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THE AULD MAN.
The lily blooms on Lyddal lea ;
The birds sing loud on tower and tree :
And draws his best and boldest bow;
And go starting off with their neeks of snow.
Shower light and love, and joy about;
With a merry kiss, and mirthsome shout.
Though past thy hour of bridal bliss,
A frozen pow, and a frosty kiss,
When my leaf was green, as fair as thee
Have loved the glance of my merry ee;
Wax'd dim ere came our parting time;
l' the moon when past her evening prime;
The dame of my heart, though my locks be gray. The audience applauded the song, hairs. His form was perfectly erect, but I was too glad of the opportunity but the weight of sixty-five years, which its singing gave me of con- many of them full of sorrow, had templating, Walter Lyddal, to give done much to pull down a stately that regard to the rhyme which pro- and powerful frame, and had given a bably it merited. The representative palsied and tremulous motion to the of this ancient border name was hands and head. He rested him over seated on an antique settle, or couch a staff, and his large dark and inquiof carved oak, placed apart from the sitive eyes roamed incessantly among crowd, and cushioned deep with the strange faces w'ch thronged his sheep, skins. He was muffled up to hearth. Dogs of the chase, and the chin in a dark gray cloak, form- shepherd's curs, and curs of low deed from the wool of his own flocks; gree, lay stretched on the floor, while his head was bare, and sprinkled a- the beams and walls were hung with bout the temples with long white dried flesh and fish, and all the preserved and pickled dainties of a pas- our youth were soothfast friends, and toral establishment.
the Lyddals and Hallidays have At last the old man fixed his eyes ridden side by side in battle when on me, and making something like an Eden water ran red with blood; it's effort to rise, said: “ You are wel- an old name and a good,” and elecome, Sir, to Lyddalcross; welcome vating the cup as he spoke, he drainto such cheer as a frail old man can ed the wine at a draught. The cup give you. For the days are far away was instantly replenished, and placed that were once here when I had three in my hands; and even while I raised fair sisters to make a stranger's seat it to my lips, no wise slow in doing soft, and minister to his cheer. These honour to my entertainer, I could not days are all gone, Sir, so even come help admiring the exquisite beauty and draw yere seat near me, and tell of the sculpture with which its sides any strange tidings ye may have were adorned. The artist had reheard; for I am one who hears presented a fairy procession, and the nought, save what the kindness of elfin people on horseback and foot strangers gathers for my gratifica- moved along to the sound of supertion." Two of his dogs, as he spoke, natural minstrelsy. The earth seemcame and caressed me like an old ac- ed green under their feet, the sky quaintance; while one of the domes, sparkled with stars above them, and tics, who evidently did not confound the whole romantic scene seemed me with the mendicants who throng- charmed into life and beauty, ed the floor, placed a seat for my ac- “ It is a bonnie cup," said my encommodation : so down I sat, with- tertainer, " and has belonged to the out farther ceremony; and thus I name of Lyddal since the harrying addressed the old man. “ I have of Holmecultrum-house, when the sought your hearth, and accept your strife was between Bruce and Baliol. welcome, and I doubt not to find the The common people, who seldom err truth of the ancient Dumfries-shire in traditionary matters, aver it to be proverb, Aught's gude frae the the work of elves, and call it the hand of a Lyddal."” “ And so ye're fairy cup of Lyddalcross. But I a quoter of old proverbs," said the keep ye from your wine, Sir, and laird to me;
“ I like ye all the bet- ye'll admire the vessel not the less ter for that, the man who can apply when ye have proved its contents." a good old proverb with discretion is I obeyed, and emptied a cup of wine no' a man to be met with under every which was worthy of wetting the lips blue bonnet; and that's a proverb of Queen Mab herself. - Laird of too. Halbert, bring hither the drink- Lyddal,” I said, “ if the cup be ing loom of Lyddalcross, the ancient beautiful, the wine is delicious ; and I fairy cup; and bring it full of wine: much question if more exquisite wine keep your ale for the self-sufficient ever sparkled in the cup when precitizens of cannie Carlisle ; this is a sented to the Princess of Fairy-land lad of better mettle, his face reminds herself, by the hands of Elphin IRme of old acquaintance and firm ving, who was seven years cupfriendship, and we shall taste wine bearer to the elves, in the vale of together this night, were it only in Corriewater."
" Seven years cuphonour of his looks."
bearer,” said Walter Lyddal, chaffing The old domestic advanced with his huge hands together with joy, the wine cup and the flagon; and the seven years cup-bearer to the laird, seizing the former by the two Queen of Elfland; I never heard of massy ears, placed it beside him, the tale before. I'll warrant it's an poured it full of wine, and eyeing me odd one and a wild:-Elphin Irving! for a moment, renewed his discourse. I have never heard of the youth, so “ I ken ye well, your name is Hal- take another tasting of wine, and tell liday, descended from Thomas Hal- me, and have the discretion to speak liday, the sister's son of Sir William out, for my hearing is less sharp than Wallace, the bauld and homely Hal- it should be. But, first, let me tell liday ; one of thy ancestors was Wal- ye the use and wont of Lyddalcross. ter Halliday, marshal of the English I dwell apart from mankind, and my minstrels to Edward the Fourth; thy main delight is in listening to tragrandfather and I in the days of ditional stories; tales which are full
of the failings and the feelings, the Such is the use and wont of my hall. beliefs, the superstitions, the sins, If ye lacked invention and knowledge and the actions of man: my hearth in old matters, the name of Halliday is crowded, as ye may see, with cu- should float ye over family rules; rious old-world sort of people like yet, for the sake of old friendship, myself, and many a well-imagined let me hear the tale of Elphin IRstory is related for my edification. ving, the FAIRIES' CUP-BEARER."
TALE THE FIRST.
ELPHIN IRVING, THE FAIRIES' CUPBEARER.
The lady kilted her kirtle green
A little aboon her knee,
A little aboon her bree,
As fast as she could hie.
And syne she let the brown,
And pull’d the rider down :
Frae 'midst a bank of broom,
Old Ballad. The romantic vale of Corriewater, by those who dared to gaze on the in Annandale, is regarded by the in- fairy march. The maid has seen her habitants, a pastoral and unmingled lost lover, and the mother her stolen people, as the last border refuge of child ; and the courage to plan and those beautiful and capricious beings achieve their deliverance has been the fairies. Many old people, yet live possessed by, at least, one border ing, imagine they have had intercourse maiden. In the legends of the peoof good words and good deeds with ple of Corrievale there is a singular the “good folk,” and continue to tell, mixture of elfin and human adventhat in the ancient of days the fairies ture, and the traditional story of the danced on the hill, and revelled in the Cupbearer to the Queen of the Fairies glen, and showed themselves like the appeals alike to our domestic feelings mysterious children of the deity of and imagination. old among the sons and daughters In one of the little green loops, of men.
Their visits to the earth or bends, on the banks of Corrie were periods of joy and mirth to water, mouldered walls, and a few mankind, rather than of sorrow and stunted wild plum-trees, and vaapprehension. They played on mu- grant roses, still point out the scite sical instruments of wonderful sweet- of a cottage and garden. A well of ness and variety of note, spread un- pure spring-water leaps out from an expected feasts, the supernatural old tree-root before the door, and flavour of which overpowered on here the shepherds, shading themmany occasions the religious scru- selves in summer from the influence ples of the presbyterian shepherds, of the sun, tell to their children the performed wonderful deeds of horse- wild tale of Elphin Irving, and his manship, and marched in midnight sister Phemie ; and, singular as the processions, when the sound of their story seems, it has gained full creelfin minstrelsy charmed youths and dence among the people where the maidens into love for their persons
scene is laid. and pursuits; and more than one " I ken the tale and the place family of Corriewater have augment, weel,” interrupted an old Scottished the numbers of the elfin chivalry. woman, who, from the predominance Faces of friends and relatives, long of scarlet in her apparel, seemed to since doomed to the battle-trench, have been a follower of the camp, or the deep sea, have been recognized “ I ken them weel, and the tale's as
true as a bullet to its aim, and a of the young men, and at fair and spark to powder. Oh bonnie Corrie- dance, and at bridal, happy was he water, a thousand times have I who touched but her hand, or repulled gowans on its banks wi' ane ceived the benediction of her eye. that lies stiff and stark on a foreign Like all other Scottish beauties, she shore in a bloody grave:” and sob- was the theme of many a song; and bing audibly, she drew the remains while tradition is yet busy with the of a military cloak over her face, and singular history of her brother, song allowed the story to proceed.
has taken all the care that rustic When Elphin Irving and his sister minstrelsy can of the gentleness of Phemie were in their sixteenth year, her spirit, and the charms of her perfor tradition says they were twins, their father was drowned in Corrie- “ Now I vow,” exclaimed a wanwater, attempting to save his sheep dering piper, “ by mine own honourfrom a sudden swell, to which all ed instrument, and by all other inmountain streams are liable; and their struments, that ever yielded music mother, on the day of her husband's for the joy and delight of mankind, burial, laid down her head on the pil- that there are more honnie songs low, from which, on the seventh day, made about fair Phemie Irving than it was lifted to be dressed for the about all other dames of Annandale, same grave. The inheritance left to and many of them are both high and the orphans may be briefly described : bonnie. A proud lass maun she be, seventeen acres of plow and pasture if her spirit hears; and men say, the land, seven milk cows, and seven dust lies not insensible of beautiful pet sheep, (many old people take de- verse ; for her charms are breathed light in odd numbers ;) and to this through a thousand sweet lips, and may be added, seven bonnet-pieces no farther gone than yestermorn, I of Scottish gold, and a broad sword heard a lass singing on a green hilland spear, which their ancestor had side what I shall not readily forget. wielded with such strength and cou- If ye like to listen ye shall judge; rage in the battle of Dryfe-sands, and it will not stay the story long, that the minstrel who sang of that nor mar it much, for it is short, and deed of arms, ranked him only se- about Phemie Irving:” and accordcond to the Scotts and Johnstones. ingly he chaunted the following rude
The youth and his sister grew in sta- verses, not unaccompanied by his hoture and in beauty. The brent bright noured instrument, as he called his brow, the clear blue eye, and frank pipe, which chimed in with great and blythe deportment of the former, effect, and gave richness to a voice gave him some influence among the which felt better than it could exyoung women of the valley; while press. the latter was no less the admiration
FAIR PHEMIE IRVING.
With all thy groves flowering ;
When July is showering ;
Where the small birds are bowering,
Than winter when snowing,
Than Ae in its flowing ;
Where she goes by the river,
For ever and ever.
To Phemie are bowing ;
With sighing or sueing ;
With my rude wooing,
On which she is walking ;
To which she is talking ;
With its ripe ruddy blossom ;
To be blest with her bosom. This minstrel interruption, while hares, seldom sought to shun her it established Phemie Irving's claim approach, and the bird forsook not to grace and to beauty, gave me its nest, nor stinted its song, when additional confidence to pursue the she drew nigh; such is the constory
fidence which maiden innocence and But minstrel skill, and true love beauty inspire. tale, seemed to want their usual It happened one summer, about influence, when they sought to win three years after they became orher attention; she was only ob- phans, that rain had been for awhile served to pay most respect to those withheld from the earth, the hill, youths who were most beloved by sides began to parch, the grass in the her brother; and the same hour that vales to wither, and the stream of brought these twins to the world, Corrie was diminished between its seemed to have breathed through banks to the size of an ordinary rill. them a sweetness and an affection of The shepherds drove their flocks to heart and mind which nothing could marshy lands, and lake and tarn had divide. If, like the virgin queen of their reeds invaded by the scythe, to the immortal poet, she walked “ in supply the cattle with food. The maiden meditation fancy free,” her sheep of his sister were Elphin's conbrother, Elphin, seemed alike un- stant care; he drove them to the touched with the charms of the fairest moistest pastures during the day, virgins in Corrie. He plowed his and he often watched them at mida field, he reaped his grain, he leaped, night, when flocks, tempted by the he ran, and wrestled, and danced, sweet dewy grass, are known to and sang, with more skill, and life, browze eagerly, that he might guard and grace, than all other youths of the them from the fox, and lead them to district ; but he had no twilight and the choicest herbage. In these nocstolen interviews: when all other turnal watchings he sometimes drove young men had their loves by their his little flock over the water of Corside he was single, though not un- rie, for the fords were hardly anklesought; and his joy seemed never deep, or permitted his sheep to cool perfect, save when his sister was themselves in the stream, and taste near him. If he loved to share his the grass which grew along the time with her, she loved to share her brink. All this time not a drop of time with him alone, or with the rain fell, nor did a cloud appear in beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky. the air. She watched her little flock One evening, during her brother's late, and she tended it early; not for absence with the flock, Phemie sat the sordid love of the fleece, unless at her cottage door, listening to the it was to make mantles for her bro- bleatings of the distant folds, and ther, but with the look of one who the lessened murmur of the water of had joy in its company. The very Corrie, now scarcely audible beyond wild creatures, the deer and the its banks. Her eyes, weary with