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"The breath of one, of evil deed,
"A being, whom no blessed word
"Up, up, unhappy! haste, arise!
I charge thee not to stop my voice,
Amid them all a Pilgrim kneel'd,
For forty days and nights so drear,
Amid the penitential flock,
Seem'd none more bent to pray,
His weary course he drew,
His unblest feet his native seat,
Through woods more fair no stream more sweet Rolls to the eastern main.
And Lords to meet the Pilgrim came,
And boldly for his country still,
Aye, e'en when, on the banks of Till,
Sweet are the paths, O, passing sweet!
There the rapt poet's step may rove,
From that fair dome, where suit is paid
To Auchendinny's hazel glade,
Who knows not Melville's beechy grove,
Dalkeith, which all the virtues love,
Yet never a path, from day to day,
To Burndale's ruined Grange.
A woeful place was that, I ween,
For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall,
It fell upon a summer's eve,
While, on Carnethy's head,
The last faint gleams of the sun's low beams
Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was,
He gaz'd on the walls, so scath'd with fire,
And there was aware of a Grey Friar,
"Now, Christ thee save!" said the Grey Brother "Some pilgrim thou seem'st to be;"
But in sore amaze did Lord Albert gaze,
Nor answer again made he.
ye from east, or come ye from west, Or bring reliques from over the sea,
Or come ye from the shrine of Saint James the divine, Or Saint John of Beverley?"
"I come not from the shrine of Saint James the divine, Nor bring reliques from over the sea;
I bring but a curse from our father, the Pope,
"Now, woeful Pilgrim, say not so!
And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly sin,
"And who art thou, thou Grey Brother, That I should shrive to thee,
When he, to whom are giv'n the keys of earth and
Has no pow'r to pardon me?"
"O I am sent from a distant clime,
THOMAS THE RHYMER.
IN THREE PARTS.
[FEW personages are so renowned in tradition as Thomas of Erceldoune, known by the appellation of The Rhymer. It is agreed, on all hands, that the residence, and probably the birth place, of this ancient bard, was Erceldoune, a village situate upon the Leader, two miles above its junction with the Tweed. The ruins of an ancient tower are still pointed out as the Rhymer's castle. The uniform tradition bears, that his sirname was Lermont, or Learmont; and that the appellation of The Rhymer was conferred on him in consequence of his poetical compositions. There remains, nevertheless, some doubt upon this subject.
We are better able to ascertain the periol, at which Thomas of Erceldoune lived; being the latter end of the thirteenth century. It cannot be doubted, that Thomas of Erceldoune was a remarkable and important person in his own time, since very shortly after his death, we find him celebrated as a prophet, and as a poet. Whether he bimself made any pretensions to the first of these characters, or whether it was gratuitously conferred upon him by the credulity of posterity, it seems difficult to decide. The popular tale bears, that Thomas was carried off, at an early age, to the Fairy Land, where he acquired all the knowledge, which made him afterwards so famous. After seven years' residence he was permitted to return to the earth, to enlighten and astonish his countrymen, by his prophetic powers, stil, however, remaining bound to return to his royal mistress, when she should intimate her pleasure. Accordingly, while Thomas was making merry with his friends, in the tower of Erceldoune, a person came running in, and told, with marks of fear and astonishment, that a hart and hind had left the neighbouring forest, and were composedly and slowly parading the street of the village. The prophet instantly arose, left his habitation, and followed the wonderful animals to the forest, whence he was never seen to return.
The following ballad, is given from a copy, obtained from a lady, residing not far from Erceldoune, corrected and enlarged by one in Mrs Brown's MSS To this old tale the author has ventured to add a Second Part, consisting of a kind of Cento, from the printed prophecies vulgarly ascribed to the Rhymer; and a Third Part, entirely modern, founded upon the tradition of his having returned with the hart and hind, to the Land of Faerie.]
TRUE Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.
Her shirt was o' the grass-green silk,
At ilka tett of her horse's mane,
And louted low down to his knee,-
For thy peer on earth I never did see." "O no, O no, Thomas," she said;
"That name does not belang to me; I am but the queen of fair Elfland,
That am hither come to visit thee. "Harp and carp, Thomas," she said;
"Harp and carp along with me; And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be." "Betide me weal, betide me woe,
That weird shall never danton me." Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips,
All underneath the Eildon Tree. "Now, ye maun go wi' me," she said;
"True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me; And ye maun serve me seven years,
Through weal or woe as may chance to be," She mounted on her milk-white steed;
She's ta'en true Thomas up behind; And aye, whene'er her bridle rung,
The steed flew swifter than the wind,
O they rade on, and farther on;
The steed gaed swifter than the wind; Until they reach'd a desart wide,
And living land was left behind.
"Light down, light down, now, true Thomas, And lean your head upon my knee Abide, and rest a little space,
And I will shew you ferlies three.
"O see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briers ?-
That weird, &c.-That destiny shall never frighten ma