My young soul stirred to ecstacy

By deeds of the olden time,
My thoughts, unconscious, moulding slow,

In strains of flowing rhyme.
Or wandering on the Hunter Hill,

The dreamy poet boy,
My youthful bosom heaving wild

With strange tumultuous joy,
As round me stretch the mountain groves,

Like dim cathedral aisles,
While sunbeams flash athwart the gloom,

Like God's own holy smiles.
And she I loved- but feelings rise

That are akin to pain,
For, oh, the joys of early love,

They never come again !
Yet still in sunshine, radiant, pure,

Within my heart she dwells,
Her voice vibrating sweet its chords,

Like chime of silver bells.

Again the exulting soul is full

Of early memories,
All revelling blissful in the strains

Of ancient melodies.
The cherished odour of the fir,

Perfumes the mountain air,
The same glad hymn the lav'rock sings,

The uplands bloom as fair.
The ripening grain, so golden bright,

Is waving all around,
The brook runs lapping o'er the stones

With its ancient silver sound.
Lo ! there in corner of the glen,

Beneath the shadow cool
Of hanging woods on Hunter Hill,

My own loved Airniefoul.
And here old Rover wags his tail,

In welcome at the style,
As from my pony I dismount,

And pat his head the while.
Or when from distant village school,

I come at eve's decline,
I hear his joyous bark as in

The days o' langsyne.

The blessed Sabbath peaceful dawns

In all its sacred calm ;
Hark! sweet arise the morning prayer,

The holy altar psalm.
Again within the village church

My pastor's voice I hear;
“Devizes'" notes in plaintive swell,

Oft bringing fond the tear.

The breezes fresh from heather hills

Come fragrant as of yore,
My throbbing pulses bounding beat-

Yes, I am young once more;
And all is fair and beautiful,

Each sound, each sight divine;
Alas ! how dear, how very dear,

The days o' langsyne !

Tears are

No response coming from his friends, the Student, while folding up his manuscript, looked inquiringly around the table to ascertain the cause of the strange silence. To his surprise the several members were in tears. sympathetic, and in the eyes of the amazed and bewildered Student, the tears came quickly and unbidden, although he yet could scarcely tell the reason why. All at once this thought struck him with startling effect—“Have I through my imaginary hero given, by anticipation, expression to the feelings which I may experience in after-life, after having passed through the storms of sixty winters, and suffered all the ills which flesh is heir to ? and are these the calm, yet melancholy reflections, which will, at that decade of my existence, occupy my mind when about to gird up my loins for the passage across the dark river, to the unknown world beyond ? ” The Student, overcome with his emotions, covered his face with his hands, and wept long and bitterly, as one who would not be comforted.

“I think we've been a' greetin' thegither," at last said the Miller, at the same time wiping, with his coat-sleeve, the big tears that still stood in his humid eyes. affectin', though, Maister Student; it cam' to the heart at

- That was very

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ance, an' although I strove hard to hide my feelin's, I was fairly overcome at the last.”

“It is such touches of Nature," solemnly remarked the President, 6. that makes the whole world kin.''

“It's ten minutes ayont the twal,” resumed the Miller. “We'll just hae deuchin doris, then, Auld Langsyne,' an' syne we'll part—happy to meet, sorry to part, and happy to meet again.”

The stirrup-cup was duly handed round, the worthy Chairman remarking during its progress that he hoped they would have many more such happy and profitable meetings in the days that were to come.

All now rose to their feet, and, led by the stentorian voice of the Miller, sung with fine effect, and with considerably greater feeling than their wont, the grand old national anthem, so dear to the heart of every Scotchman, whether at home or abroad.

Descending to the lobby, they found the worthy hostess ready to hand them their greatcoats and mufflers; and the process of wrapping up having been completed to their entire satisfaction, they issued forth from the comfortable hostelrie into the cold air of a frosty winter night.

The winds were now hushed into a calmı, the snow had ceased to fall, and the stars shone out in all their brilliancy and splendour. In the little square in front of the inn, the members of the Club bade each other an affectionate adieu, with many good and heart-felt wishes for their future welfare; and with another warm shake of the hand, they reluctantly separated, and went on their several ways homewards—a raven in his flight over them ominously whispering in the air




"Sweet the hum
Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

And dear the schoolboy spot
We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.
But sweeter still, than this, than these, than all,
Is first and passionate love-it stands alone,
Like Adam's recollection of his fall.”


BESIDES the ancient obelisk already noticed in the Legend of the Murder of Malcolm II., in 1034, there is another obelisk of more elaborate design in the immediate vicinity of the manse at Glamis. The former-although Malcolm was actually buried at Iona-may probably mark the spot where, tradition saith, the King fell, and the latter may have been erected to his memory. This supposition is strengthened by the symbolical figures represented on the stone at the manse -two men in the apparent attitude of forming some secret conspiracy, with a lion and a centaur overhead, exhibiting the bloody nature of the crime; the several kinds of fishes engraven on the reverse of the monument representing the loch in which the assassins were drowned.

St Orland's Stone stands about a mile north-east of the castle of Glamis, near the small hamlet of Cossins. With all due deference to those who have supposed that this obelisk is also a memorial of the murdered King, I am of opinion that it was erected at a period long antecedent to the death of Malcolm II., and records, in consequence, a totally different


event, or events. Indeed, the flowered cross so rudely yet sharply chiselled on this stone classifies it, in my humble judgment, with the less-known sculptured stone that stands near to the old church at Eassie, or the more celebrated pillars at Meigle and Aberlemno. If this view be the correct one, it would necessarily fix the date of erection some time between the seventh and ninth centuries. It was early in the fifth century, when the Romans abandoned Britain, that the inhabitants of the south of Scotland were converted to Christianity ; but those in the north did not embrace it until the close of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh century. The pillars with crosses and other Christian symbols

engraven on them must therefore have been erected subsequent to the conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity, and before the close of the Pictish period of 843.

A monumental pillar was called in the olden time “ Amad,” a Hebrew word signifying the lips or words of the people, meaning thereby that the people of former ages spoke through those symbolic pictures to the generations that came after them. Hence the popular traditions transmitted to posterity in connection with these “Speaking Stones,” such as that they called out when a dead body was placed upon them, or contradicted a person who swore falsely by them-common tradition, indeed, regarding them as once animated beings.

Commencing with the mystic and fabulous ages of remote antiquity, the traditions of Strathmore existed in scarcely less strength and influence in the popular superstitions of the last or even in the beginning of the present century. Death lights, warnings, second sights, mysterious forebodings of evil; not to speak of ghosts, hobgoblins, brownies, and fairies, were just as veritably believed in by our fathers and grandfathers of the Howe as they were by their rude progenitors of any

former age.

The popular tradition connected with St Orland's Stone was that, either by speech or sign from itself, or inward response felt by those who invoked its aid, the events of the

« ElőzőTovább »