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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


A silver stream, 88 in the days of yore, When the old hermit of the neighbouring cell Bless’d the clear waters of St Anton’s Well ; And you grey ruins, ou whose grassy floor The lambkins browse, rung out the matiu bell, Whose voice upon the neighbouring city fell Waking up ’mong its crowds old h e a d that wore Griefs like our own ; sounding to one the knell Of ruined hopes, to which another heeds As joyful music on his marriage morn. Up you steep cliff how oft light steps have borne The wedding or the chr.ktening train ; where weeds So long have grown the chapel altar stood, And daily pilgrims knelt before the Holy Rood.. Thus fashiona change, while Nature h the same ; The altar gone,-& chapel’s crumbling walla O’erlooking there the Stuarts’ ancient halh, Deserted all and drear ; with but the fame Of buried glories giving them B name ; Where yet the past as with a spell enthralls The wanderer’a fancy, rapt in musing dream Of ancient story, helping it to frame Old scenes in you grey aisles, when mass was sung; While Mary-hapless Queen-knelt low the while, Aud thrilling chaunts and incense filled the aisle ;- Vain dream !-Of all that there 80 fondly Clung, Nought save the daisy and the blue harebell Breathe their old incense by St Anton’s Well.
Volume 10 Page xviii
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MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH IN THE OLDEN TIME. CHAPTER I. E A RLIE S T TRA DITIONS. h I , {3 ; I!;) I,\,,,!I 11 Bl'#d'y!j recent era, is included in that of its Castle and xatively Abbey. The first, the fortress, round whose protecting citadel the rude huts of our forefathers were gathered and continued to increase, until, amid the wealth and security of more peaceful times, the Abbey of the Holyrood reared its consecrated walls, and absorbed to itself much of the wealth and the learning, many of the virtues, and doubtless also some of the vices, of the wild Saxons that peopled the fertile Lothians. It is unnecessary to follow in this History the fanciful disquisitions of zealous antiquaries, respecting the origin and etymology of Edinburgh ; it has been successively derived, both in origin and name, from Saxon, Pict, and Gael; and in each case, with s&cient ingenuity only to leave the subject more deeply involved than at first. To expect that the first rude gathering of the hamlet, that forms the nucleus of the future capital, should leave its traces in the surviving records or traditions of the past, were as unreasonable as that the rustic should challenge the veracity of a living historian, because he *- -_ , ,uly 11- r VIGmTTE-Ancient carved atone over the entrance to the Ordnance Office, Edinburgh Castle. A
Volume 10 Page 1
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