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ings, merry-makings, feuds, and fights, which | however, cannot boast of many trees during the
must have taken place amongst such a population, and we shall find that it would produce a stock of materials for the poet or the artist, that would be perfectly exhaustless.
first twenty miles of its course, but its hills are greener, and its valleys are wider and fitter for cultivation than those of the Yarrow. A little way above its junction with the latter stream, its sides are skirted with natural wood, its plains become more extensive and fertile, and the adjoining hills are covered with planted wood. On the side of the Ettrick, opposite to Thirlstane, are the remains of the tower of Gamescleuch. A genealogy of the Scotts, in the possession of Lord Napier, tells us that "John Scott, of Thirlstane, married a daughter of Scott of Allanhaugh, by
But to come down to the plain matter of fact as it now stands. Instead of the endless woodland which once covered the country, Dr. Douglas, in his view of Selkirkshire, published in 1798, says "In stating the number of acres in wood at 2,000, I have followed Mr. Johnston. The best information which I could collect from the conversation of gentlemen and farmers, in different corners, made it rather less." The general appear-whom he had four sons, Robert, his heir, and ance of the country is a succession of green and bare hills, gradually rising one above another in height. Dr. Douglas says " Their naked and bleak aspect, when seen at a distance in cloudy weather, is lost upon riding among them, and beholding the rich sward with which they are covered, the clear streams which issue from their sides, the fleecy flocks browsing on their green pastures, and their lambs frisking around. The animation of the scene is heightened by patches of brushwood and small clumps of trees, with which, in a few places, the hills are adorned-the fertility of the vales, by which they are separated from each other—and the romantic banks of the
waters which wash their bases."
But now let us, in the first place, give our attention to the Ettrick, and in so doing let us not forget that it gives origin to the old Scottish
"On Ettrick's banks, ae simmer night,
While wand'ring through the mist her lane.
The Ettrick rises, as we are told, from among a
Lord Napier's ancient residence of Thirlstane tower, with its few venerable ash trees and its extensive plantations, give an immediate interest to this highly elevated part of its banks. Ettrick,
Simon, called Long-spear, who was tutor of Thirlstane, and built the tower of Gamescleuch." It soon afterwards receives two tributaries from the right, a small rivulet called Timah, and the Rankle-burn, which is not only celebrated by the song of the "Maid of Rankle-burn,” but which is likewise rendered remarkable by its being the place where the progenitors of the Buccleuch family first took up their residence-when
old Buccleuch the name did gain, When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en."
The legend, as told in the notes to the "Lay of
"The deer being cureéd in that place,
For thou shalt sure the ranger be,
And for the buck thou stoutly brought
Thy designation ever shall
Be John Scott in Buccleuch.
In Scotland no Buccleuch was then,
Night's men at first they did appear,
Because moon and stars in their arms they bear.
by all the savage accessories of Alpine scenery, peaked mountains, precipitous cliffs, valleys encumbered by gigantic fragments of rock, and altogether devoid of verdure, roaring cataracts and thundering streams, and dark and hardly fathomable lakes, that silently reflected the beetling cliffs and the shred of sky that hung over them; but never before, at so high an elevation, did we meet with so perfect an emblem of simple and unadorned beauty, silently sleeping in the lap of Nature. A crystalline sheet of water poured out to so great an extent, amidst pastoral and comparatively green hills, and not the trace of a dwelling to remind us that there might be other human beings there as well as ourselves.
Immediately opposite to the junction of the Rankle-burn with the Ettrick, appear the grey ruins of the old tower of Tushielaw. They stand on the side of a hill, near the road that runs up the Ettrick. It was long the stronghold of a powerful family of the name of Scott, who were famous free-booters, or border-riders, or moss-troopers, which epithets, we beg our readers to believe, are meant by us to convey the highest compliments we can pay them. We have already had occasion to notice the romantic legend, regarding the daugh-perfectly descriptive of the peacefulness of this ter of the Earl of March, who met with the son lovely scene are these two simple lines of Wordsof the Laird of Tushielaw in Ettrick forest-of the worth :"The swan on sweet St. Mary's Lake love that arose between them-of the manner in Floats double, swan and shadow." which it was crossed-and the sad fate of the The river itself rises from the hills which form lady, who died of a broken heart just as her fondest wishes appeared to be about to be realised. the boundary of Dumfries-shire; and finding its We earnestly hope that Adam Scott, son of David way into the upper and smaller lake called the Scott, of Tushielaw, was not the young knight of Loch of the Lowes, it speedily passes from it into the legend, for he (Adam) bore the very distin- the upper part of St. Mary's Loch, which is seven guished name of "King of the Thieves." His and a half miles in circumference, its greatest The Meggat fate too was somewhat summary, and rather unro-depth being about thirty fathoms. mantic, for, in the famous excursion which King James V. made through the Border-with the intention of ridding himself and his country of some of the great characters who were most remarkable for keeping up its predatory fame-he came suddenly to Tushielaw one morning before breakfast, and hanged King Adam over the horizontal bough of an old ash tree that grew over his own gate, all along the bark of which were to be felt and seen various nicks and hollows, formed by the ropes on which many an unhappy wretch had been hanged by the remorseless Tushielaw himself.
We must not forget to record that, in an old house not far from Ettrick Church, we are informed by James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, himself, that he first drew the breath of life :
"Here first I saw the rising morn;
At Newhouse, the Ettrick has worn its way through a deep ravine, where the rocks rise al- | most perpendicularly, covered with furze, and overhung with copsewood, presenting rather a wild scene; but, otherwise, there is little interesting in this river, until after it has received the Yarrow.
For our parts, never shall we forget the day when we made our happy excursion, from Selkirk, to trace this classical and musical stream to its source. We shall not stop at present to notice the delight we enjoyed in our drive up the vale of the Yarrow, for, as our custom is, in following out our present plan, to trace those tributary and other streams downwards, we shall begin by noting our sensations on reaching the lone St. Mary's Loch and the Loch of the Lowes. We have been great wanderers in our day, and we have looked upon scenes as lonely, accompanied
water, which comes in from the left as a tributary
The woodcock wing and mouse fur
For though, in feudal strife, a foe
Where erst his simple fathers pray'd."
Again, to indulge our fancy in recalling that which we consider to be the wild and romantie state of this country, let us imagine the forest stretching itself over every part of this scene—let us have the wild swans sweeping in graceful evolutions over the surface of the lake, and occasionally drooping in their flight, in order to skim more closely over its transparent bosom-let us have the much venerated Chapel of St. Mary, which stood on its eastern side, as entire as it was previous to its destruction by the Clan Scott, in their feud with the Cranstons-let us have in it its holy clerks and their assistants, the ruins of whose dwellings are still discernible-let us have the restoration of those Peel Towers of which the vestiges of one or two of some importance still remain, especially that of Dryhope, near the
two strands of the winch line having given way. Discharging themselves into these lochs, are several streams, the largest of which is the Meggat water an excellent summer trouting river, where I have caught fish upwards of two pounds in weight. At the foot of the Meggat, close to where it enters St. Mary's Loch, I recollect, on the occasion of a flood, killing with the fly three panniers full of trout, each containing a stone weight and upwards, in the course of a day. These were all taken out of a spare of water not exceeding half a mile. Another large capture made by me on this stream took place while in company with the Ettrick Shepherd, and the ereelfuls we respectively emptied out on arriving at Henderland (we had fished down during a small flood from the head of Winterhope burn, a course of four or five miles), would have astonished even a Tweedside adept. The Chapelhope burns and Corsecleugh, which enter the Loch of the Lowes, also con numerous trout. There are plenty of perch in the upper lake, and the lower one is occasionally visited by salmon and bull-lower extremity of the lake-and let us have their trout. I have caught both of these fish with loch flics from the margin, but never met with one in an edible condition." We carried fishing-rods and tackle with us, and had determined to devote at least an hour or two to serious angling, but the beauty and novelty of the scenery made us quite unfit to do anything of the sort, or, in short, to do anything but enjoy Nature. We must mention, however, that, notwithstanding appearances, there is ene soiltary house, which stands between the two lakes, where a brother of the angle may find comfortable quarters. It is not an inn, but a cottage, inhabited by Mrs. Richardson, who is always willing to extend her hospitality to anglers, and to do all in her power to make them comfortable. And, O! what a place to spend some quiet days, in the fall enjoyment of solitary thought; and with what feeling does Sir Walter Scott allude to this:
"Oft in my mind such thoughts awake,
And silence aids-though the steep hills
inmates produced before us as they were, and full of strange and strongly-agitating passions—let us have the urus, the great palmated stag, and the red deer restored-and let us, for a spice of terror, have the wolf, the mountain boar, and other such animals, added to our objects of interest-and then let us set poets, artists, and fiction-mongers to work upon the bill of fare we have provided for them, to write or paint as they best can. The names of Ox-cleuch, Deer-law, Hart-leap, Hyndhope, Fawn-burn, Wolf-cleuch, Brock-hill, Swinebrae, Cat-slack, &c., which still exist, many of them belonging to different places, are sufficient to prove how universally these animals inhabited the forest.
We have already noticed that the Meggat Water, coming in from the left, yields a large contribution to St. Mary's Lake. On its banks are the vestiges of the castle of Henderland, which, with the surrounding estate, is the property of our much valued friend, William Murray, Esq., of Henderland. A mountain torrent, called Henderland Burn, rushes impetuously from the hills, through a rocky chasm called the Dow-glen, and passes near the site of the tower. This tower was once the stronghold of a famous freebooter called Cockburne of Henderland, and the position, besides being apparently unapproachable by the strong hand of legal power, must have been peculiarly favourable for making inroads into the cultivated districts, both to the south and the north. We have recently had occasion to notice the summary manner in which James V., in his progress through the Borders, dealt with Adam Scott of Tushiclaw. The king remained only to satisfy himself that he had seen the last dying struggle of that worthy, when he took a path over the mountains which separate the vale of Ettrick from the head of Yarrow, which has ever since borne the name of the "King's Road." The monarch arrived so suddenly at Henderland, that he surprised Cockburne sitting at dinner, and without one moment's delay, he ordered him to be
taken out and hanged before his own door. Filled | which possesses the true character of border with horror, his wife fled to a place still called the Lady's Seat, where the roar of the foaming cataract might drown the tumultuous noise, which attended the execution of her beloved husband. The following old ballad given in the Border minstrelsy, is said to be her "Lament :"
"My love he built me a bonny bower,
He spied his sport, and went away;
He slew my knight, and poined his gear;
"I sewed his sheet, making my mane;
And whiles I gaed, and whiles I sat;
When I laid the moul' on his yellow hair;
"Nae living man I'll love again,
Since that my lovely knight is slain;
I'll chain my heart for ever mair."
The monument of this unfortunate knight and his lady, consisting of a large stone broken into three parts, still lies in the deserted burial-place that surrounded the chapel of the castle, with this inscription on it-" Here lyes Perys of Cokburne and his Wyfe Marjory."
Near to the point where the Kirkstead Burn joins the lower end of the lake are the ruins of Dryhope Tower, celebrated as the birth-place of Mary Scott, daughter of Philip Scott, of Dryhope. She was rendered famous by the traditional name of the Flower of Yarrow. She was married to Walter Scott of Harden, who was as renowned for his exploits as a bold Border-rider, as she was for her beauty. We know not whether the wellknown ballad should be considered as dedicated to her, or to some subsequent Flower of Yarrow, for we believe that there were others, after her time. We certainly can hardly conceive the rough, moss-trooping Harden dissolving into such verses as these :
"Happy's the love which meets return,
The torments of a hopeless lover.
Ye registers of Heaven relate,
And believing, as we do, that the verses are the
Douglass, or the Dhu Glass, the black and grey water, is the next tributary of consequence. It descends from the left, from the Blackhouse Heights, which rise 2,370 feet above the sea, and it joins the Yarrow immediately after passing a craggy rock, called the Douglass Craig. The remains of the ancient tower of Blackhouse, stand in this wild and solitary glen. The building appears to have been square, with a circular turret at one angle for carrying up the staircase, and flanking the entrance. From this ancient tower, Lady Margaret Douglass was carried off by her lover, which gave rise to that sad, but wellauthenticated, legend which is told in the ballad called, "The Douglas Tragedy."
"Rise up, rise up, now Lord Douglas,' she says,
"Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And put on your armour so bright,
"He's mounted her on a milk.white steed,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
"Lord William looket o'er his left shoulder,
And there he spyed her seven brethren bold,
"Light down, light down, Lady Margret,' he said,
"She held his steed in her milk-white hand,
Until that she saw her seven brethern fa',
And her father hard fighting, who loved her so dear.
But a father I can never get mair.'
"O, she's ta'en out her handkerchief,
It was o' the Holland sae fine,
"O chuse, O chuse, Lady Margret,' he said,
I'll gang, Lord William,' she said,
"O they rade on, and on they rade,
Of the spring that ran sae clear;
"Hold up, hold up, Lord William,' she says,
For I fear that you are slain!'
"Tis naething but shadow of my scarlet cloak,
"O they rode on, and on they rode,
"Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says, 'Get up and let me in!
Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says, For this night my fair lady I've win. "Omak' my bed, lady mother,' he says, 'O mak' it braid and deep!
And lay Lady Margret close at my back,
"Lord William was dead long ere midnight,
"Lord William was buried in St. Marie's kirk,
Out o' the lady's grave grew a bonny red rose,
"And they twa met, and they twa plat,
And a' the warld might ken right weel,
But bye and rade the Black Douglas,
And flang't in St. Marie's loch."
Seven large stones, erected on the neighbouring heights of Blackhouse, mark the spot where the seven brethren were slain, and the Douglas burn is said to be the stream at which the lovers stopped to drink.
Opposite to the Douglas water, that of Altrive comes in from the right. Here it was that James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, had his small farm, which, we believe, his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch generously gave him rent-free, and here he accordingly lived until his death. Nothing can be more retired, or thoroughly pastoral-looking, than the country around the kirk, manse, and bridge of Yarrow, and it is impossible for a stranger, who may be in the habit of exercising his reflective powers as he journeys along, to pass by this simple House of God, humbly reared, as it is, among these extensive wilds, without feeling how calm, and pure, and uncontaminated with worldly thought and the bustle of busy life, must be or, at least, ought to be-the worship that is likely to arise from beneath its grey roof. This is, indeed, a peaceful scene now; but, from various appearances, as well as traditions, this particular neighbourhood would seem to have frequently witnessed bloody and fatal feuds. It must be a charming place of temporary sojourn for the angler, for we took occasion to lean over the bridge, and narrowly to inspect the river running under it, when we discovered many fine trouts, and some of them of a very large size.
The new statistical account says, that "salmon, grilse, whitling, trout, eels, par, minnows, barbels, and sticklebacks, tenant the rivers." But we suspect that few clean salmon or grilses get as high as this, in such condition as to afford good sport to the angler, or good food to It is remarkable that lampreys used to come up here to spawn, and, if we do not mistake, we ourselves saw several sticking to the stones, near the bridge, like floating pieces of tangle.
It would seem that two sanguinary and fatal combats took place hereabouts, in ancient times, and it appears to be very difficult to determine, to which of the two the old ballad, called the
"Dowie Dens of Yarrow," was, in reality, dedicated. A certain knight, of the name of Scott, who was probably John, sixth son of the laird of Harden, who resided at Kirkhope, or Oakwood Castle, was murdered hereabouts by his kinsmen, the Scotts of Gilman's-cleuch. Again, in a spot called Annan's Treat, a huge monumental stone, with an eligible inscription, was discovered, which is supposed to record the event of a combat, in which the male ancestor of the present Lord Napier was slain. And then two tall unhewn stones are erected on Annan's Treat, about eighty yards distant from each other, which the smallest child tending a cow will tell you, mark the spot where lie the twa Lords, who were slain in single fight. Scott tells us, that "Tradition affirms, that, be the hero of the song whom he may, he was murdered by the brother, either of his wife, or betrothed bride. The alleged cause of malice was the lady's father having proposed to endow her with the half of his property, upon her marThe name riage with a warrior of such renown. of the murderer is said to have been Annan, and the place of the combat is still called Annan's Treat."
"Late at e'en, drinking the wine.
And ere they paid the lawing,
To fight it in the dawing.
Oh stay at hame, my marrow!
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.' "Oh fare ye weel, my ladye gaye!
Oh fare ye weel, my Sarah!
"She kissed his cheek, she kaimed his hair,
"As he gaed up the Tinnis bank,
I wot he gaed wi' sorrow,
Till down in a den, he spied nine armed men,
"Oh come ye here to part your land,
The bonny forest thorough?
"I come not here to part my land,
And neither to beg nor borrow;
And that's an unequal marrow;
On the bloody braes of Yarrow,
I dreamed I pou'd the heather green,