BETA

DE QUINCEY’S REVENGE.

A BALLAD IN THREE FITTES.

I.

De Quincey, lord of Travernent,1
Has from the Syrian wars return’d ;2
As near’d his train to his own demesne,3
His heart within him burn’d.4
Yet heavy was that heart, I ween ;5
A cloud had o’er him pass’d ;6
And all of life, that once was green,7
Had wither’d in the blast.8
Say, had he sheath’d his trusty brand,9
Intent no more to roam,10
Only to find the Scottish strand11
For him no fitting home,*12

II.

Who stands at hush of eventide13
Before Newbottle’s sacred walls,14
While eastward far, in arch and aisle,15
Its mighty shadow falls ?16
That steel-clad knight stood at the
porch,
17
And loud he knock’d, and long,18
Till out from the chancel came a Frere,19
For it was even-song.20
To an alder stump his steed was tied,21
And the live wind from the west22
Stirr’d the blue scarf on his corslet side,23
And the raven plumes of his crest.24

III.

Why knock’st thou here ? no hostel
this,
25
And we have mass to say ;26
Know’st thou, that rises our vesper
hymn
27
Duly at close of day ?28
And in the chantry, even now,29
The choristers are met ;30
For lo ! o’er Pentland’s summits blue,31
The western sun hath set ?32
But if thou return’st at morning tide,33
Whatever be thy behest ” —34
Nay,” said the stranger hastily,35
Delay not my request.36

IV.

For I have come from foreign lands,37
And seen the sun of June38
Set over the holy Jerusalem,39
And its towers beneath the moon ;40
And I have stood by the sepulchre41
Wherein the Lord was laid,42
And drunk of Siloa’s brook, that flows43
In the cool of its own palm shade.44
Yea ! I have battled for the Cross,45
’Tis the symbol on my mail46
But why, with idle words, should I47
Prolong a bootless tale ?48

V.

The Lady Elena—woe to me49
Brought the words that tale which
told
50
Was yesternight, by the red torchlight,51
Left alone in your vaults so cold.52
’Tis said, last night by the red torchlight53
That a burial here hath been ;54
Now show me, prithee, her tomb, who
stood
55
My heart and heaven between.56
Alas ! Alas ! that a cold damp vault57
Her resting-place should be,58
Who, singing, sate among the flowers59
When I went o’er the sea.”60

VI.

’ Tis nay, sir knight,” the Frere re-
plied,
61
If thou turn’st thy steed again,62
And hither return’st at matin prime,63
Thou shalt not knock in vain.”64
Then ire flash’d o’er that warrior’s
brow,
65
Like storm-clouds o’er the sky,66
And, stamping, he struck his gauntlet
glove
67
On the falchion by his thigh.68
Now, by our lady’s holy name,69
And by the good St John,70
I must gaze on the features of the dead,71
Though I shew my path through
stone.”
72

VII.

The Frere hath lighted his waxen torch,73
And turn’d the grating key,74
Down winding steps, through gloomy
aisles,
75
The damp, dull way show’d he ;76
And ever he stood and cross’d himself,77
As the night-wind smote his ear,78
For the very carven imageries79
Spake nought but of death and fear-80
And sable ’ scutcheons flapp’d on high,81
’Mid that grim and ghastly shade ;82
And coffins were ranged on tressels
round,
83
And banners lowly laid.84

* Robert de Quincey, a Northamptonshire baron, acquired the manor of Travernent,
(vulgo, Tranent,) which, in the reign of David the First, had been held by Swan, the
son of Thor, soon after the accession of William the Lion ; and he served for some
time as justiciary to that monarch. At the end of the twelfth century he was suc-
ceeded in his immense estates by his son, Seyer de Quincey, the hero of the following
ballad, who set out for Palestine in 1218, where he died in the year following.

VIII.

From aisle to aisle they pass’d the while,85
In silence both—the one in dread86
So solemn a thing it was to be87
With darkness and the dead !88
At length the innermost vault they
gain’d,
89
Last home of a house of fame,90
And the Knight, looking up with
earnest eye,
91
Read the legend round the name92
Unsullied aye our honours beam,”93
’Neath fleur-de-lis and crescent
shone ;
94
And o’er the Dragon spouting fire,95
The battle-word “ Set on ! ”*96

IX.

Yes ! here, good Frere—now, haste
thee, ope”—
97
The holy man turn’d the key ;98
And ere ever he had an “ Ave” said,99
The Knight was on his knee.100
He lifted the lawn from her waxen
face,
101
And put back the satin soft ;102
Fled from her cheek was the glowing
grace
103
That had thrill’d his heart so oft !104
The past came o’er him like a spell,105
For earth could now no bliss afford,106
And thus, within that cheerless cell,107
His bitter plaint he pour’d.108

X.

Oh, Elena ! I little dreamt,109
When I sailed o’er the sea,110
That, coming back, our meeting next111
In a charnel-vault should be !112
I left thee in thy virgin pride,113
A living flower of beauty rare,114
And now I see thee at my side115
What words may not declare !116
Oh ! I have met thee on the waves,117
On the field have braved thee, Death,118
But ne’er before so sank my heart119
Thy withering scowl beneath !120

XI.

How different was the time, alas !121
When, in the sunny noon of love,122
I trysted with thee in the stag coppice,123
In the centre of the grove !124
How different was the time, alas !125
When, from the tower of high Fal-
syde,†
126
We mark’d along the Bay of Forth127
The streamer’d galleys glide !128
How different was the time, alas !129
When the gay gold ring I gave,130
And thou didst say, when far away,131
I will bear it in my grave ! ”132

XII.

The Knight turn’d back the satin fold133
Where her hand lay by her side,134
And there, on her slender finger cold,135
He the token ring espied !136

* “ Intaminatis fulget honoribus,” was the proud motto of the Seton family.
The original Seton arms were three crescents with a double tressure, flowered and
counterflowered with fleurs-de-lis. A sword supporting a royal crown was afterwards
given by Robert the Bruce, for the bravery and loyalty of the family during the suc-
cession wars. At a later period, three garbs azure were quartered with the Seton
arms, by George the second lord of that name.
This lord George,” saith old Sir Thomas Maitland, “ tuk the armes of Buchan,
quhilk ar thrè cumming schevis, quarterlie wyth his awin armes, allegeand himself to
be air of the said erldome, be ressoun of his gudedame.”—Chronicle of the Hous of
Seytoun
, p. 37.
The crest was a green dragon spouting fire surmounting a ducal coronet, with the
words over it, “ Set On.” The supporters were two foxes collared and chained.
† Sir Robert Sibbald, in his History of Fife, quotes a charter by the Earl of Win-
chester to Adame de Seton, 1246, “ De Maritagio herædis Alani de Fawside,” from
which, as well as from some incidental passages in Maitland’s “ History of the Hous
of Seytoun
,” it is evident that Falside Castle was a heritage of the younger
branches of the Seton family. It was first acquired by them from intermarriage with
the De Quinceys.
The date of Falsyde Castle is uncertain. It was burned by the English under the
Duke of Somerset, 1547, the day following the fatal battle of Pinkie. The strength
of the mason-work, however—the tower being arched at the top of the building, as
well as at the first story—prevented its entire demolition. Paton, in his “ Diary,”
gives a very cool description of the burning to death of its little garrison, and calls it
a sorry-looking castle.” In 1618, the family of Fawside of that Ilk appear to have
removed to a more modern mansion in the immediate vicinity, which has the initials
J. F., J. L., above one of its windows. The dovecot of the ancient fortalice still
remains ; and within it is a curious place of concealment, secured by an antique
grated door. There is a similar hole of secrecy in the staircase of the oldest part
of the castle.
It is now the property of Sir George Grant Suttie of Prestongrange and Balgone,
having descended to him through his maternal ancestors the Setons, Earls of Hyndford.
Now know I thou wert true to me,137
Ah ! false thou couldst not prove ;138
Vain was the hate that strove to mate139
Thy heart with a stranger love.”140
And then he kiss’d her clay-cold cheek,141
And then he kiss’d his sword142
By this,” he said, “ sweet, injured
maid,
143
Thy doom shall be deplored !144

XIII.

Yes ! darkly some shall make remead,145
And dearly some shall pay146
For griefs, that broke thy faithful heart,147
When I was far away ! ”148
Nay ! dost thou talk of vengeance
now,”
149
Quod the Frere, “ on thy bended
knee ? ”
150
The Knight look’d wildly up in his
face,
151
But never a word spake he.152
Now rise, now rise, Sir Knight ! " he
cried,
153
Mary Mother calm thy mind !154
’Twas the fiat of Heaven that she
should die,
155
To its will be thou resign’d ! ”156

XIV.

Uprose De Quincey from his knee157
In that darksome aisle and drear ;158
No word he spake, but, with hasty
glove,
159
Brush’d off one starting tear ;160
Then, as he donn’d his helm, he pluck’d161
The silken scarf from its crest,162
And upraised it first to his meeting
lip,
163
Then hid it within his breast.164
The scenes—the thoughts of other
years
165
Pour’d o’er him like a lava tide ;166
Her day was done, and set her sun,167
And all for him was night beside !168

XV.

The coffin lid was closed ; the Frere169
Preceded, with his taper wan ;170
Behind him strode the black-mail’d
Knight,
171
A melancholy man !172
And oft the Monk, as he upwards clomb173
From the darksome place of dread,174
Where the coffin’d clay of fair Elena
lay,
175
Did backwards turn his head176
Say, holy Frere, can the waves of fear177
O’er thy calm, pure spirit flow ;178
Or is it the cold, through these vaults
of mould,
179
That makes thee tremble so ?180

XVI.

The porch they gain’d—the Frere he
closed
181
The gates behind the Knight,182
Dim lay the clouds, like giant shrouds,183
Over the red starlight ;184
And ever, with low, moaning sound,185
The soft warm gust wail’d through
the trees ;
186
Calm, in slumber bound, lay all around,187
And the Stream sang “ Hush ! ” to
the Breeze.
188
The Frere put out his torch, and look’d189
His high-barr’d lattice fro’ ;190
And he saw, ’ mid the dusk, the
mounted Knight
191
Down the winding valley go.192

Fitte Second.

I.

’Twas the flush of dawn ; on the dewy
lawn
193
Shone out the purpling day ;194
The lark on high sang down from the
sky,
195
The thrush from the chestnut spray ;196
On the lakelet blue, the water-coot197
Oar’d forth with her sable young ;198
While at its edge, from reed and
sedge,
199
The fisher-hern upsprung ;200
In peaceful pride, by Esk’s green
side,
201
The shy deer stray’d through Ros-
lin glen ;
202
And the hill-fox to the Roman Camp*203
Stole up from Hawthornden.†204

* The parish of Newbottle rises from its extremities—Fordel House and Newbyres
Tower—till it terminates in a ridge of considerable extent, termed the Roman Camp,
the elevation of which is 680 feet. The neighbourhood abounding in hares, the Ro-
man Camp is a favourite meeting-place of the Mid-Lothian Coursing Club. From
antlers found in the neighbourhood, and even at Inveresk, no doubt can exist, that,
at the era of our ballad, the hart and hind were visitants of at least the Morth-thwaite
hills.
† The building of Roslin Castle is anterior to the dawn of authentic record.  “ Its
origin,” says Chalmers, (Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 571,) is laid in fable.”  According to
Adam de Cardonnel, (Picturesque Antiquities,) William de Sancto Claro, son of
Waldernus Compte de St Clare, who came to England with William the Conqueror,
obtained from King Malcolm Canmore a grant of the lands and barony of Roslin.

II.

Where hurries so fast the hench-
man ?
205
His steed seems froth’d with spray ;206
To Newbottle’s shrine, ’ mid the dawn-
ing lone,
207
He speeds his onward way.208
From grey Caerbarrin’s walls he came,*209
By Smeaton Shaw, through Colden
Wood,
210
And up thy royal way, Derstrette,†211
His path he hath pursued212
Until, upon its flowery lawn,213
By murmuring Esk’s enamour’d
side,
214
The Abbey’s grand and massive walls,215
Were ’ mid its groves espied.‡216

III.

Awake,” he cries, as loudly he knocks,217
Ho ! arise, and haste with me ;218
For soon, alas, Caerbarrin’s lord219
Among the dead must be ! 220
Then forth outspake the abbot grey221
From his couch, as he arose,222
Alack ! thou bring’st us evil news,223
For thy lord he was of those224
Who dower’d our church with goodly
lands,
225
And his sword hath ever been,226
For Scotland’s glory and for ours,227
At the call, unsheath’d and keen.228

IV.

But the best are aye the first to die,229
This sinful earth is not their place ;230
Sure is the passage of the good—231
Mary Mother yield them grace !232
Then rest thee in our porter’s keep,233
While our brother Francis will repair234
To the house of woe, and soothe the soul235
Of the dying man with prayer ! ”236

Hawthornden and Roslin are associated with many bright names in literature—Drum-
mond, Ben Jonson, Ramsay, Macneil, Scott, Wilson, and Wordsworth.
* Chalmers traces back the name “ Caerbairin,”’ to the time of the ancient Bri-
tons, and instances the modern one “ Carberry,” to show how English adjuncts have
been engrafted on British roots.
Every reader of Scottish history will remember that it was on the rising ground
above the fortalice of Carberry, that Mary and Bothwell awaited the approach of the
confederate lords ; and that there they were parted, never to meet again.
† During the Scoto-Saxon period, the king’s highways are often mentioned in char-
tularies, as local boundaries. In that of Newbottle we find reference made to a
regia via, leading from the village of Ford to the Abbey, in a charter of Hugh Riddel,
in the time of Alexander III., (chart, 22.) The king’s highway from the same Abbey
to Edinburgh in 1252, is also there mentioned, (16 ; ) and Gervaise, the abbot, in his
charter, (Ib. 163,) alludes to a certain road called Derstrette, near Colden, in the
district of Inveresk. Near the same locality there is now a place called D’Arcy,
which I have little doubt is a corruption of the ancient appellation.
‡ Newbottle Abbey was beautifully situated on the banks of the South Esk, near-
ly on the same site as the modern mansion of the Marquis of Lothian, who is a de-
scendant of the last abbot. It was founded by that “ sore saint for the crown,” King
David I., in the year 1140.  “ The monks,” says Bishop Keith, “ were brought from
Melrose, together with their abbot, Radulphus. Patrick Madort, a learned divine,
who is mentioned from the year 1462 until 1470, recovered a great number of original
writs and charters belonging to this place, which were transcribed into a chartulary,
which is now in the Advocates’ Library,” Religious Houses, p. 417. Ed. 1824.
The only relics of antiquity now about the place, are the remains of the stone inclo-
sure which surrounded the Abbey, still called Monkland Wall—a striking and vener-
able gateway, surmounted by its time-worn lions ; a solemn line of yew-trees ; and
a doorway, amid the lawn to the east, said to be the entrance of a subterranean pas-
sage to the old Abbey.
Many of the trees in the park are beautiful and majestic, especially some of the
planes and elms ; and a beech, in the neigbourhood of the house, measures twenty-two
feet in circumference, at a yard from the ground. It contains nine hundred cubic feet
of wood, and its branches cover a circle of thirty-three feet diameter.
The remains of monastic architecture now seen at Newbottle, are said to have been
brought by the late Marquis from the ruins at Mount Teviot. They are beautiful and
interesting.
We should also state, in referring to the antiquities of the place, that a little below
the Abbey there is a venerable bridge over the Esk, rudely built, and overspread with
ivy, which has long survived all accounts of its age and founder.
The present parish of Newbottle consists of the ancient parish of Maisterton, and
the Abbey parish. During the Scoto-Saxon period, the patronage of Maisterton was
possessed by the lord of the manor. Near the end of the thirteenth century this be-
longed to Robert de Rossine, knight, whose daughters, Mariot and Ada, resigned it
to the monks of Newbottle, with two-thirds of their estates.
The henchman sate him down to rest,237
And wiped the toil-drops from his
brow ;
238
While in hurry and haste, on shrieving
quest,
239
The Frere was bourne to ride and go.240

V.

Through the green woodlands spurr’d
the monk—
241
The morning sun was shining bright,242
Upon his bosom lay the Book,*243
Under his cloak of white ;244
Before him, in the pleasant prime,245
The willow’d stream meandering
flow’d
246
From wildflowers by the pathway side,247
The gallant heathcock crow’d ;248
Glisten’d the dew on the harebells
blue—
249
And, as the west wind murmur’d by,250
From yellow broom stole forth per-
fume,
251
As from gardens of Araby.252

VI.

Now lay his road by beechen groves—253
Now by daised pastures green,254
And now, from the vista’d mountain
road,
255
The shores of Fife were seen ; —256
And now Dalcaeth behind him
lay ; †
257
And now its castle, whence the
Græme
258
Sent forth his clump of Border spears,259
The vaunting Gael to tame ;260
Now by coppice and corn he urged
his steed
261
Now by dingle wild and by dell,262
Where down by Cousland’s limestone
rocks
263
The living waters well.264

VII.

Then he came to a clump of oak-trees
hoar,
265
Half over the steep road hung,266
When up at once his bridle rein267
The arm of a warrior sprung ;268
With sudden jerk, the startled steed269
Swerved aside with bristling mane :270
Now halt thee, Frere, and rest thee
here,
271
Till I hither return again.272
I know thine errand—dismount, dis-
mount—
273
That errand for thee I’ll do ;274
But, if thou stirrest till I return,275
Such rashness thou shalt rue !276

VIII.

Then doff to me thy mantle white,277
And eke thy hood of black ; ‡278
And crouch thee amid these brakens
green,
279
To the left, till I come back.”280

*
Much he marvell’d a knight of pride
Like a book-bosom’d priest should ride.”
So says Sir Walter Scott, (Lay, canto iii, stanza 8,) and, in annotation, quotes from
a MS. Account of Parish of Ewes, apud Macfarlane’s MSS. : —
At Unthank, two
miles north-east from the church, (of Ewes,) there are the ruins of a chapel for Divine
service in time of Popery. There is a tradition that friars were wont to come from
Melrose or Jedburgh, to baptize and marry in this parish ; and, from being in use to
carry the mass-book in their bosoms, they were called by the inhabitants “ Book a-
bosomes
.”
Dalcaeth, in the Celtic, means the narrow dale.—Vide Richard and Owen’s Dic-
tionary, in voce Caeth. Dalkeith, as a parish, does not appear in the ancient Taxatio.
Indeed, as such, it did not then exist ; but as the manor of Dalkeith, as well as that
of Abercorn, was granted by David I. to William de Grahame, it is easily to be sup-
posed, that, being an opulent family, they had a chapel to their court.  “ No memorial
remains of the Grahames, unless the fading traditions of the place, and two curious
but wasted tombstones, which lie within the circuit of the old church. They represent
knights in chain armour, lying cross-legged upon their monuments, like those ancient
and curious figures on the tombs in the Temple Church, London.” Provincial Anti-
quities of Scotland
.
 From Robertson’s Index, 40-44 ; and from the Douglas Peer-
age
, 489, we find, that in the reign of David II., John de Grahame of Dalkeith resigned
the manor, with its pertinents, to William Douglas, the heir of Sir James Douglas of
Lothian, in marriage with his daughter Margaret. Dalcaeth is first written Dalkeith
in a charter of Robert the Bruce. It is proper to mention, however, that Froissart,
who himself visited the Earl of Douglas at his castle of Dalkeith, has tho following pas-
sage, in mentioning the single combat between the Earl and Sir Henry Percy, at the
barriers of Newcastle. The former having, by force of arms, won the banner of the
latter, is thus made to say : — “ I shall bear this token of your prowess into Scotland,
and shall set it high on my castle of Dalkeith, (D’Alquest) that it may be seen afar off.”
—Froissart, Berners’ Reprint, 1812. Vol. ii. p. 893.
‡ The monks of Newbottle were of the Cistertian order.  “ They were called
Monachi Albi,” says Cardonnel, “ to distinguish them from the Benedictines, whose
Oh ! bethink thee, Knight,” the good
Frere said,
281
I should kneel by his couch and
pray ;
282
How awful it is for the soul of man283
Unanneal’d to pass away !284
How awful it is, with sins unshrived,285
To pass from the bed of pain !286
Caerbarrin’s chief may a dead man
be,
287
Ere thou comest hither again ! "288

IX.

He must needs obey, he durst not say
nay,
289
That monk to the warrior stern ;290
His corslet unlaced, and his helm un-
braced,
291
Down rattled among the fern :292
And he hath mounted the Frere’s
good steed,
293
Clad in mantle and cowl he rode,294
Till 'neath him, on its own green knoll,295
Caerbarrin’s turrets glow’d.*296
Caerbarrin ! famed by History’s pen297
In Scotland’s later day,298
When Both well fled, and Mary was led299
In weeping beauty away.300

X.

The warder hail’d him from the keep,301
As through the forest of oak he hied,302
Now down the path, by the winding
strath,
303
That leads from Chalkyside,304
Speed, speed thee ! ” cried the por-
ter old,
305
As the portals wide he threw ;306

habit was entirely black ; whereas the Cistertians wore a black cowl and scapular, and
all their other clothes were white. They had the name of Cistertians, from their chief
house and monasteries, Cistertium, in Burgundy ; and Bernardines, from St Bernard,
who, with a number of his followers, retired to the monastery, and was afterwards
called Abbot of Clairvoux.”—Picturesque Antiquities, Part I., p. 12-13 ; and Keith’s
Bishops
, p. 415.
There were thirteen monasteries of the Cistertian order in Scotland, among which
were Melrose, Dundrennan, Culross, Sweetheart, and Glenluce.
* The ancient history of the lands of Carberry is lost in obscurity. The lower rooms
of the square tower are strongly arched, and evidently of great age. At the time of the
Duke of Somerset’s expedition it was the property of Mr Hugh Rigg, the king’s ad-
vocate, who is more than once mentioned in the histories of Knox and Pitscottie. We
observe also, from the Inquisitiones Speciales, that the property was conveyed to seve-
ral subsequent generations of the same family—from whom it passed to the Dicksons
—of whom we find that, during the Rebellion of 1745, Sir Robert was chief bailie of
Musselburgh.
The assumption of the lords of this wealthy district having been donators to the
Abbey of Newbottle, however unwarranted by record, is far from unlikely, the practice
having been a common one with the wealthy for very weighty reasons.
In 1184, as we learn from the Chartulary of Newbottle, (71,) Robert de Quincey,
the father of our hero, granted to the monks of the Abbey the lands of Preston, where
they formed an agricultural establishment—hence called Prestongrange—with common
of pasture for ten sheep, and a sufficiency of oxen to cultivate their grange. Seyer de
Quincey confirmed to the monks all these privileges gifted by his father, by which con-
firmation we learn that their lands of Preston were bounded on the west by the rivu-
let of Pinkie, in his manor of Travernent.
A curious fact is also ascertained by these charters of the De Quinceys, which is the
date at which coals were first worked in Scotland ; and, in contradiction to the pre-
tensions of Fifeshire, this appears to have taken place on this spot. The charter of
Robert grants to the monks the right of digging peats and of cutting wood for fuel
whereas, in that of his son Seyer, we find the addition of “ carbonarium et quarrarium,”
with free access to, and recess from the same by the sea.
This charter,” (that of Seyer,) says Chalmers in his erudite Caledonia, Vol. IL.,
p. 486, “ must necessarily have been granted between the years 1202 and 1218,
as it is witnessed by William, who became Bishop of St Andrew’s in 1202, and was
granted by Seyer de Quincey, who set out for the Holy Land in 1218, where he died in
the subsequent year.”
From Keith’s Scottish Bishops, p. 15, we learn that William Malvoisine was trans-
lated from the see of Glasgow to that of St Andrew’s in 1202. It is also added, on
the authority of the Chart. of Dumfermline, that he was “ contemporary with Pope
Honorius and Sayerus de Quincey.”
In connexion with the same family, we also find from the Chartulary of Newbottle,
that Elena, the youngest daughter of Roger de Quincey, the Constable of Scotland,
Speed, speed thee ! ” cried the sen-
tinel,
307
The court as he pass’d through ;308
And “ Speed thee ! ” echo’d the sene-
schal,
309
As he show’d the way before,—310
For much I fear, most holy Frere,311
That the struggle shall soon be
o’er.”
312

Fitte Third.

I.

Bright on Caerbarrin shines the sun,313
But all within is woe and gloom ;314
For there Sir Malcolm bends in death—315
Before him yawns the tomb !316
Unfolded were the chamber doors,317
Where moan’d he, stretch’d in prone
decay ;
318
And his rattling breath spake of com-
ing death,
319
As life’s sands ebb’d away ;320
But, when the mantled Monk he saw,321
On his arm he strove to rise,322
And the light, that erst was waning
fast,
323
Flash’d back to his sunken eyes.324

II.

Welcome ! holy Father,” he said,325
In accents fond, but low and weak326
I would pour my sins in thy pity-
ing ear,
327
And absolution seek ;328
For I have been a sinful man,329
And repent me of my sin ;330
Yet, as pass the hopes of life away,331
The terrors of death begin ;332
But chiefly would I tell to thee333
My crime of the blackest dye,334
Which a sea of tears might scarce
wash out,
335
Though I could weep it dry !336

III.

A gentle ladye my kinsman loved,337
And before he cross’d the sea,338
To combat afar with the Saracen,339
He trust reposed in me ;340
But a demon held my soul in thrall,341
And evil thoughts within me brew’d ;342
So, instead of nursing her love for him,343
Her hand for myself I wood.344
I threw forth doubts, that only were345
The coinage of my brain,346
I praised her high fidelity,347
Yet mourn’d that her love was vain ! ”348

IV.

Upstarted the Frere ; — “ Ah ! holy man,349
Yet the worst I have not told :350
In me—though sprung from noblest
blood—
351
A perjured wretch behold ! —352
For my love that ladye no love re-
turn’d,
353
Although, with hellish sleight,354
We forged a cartel, whose purport
show’d
355
That De Quincey had fallen in fight.356
Yes ! my suit that lofty ladye scorn’d—357
More distant she look’d and cold ;358
And for my love no love return’d,359
Though I woo’d her with gifts and
gold ! ”
360

V.

Uprose the Frere ; — “ Nay, sit thee
down—
361
Not mine was the guilt alone :362
Father Francis was the clerke thereof,363
And his Abbey is your own !364
To fair Elena’s hand that scroll he bore,365
Then she folded her palms, and sigh’d ;366
And she said, “ Since true he has died
to me,
367
I will be no other’s bride ! ’368

married Alan la Zouche, an English baron, and that in the division of his great estates
among his three daughters, the barony of Heriot fell to her share ; and that, in her
great liberality, she granted to the monks of Newbottle the church of “ Heryeth,” will
the tithes and other riglts.—(Chart. 270.)
The lands themselves of Heryeth were afterwards acquired by the monks ; but whe-
ther from the liberality of Elena, or from her son La Zouche, who lost his estates in the
succession wars, does not appear.
Such transfers of property to religious houses were of common occurrence. We have
already alluded to the cession of Maisterton, by the daughters of Sir Robert de Rossine
—Mariot, who married Neil de Carrick, and Ada, the wife of Gilbert de Ayton—in 1320 ;
and from the Chartulary of Newbottle we learn, that the monks had-various lands in
Clydesdale, in order to have easy access to which, they obtained, from various proprie-
tors in Mid and West Lothian, special grants of free passage to these distant granges.
—(Chart. 218 to 227, and 240.)
In conclusion we may add, as showing the extensive possessions at this early period
of the De Quincey family, that Roger de Quincey, Earl of Winton, gave also to the
canons of Dryburgh a toft “ in villa de Hadintune.” —(Chart. Dryb. 106.)
Still woo’d I her in her mourning
weeds,
369
Till she show’d a poniard bare,370
And wildly vow’d—if again I vex’d371
Her heart—to plunge it there !372

VI.

Day after day, ray after ray,373
She waned like an autumn sun,374
When droop the flowers, ’ mid yellow
bowers,
375
And the waters wailing run : —376
Day after day, like a broken rosebud,377
She wither’d and she waned,378
Till, of her beauty and wonted bloom,379
But feeble trace remain’d : —380
Then seem’d she, like some saintly
form,
381
Too pure for the gazer’s eye,382
Melting away, from our earthly day,383
To her element—the sky !384

VII.

She died—and then I felt remorse385
But how could I atone ?386
And I shook, when, by her breathless
corse,
387
In silence I stood alone : —388
Yes ! when I saw my victim lie,389
Untimely, in her swathing shroud,390
The weight of my burden’d conscience
hung
391
Upon me like a cloud !392
There was no light—and all was
night,
393
And storm, and darkness drear ;394
By day ’ twas joyless, and my sleep395
Was haunted by forms of fear !396

VIII.

Lonely I stray’d, until, dismay’d,397
I sought the feast, where mirth was
none,
398
Only to find that man is mind,399
And form and features dust alone.400
Yes—of my kinsman oft I dreamt—401
Of his woe, and his vengeance dire,402
Till yesternight he cross’d my sight,403
Like a demon in his ire.404
Thad not heard of his home return—405
Like a spectre there he stood406
Appall’d I sauk, and his falchion drank407
Deeply my forfeit blood.408

IX.

Oh ! grant remission of my sins,409
A contrite, humbled man I die ! ”410
Ere yet the words were out, the monk411
Beheld his glazing eye ;412
And vane away from the couch, he
said—
413
May Heaven forgive my vow ! ”414
With horror thrill’d his yielding frame,415
And he smote his bursting brow :416
Then pass’d he from the chamber
forth,
417
And in silence from the gate,418
And off to the south, through the
steep hill pass,
419
On his steed he journey’d straight.420

X.

A weight of woe is at his heart,421
Despair’s grey cloud is on his brows,422
For hope and fear both disappear423
In that absorbing now !424
The world is one vast wilderness,425
Vain all its pomp, its honours vain ;426
De Quincey sigh’d, and onwards pass’d427
Slowly with slacken’d rein ;428
Thus wound he down through Cous-
land glen,
429
O’erhung with willows grey,430
Until he came to the brackens green431
Wherein Father Francis lay.432

XI.

Ho ! Frere, arise ! Thy cloak and
cowl
433
Have done their office meet.”434
Father Francis sprang from his lurk-
ing-place,
435
And stood at the warrior’s feet.436
Now, tell me,” cried De Quincey,
fierce,
437
For thou art learn’d in lore,438
What the meaning of this riddle is439
That a bird unto me bore440
A lady in her chamber mourn’d,441
Her true knight he was abroad,442
Fighting afar with the Saracen,443
Under the Cross of God !444

XII.

A false Friend, and a falser Frere,445
Combined to shake her faith ;446
They forged—ah ! wherefore dost thou
fear ?
447
Base caitiff, take thy death ! ”448
The knight he struck him to the heart,449
Through the branches with a crash ;450
Down reel’d the corse, and in the
swamp
451
Sank with a sullen dash.*452

* Cousland-dean, a ravine of considerable depth, which commences where the
highway from Dalkeith branches off towards Pathhead on the right, and towards In-
veresk on the left, although now partially drained, shows every indication of having
been in the olden time a wide and extensive morass ; and, at its narrowest points, is
Thus perish all, who would enthrall453
The guideless and the true ;454
Yet on head of mine no more shall
shine
455
The sun from his path of blue.456

XIII.

No more on me shall pleasure smile—457
A heartless, hopeless man ;458
The tempest’s clouds of misery459
Have darken’d for aye my span.460
Farewell—farewell ! my native land,461
Hill, valley stream, and strath ;462
And thou, who held my heart’s com-
mand,
463
And ye who cross’d my path.464
Blow, blow ye winds ! in fury blow,465
And waft us from this baleful shore ;466
Rise, rise ye billows, and bear us
along,
467
Who hither return no more ! ”468
still spanned by two bridges, one of considerable antiquity. Indeed, the traces of the
water-course are still evident from behind Chalkyside, on the west, running eastwards
along the hollow, midway between Elphinstone Tower and Cousland Park, where
it still assumes the form of a rivulet.
* In the grants made by Seyer de Quincey to the Abbey of Newbottle, mention is made
of “ his baronies of Preston and Tranent, bounded on the west by the rivulet of Pinkie.”
We find also, that Falsyde and Elphingston were in his possession ; and he is elsewhere
styled Earl of Wyntoun, (Caledonia, vol. ii. 486, Note 6,) a proof that the barony of
that name formed also a part of his immense possessions. It is not a little curious, there-
fore, that a charter of King William, the brother of Malcolm, surnamed the Maiden,
should be still extant, wherein, in the thirteenth year of that monarch’s reign, he makes
confirmation to Phillip de Seytune of the lands of Seytoune, Wintoun, and Winchelburgh,
(nunc Winchburgh,) “ quhilk,” as Sir Richard Maitland observes, (Historie, p. 17,)
was auld heretage of befor, as the said charter testifies.”
Willielmus, Dei gra. rex Scotorum, &c. Sciatis presentis et futuri, me concessisse, et
hac carta mea confirmasse, Phillipo de Seytune, terram quæ fuit patris sui ; scilicet,
Seytune, et Wintune, et Winchilburgh, tenendam sibi et hæredibus suis de me et hæredibus
meis, in fædo et hæreditate,” &c.
Philip de Seytune was succeeded, on his death, by his son Alexander ; and, by an-
other singular preservation, we have, in the forty-sixth year of the same King, another
royal charter of infeftment of the same lands. It is nearly in the same words ; and,
strange to say, two of the witnesses to it are Robert de Quincey and Henry de Quincey.
Both of these charters are printed in Dr M‘Kenzie’s “ Lives of Scottish Writers.” They
have also been transcribed by the author, or rather compiler of the Diplomata Scotice, which
transcripts are still preserved, being now, or lately, in the possession of Mr Dillon, a
member of the Maitland Club.
In the succession wars, the De Quincey family took side with Baliol, and the Setons
with Bruce. Sir Christopher, or Chrystal Seton saved the life of that great man at
the disastrous battle of Methven ; and afterwards married his sister. On the acces-
sion of Bruce to the throne, the estates of the De Quinceys, being declared forfeited,
were conferred on the Setons ; and in Sir Richard Maitland’s Chronicle we find, that
the said King Robert gave to the said Alexander (Seton) the barony of Tranent,
with the tenendary thairof for the tyme, viz. Falsyde mylis and Elphinstoune, as the
charteris testifiis, geven thairupoun.” The “ landis of Dundas and Cragye ” were also
bestowed upon him, “ for service done by his futher and himself, with the landes and
barony of Barnis, aboue Hadingtoun, with dyuers uther landis, quhilk I omit for schort-
nes.” — Glasgow Reprint, 1829, p. 21.
For centuries the name of De Quincey hath perished from out the rich and exten-
sive district which owned its sway ; and, in contemplating the destinies of this once great
family, how apposite is the exclamation of Claudian—
— “ Tolluntur in altum
Ut lapsu graviore ruant ! ”