Page images

“ Yet how ?--for I, if there be truth

In the world's voice, was passing fair;
And beauty for confiding youth

Those shocks of passion can prepare,
That kill the bloom before its time,
And blanch without the owner's crime

The most resplendent hair.

“ Unblest distinction! showered on me,

To bind a lingering life in chains;
All that could quit my grasp, or flee,

Is gone; but not the subtle stains
Fixed in the spirit; for even here
Can I be proud that jealous fear

Of what I was remains.

“ A woman rules my prison's key;

A sister queen, against the bent
Of law and holiest sympathy,

Detains me-doubtful of th' event;
Great God, who feel'st for my distress,
My thoughts are all that I possess,

O keep them innocent!

“ Farewell desire of human aid,

Which abject mortals vainly court,
By friends deceived, by foes betrayed,

Of fears the prey, of hopes the sport;
Nought but the world-redeeming Cross
Is able to supply my loss,

My burthen to support.”

Hark! the death-note of the year

Sounded by the castle clock.
From her funk eyes a stagnant tear

Stole forth, unsettled by the shock;
But oft the woods renewed their green,
Ere the tired head of Scotland's Queen

Reposed upon the block!

Since Holyrood Palace, by the Act of Union, has been made the place of meeting for the election of the noblemen who represent the peerage of Scotland in the Imperial Parliament, it has been, at different times, yet only for short periods, inhabited by the Duke of York, afterwards James II. ; by Prince Charles Stuart; by the Duke of Cumberland; by the King of France from 1795 to 1799; by George IV. on his visit to Edinburgh in 1822; and by Queen Victoria on her annual journeys to Balmoral in the Highlands. For this purpose a certain suite of rooms, on the south side of the quadrangle, is fitted up. The rooms on the north side, a hundred and fifty feet in length, contain a long series of portraits of the Scotch monarchs, most of which are as fictitious as they are miserable. Many of them, indeed, are of personages who existed before the pictorial art existed in Scotland. There is also an indifferent Queen of Scots. In the room where Rizzio was murdered, you are still shown the traditional stains of his blood; and the apartments inhabited by Mary still contain furniture said to have been in use by her, as well as certain tapestry and embroidery, reported to be the work of herself and her ladies.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Melrose Abbey.

Summer was on thee--the meridian light

And, as we wandered through thy columned aisles,
Decked all thy hoar magnificence with smiles,
Making the rugged soft, the gloomy bright;
Nor was reflection from my heart apart,

As clomb our steps the lone and lofty stair,

Till gained the summit, ticked in filent air
Thine ancient clock, as 'twere thy throbbing heart :
Monastic grandeur and baronial pride

Subdued, the former half, the latter quite,

Pile of King David, to thine altar's site,
Full many a footstep guides and long shall guide ;

Where those are met, who met not save in fight,
And Douglas sleeps with Evers, side by side.


[ocr errors]

HE foundation of Melrose Abbey generally

dates from 1136, when David I. of Scotland, amongst his many similar erections, built a church here. But Melrose, as a seat of religion, boasts a much earlier

origin. It was one of those churches, or more properly missionary stations, which the fathers of Ireland and of Iona spread over Britain and the continent: one of those fimple nuclei of the Christian faith, which were in the eleventh and twelfth centuries fo industriously trodden under foot or rooted out by the domineering ambition of Rome. It was in fact a portion of that pure and beautiful British church

which existed prior to the Roman hierarchy in these islands, and of which the professors presented in their primitive habits and primitive doctrines so apoftolic a character.

The way in which these apostles of Iona were introduced into this quarter is thus related by Venerable Bede:-“As soon as Oswald, the King of Northumberland, ascended the throne, being desirous that his nation should receive the Christian faith, whereof he had found happy experience in vanquishing the barbarians, he sent to the elders of the Scots (Irish), amongst whom himself and followers, when in banishment, had received the facrament of baptism, defiring that they would send him a bishop, by whose instruction and ministry the English nation, which he governed, might be taught the advantages and receive the facraments of the Christian faith. Nor were they slow in granting his request, but fent him Bishop Aidan, a man of singular meekness, piety, and moderation; zealous in the cause of God, though not according to knowledge, for he was wont to keep Easter Sunday according to the custom of his country, which we have before so often mentioned from the fourteenth to the twentieth moon,-the northern province of the Scots, and all the nation of the Picts, celebrated Easter then after that manner, and believing that they were following the writings of the holy and praiseworthy Father Anatolius, the truth of which every skilful person can discern; but the Scots which dwelt in the south of Ireland had long since, by the admonition of the bishop of the Apostolic see, learned to observe Easter according to the canonical custom.

“On the arrival of the bishop, the king appointed him his episcopal see in the isle of Lindisfarn, as he desired, which place, as the tide flows and ebbs twice a-day, is enclosed by the waves of the sea like an island, and again twice in the day

[ocr errors][merged small]

when the shore is left dry, become contiguous to the land. The king also, humbly and willingly in all cases giving ear to his admonishers, industriously applied himself to build and extend the Church of Christ in his kingdom, wherein, when the bishop, not being skilful in the English tongue, preached the gospel, it was most delightful to see the king himself interpreting the Word of God to his commanders and ministry, for he had perfectly learned the language of the Scots during his long banishment. From that time many of the Scots came daily into Britain, and with great devotion preached the Word

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »