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watching along the accustomed line in Marion Irving's cradle, and the of road for the return of Elphin, auld enemy lost his prey for a time. were turned on the pool beside her, in Now hasten on with your story, which the stars were glimmering fits which is not a bodle the waur for ful and faint. As she looked she ima- The maiden saw the shape gined the water grew brighter and of her brother-fell into a faint, or brighter; a wild illumination presently a trance, and the neighbours came shone upon the pool, and leaped from flocking in :-gang on with your tale, bank to bank, and suddenly changing young man, and dinna be affronted into a human form, ascended the mar- because an auld woman helped ye gin, and passing her, glided swiftly wi't.” into the cottage. The visionary form It is hardly known, I resumed, how was so like her brother in shape and long Phemie Irving continued in a air, that starting up she flew into the state of insensibility. The morning house, with the hope of finding him was far advanced, when a neighbourin his customary seat. She found ing maiden found her seated in an him not, and impressed with the old chair, as white as monumental terror which a wraith or apparition marble; her hair, about which she seldom fails to inspire, she uttered a had always been solicitous, loosened shriek so loud and so piercing as to from its curls, and hanging disorderbe heard at Johnstone bank, on the ed over her neck and bosom, her hands other side of the vale of Corrie. and forehead; the maiden touched the
An old woman now rose suddenly one and kissed the other, they were from her seat in the window-sill, the as cold as siłow: and her eyes wide living dread of shepherds, for she open were fixed on her brother's travelled the country with a brilliant empty chair, with the intensity of reputation for witchcraft, and thus gaze of one who had witnessed the she broke in upon the narrative: “I appearance of a spirit. She seemed yow, young man, ye tell us the truth insensible of any one's presence, and upset and down-thrust. I heard my sat fixed, and still, and motionless. douce grand-mother say, that on the The maiden, alarmed at her looks, might when Elphin Irving disap- thus addressed her :-“ Phemie, lass, peared, disappeared I shall call it, Phemie Irving, dear me, but this be for the bairn can but be gone for a sea- awful! I have come to tell ye, that son, to return to us in his own appoint- seven of your pet sheep have escaped ed time,--she was seated at the fire- drowning in the water; for Corrie, side at Johnstone bank ; the laird sae quiet and sae gentle yestreen, is had laid aside his bonnet to take the rolling and dashing frae bank to bank book, when a shriek mair loud, be- this morning: Dear me, woman, lieve me, than a mere woman's shriek, dinna let the loss of world's gear beand they can shriek loud enough, reave ye of your senses. I would else they're sair wranged,
rather make ye a present of a dozen the water of Corrie, so sharp and mug-ewes of the Tinwald brood myshrilling, that the pewter-plates din- self; and now I think on't, if ye'll beled on the wall: such a shriek, send over Elphin, I will help him my douce grand-mother said, as rang haine with them in the gloaming myin her ear till the hour of her death, self. So, Phennie, woman, be comand she lived till she was aughty forted.” and aught, forty full ripe years after At the mention of her brother's the event. But there is another mat- name she cried out, “ Where is he? ter, which, doubtless, I cannot com- Oh, where is he?"-gazed wildly pel ye to believe, it was the com- round, and shuddering from head to
that Elphin Irving foot, fell senseless on the floor. Other came not into the world like the inhabitants of the valley, alarmed by other sinful creatures of the earth, the sudden swell of the river, which but was one of the Kane-bairns of from a brook had augmented to a the fairies, whilk they had to pay to torrent, deep and impassable, now the enemy of man's salvation every came in to inquire if any loss had seventh year. The poor lady-fairy, been sustained, for numbers of sheep -a mother's aye a mother, be she and teds of hay had been observed Elve's flesh or Eve's flesh-hid her floating down about the dawn of the Elf son beside the christened tlesh morning. They assisted in reclaim
- came over
ing the unhappy maiden from her it lies in its last linen, and lay it, amid swoon; but insensibility , was joy, weeping and wailing, in the dowie compared to the sorrow to which she kirk-yard. Ye may seek, but ye awakened. “ They have ta’en him shall never find; so leave me to trim away, they have ta’en him away," up my hair, and prepare my dwelshe chaunted, in a tone of delirious ling, and make myself ready to watch pathos ; “ him that was whiter and for the hour of his return to upper fairer than the lily on Lyddal-lee. earth.” And she resumed her houseThey have long sought, and they hold labours with an alacrity which have long sued, and they had the lessened not the sorrow of her friends. power to prevail against my prayers Meanwhile the rumour flew over at last. They have ta’en him away; the vale that Elphin Irving was the flower is plucked from among the drowned in Corriewater. Matron and weeds, and the dove is slain amid a and maid, old man and young, collectflock of ravens. They came with ed suddenly along the banks of the ri. shout, and they came with song, and ver which now began to subside to its they spread the charm, and they natural summer limits, and complaced the spell, and the baptized menced their search; interrupted brow has been bowed down to the every now and then by calling from unbaptized hand. They have ta’en side to side, and from pool to pool, him away, they have ta'en him away; and by exclamations of sorrow for he was too lovely, and too good, and this misfortune. The search was too noble to bless us with his con- fruitless : five sheep, pertaining to the tinuance on earth; for what are the flock which he conducted to pasture, sons of men compared to him?-the were found drowned in one of the light of moon-beam, to the morning deep eddies, but the river was still sun; the glow-worm, to the eastern too brown from the soil of its moorstar. They have ta'en him away; land sources to enable them to see the invisible dwellers of the earth. what its deep shelves, its pools, and I saw them come on him with its overcharging and hazely banks shouting and with singing, and they concealed. They remitted farther charmed him where he sat, and search till the streams should become away they bore him ; and the horse pure, and old man taking old man he rode was never shod with iron, aside, began to whisper about the nor owned, before, the mastery of mystery of the youth's disappearhuman hand. They have ta’en him ance; old women laid their lips away over the water, and over the to the ears of their coevals, and wood, and over the hill. I got talked of Elphin Irving's fairy pabut ae look of his bonnie blue ee, rentage, and his having been dropt but ae, ae look. But as I have en- by an unearthly hand into a Chrisdured what never maiden endured, tian cradle. The young men and so shall I undertake what never maids conversed on other themes; maiden undertook, I will win him they grieved for the loss of the friend from them all. I know the invisible and the lover, and while the former ones of the earth; I have heard their thought that a heart so kind and true wild and wondrous music in the was not left in the vale, the latter wild woods, and there shall a chris- thought, as maidens will, on his handtened maiden seek him, and achieve some person, gentle manners, and his deliverance." She paused, and merry blue eye, and speculated with glancing around a circle of condoling a sigh on the time they might have faces, down which the tears were hoped a return for their love. They dropping like rain, said, in a calm were soon joined by others who had and altered, but still delirious tone- heard the wild and delirious lan“Why do you weep, Mary Halli- guage of his sister: the old belief day ? and why do you weep, John was added to the new assurance, and Graeme? Ye think that Elphin Ir- both again commented upon by ving ; oh, its a bonnie, bonnie name, minds full of superstitious belief, and and dear to many a maiden's heart as hearts full of supernatural fears, till well as mine; ye think he is drowned the youths and maidens of Corriein Corrie, and ye will seek in the vale held no more love trystes for deep, deep pools for the bonnie, bon- seven days and nights, lest, like Elphin nie corse, that ye may weep over it, as Irving, they should be carried away
to augment the ranks of the unchrist- and enthusiasm, and superstition, ened chivalry.
readily associate with the commonIt was curious to listen to the spe- est occurrences of life, the people of culations of the peasantry.
« For Corrievale continued to converse till my part,” said a youth, “if I were the fall of evening ; when each seeksure that poor Elphin escaped from ing their liome, renewed again the that perilous water, I would not give wondrous subject, and illustrated it the fairies a pound of hiplock wool with all that popular belief and for their chance of him. There has poetic imagination could so abundnot been a fairy seen in the land since antly supply. Donald Cargil, the Cameronian, con- The night which followed this mejured them into the Solway for play- lancholy day was wild with wind ing on their pipes during one of his and rain; the river came down nocturnal preachings on the hip of broader and deeper than before, and the Burnswark hill.” “ Preserve me, the lightning, flashing by fits over the bairn,” said an old woman, justly green woods of Corrie, showed the exasperated at the incredulity of her ungovernable and perilous flood nephew, “ if ye winna believe what sweeping above its banks.
It hapI both heard and saw at the moon, pened that a farmer, returning from light end of Craigyburnwood on a one of the border fairs, encountered summer night, rank after rank of the full swing of the storm ; but the fairy folk; ye'll at least believe a mounted on an excellent horse, and douce man and a ghostly professor, mantled from chin to heel in a even the late minister of Tinwaldkirk: good grey plaid, beneath which he his only son, I mind the lad weel had the farther security of a thick with his long yellow locks and his great-coat, he sat dry in his saddle, bonnie blue eyes, when I was but a and proceeded in the anticipated joy gilpie of a lassie, he was stolen away of a subsided tempest and a glowing from off the horse at his father's morning sun. As he entered the long elbow, as they crossed that false and grove, or rather remains of the old fearsome water, even Locherbrigg- Galwegian forest, which lines for flow, on the night of the Midsummer some space the banks of the Corriefair of Dumfries. Aye, aye, who can water, the storm began to abate, the doubt the truth of that; have not the wind sighed milder and milder among godly inhabitants, of Almsfieldtown the trees; and here and there a star, and l'inwaldkirk seen the sweet youth twinkling momentarily through the riding at midnight, in the midst of sudden rack of the clouds, showed the unhallowed troop, to the sound the river raging from bank to brae. of flute and of dulcimer; and though As he shook the moisture from his meikle they prayed, naebody tried to clothes, he was not without a wish achieve his deliverance." - I have that the day would dawn, and that heard it said by douce folk and he might be preserved on a road sponsible,” interrupted another, “that which his imagination beset with every seven years the elves and fairies greater perils than the raging river; pay kane, or make an offering of one for his superstitious feeling let loose of their children to the grand enemy upon his path elf and goblin, and the of salvation, and that they are per- current traditions of the district supmitted to purloin one of the children plied very largely to his apprehenof men to present to the fiend; a more sion the ready materials of fear. acceptable offering I'll warrant, than Just as he emerged from the wood, one of their own infernal brood that where a fine sloping bank, covered are Satan's sib allies, and drink a with short green sward, skirts the drop of the deil's blood every May limit of the forest, his horse made a morning. And touching this lost lad, full pause, snorted, trembled, and ye all ken his mother was a hawk of started from side to side, stooped his an uncannie nest, a second cousin head, erected his ears, and seemed of Kate Kimmer, of Barfloshan, as to scrutinize every tree and bush. rank a witch as ever rode on rag- The rider too, it may be imagined, wort. Aye, Sirs, what's bred in the gazed round and round, and peered bone is ill to corne out of the flesh.” warily into every suspicious looking On these and similar topics, which a place. His dread of a supernatural peasantry, full of ancient tradition visitation was not much allayed, when
he observed a female shape seated on scend in ringlet succeeding ringlet, the ground at the root of a huge old till the half of her person was nearly oak-tree, which stood in the centre concealed in the fleece. Amidst the of one of those patches of verdant whole, her hands were constantly sward, known by the name of “fairy busy in shedding aside the tresses rings,” and avoided by all peasants which interposed between her steady who wish to prosper. A long thin and uninterrupted gaze, down a line gleam of eastern day-light enabled of old road which winded among the him to examine accurately the being hills to an ancient burial ground. who, in this wild place and unusual As the traveller continued to gaze, hour, gave additional terror to this the figure suddenly rose, and wringhaunted spot. She was dressed in ing the rain from her long locks, paced white from the neck to the knees; round and round the tree, chaunting her arms, long, and round, and white, in a wild and melancholy manner an were perfectly bare; her head unco- equally wild and delirious song. vered, allowed her long hair to de
THE FAIRY OAK OF CORRIEWATER.
The deer sleeps on the grass ;
The dew gleams like the glass :
Save the sound of the smitten brass,
Of the fairies as they pass.-.
green hill cleaves, and forth, with a bound,
The stars grow dim with dread;
So of heaven's they have no need:
And the word is spur and speed-
The Queen of the fairies spoke;
And dance by the haunted oak:
In the nook of a palmer's poke,
And they danced till the greenwood shook-
« The fairest that earth may see;
My cup-bearer to be.
And his wage is a kiss of me.”
Round Corrie's greenwood tree.-
" Come hither my Elphin sweet,
Thy lips and mine to weet."
“ Come, leap on your coursers fleet,
And the sounding of baptized feet."-
The Elf-queen leap'd with a bound,
’Neath him at the word he found.
She linked her brother around,
Sank into the gaping ground.
A wild bull waked in ire;
To a river roaring higher ;
A flood of the raging fire ;
Till mountain rang and mire.-.
Thy spirit so slack and slaw?
Then thy might began to thaw;
Ye had won him frae 'mang us a'.
That made thee faint and fa';
The longer it burns it blazes the higher.” At the close of this unusual strain reviving spirit in the application of the figure sat down on the grass, and spur-steel, bore him at once to the proceeded to bind up her long and foot of the tree. The poor delirious disordered tresses, gazing along the maiden uttered a yell of piercing joy old and unfrequented road. “ Now as she beheld him, and with the God be my helper,” said the traveller, swiftness of a creature winged, linked who happened to be the laird of John- her arms round the rider's waist and stonebank, “ can this be a trick of shrieked till the woods rang. the fiend, or can it be bonnie Phemie I have ye now, Elphin, I have ye Irving, who chaunts this dolorous now," and she strained him to her sang? Something sad has befallen bosom with a
convulsive grasp; that makes her seek her seat in this “What ails ye, my bonnie lass?” said eerie nook amid the darkness and the laird of Johnstonebank, his fears tempest: through might from aboon of the supernatural vanishing, when I will go on and see.” And the he beheld her sad and bewildered horse, feeling something of the owner's look. She raised her eyes at the