MELROSE ABBEY AS IT IS. glim-mers, shines glimmen. squadl-ron, a body drawn cen'tral, middle

centrum, up in a square al-ter-nate-ly, in suc

chan-cel, the eastern part cession


of a church, where the glis/-tened, shone faintly glisian. altar is a-posl-tate, traitor apo, stasis. cap'-i-tal, the upper part urn, a vessel in which the

of a pillar ashes of the dead were

fo-li-aged, with leaves cut formerly kept

out on it post-ern, a back door or

tra'-cer-y, ornamental gate; any small door

stone-work or gate






Melrose Abbey lies a little to the north-east of the town of Melrose, in Roxburghshire. It was founded in 1136 by David I., king of Scotland, as an establishment for some monks who were denominated Cistertians. “These monks were noted for their industrious habits, and their patronage and practice of such departments of the fine arts and practical science as were known in the Middle Ages; and, in common with all the monastic tribes, they regarded the embellishing of ecclesiastical edifices up to a degree as high as their scientific and financial resources could produce, as pre-eminently and even

meritoriously a work of piety.” “ The architecture is the richest Gothic, combining the best features of its gracefulness and elaboration, and everywhere showing a delicacy of touch, and a boldness of execution, which evince the perfection of the style. The material, while soft enough to admit great nicety of chiselling, possesses such power of resistance to the weather, that even the most minute ornaments retain nearly as much sharpness of edge or integrity of feature as when they were fresh from the chisel. The abbey, though inferior in proportions to many works of its class, and only about half the dimensions of Yorkminster, is the most beautiful of all the ecclesiastical structures which seem ever to have been reared in Scotland; and has seldom, in aggregate architectural excellence, been surpassed, or even equalled, by the edifices of any land.”Gazetteer of Scotland.

If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout? the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel a glimmers white ;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress 3, alternately,

Seem framed of ebon and ivory ; | Flout, to mock.

s Buttress, a mass of brickwork or · Oriel, in Gothic architecture, a masonry to support the side of a wall bay window.

of great height. “ The buttresses

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When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;
Then go — but go alone the while-
Then view St. David's ruined pilel:
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto II.).


Again on the Knight looked the Churchman old,

And again he sighed heavily ;
For he had himself been a warrior bold,

And fought in Spain and Italy.
And he thought on the days that were long since by,
When his limbs were strong, and his courage was high :
Now, slow and faint, he led the way,
Where, cloistered round, the garden lay;

The pillared arches were over their head,
And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.2

Spreading herbs, and flowerets bright,
Glistened with the dew of night;
Nor herb, nor floweret glistened there,
But was carved in the cloister arches as fair.
The Monk gazed long on the lovely moon,

Then into the night he looked forth ;
And red and bright the streamers light

Were dancing in the glowing north. So had he seen, in fair Castile,

The youth in glittering squadrons start; Sudden the flying jennet wheel,

And hurl the unexpected dart.

ranged along the sides of the ruins of i St. David s pile, so called because Melrose Abbey are, according to the it was founded and endowed by David Gothic style, richly carved and I., king of Scotland. fretted, containing niches for the sta- * The cloisters were frequently used tues of saints, and labelled with as places of sepulture. scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of Scripture."-Scott.

He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright,
That spirits were riding the northern light.
By a steel-clenched postern door,

They entered now the chancel tall ;
The darkened roof rose high aloof

On pillars, lofty, and light, and small ;
The key-stone, that locked each ribbed aisle,
Was a fleur-de-lys !, or a quatre-feuille ;
The corbels2 were carved grotesque and grim;
And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourished around,
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound.
Full many a scutcheon and banner, riven,
Shook to the cold night-wind of heaven,

Around the screened altar's pale ;
And there the dying lamps did burn,
Before thy low and

lonely urn, O gallant chief of Otterburne 3

And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale.4
O fading honours of the dead !
O high ambition, lowly laid !
The moon on the east oriel shone,
Through slender shafts of shapely stone,

By foliaged tracery combined;
Thou would'st have thought some fairy's hand
”Twixt poplars straight the ozier wand,

In many a freakish knot, had twined ;
Then framed a spell, when the work was done,
And changed the willow wreaths to stone.
The silver light, so pale and faint,
Shewed many a prophet, and many a saint,

Whose image on the glass was dyed ;
Full in the midst, his Cross of Red

high altar.

1 Fleur-de-lys, the common Iris. however, of their gallant leader. He

Corbels, the projections from was buried at Melrose beneath the which the arches spring, usually in a fantastic face, or mask.

4 William Donglas, called the 3. The battle of Otterbourne was knight of Liddesdale, was so distinfought on the 15th August, 1388, guished by his valour that he was between Henry Percy, called Hot- called the flower of chivalry. He was spur, and James Earl of Douglas. slain while hunting in Ettrick Forest, The Scots won the day, with the loss, and was interred in Melrose.

Triumphant Michael brandished,

And trampled the Apostate's pride.
The moon-beam kissed the holy pane,
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain.

Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto II.).



sub-lime', graced sublimis. tor-rents, rapid streams torreo.
be-net-i-cence, goodness bene, facio. un-con-scious, not
com-bíned, united binus.


scio. spheres, worlds

sphaira. con-stel-lal-tions, cluspro-ful-sion, abundance fundo. ters of fixed stars stella. re-volves), moves round volvo. pros-trate, lying down - prostratum. ad-o-ra'-tion, divine wor

phil-o-me-la, nightinship

gale. rus'-sets, makes brown

sus-tain -ing, upholding teneo. at-tune, sing

verge, border



THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields ; the softening air is balm;
Echo, the mountains round; the forest smiles ;
And every sense, and every heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the Summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks :
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales.
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful thou ! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rollid,

i Sir Michael Scott was a person of among his contemporaries as a skilful much learning. He was addicted to magician. He is sometimes styled astrology, alchymy, and other ab- the renowned wizard. struse studies.

He therefore passed

Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing!
Riding sublime, thou bid'st the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combined,
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade,
And all so forming an harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres ;
Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempest forth;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.

Nature, attend ! join every living soul,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join; and, ardent, raise
One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes;
Oh, talk of Him in solitary glooms,
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake the astonished world, lift high to heaven
The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage.
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills,
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise, whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.
Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds, to Him, whose sun exalts,

| “And he rode on a cherub, and did fly; yea, he did fly on the wings of the wind.”—Ps. xviii. 10.

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