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And we-behind the Chieftain's shield,
No more shall we in safety dwell ; None leads the people to the field
And we the loud lament must swell.
O hone a rie! O hone a rie!
The pride of Albin's line is o'er, And fallen Glenartney's stateliest tree;
We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more!
Well can the Saxon widows tell.-P. 212. v. 2.
The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the High, landers to their Low-country neighbours.
How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane tree.-P. 212. v. 3.
The fires lighted by the Highlanders on the first of May, in compliance with a custom derived from the Pas gan times, are termed The Beltane Tree. It is a festival celebrated, with various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and in Wales.
The Seer's prophetic spirit found, f.c.-P. 213. v. 2.
I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr Johnson's definition, who calls it “ An impression, either by the mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived and
seen as if they were present.” To which I would only add, that the spectral appearances, thus presented, usually presage misfortune ; that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess it; and that they usually acquire it, while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.
Will good St Oran's rule prevail.-P. 217. v. 1.
St Oran was a friend and follower of St Columba, and was buried in Icolmkill. His pretensions to be a saint were rather dubious. According to the legend, he con. sented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate certain dæmons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed; when Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost dispatch. The chapel, how. ever, and the cemetery, was called Reilig Ouran ; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.
And thrice St Fillan's powerful prayer.-P. 225. v. 3.
St Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy foun. tains, &c. in Scotland. He was, according to Camerarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, in Fife ; from which situation he retired, and died a hermit in the wilds of Glenurchy,
A. D. 649. While engaged in transcribing the Scriptures, his left hand was observed to send forth such a splendour, as to afford light to that with which he wrote ; a miracle which saved many candles to the convent, as St Fillan used to spend whole nights in that exercise. The 9th of January was dedicated to this saint, who gave his name to Kilfillan, in Renfrew, and St Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7. tells us, that Robert the Bruce was possessed of Fillan's miraculous and luminous arm, which he inclosed in a silver shrine, and had it carried at the head of his army. Previous to the battle of Bannockburn, the king's chaplain, a man of little faith, abstracted the relique, and deposited it in some place of security, lest it should fall into the hands of the English. But, lo! while Robert was addressing his prayers to the empty casket, it was observed to open and shut suddenly ; and, on inspection, the saint was found to have himself deposited his arm in the shrine, as an assurance of victory. Such is the tale of Lesley. But though Bruce little needed that the arm of St Fillan should assist his own, he dedicated to him, in gratitude, a priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay.
In the Scots Magazine for July, 1802, (a national periodical publication, which has lately revived with consi. derable energy,) there is a copy of a very curious crowngrant, dated 11th July, 1487, by which James III. confirms to Malice Doire, an inhabitant of Strathfillan, in Perthshire, the peaceable exercise and enjoyment of a relique of St Fillan, called the Quegrich, which he, and his predecessors, are said to have possessed since the days
of Robert Bruce. As the Quegrich was used to cure dis. eases, this document is, probably, the most ancient patent ever granted for a quack medicine. The ingenious correspondent, by whom it is furnished, further observes, that additional particulars, concerning St Fillan, are to be found in Bellenden's Boece, Book 4, folio ccxii, and in Pennant's Tour in Scotland, 1772, pp. 11, 15.