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WRITTEN UNDER THE THREAT OF INVASION IN THE AUTUMN OF 1804.1
THE Forest of Glenmore is drear,
It is all of black pine and the dark oak-tree;
The moon looks through the drifting storm,
That mingles with the groaning oak-
And the lake-waves dashing against the rock;There is a voice within the wood, The voice of the bard in fitful mood;
His song was louder than the blast,
As the bard of Glenmore through the forest past.
"Wake ye from your sleep of death, Minstrels and bards of other days!
For the midnight is on the heath,
And the midnight meteors dimly blaze:
[This poem was first published in the "English Minstrelsy," 2 vols. Edin. 1810.]
The Spectre with his Bloody Hand,'
"Souls of the mighty, wake and say,
To what high strain your harps were strung,
And on your shores her Norsemen flung?
"Mute are ye all? No murmurs strange
Nor through the pines, with whistling change,
"O yet awake the strain to tell, By every deed in song enroll'd, By every chief who fought or fell,
For Albion's weal in battle bold;From Coilgach, first who roll'd his car Through the deep ranks of Roman war, To him, of veteran memory dear,
Who victor died on Aboukir.
'The forest of Glenmore is haunted by a spirit called Lhamdearg, or Red-hand.
Where the Norwegian invader of Scotland received two bloody defeats.
The Galgacus of Tacitus.
By all their swords, by all their scars,
The wind is hush'd, and still the lake-
At the dread voice of other years-
"O, OPEN the door, some pity to show, Keen blows the northern wind!
The glen is white with the drifted snow,
"No outlaw seeks your castle gate,
'[This, and the two following, were first published in Haydn's Collection of Scottish Airs, vol. ii. Edin. 1806.]
"A weary Palmer, worn and weak,
O, open, for Our Lady's sake!
"I'll give you pardons from the Pope, And reliques from o'er the sea,Or if for these you will not ope,
Yet open for charity.
"The hare is crouching in her form, The hart beside the hind;
An aged man, amid the storm,
"You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
"The iron gate is bolted hard,
The Ranger on his couch lay warm,
For lo, when through the vapours dank, Morn shone on Ettrick fair,
A corpse amid the alders rank,
The Palmer welter'd there.
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
THERE is a tradition in Tweeddale, that, when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence the lady fell into a consumption; and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognising her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an incident similar to this traditional tale in Count Hamilton's "Fleur d'Epine."