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"The breath of one, of evil deed,
Pollutes our sacred day;
He has no portion in our creed,
No part in what I say.

"A being, whom no blessed word
To ghostly peace can bring;
A wretch, at whose approach abhorr'd,
Recoils each holy thing.

"Up, up, unhappy! haste, arise!
My adjuration fear!

I charge thee not to stop my voice,
Nor longer tarry here!"

Amid them all a Pilgrim kneel'd,
In gown of sackcloth gray:
Far journeying from his native field,
He first saw Rome that day.

For forty days and nights so drear,
I ween, he had not spoke,
And, save with bread and water clear,
His fast he ne'er had broke,

Amid the penitential flock,

Seem'd none more bent to pray,
But, when the Holy Father spoke,
He rose, and went his way.
Again unto his native land,

His weary course he drew,
To Lothian's fair and fertile strand,
And Pentland's mountains blue,

His unblest feet his native seat,
Mid Eske's fair woods, regain;

Through woods more fair no stream more sweet Rolls to the eastern main.

And Lords to meet the Pilgrim came,
And vassals bent the knee;
For all mid Scotland's chiefs of fame,
Was none more fam'd than he.

And boldly for his country still,
In battle he had stood,

Aye, e'en when, on the banks of Till,
Her noblest foar'd their blood.

Sweet are the paths, O, passing sweet!
By Eske's fair streams that run,
O'er airy steep, through copsewood deep,
Impervious to the sun.

There the rapt poet's step may rove,
And yield the muse the day;
There Beauty, led by timid Love,
May shun the tell-tale ray;

From that fair dome, where suit is paid
By blast of bugle free,

To Auchendinny's hazel glade,
And haunted Woodhouselee.

Who knows not Melville's beechy grove,
And Roslin's rocky glen,

Dalkeith, which all the virtues love,
And classic Hawthornden?

Yet never a path, from day to day,
The Pilgrim's footsteps range,
Save but the solitary way

To Burndale's ruined Grange.

A woeful place was that, I ween,
As sorrow could desire;

For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall,
And the roof was scath'd with fire.

It fell upon a summer's eve,

While, on Carnethy's head,

The last faint gleams of the sun's low beams
Had streak'd the grey with red;

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Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was,
Nor ever rais'd his eye,
Until he came to that dreary place,
Which did all in ruins lie.

He gaz'd on the walls, so scath'd with fire,
With many a bitter groan-

And there was aware of a Grey Friar,
Resting him on a stone.

"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?"

"O come


"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,
Which for ever will cling to me."

"Now, woeful Pilgrim, say not so!
But kneel thee down by me,

And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly sin,
That absolved thou may'st be."

"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,
Five thousand miles away,
And all to absolve a foul, foul crime,
Done here 'twixt night and day."
The Pilgrim kneel'd him on the sand,
And thus began his saye-
When on his neck an ice-cold hand
Did that Grey Brother laye.



[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;
A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e;
And there he saw a ladye bright,

Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

Her shirt was o' the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;

At ilka tett of her horse's mane,
Hang fifty siller bells and nine,
True Thomas, he pull'd aff his cap,

And louted low down to his knee,-
"All hail, thou mighty queen of heaven!

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 is the path of righteousness,
Though after it but few enquires.

That weird, &c.-That destiny shall never frighten ma

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