

      This circumstance is so well known that it were needless to mention it here, only as the account given of it by Herrera is rather curious, the reader may, perhaps, be amused by it. After telling how greatly the Spaniards were distressed for provisions, and how the Indians refused to supply them, he says,—"The admiral knew there would be an eclipse of the moon within three days, whereupon he sent an Indian that spoke Spanish to call the Caziques and prime men of those parts to him. They being come a day before the eclipse, he told them, that the Spaniards were Christians, servants of the Great God that dwells in heaven, Lord and Maker of all things, and rewards the good and punishes the wicked," &c. ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ Wherefore they might that night observe, at the rising of the moon, that she would appear of a bloody hue, to denote the punishment God would inflict on them. When he had made his speech, some of them went away in a fright, and others scoffed at it; but the eclipse beginning as soon as the moon was up, and increasing, the higher she was, it put them into such a consternation, that they hastened to the ships, grievously lamenting, and loaded

      with provisions; entreating the admiral to pray God that he would not be angry with them, and they would for the future bring all the provisions he should have occasion for. The Admiral answered, he would offer up his prayers to God, and then, shutting himself up, waited till the eclipse was at its height, and ready to decrease, telling them he had prayed for them," &c. ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ∗␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ "The Indians perceiving the eclipse to go off, and entirely to cease, returned the Admiral many thanks," &c.


    • Again, to spare more hurtful force,
      To harmless guile he has recourse.—P. 174.

      This expedient of Columbus for clearing his ship, when the Indians had become too fond of being aboard, is told in an amusing manner by Herrera; but I cannot at present discover the passage.


    • Hoping a western way to gain
      To eastern climes, an effort vain.—P. 175.

      This was one great object with Columbus, when he first projected his great discoveries, and it made him so unwilling when he came to the mouth of one of the large rivers of the continent, to believe it was a river, as a great continent there made against the probability of his discovering what he desired. Another notion of his, more fanciful, is mentioned by Herrera.

      "The Admiral was surprised at the emense quantity of fresh water before spoken of, and no less at the extraordinary coolness of

      the air so near the equinoctial; and he particularly observed that the people thereabouts were whites, their hair long and smooth, more subtle and ingenious than those he had seen before. These things made him conceit that the terrestrial Paradise might be in those parts, with other notions which make not to our purpose."

    • NOTE XXIX.

    • No kingly conqueror, since time began
      The long career of ages, hath to man
      A scope so ample given for trade's bold range
      Or caused on earth's wide stage such rapid, mighty change.—P. 176.

      Those mighty conquerors who have over-run the greatest extent of country, have, generally speaking, produced only temporary change; the kingdoms subdued by them falling back again to their old masters, or becoming, under the successors of the conqueror, nearly the same in government and manners which they would have been, had he never existed. The discoveries of Columbus opened a boundless and lasting field for human exertion, which gave a new impulse to every maritime country in Europe. There is one conqueror indeed, Mahomet, the exertions of whose extraordinary life produced, unhappily, wide and lasting effects, but of a character so different from those produced by Columbus, that they can scarcely be considered as at variance with what is here asserted of the great navigator. The change which his discoveries occasioned in the new world must also be taken into the account; and though this is a very melancholy consideration, as far as the West Indies are concerned, yet that which took place on the Continent of America, tho' for a time at great expense of life, was good, and most thankfully to be

      acknowledged by every friend to humanity. It put an end to the most dismal and bloody superstition under the tyrannical government of Mexico: and we can scarcely regret the overthrow of the milder religion and government of Peru, though we may lament the manner of it, and detest the cruelty and injustice of the conquerors; for human flesh was not an unheard-of banquet in that country; and, at the funerals of great people, many servants and dependents were killed or buried alive to become their servants still in another state of being.

      See what Herrera says on this subject, Appendix, No. IX.

      Robertson says, in speaking of the Mexicans,—"The aspect of superstition in Mexico was gloomy and atrocious; its divinities were clothed with terror, and delighted in vengeance; they were exhibited to the people under detestable forms which created horror; the figures of serpents, tygers, and of other destructive animals, decorated their temples. Fear was the only principle that inspired their votaries. Fasts, mortifications, and penances, all rigid and many of them excrutiating to an extreme degree, were the means employed to appease the wrath of their gods, and the Mexicans never approached their altars, without sprinkling them with blood drawn from their own bodies. But of all offerings, human sacrifices were the most acceptable. This religious belief, mingling with the implacable spirit of vengeance, and adding new force to it, every captive taken in war was brought to the temple, was devoted as a victim to the deity, and sacrificed with rites no less solemn than cruel. The heart and the head were the portion consecrated to the gods; the warrior, by whose prowess the prisoner had been seized,

      carried off the body to feast upon it with his friends. Under the impression of ideas so dreary and terrible, and accustomed daily to scenes of bloodshed, rendered awful by religion, the heart of man must harden, and be steeled to every sentiment of humanity. The spirit of the Mexicans was accordingly unfeeling, and the genius of their religion so far counter-balanced the influence of policy and arts, that notwithstanding their progress in both, their manners, instead of softening, became more fierce. To what circumstances it was owing that superstition assumed such a dreadful form among the Mexicans, we have not sufficient knowledge of their history to determine. But its influence is visible, and produced an effect that is singular in the history of the human species. The manners of the people of the new world, who had made the greatest progress in the arts of policy, were in several respects the most ferocious, and the barbarity of some of their customs exceeds even those of the savage state."

    • NOTE XXX.
    • 'Twas in Valladolid he breathed his last.—P. 177.
    • Herrera, vol. i. page 311 —When the Adeluntado Don Bartholomew Columbus was soliciting, as has been above said, the Admiral's distemper grew upon him, till having made the necessary dispositions, he departed this life with much piety at Valladolid on Ascension-day, being the 20th of May, 1506. His body was conveyed to the monastery of Carthusians at Sevil, and from thence to the city of Santo Domingo, in Hispaniola, where it lies in the chancel of the cathedral."







    WHEN, sapient, dauntless, strong, heroic man!
    Our busy thoughts thy noble nature scan,
    Whose active mind, its hidden cell within,
    Frames that from which the mightiest works begin;
    Whose secret thoughts are light to ages lending,
    Whose potent arm is right and life defending,
    For helpless thousands, all on one high soul depending:—
    We pause, delighted with the fair survey,
    And haply in our wistful musings say,
    What mate, to match this noble work of heaven,
    Hath the all-wise and mighty master given?


    One gifted like himself, whose head devises
    High things, whose soul at sound of battle rises,
    Who with glav'd hand will thro' arm'd squadrons ride,
    And, death confronting, combat by his side;
    Will share with equal wisdom grave debate,
    And all the cares of chieftain, kingly state?
    Aye, such, I trow, in female form hath been
    Of olden times, and may again be seen,
    When cares of empire or strong impulse swell
    The generous breast, and to high deeds impel;
    For who can these as meaner times upbraid,
    Who think of Saragossa's valiant maid?

    But she of gentler nature, softer, dearer,
    Of daily life the active, kindly cheerer;
    With generous bosom, age, or childhood shielding,
    And in the storms of life, tho' mov'd, unyielding;
    Strength in her gentleness, hope in her sorrow,
    Whose darkest hours some ray of brightness borrow


    From better days to come, whose meek devotion
    Calms every wayward passion's wild commotion;
    In want and suff'ring, soothing, useful, sprightly,
    Bearing the press of evil hap so lightly,
    Till evil's self seems its strong hold betraying
    To the sweet witch'ry of such winsome playing;
    Bold from affection, if by nature fearful,
    With varying brow, sad, tender, anxious, cheerful,—
    This is meet partner for the loftiest mind,
    With crown or helmet graced,—yea, this is womankind!
    Come ye, whose grateful memory retains
    Dear recollection of her tender pains
    To whom your oft-conn'd lesson, daily said,
    With kiss and cheering praises was repaid;
    To gain whose smile, to shun whose mild rebuke,
    Your irksome task was learnt in silent nook,
    Tho' truant thoughts the while, your lot exchanging
    With freer elves, were wood and meadow ranging;—


    And ye, who best the faithful virtues know
    Of a link'd partner, tried in weal and woe,
    Like the sight willow, now aloft, now bending,
    But, still unbroken, with the blast contending,
    Whose very look call'd virtuous vigour forth,
    Compelling you to match her noble worth;—
    And ye, who in a sister's modest praise
    Feel manly pride, and think of other days,
    Pleased that the play-mate of your native home
    Hath in her prime an honour'd name become;—
    And ye, who in a duteous child have known
    A daughter, help-mate, sister, blent in one,
    From whose dear hand which, to no hireling leaves
    Its task of love, your age sweet aid receives,
    Who reckless marks youth's waning faded hue,
    And thinks her bloom well spent, when spent for you;—
    Come all, whose thoughts such dear remembrance bear,
    And to my short and faithful lay give ear.

  • I.

  • Within a prison's hateful cell,
    Where, from the lofty window fell,
    Thro' grated bars, the sloping beam,
    Defin'd, but faint, on couch of stone,
    There sat a pris'ner sad and lone,
    Like the dim tenant of a dismal dream.
    Deep in the shade, by low-arch'd door,
    With iron nails thick studded o'er,
    Whose threshold black is cross'd by those
    Who here their earthly being close,
    Or issue to the light again
    A scaffold with their blood to stain,—
    Moved something softly. Wistful ears
    Are quick of sense, and from his book
    The pris'ner rais'd his eyes with eager look,—
    "Is it a real form that thro' the gloom appears?"

  • II.

  • It was indeed of flesh and blood,
    The form that quickly by him stood;
    Of stature low, of figure light,
    In motion like some happy sprite;
    Yet meaning eyes and varying cheek,
    Now red, now pale, seem'd to bespeak
    Of riper years the cares and feeling
    Which with a gentle heart were dealing.
    "Such sense in eyes so simply mild!
    "Is it a woman or a child?
    "Who art thou, damsel sweet? are not mine eyes beguiled?"
  • III.

  • "No; from the Redbraes' tower I come;
    "My father is Sir Patrick Hume;
    "And he has sent me for thy good,
    "His dearly honour'd Jerviswood.
    "Long have I round these walls been straying,
    "As if with other children playing;


    "Long near the gate have kept my watch
    "The sentry's changing-time to catch.
    "With stealthy steps I gain'd the shade
    "By the close-winding staircase made,
    "And when the surly turnkey enter'd,
    "But little dreaming in his mind
    "Who follow'd him so close hehind,
    "Into this darken'd cell, with beating heart, I ventured."
  • IV.

  • Then from the simple vest that braced
    Her gentle breast, a letter traced
    With well-known characters, she took,
    And with an eager, joyful look,
    Her eyes up to his visage cast,
    His changing countenance to scan,
    As o'er the lines his keen glance past.
    She saw a faint glow tinge the sickly wan;
    She saw his eyes thro' tear-drops raise
    To heaven their look of silent praise,


    And hope's fresh touch undoing lines of care
    Which stress of evil times had deeply graven there.
    Meanwhile, the joy of sympathy to trace
    Upon her innocent and lovely face
    Had to the sternest, darkest sceptic given
    Some love of human kind, some faith in righteous Heaven
  • V.

  • What blessings on her youthful head
    Were by the grateful patriot shed,
    (For such he was, good and devoted,
    And had at risk of life promoted
    His country's freedom and her faith,
    Nor reck'ning made of worldly skathe)
    How warm, confiding, and sincere,
    He gave to her attentive ear
    The answer which her cautious sire
    Did to his secret note require;—
    How after this with 'quiries kind,
    He ask'd for all she left behind


    In Redbraes' tower, her native dwelling,
    And set her artless tongue a-telling,
    Which urchin dear had tallest grown,
    And which the greatest learning shown,
    Of lesson, sermon, psalm, and note,
    And Sabbath questions learnt by rote,
    And merry tricks and gambols play'd
    By ev'ning fire, and forfeits paid,—
    I will not here rehearse, nor will I say,
    How, on that bless'd and long-remember'd day,
    The pris'ner's son, deserving such a sire,
    First saw the tiny maid, and did admire,
    That one so young and wise and good and fair
    Should be an earthly thing that breath'd this nether air.
  • VI.

  • E'en let my reader courteously suppose,
    That from this visit happier days arose;
    Suppose the pris'ner from his thraldom freed,
    And with our lay proceed.

  • VII.

  • The damsel, glad her mission'd task was done,
    Back to her home long since had blithely gone;
    And there remain'd, a meek and duteous child
    Where useful toil, with play between,
    And pastime on the sunny green,
    The weeks and months of passing years beguiled.
  • VIII.

  • Scotland the while convulsive lay
    Beneath a hateful tyrant's sway;
    For James's bigot mind th' ascendant gain'd,
    And fiercely raged blind ruthless power;
    While men, who true to conscience' voice remain'd,
    Were forced in caves and dens to cower;
    Bereft of home or hold or worldly wealth,
    Upon the bleak and blasted heath,
    They sang their glorious Maker's praise by stealth,
    Th' inclement sky beneath.


    And some were forced to flee their native land,
    Or in the grated prison's gloom,
    Dealt to them by corruption's hateful hand,
    Abide their fatal doom.
  • IX.

  • And there our former thrall, the good,
    The firm, the gentle Jerviswood
    Again was pent, with sickness worn,
    Watching each pulse's feebler beat
    Which promised, ere the fated morn,
    The scaffold of its prey to cheat.
  • X.

  • And now that patriot's ancient, faithful friend,
    Our maiden's sire, must to the tempest bend.
    He too must quit his social hearth,
    The place where cheerful friends resort,
    And trav'llers rest and children sport,
    To lay him on the mould'ring earth;
    Thro' days of lonely gloom to rest his head


    With them, who, in those times unblest,
    Alone had sure and fearless rest,
    The still, the envied dead.
  • XI.

  • Sad was his hiding-place, I ween,
    A fearful place, where sights had been,
    Full oft, by the benighted rustic seen;
    Aye, elrich forms in sheeted white,
    Which, in the waning moonlight blast,
    Pass by, nor shadow onward cast,
    Like any earthly wight;
    A place, where midnight lights had shone
    Thro' charnel windows, and the glancing
    Of wand'ring flame, on church-path lone,
    Betray'd the hour when fiends and hags were dancing,
    Or to their vigil foul with trooping haste advancing.
    A place, whose gate with weeds o'ergrown,
    Hemlock and dock of deep dull green,
    That climbing rank the lintals screen,


    What time the moon is riding high
    The very hounds went cowering by,
    Or watch'd afar with howling moan;
    For brutes 'tis said, will see what meets no human eye.
  • XII.

  • You well may guess his faithful wife
    A heart of heavy cheer had then,
    List'ning her household's hum of life,
    And thinking of his silent den.
    "Oh! who will to that vault of death,
    "At night's still watch repair,
    "The dark and chilly sky beneath,
    "And needful succour bear?
    "Many his wants, who bideth lonely there!"
  • XIII.

  • Pleased had you been to have beheld,
    Like fire-sparks from the stricken stone,
    Like sun-beams on the rain-drop thrown,


    The kindling eye of sweet Griseld,
    When thus her mother spoke, for known
    Was his retreat to her alone.
    The wary dame to none beside
    The dangerous secret might confide.
    "O fear not, mother! I will go,
    "Betide me good or ill:
    "Nor quick nor dead shall daunt me; no;
    "Nor witch-fires, dancing in the dark,
    "Nor owlet's shriek, nor watch-dog's bark,
    "For I shall think, the while, I do God's blessed will.
    "I'll be his active Brownie sprite,
    "To bring him needful food, and share his lonely night."
  • XIV.

  • And she, ere stroke of midnight bell,
    Did bound her for that dismal cell;
    And took that haunted, fearful way
    Which, till that hour, in twilight grey


    She never by herself had past,
    Or ev'n athwart its copse-wood cast
    A hasty glance, for dread of seeing
    The form of some unearthly being.
    But now, far other forms of fear
    To her scared sight appear,
    And, like a sudden fit of ague, move her;
    The stump of some old, blasted tree,
    Or upright stone, or colt broke free
    To range at will the dewy lea,
    Seem lurking spy or rustic lover,
    Who may, ev'n thro' the dark, her secret drift discover.
  • XV.

  • She pauses oft.—"What whispers near?—
    "The babbling burn sounds in mine ear.
    "Some hasty form the pathway crosses:—
    " 'Tis but a branch the light wind tosses.
    "What thing is that by church-yard gate,
    "That seems like spearman tall to wait?


    " 'Tis but the martyr's slender stone
    "Which stands so stately and alone:
    "Why should I shrink? why should I fear?
    "The vault's black door is near."
    And she with icy fingers knock'd,
    And heard with joy the door unlock'd,
    And felt the yawning fence give way
    As deep and harsh the sounding hinges bray.
  • XVI.

  • But to describe their tender meeting,
    Tears shed unseen, affection utter'd
    In broken words, and blessings mutter'd,
    With many a kiss and kindly greeting,
    I know not; would my feeble skill
    Were meeter yoke-mate to my will!
  • XVII.

  • Then from the struck flint flew the spark,
    And lighted taper, faint and small,


    Gave out its dun-rays thro' the dark,
    On vaulted roof and crusted wall;
    On stones reversed in crumbling mould,
    And blacken'd poles of bier decay'd
    That lumb'ring on the ground were laid;
    On sculptured wrecks, defaced and old,
    And shreds of painted 'scutcheons torn
    Which once, in pointed lozenge spread,
    The pillar'd church aloft had worn;
    While new-swept nook and lowly bed,
    Strange sight in such a place!
    Betray'd a piteous case,—
    Man from man's converse torn, the living with the dead.
  • XVIII.

  • The basket's store of viands and bread,
    Produced with looks of kind inviting,
    Her hands with busy kindness spread;
    And he her kindly care requiting,


    Fell to with thanks and relish keen,
    Nodded and quaff'd her health between,
    While she his glee return'd, her smiles with tears uniting.
    No lordling at his banquet rare
    E'er tasted such delicious fare;
    No beauty on her silken seat,
    With lover kneeling at her feet,
    E'er wept and smiled by turns with smiles so fondly sweet
  • XIX.

  • But soon youth's buoyant gladsome nature
    Spreads joy unmix'd o'er every feature,
    As she her tale is archly telling
    Of feuds within their busy dwelling,
    While, round the sav'ry table sitting,
    She gleans his meal, the rest unwitting,
    How she, their open eyes deceiving,
    So dext'rous has become in thieving.
    She tells, how, of some trifle prating,
    She stirs them all to keen debating,


    While into napkin'd lap she's sliding
    Her portion, oft renew'd, and hiding,
    Beneath the board, her store; amazing
    Her jealous Frere, oft on her gazing.
    Then with his voice and eager eye,
    She speaks in harmless mimickry.
    "Mother! was e'er the like beheld?
    "Some wolf possesses our Griseld;
    "She clears her dish, as I'm a sinner!
    "Like plowman at his new-year's dinner."
  • XX.

  • And what each urchin, one by one,
    Had best in sport or lesson done,
    She fail'd not to repeat:
    Tho' sorry tales they might appear
    To a fastidious critic's ear,
    They were to him most sweet.

  • XXI.

  • But they must part till o'er the sky
    Night cast again her sable dye
    For ah! her term is almost over
    How fleetly hath it flown!
    As fleetly as with tristed lover
    The stealthy hour is gone.
    And could there be in lovers' meeting
    More powerful chords to move the mind,
    Fond heart to heart responsive beating,
    Than in that tender hour, pure, pious love entwined?
  • XXII.

  • Thus, night succeeding night, her love
    Did its unwearied nature prove,
    Tender and fearless; till, obscured by crimes,
    Again so darkly lower'd the changeful times,
    That her good sire, tho' shut from light of day,
    Might in that lowly den no longer stay.

  • XXIII.

  • From Edinbrough town a courier came,
    And round him flock'd the castle's dame,
    Children and servants, young and old.
    "What news? what news? thy visage sad
    "Betrays too plainly tidings bad."
    And so it did; alas! sad was the tale he told.
    "From the oppressor's deadly hate
    "Good Jerviswood has met his fate
    "Upon the lofty scaffold, where
    "He bore himself with dauntless air;
    "Albeit, with mortal sickness spent,
    "Upon a woman's arm he leant.
    "From earth to heaven at yestere'en he went."
  • XXIV.

  • In silence deep the list'ners stood,
    An instant horror chill'd their blood.


    The lady groan'd, and turn'd aside
    Her fears and troubled thoughts to hide.
    The children wept, then went to play;
    The servants cried "Awaladay!"
    But oh! what inward sights, which borrow
    The forms that are not, changing still,
    Like shadows on a broken rill,
    Were blended with our damsel's sorrow!
    Those lips, those eyes so sweetly mild,
    That bless'd her as a humble child;
    The block in sable, deadly trim,
    The kneeling form, the headsman grim,
    The sever'd head with life-blood streaming,—
    Were ever 'thwart her fancy gleaming.
    Her father, too, in perilous state,
    He may be seiz'd, and like his friend
    Upon the fatal scaffold bend.
    May Heaven preserve him still from such a dreadful end!
    And then she thought, if this must be,
    Who, honour'd sire, will wait on thee,


    And serve thy wants with decent pride,
    Like Baillie's kinswoman, subduing fear
    With fearless love, thy last sad scene to cheer,
    Ev'n on the scaffold standing by thy side?
    A friend like his, dear father, thou shalt have,
    To serve thee to the last, and linger round thy grave.
  • XXV.

  • Her father then, who narrowly
    With life escaped, was forced to fly
    His dangerous home, a home no more,
    And cross the sea. A friendly shore
    Receiv'd the fugitive, and there,
    Like prey broke from the spoiler's snare,
    To join her hapless lord, the dame
    With all her num'rous fam'ly came;
    And found asylum, where th' opprest
    Of Scotland's patriot sons had rest,
    Like sea-fowl clust'ring in the rock
    To shun some rising tempest's shock.

  • XXVI.

  • But said I all the fam'ly? no:
    Word incorrect! it was not so:
    For one, the youngest child, confin'd
    With fell disease, was left behind;
    While certain things, as thus by stealth
    They fled, regarding worldly wealth
    Of much import, were left undone;
    And who will now that peril run,
    Again to visit Scotland's shore,
    From whence they did in fear depart,
    And to each parent's yearning heart
    The darling child restore?
  • XXVII.

  • And who did for affection's sake
    This task of peril undertake?
    O! who but she, whose bosom swell'd
    With feelings high, whose self-devotion
    Follow'd each gen'rous, strong emotion,
    The young, the sweet, the good, the brave Griseld.


  • Yes; she again cross'd o'er the main,
    And things of moment left undone,
    Tho' o'er her head had scarcely run
    Her nineteenth year, no whit deluded
    By wily fraud, she there concluded,
    And bore the youngling to its own again.
  • XXIX.

  • But when she reach'd the Belgian strand,
    Hard was her lot. Fast fell the rain,
    And there lay many miles of land,
    A stranger's land, ere she might gain
    The nearest town. With hardship crost,
    The wayward child its shoes had lost;
    Their coin was spent, their garments light,
    And dark and dreary was the night.
    Then like some gypsie girl on desert moor,
    Her helpless charge upon her back she bore.
    Who then had guess'd that figure slight,
    So bending in such humble plight,


    Was one of proud and gentle race,
    Possessing all that well became
    Th' accomplish'd maid or high-born dame,
    Befitting princely hall or monarch's court to grace?
  • XXX.

  • Their minds from many racking cares reliev'd,
    The gladsome parents to their arms receiv'd
    Her and the infant dear, caressing
    The twain by turns; while many a blessing,
    Which sweetly all her toil repaid,
    Was shed upon their gen'rous maid:
    And tho' the inmates of a humble home,
    To which they had as wretched outlaws come,
    Tho' hard their alter'd lot might be,
    In crowded city pent,
    They lived with mind and body free
    In grateful, quiet content.

  • XXXI.

  • And well, with ready hand and heart,
    Each task of toilsome duty taking,
    Did one dear inmate play her part,
    The last asleep, the earliest waking.
    Her hands each nightly couch prepared,
    And frugal meal on which they fared;
    Unfolding spread the servet white,
    And deck'd the board with tankard bright.
    Thro' fretted hose and garment rent,
    Her tiny needle deftly went,
    Till hateful penury, so graced,
    Was scarcely in their dwelling traced.
    With rev'rence to the old she clung,
    With sweet affection to the young.
    To her was crabbed lesson said,
    To her the sly petition made.
    To her was told each petty care;
    By her was lisp'd the tardy prayer,


    What time the urchin, half undrest
    And half asleep, was put to rest.
  • XXXII.

  • There is a sight all hearts beguiling,—
    A youthful mother to her infant smiling,
    Who, with spread arms and dancing feet,
    And cooing voice, returns its answer sweet.
    Who does not love to see the grandame mild,
    Lesson with yearning looks the list'ning child?
    But 'tis a thing of saintlier nature,
    Amidst her friends of pigmy stature,
    To see the maid in youth's fair bloom,
    A guardian sister's charge assume,
    And, like a touch of angel's bliss,
    Receive from each its grateful kiss.—
    To see them, when their hour of love is past,
    Aside their grave demeanour cast.
    With her in mimick war they wrestle;
    Beneath her twisted robe they nestle;


    Upon her glowing cheek they revel,
    Low bended to their tiny level;
    While off, her lovely neck bestriding
    Crows some arch imp, like huntsman riding.
    This is a sight the coldest heart may feel;—
    To make down rugged cheeks the kindly tear to steal.

  • But when the toilsome sun was set,
    And ev'ning groups together met,
    (For other strangers shelter'd there
    Would seek with them to lighten care,)
    Her feet still in the dance mov'd lightest,
    Her eye with merry glance beam'd brightest,
    Her braided locks, were coil'd the neatest,
    Her carol song was trill'd the sweetest;
    And round the fire, in winter cold,
    No archer tale than hers was told.

  • XXXIV.

  • O! spirits gay, and kindly heart!
    Precious the blessings ye impart!
    Tho' all unwittingly the while,
    Ye make the pining exile smile,
    And transient gladness charm his pain,
    Who ne'er shall see his home again.
    Ye make the stern misanthrope's brow
    With tint of passing kindness glow,
    And age spring from his elbow-chair
    The sport of lightsome glee to share.
    Thus did our joyous maid bestow
    Her beamy soul on want and woe;
    While proud, poor men, in thread-bare suit,
    Frisk'd on the floor with lightsome foot,
    And from her magic circle chace
    The fiends that vex the human race.

  • XXXV.

  • And do not, gentle reader, chide,
    If I record her harmless pride,
    Who sacrificed the hours of sleep,
    Some show of better times to keep;
    That, tho' as humble soldier dight,
    A stripling brother might more trimly stand
    With pointed cuff and collar white,
    Like one of gentle race mix'd with a homelier band.
    And in that band of low degree
    Another youth of gentle blood
    Was found, who late had cross'd the sea,
    The son of virtuous Jerviswood,
    Who did as common sentry wait
    Before a foreign prince's gate.
    And if his eye, oft on the watch,
    One look of sweet Griseld might catch,
    It was to him no dull nor irksome state.

  • XXXVI.

  • And thus some happy years stole by;
    Adversity with Virtue mated,
    Her state of low obscurity,
    Set forth but as deep shadows, fated
    By Heaven's high will to make the light
    Of future skies appear more bright.
    And thus, at lowest ebb, man's thoughts are oft elated.
    He deems not that the very struggle
    Of active virtue, and the war
    She bravely holds with present ill,
    Sustain'd by hope, does by the skill
    Of some conceal'd and happy juggle,
    Become itself the good which yet seems distant far.
    So, when their lamp of fortune burn'd
    With brightest ray, our worthies turn'd,
    A recollection, fondly bent,
    On these, their happiest years, in humble dwelling spent.


  • At length the sky, so long with clouds o'ercast,
    Unveil'd its cope of azure hue,
    And gave its fair expanse to view;—
    The pelting storm of tyranny was past.

  • For he, the Prince of glorious memory,
    The Prince, who shall, as passing ages fly,
    Be blest; whose wise, enlighten'd, manly mind,
    Ev'n when but with a stripling's years combin'd,
    Had with unyielding courage oft contended
    For Europe's freedom,—for religion, blended
    With just, forbearing charity, and all
    To man most dear;—now, at the honour'd call
    Of Britain's patriot sons, the ocean plow'd
    With gallant fleet, encompassed by a crowd
    Of soldiers, statesmen, souls of proof, who vow'd
    Firm by his side to stand, let good or ill befall.


    And with those worthies, 'twas a happy doom,
    Right fairly earn'd, embark'd Sir Patrick Hume.
    Their fleet, tho' long at sea, and tempest-tost,
    In happy hour at last arrived on England's coast.
  • XXXIX.

  • Meantime his Dame and our fair Maid
    Still on the coast of Holland stay'd,
    With anxious and misgiving minds,
    List'ning the sound of warring winds:
    The ocean rose with deaf'ning roar,
    And beat upon the trembling shore,
    Whilst breakers dash'd their whit'ning spray
    O'er mound and dyke with angry bray,
    As if it would engulph again
    The land once rescued from its wild domain.
  • XL.

  • Oft on the beach our Damsel stood
    Midst groups of many a fearful Wight,


    Who viewed, like her, the billowy flood,
    Silent and sad, with visage shrunk and white,
    While bloated corse and splinter'd mast,
    And bale and cask on shore were cast,—
    A sad and rueful sight!
    But when, at the Almighty will,
    The tempest ceas'd, and sea was still,
    From Britain's isle glad tidings came,
    Received with loud and long acclaim.
  • XLI.

  • But joy appears with shrouded head
    To those who sorrow o'er the dead;
    For, struck with sore disease, while there
    They tarried pent in noisome air,
    The sister of her heart, whom she
    Had watch'd and tended lovingly,
    Like blighted branch whose blossoms fade,
    That day was in her coffin laid.


    She heard the chimed bells loudly ringing,
    She heard the carol'd triumph singing,
    And clam'rous throng, and shouting boys,
    And thought how vain are human joys!
  • XLII.

  • Howbeit, her grief at length gives way
    To happier thoughts, as dawns the day
    When her kind parent and herself depart,
    In royal Mary's gentle train,
    To join, ere long, the dearest to her heart,
    In their own native land again.
    They soon their own fair island hail'd,
    As on the rippling sea they sail'd.
    Ye well may guess their joyful cry,
    With up-raised hands and glist'ning eye,
    When, rising from the ocean blue,
    Her chalky cliffs first met their view,
    Whose white verge on th' horizon rear'd,
    Like wall of noon-day clouds appear'd.

  • XLIII.

  • These ye may guess, for well the show
    And outward signs of joy we know.
    But cease we on this theme to dwell,
    For pen or pencil cannot tell
    The thrill of keen delight from which they flow.
    Such moments of extatic pleasure
    Are fancy's fairest, brightest treasure,
    Gilding the scope of duller days
    With oft-recurring retrospect,
    With which right happily she plays.
    Ev'n as a moving mirror will reflect
    Its glancing rays on shady side
    Of holme or glen, when school-boys guide
    With skilful hands their mimick sun
    To heaven's bright sun opposed; we see
    Its borrow'd sheen on fallow dun,
    On meadow green, on rock and tree,
    On broomy steep, on rippling spring,
    On cottage thatch, and every thing.

  • XLIV.

  • And Britain's virtuous Queen admired
    Our gentle Maid, and in her train
    Of ladies will'd her to remain:
    What more could young ambition have desired?
    But, like the blossom to the bough,
    Or wall-flower to the ruin's brow,
    Or tendril to the fost'ring stock,
    Or sea-weed to the briny rock,
    Or misletoe to sacred tree,
    Or daisy to the swarded lea,
    So truly to her own she clung;—
    Nor cared for honours vain, from courtly favour sprung.
  • XLV.

  • Nor would she in her native North,
    When woo'd by one of wealth and worth,
    The neighbour of her happy home,
    Tho' by her gentle parents press'd,
    And flatter'd, courted and caress'd,
    A splendid bride become.


    "I may not," said her gentle heart,
    "The very thought endure,
    "That those so kind should feel the smart
    "A daughter's wants might oft impart,
    "For Jerviswood is poor.
    "But yet, tho' poor, why should I smother
    "This dear regard? he'll be my brother,
    "And thus thro' life we'll love each other,
    "What tho', as changing years flit by,
    "Grey grow my head, and dim his eye!
    "We'll meekly bear our wayward fate,
    "And scorn their petty spite who rate,
    "With senseless gibes, the single state,
    "Till we are join'd, at last, in heavenly bliss on high."
  • XLVI.

  • But Heaven for them decreed a happier lot:
    The father of the virtuous youth,
    Who died devoted for the truth,
    Was not, when better times return'd, forgot:


    To the right heir was given his father's land,
    And with his lady's love, he won her hand.
  • XLVII.

  • Their long-tried faith in honour plighted,
    They were a pair by Heaven united,
    Whose wedded love, thro' lengthen'd years,
    The trace of early fondness wears.
    Her heart first guess'd his doubtful choice,
    Her ear first caught his distant voice,
    And from afar, her wistful eye
    Would first his graceful form descry.
    Ev'n when he hied him forth to meet
    The open air in lawn or street,
    She to her casement went,
    And after him, with smile so sweet,
    Her look of blessing sent.
    The heart's affection,—secret thing!
    Is like the cleft rock's ceaseless spring,


    Which free and independent flows
    Of summer rains or winter snows.
    The fox-glove from its side may fall,
    The heath-bloom fade or moss-flower white,
    But still its runlet, bright tho' small,
    Will issue sweetly to the light.

  • How long an honour'd and a happy pair,
    They held their seemly state in mansion fair,
    I will not here in chiming verses say,
    To tire my reader with a lengthen'd lay;
    For tranquil bliss is as a summer day
    O'er broad Savanna shining; fair it lies,
    And rich the trackless scene, but soon our eyes,
    In search of meaner things, turn heavily away.
  • XLIX.

  • But no new ties of wedded life,
    That bind the mother and the wife,


    Her tender, filial heart could change,
    Or from its earliest friends estrange.
    The child, by strong affection led,
    Who brav'd her terror of the dead
    To save an outlaw'd parent, still
    In age was subject to his will.
    She then was seen with matron air,
    A Dame of years, with count'nance fair,
    Tho' faded, sitting by his easy chair.
    A sight that might the heart's best feelings move!
    Behold her seated at her task of love!
    Books, papers, pencil, pen, and slate,
    And column'd scrolls of ancient date,
    Before her lie, on which she looks
    With searching glance, and gladly brooks
    An irksome task, that else might vex
    His temper, or his brain perplex;
    While, haply, on the matted floor,
    Close nestling at her kirtled feet,
    Its lap enrich'd with childish store,
    Sits, hush'd and still, a grandchild sweet,


    Who looks at times with eye intent,
    Full on its grandame's parent bent,
    Viewing his deeply-furrowed brow,
    And sunken lip and locks of snow,
    In serious wonderment.
    Well said that grateful sire, I ween!
    Still thro' life's many a varied scene,
    Griseld our dear and helpful child hath been.
  • L.

  • Tho' ever cheerfully possessing
    In its full zest the present blessing,
    Her grateful heart remembrance cherish'd
    Of all to former happiness allied,
    Nor in her fost'ring fancy perish'd
    Ev'n things inanimate that had supplied
    Means of enjoyment once. Maternal love,
    Active and warm, which nothing might restrain,
    Led her once more, in years advanced, to rove
    To distant southern climes, and once again


    Her footsteps press'd the Belgian shore,
    The town, the very street that was her home of yore.
  • LI.

  • Fondly that homely house she eyed,
    The door, the windows, every thing
    Which to her back-cast thoughts could bring
    The scenes of other days.—Then she applied
    To knocker bright her thrilling hand,
    And begg'd, as strangers in the land,
    Admittance from the household Dame,
    And thus preferr'd her gentle claim:
    "This house was once my happy home,
    "Its rooms, its stair, I fain would see;
    "Its meanest nook is dear to me,
    "Let me and mine within its threshold come."
    But no; this might not be!
    Their feet might soil her polish'd floor,
    The Dame held fast the hostile door,
    A Belgian housewife she.


    "Fear not such harm! we'll doff our shoes:
    "Do not our earnest suit refuse!
    "We'll give thee thanks, we'll give thee gold;
    "Do not kind courtesy with-hold!"
    But still it might not be;
    The dull unpliant Dame refus'd her gentle plea.
  • LII.

  • With her and her good lord, who still
    Sweet union held of mated will,
    Years pass'd away with lightsome speed;
    But ah! their bands of bliss at length were riven;
    And she was cloth'd in widow's sable weed,
    Submitting to the will of Heaven.
    And then a prosp'rous race of children good
    And tender, round their noble mother stood.
    And she the while, cheer'd with their pious love,
    Waited her welcome summons from above.

  • LIII.

  • But whatsoe'er the weal or woe
    That Heaven across her lot might throw,
    Full well her Christian spirit knew
    Its path of virtue, straight and true.
    When came the shock of evil times, menacing
    The peaceful land—when blood and lineage tracing
    As the sole claim to Britain's throne, in spite
    Of Britain's weal or will, Chiefs of the North,
    In warlike muster, led their clansmen forth,
    Brave, faithful, strong and toughly nerved,
    Would they a better cause had served!
    For Stuart's dynasty to fight,
    Distress to many a family came,
    Who dreaded more th' approaching shame
    Of penury's ill-favour'd mien,
    Than ev'n the pang of hunger keen.
    How softly then her pity flow'd!
    How freely then her hand bestow'd!


    She did not question their opinion
    Of party, kingship, or dominion:
    She would not ev'n their folly chide,
    But like the sun and showers of heaven,
    Which to the false and true are given,
    Want and distress reliev'd on either side.
  • LIV.

  • But soon, from fear of future change,
    The evil took a wider range.
    The Northern farmers, spoil'd and bare,
    No more could rent or produce spare
    To the soil's lords. All were distress'd,
    And on our Noble Dame this evil sorely press'd.
    Her household numerous, her means with-held;
    Shall she her helpless servants now dismiss
    To rob or starve, in such a time as this,
    Or wrong to others do? But nothing quell'd
    Her calm and upright mind.—"Go, summon here
    "Those who have serv'd me many a year."


    The summons went; each lowly name
    Full swiftly to her presence came,
    And thus she spoke: "Ye've served me long,
    "Pure, as I think, from fraud or wrong,
    "And now, my friendly neighbours, true
    "And simply I will deal with you.
    "The times are shrew'd, my treasures spent,
    "My farms have ceas'd to yield me rent;
    "And it may chance that rent or grain
    "I never shall receive again.
    "The dainties which my table fed,
    "Will now be changed for daily bread,
    "Dealt sparely, and for this I must
    "Be debtor to your patient trust,
    "If ye consent."—Swift thro' the hall,
    With eager haste, spoke one and all.
    "No, noble Dame! this must not be!
    "With heart as warm and hand as free,
    "Still thee and thine we'll serve with pride,
    "As when fair fortune graced your side.


    "The best of all our stores afford
    "Shall daily smoke upon thy board;
    "And, should'st thou never clear the score,
    "Heaven for thy sake will bless our store."
    She bent her head with courtesy,
    The big tear swelling in her eye,
    And thank'd them all. Yet plain and spare,
    She order'd still her household fare,
    Till fortune's better dye was cast,
    And adverse times were past.
  • LV.

  • Good, tender, gen'rous, firm and sage,
    Thro' grief and gladness, shade and sheen,
    As fortune changed life's motley scene,
    Thus pass'd she on to rev'rend age.
    And when the heavenly summons came,
    Her spirit from its mortal frame
    And weight of mortal cares to free,
    It was a blessed sight to see,


    The parting saint her state of honour keeping
    In gifted dauntless faith, whilst round her, weeping,
    Her children's children mourn'd on bended knee.
  • LVI.

  • In London's fair imperial town
    She laid her earthly burthen down.
    In Mellerstain, her northern home,
    Was rais'd for her a graven tomb
    Which gives to other days her modest, just renown.

    And now, ye polish'd fair of modern times,
    If such indeed will listen to my rhymes,
    What think ye of her simple, modest worth,
    Whom I have faintly tried to shadow forth?
    How vain the thought! as if ye stood in need
    For pattern ladies in dull books to read.
    Will she such antiquated virtues prize,
    Who with superb Signoras proudly vies,


    Trilling before the dear admiring crowd
    With out-stretch'd straining throat, bravuras loud,
    Her high-heav'd breast press'd hard, as if to boast
    The inward pain such mighty efforts cost:
    Or on the white-chalk'd floor, at midnight hour,
    Her head with many a flaunting full-blown flower
    And bartisan of braided locks enlarged,