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scenery amid which they were composed. His "Tears on the Death of Moeliades," (Prince Henry, son of James I.,) and his "River Forth Feasting," have been much admired. His sonnets, however, are his best productions. They flow with as much grace and beauty, (though not perhaps with the same variety,) as the romantic river which murmurs past his 'wooded seat.' His madrigals, complimentary verses, and other short pieces, abound in foolish conceits, and what is worse, in coarse and licentious language. But he was one of the best poets of the age, and only inferior to two or three of his great contemporaries.
The following sonnet-" To His Lute"-is very sweet. It was probably written after the death of the lady to whom he was betrothed;
My lute be as thou wert when thou didst grow,
What art thou but a harbinger of woe?
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
But orphan wailings to the fainting ear,
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear;
For which be silent as in woods before;
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign,
Like widowed turtle still her loss complain.
His sonnet "In Praise of a Solitary Life," was written, we can well imagine, in his summer bower
on the banks of the Esk. It is peculiarly harmo
Thrice happy he who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world doth live his own,
But doth converse with that eternal love.
O how more sweet is bird's harmonious moan,
The following, "To a Nightingale," is still more beautiful:
Sweet bird! that singst away the early hours
But we have entered the vale of Roslin, and there, in its beauty, stands the Chapel of Roslin, one of the most exquisite architectural ruins in Scotland. It was founded in 1484, or even earlier
than that, by the Earl of Caithness and Orkney. The whole Chapel is profusely decorated with the most delicate sculpture both within and without. The roof, the capitals, key-stones and architraves, are all overlaid with sculpture, representing foliage and flowers, grotesque figures, sacred history and texts of Scripture. The fine fluted column called the "Apprentice's Pillar," so named from a tradition which no one believes, and which therefore we do not repeat, is exceedingly beautiful, being ornamented with wreaths of foliage and flowers twining around it in spiral columns. So perfect are these alto relievos, that the author of a pamphlet describing them, says that he can liken' them to nothing but Brussels lace.
How solemn a thing it is in this chequered light, to wander amid these sounding aisles and ancient monuments! In the vaults beneath lie the Barons of Roslin, all of whom, till the time of James the Seventh, were buried without a coffin, in complete armor. This circumstance, and the vulgar belief that on the night preceding the death of any of these barons, the chapel appeared in flames, has been finely described by Walter Scott, in his touching ballad of Rosabelle.
O listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feats of arms I tell;
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
"Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
Rest thee in castle Ravensheuch,
"The blackening wave is edged with white, To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the water sprite, Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh. "Last night the gifted seer did view,
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay!
"Tis not because the ring they ride-
O'er Roslin all that dreary night,
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam, 'Twas broader than the watchfire's light, And redder than the bright moonbeam.
It glared on Roslin's castled rock,
It ruddied all the copsewood glen, 'Twas seen from Dryden's grove of oak,
And seen from cavern'd Hawthornden.
Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud,
Seem'd all on fire, within, around,
Shone every pillar, foliage bound,
And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.
Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair,-
There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold,
And each St. Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell,
But the sea caves rung, and the wild winds sung,
We now pass over a bridge of great height, spanning a deep cut in the solid rock, and reach Roslin Castle, with its triple tier of vaults, standing upon a peninsular rock overhanging the romantic glen of the Esk. This castle was, for ages, the seat of the St. Clairs, or Sinclairs, descended from William de Sancto Clare, the son of Waldernus de Clare, who came to England with William the Conqueror, and fought at the battle of Hastings. The enumeration of their titles, says Sir Walter Scott, would take away the breath of a herald. Among others, they were Princes of the Orcades, Dukes of Oldenburgh, Lord Admirals, of the Scottish Seas, Grand Justiciaries of the kingdom, Wardens of the border, Earls of Caithness, titularies of more than fifty baronies, patrons and Grand Masters of Masonry in Scotland, &c. &c.
Of the grandeur and opulence of the family, some conception may be derived from the following description, given in a manuscript in the "Advocate's Library," of the state maintained by William St. Clare, founder of the chapel.-"About that time (1440) the town of Roslin, being next to Edinburgh and Haddington in East Lothian, became very populous by the great concourse of all ranks and degrees