Page images

far as Inverness, to repress the violence of the Highland chiefs; and by attaching the more powerful barons to his person and service, and arraying the clans in opposition to each other, he succeeded in introducing a certain degree of respect for the laws among the fierce inhabitants of the northern counties.

In 1502, a treaty of marriage betwixt the Scottish ring and Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., was concluded at Richmond ; and in the following year, the young bride, only in her fourteenth year, was conducted to Edinburgh, where the nuptials were solemnized with much chivalrous pomp and splendour.

This was a union which produced the happiest effects in future times, as it united the two kingdoms in the person of James VI., the great-grandson of this marriage.

In 1504, James with a large retinue proceeded to Eskdale, where he called the borderers to a severe account for their depredations, and with a salutary severity executed the most noted of these freebooters. In the same year, a rebellion in the Western Isles had been for the time subdued by Sir Andrew Wood; but the rebellion breaking out anew in the following year, the king repaired to the Hebrides in person with an ample force, and completely subdued the insurrection.

Affable and easy of access to the meanest of his people, and liberal even to profusion in his entertainment of the nobles, James IV. was highly popular with all classes of his subjects. His noble bearing as a knight, gained their admiration ; and the energy he displayed in maintaining order and justice throughout the land, and his unwearied efforts in promoting the commercial interests of the country, and in providing a navy for its defence, secured their gratitude and esteem ; so that, although his licentious gallantries have left a blot upon his personal character, his memory has been transmitted to posterity in brighter colours, and his fame has reached us with louder plaudits, than those of almost any other monarch that ever ruled in Scotland.

So long as the sceptre of England was swayed by the cautious Henry VII., peace was maintained between the two countries; but on the accession of Henry VIII., a prince of a temper as fiery as that of his Scottish brother

in-law, war soon became inevitable. Henry invaded France, and James, to serve his French ally, immediately declared war upon England. The war was unpopular with the Scottish nation, yet such was their loyal devotion to the king, that Highlands and Lowlands at once poured forth their array to fight in the quarrel of their beloved monarch, and James soon saw himself at the head of an army of one hundred thousand men. He crossed the Tweed, but instead of pressing forward while the English were unprepared, he loitered away his time in idle dalliance with the Lady Heron at Ford Castle, till many of his own troops had returned home, and the Earl of Surrey had collected a strong force to oppose him. James was posted on Flodden hill, in so strong a position, that Surrey finding an assault from the south hopeless, where the ground was abrupt and rugged, led his army across the Till, and by a circuit

, placed himself to the north of the Scottish

where the ground, sloping gently, afforded an easy means of access. During this maneuvre, Surrey exposed himself to certain defeat had James attacked his army in flank. This unaccountable oversight on the part of the Scots, in neglecting to attack the English whilst defiling past them, proved fatal to Scotland. The battle began at four in the afternoon, and was maintained with great valour and obstinacy, the king fighting on foot with his nobles around him, till the darkness separated the combatants. It was not till next morning that the Scots were aware of their defeat, and the English sure of their victory. About an equal number fell on each side, but the English lost only men of common rank, while the Scottish army, consisting chiefly of the flower of the nobility and gentry, fighting around their beloved sovereign, the best and bravest of Scotland were left dead on the field. The king and thirteen earls were slain, besides fifteen lords and chiefs of clans, with a long list of gentry and ten thousand of the common rank; so that the whole Scottish nation were thrown into mourning, and the fatal field of Flodden is still remembered as one of the greatest calamities that ever befell the kingdom of Scotland.— Written for the present Work.




WHEN Jordan hush'd his waters still,
And silence slept on Zion hill-
When Bethel's shepherds through the night,
Watch'd o'er their flocks by starry light
Hark! from the midnight hills around,
A voice of more than mortal sound,
In distant hallelujahs stole,
Wild murmuring o'er the raptured soul.
Then swift to every startled eye,
New streams of glory light the sky;
Heaven bursts her azure gates to pour
Her spirits to the midnight hour.
On wheels of light-on wings of flame,
The glorious hosts of Zion came:
High heaven with songs of triumph rung,
While thus they struck their harps and sung-
O Zion ! lift thy raptured eye,
The long-expected hour is nigh ;
The joys of nature rise again,
The Prince of Salem comes to reign.
See, mercy from her golden urn,
Pours a rich stream to them that mourn ;
Behold, she binds with tender care,
The bleeding bosom of despair !
He comes to cheer the trembling heart,
Bids Satan and his hosts depart-
Again the day-star gilds the gloom,
Again the bowers of Eden bloom !
O Zion! lift thy raptured eye,
The long-expected hour is nigh;
The joys of nature rise again,
The Prince of Salem comes to reign.



BEGIN, my soul, the exalted lay!
Let each enraptured thought obey,

And praise the Almighty's name;
Lo! heaven and earth, and seas and skies,
In one melodious concert rise,

To swell the inspiring theme.
Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Where gay transporting beauty reigns,

Ye scenes divinely fair!
Your Maker's wondrous power proclaim,
Tell how he form'd your shining frare,

And breathed the fluid air.
Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound !
While all the adoring thrones around

His boundless mercy sing!
Let every list'ning saint above
Wake all the tuneful soul of love,

And touch the sweetest string.
Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Thou dazzling orb of liquid fire

The mighty chorus aid ;
Soon as grey evening gilds the plain,
Thou moon, protract the melting strain,

And praise him in the shade.
Thou heaven of heavens, his vast abode,
Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God,

Who call’d yon worlds from night.
“ Ye shades dispel!”—the Eternal said ;
At once the involving darkness fled,

And Nature sprung to light.
Whate'er a blooming world contains,
That wings the air, that skims the plains,

United praise bestow;
Ye dragons, sound his awful name
To heaven aloud ; and roar acclaim

Ye swelling deeps below.
Let every element rejoice;
Ye thunders, burst with awful voice,

To him who bids you roll:
His praise in softer notes declare,
Each whispering breeze of yielding air,

And breathe it to the soul.
To him, ye graceful cedars, bow;
Ye towering mountains, bending low,

Your great Creator own;

Tell, when affrighted Nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at his look,

And trembled at his frown.
Ye flocks, that haunt the humble vale,
Ye insects fluttering on the gale,

In mutual concourse rise:
Crop the gay rose's vermil bloom,
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume,

In incense to the skies.
Wake, all ye mounting tribes, and sing :
Ye blooming warblers of the spring

Harmonious anthems raise,
To him who shaped your finer mould,
Who tipp'd your glittering wings with gold,

And tuned your voice to praise.
Let man by nobler passions sway'd,
The feeling heart, the judging head,

In heavenly praise employ ;
Spread the Creator's name around,
Till heaven's broad arch rings back the sound,

The general burst of joy.
Ye whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nursed on the downy lap of ease,

Fall prostrate at his throne;
Ye princes, rulers, all adore :
Praise him, ye kings, who makes your power

An image of his own.
Ye fair, by nature form’d to move,
O praise the Eternal Source of love

With youth's enlivening fire:
Let age take up the tuneful lay,
Sigh his blest name—then soar away,
And ask an angel's lyre.



Ar the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove ;
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove;
"Twas then by the cave of the mountain afar,
A hermit his song of the night thus began,
No more with himself, or with nature, at war,
He thought as a sage, while he felt as a man:

« PreviousContinue »