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Nor he alone reposes in the dust,
But Aristides too, the good, the just,
Whose worth by all that knew him was confest,
And still they prized him most who knew him best.
(1) According to some antiquaries, the ancestor of Somerville accompanied Edward of Atheling, the grandson of Edmund Ironside, on his return from Hungary, whither his father had been sent by the king of Sweden, to whose custody he had been committed by Canute the Dane. By the exertions of Malcolm IV. of Scotland, Edgar was restored to his patrimonial estate. Cuthally, the ancient castle of the Somervilles, the ruins of which still exist in the vicinity of Carnwath, is commonly pronounced Cowdaily; whence the punning spirit of tradition has taken occasion to say, that it derived its name from the daily slaughter of a cow for the board of Somerville, alluded to in the poem.-[In 'The Memorie of the Somervilles'—a curious book, published in 1816 from the original MS. which was written by James Somerville, who died in 1690, and who is styled in the title-page, James, Eleventh Lord Somerville-many curious notices are given of the royal visits to Cowthally; and especially of the flirtations of James V. with "Mistress Katherine Carmichael, the Captain of Crawfuird's daughter, a young lady much about sexteinth years of age, admired for her beautie, handsomenes of person, and vivacity of spirit."]
(2) [See Note THE FALLS OF CLYDE, at end of Canto]
With giddy heads we view the dreadful deep,
But when the deluge pours from every hill,
And Clyde's wide bed ten thousand torrents fill,
His rage the murmuring mountain streams augment:
Then shattered woods, with ragged roots uptorn,
Did I the terrors of the scene behold;
I saw the liquid snowy mountains rolled
Prone down the awful steep; I heard the din
That shook the hill, from caves that boiled within:
Blotted the sun, obscured the shining day,
To eldest rank, and give a province name.
(1) [See Note ANTIQUITY OF LANARK, at end of Canto.]
Here Kenneth oft retired, whose skilful hand
Through Clyde's fair forest he pursued the chase;
So plenty shall o'erflow these happy plains,
And love and joy shall crown the nymphs and swains.
May pour their fury on an open foe,
Nor weave in secret plots their country's woe.
The generous dictates of his noble breast..
Duteous obedience discontent succeeds:
Here Hazelrig the spouse of Wallace slew ; (1)
Here their broad wings Rome's ravening eagles spread, When great Agricola her legions led :
Not Grampian mountains could his speed restrain;
Clyde, foaming o'er his falls, tremendous roars,
(1) [Lanark is celebrated in Scottish history, especially in the chronicles of Fordun and Blind Harry, as being the scene of the first exploits of the patriot Wallace. The accounts of this early part of his career are somewhat obscure; but the popular belief and tradition is, that the insolence and oppression of the English sheriff of Lanarkshire, William de Hesliope, having become insupportable, Wallace joined or instigated a rising of his countrymen, and, defeating the common enemy, put the obnoxious sheriff to death in the town of Lanark. The time of this occurrence is laid in 1297. Blind Harry, who enters fully into this detail, relates that Wallace having married a lady of the name of Braidfoot, the heiress of Lamington, lived with her privately at Lanark, and that while there a scuffle ensued in the street between Wallace and his friends and a body of Englishmen. The patriot, having been overpowered, fled, first to his own house and then to Cartlane Craigs, upon which the sheriff, Hesliope or Hesilrig, seized his wife and put her to death. In revenge for the deep injury he had sustained, Wallace gathered a party of his friends, attacked Hesliope in the night, and killed him with 240 of his band.]
And Lee's recess; whence many a chief of name,
Bosomed in woods, and rising o'er the plain, See fair Stonebyres, generous Vere's domain. From Oxford's lofty race their lineage springs; Famed Oxford, sprung from emperors and kings. How bright the Veri Antonini shone! When virtue's self possest the imperial throne. The world admired Aurelius' godlike sway, And blest his power, delighted to obey. But when the fierce prætorian cohorts sold The earth's broad empire for alluring gold, The generous Veri left imperial Rome, And fixed in warlike Normandy their home. And when before the Normans' furious might, The conquered Saxon sunk in fatal fight, Above the bravest shone the valiant Vere, And far-famed Oxford fell the hero's share. But, led by friendship, from their native soil, They shared the noble Hamilton's exile. On either side they stretch their wide domain Where turbid Nethan rends the indented plain. (1) Where ample fields could scarce one sheep sustain, The plains of Kennedy wave white with grain; Where scarce the heath the lark's low nest could shade, Now lofty trees ascending, heaven invade.
Now Clyde propitious opes his fair retreats,
Sage wisdom's haunts, the muses' pleasant seats.
(1) [The Nethan, a beautiful stream whose banks are finely diversified with hanging woods, green holms and corn-fields, rises in the hills which separate the parishes of Lesmahagow and Muirkirk, and running northeast through Lesmahagow parish is joined by the Logan and other streams, and falls into the Clyde a little below Craignethan Castle.]