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BOTH WELL CASTLE,
Eveav ruined edifice in the land has its visitors—but very few persons among those whom one finds about such places have brought a single historical association in their heads, that might not suit as well elsewhere. They all know perhaps the general fact, that for many ages the now bare and cold and empty hall was tapestried from floor to ceiling, and hung round with arms that glittered in the blaze of a well fagoted hearth—that there were lords and ladies that wine and wassail was the order of the day and night—that there were warders above and captives below—a spanning drawbridge, and a down-right portcullis. To know this, or something like it, is to have stock sufficient for luxurious meditation. Antiquaries are for the most part sad bores. With them it is all microscopic work. They are like the Spanish philosopher, who, when he had completed the careful analysis of a celebrated poem, was under the necessity of reading every verse overagain, to ascertain what subject he had been examining. Whoever has a heart to feel and a fancy to supply it, will find himself very much at home with any ruin whatever, though they have never been introduced to each other by Captain Grose—and with none more so than with Bothwell Castle. There it stands, magnificent in decay—and still as of old "breathing a spirit o'er the solitude." It has been stated by implication, that historical facts do little to interest us in scenes, whose romantic presence can conjure up a nobler history for themselves in the soul that has "any music"—Apropos of poetry and music When the heart is warmed with bright fancies, it cannot choose but turn away from cold cautious narrative—but give it music and poetry suited to its mood, and play on for ever. How enviable is he who sang that sweet strain of Roslin!
1' Twaa in that season of the year," &c. And he who sang of Stanley with its snow-mantled turrets, under the "braes of Gleniffer"—And he, the nameless bard, whose spirit breathes around the precincts of Bothwell Castle. These poets are the true historians of the scenes which they celebrate. What other men tell us may leave the memory or lie dormant within it. Their language can never be forgotten. The song associated with Bothwell Castle is one of our oldest and most pathetic Towards the end of the sixteenth century it had become familiar and delightful to Scottish ears, as the following romantic incident of that period will show.
A certain Scotsman while travelling through Palestine, either for
the purpose of using his money, or of getting money to use, (most probably the latter,) chanced, greatly to his wonderment, one sultry afternoon, as he rode along the way under shelter of the palm trees, which extended their boughs on either side, to hear a female voice singing plaintively this lay of his own distant land—
On the blythe Beltane, as I went
Oh Bothwell Bank, thou bloomest fair.
But he left me ae dreary day,
It may well be conceived with what overwhelming emotions the traveller heard this beautiful ballad of his native country sung on a lonely spot, in a "far foreign land;" but presently, while the joy of grief was at smiles and tears upon his face, a goodly dwelling disclosed itself some little distance apart among the green fields, where by the door stood a fair lady with a child in her arms—and our traveller became aware that it was she who had enchanted him with the sweet ditty of Bothwell Castle. A native of those banks celebrated in the song, she had in her youth gone to Palestine in company with some of the fair and noble of Scotland. But by one or more of those numerous accidents to which travellers were in those days, and still in some degree are, subject, she was separated from her companions, and would have found herself helpless in a foreign land, laid it not been her good fortune to fall in with a rich Turkish gentleman, who, attracted by her beauty, and moved by her destitute situation, became first her benefactor, and eventually her husband. To meet with a countryman under present circumstances was to her no less grateful than had been her Doric ditty to the ears of the traveller. She welcomed him home, and in the end proved of much service to him, through the influence of her husband—"an advantage," says Robert Chambers, who records the anecdote, "which the traveller could never have enjoyed had not Bothwell Bank bloomed fair to a poet's eye, and been the scene of some passion not less tender than unfortunate."
TO THE DEPARTED.
Thou comest only in the night, from the airy hall of dreams,
Thou smilest, as in days of yore ; and I fancy that again
Dark, though the light of sunny day upon my path be glowing—
Alone I climb the mountain height, or pierce the solemn wood,
Then I would wish, my all of life, one slumber for thy sake,
Oh! better far to brave the storm that gathers o'er my head,
DAUGHTER 07 Thli REV. BOBEBT CABR 0¥ L1I8B.
Anna ! the drops which wet thy cheek Thou'rt all unfit to struggle with
Are shed for others' woe: Deep sorrows of thine own.
Heaven grant, Lore, that for thine own griefs
Thy tears may seldom flow. Ah! should the tempest's lowering blast
E'er threat thy tender formj This earthly scene, thou'lt shortly prove. May He who guards the innocent,
Js strew'd with thorns in store; Thee shelter in the storm:
Though, yet untold those harms are, which
Along life's rugged road,
Rxv. Vvh. Gttcital;T.