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Here Avon pours, who his long current leads (1)
Through old Strathaven, famed for generous steeds:
Through pastures, fields, and towns he rolls along;
The soil is fruitful, and the swains are strong.
But on yon eminence, exalted high,

Proud Chatelherault's tall turrets strike the sky, (')


(1) [The Avon, a beautiful tributary of the Clyde, rises on the south side of Distinetthorn hill in Ayrshire, about 800 feet above sea-level. Flowing north-east to Torfoots in Avondale parish, it is there joined by the Glengivel from the south, and two miles farther on by Drumclog burn. One and a half mile below this point it receives the little Calder from the north, and soon after Lockhart water from the south. Passing about a mile south of the town of Strathaven it receives its largest tributary, the Kype, which flows from the south, and precipitates itself near its mouth over a cascade of about 50 feet in height. From this point it flows northeast and afterwards north, through the Duke of Hamilton's grounds, and falls into the Clyde about a mile to the south-east of the town of Hamilton, after a course of about 28 miles. The parish of Avondale or Strathaven, which it divides into nearly equal parts and to which it gives its name, is celebrated for the fertility of its soil, richness of cultivation, and beauty of landscape. The strath is described by Wordsworth in one of his sonnets as "a fertile region green with wood." Hamilton of Wishaw says of Strathaven "this baronie did anciently belong to the Bairds; and thereafter came to Sinclair; and from them to the Earle of Douglas with whom it continued severall ages; and after his fatall forfaulture in anno 1455 it was given by James the Third to Andrew Stewart, whom he created Lord Avondale; and it continued with him until 1538, or thereby, when he exchanged it with Sir James Hamilton for the baronie of Ochiltree, in the Parliament 1543 (1534?). From which tyme, it continued with the successors of Sir James Hamilton untill it was acquyred by James, first of that name, Marquis of Hamilton; and continueth with his successors since."]

(2) [The chateau of Chatelherault, with its red walls, its four square towers, and its pinnacles, is understood to have been built in imitation of the citadel of Chatelherault in Poitou, about the year 1732. "It is a sumptuous pile; but contains the odd assemblage of a banquettinghouse and a dog-kennel. It stands on a rising ground near the Avon ; the banks of which river form a deep, woody dell behind it; open in many parts, and in general wider, and of larger dimensions, than these recesses are commonly found. Frequent as they are in mountainous countries, and rarely as they are marked with any striking or peculiar features, yet they are always varied and always pleasing. Their sequestered paths; the ideas of solitude which they convey; the rivulets which either sound or murmur through them; their interwoven woods, and fre quent openings, either to the country or to some little pleasing spot within themselves, form together such an assemblage of soothing ingredients that they have always a wonderful effect on the imagination. I must add, that I do not remember ever meeting with a scene of the kind that pleased me more than the wild river-views about Chatelherault."}

Mid artificial lawns extending, green,

While gay parterres enamelled spread between ;
Fenced with broad waving woods of varied hue;
A sweet retreat, with all the world in view.
So Paradise, with faultless beauty crowned,

On mountains rose, which shook with woods around.
Here, deep-ingulphed in rocks, fair Avon flows, (')
While lines of crystal wander down their brows;
Where sportive nature all the forms has shown
Of vegetation in a growing stone;

Nor by the sages can it be defined,

Or plant, or stone, where both so well are joined.
In billowy surges waves the rising grain,
Where graceful Hamilton adorns the plain.
In ancient pomp, above the subject lands,
The palaced hall her winged courts expands; (2)
The lofty walls with polished marble vie,
And stately columns heave the roof on high ;
The figured arras lines each spacious hall,
And forms for ancient chiefs a gorgeous pall.



(1) ["The scenery on some parts of the banks of the Avon," says a writer in the Gazetteer of Scotland, "after it enters the parish of Hamilton at Millhaugh bridge, is almost unsurpassed in picturesque grandeur and beauty. In many places, the rocks raise their bristling summits to the height of 300 feet above the bed of the streamlet, and are often crowned with majestic oaks."]

(2) [Hamilton palace. The germ of this magnificent structure was originally a small square tower, and the olden part of the present house was erected about the year 1591. The structure was almost entirely rebuilt or renewed more than a century afterwards. The present dukewhose architectural taste is well known-commenced a series of additions in 1822, which have entirely altered the character of the building, and though scarcely yet completed, promise to make it one of the most magnificent piles in the kingdom, and not inferior to the abode of royalty itself. The interior furnishings are worthy of its magnificent and imposing exterior, and the triumph of art is so conspicuous that it may be truly said the workmanship surpasses the material. The collection of paintings in the picture-gallery, which has been vastly increased by the present duke-is by all allowed to be the finest in North Britain; and altogether the halls of Hamilton palace, for beauty and costliness of ornament and furnishing, are unrivalled in Scotland.]

So gleamed the splendid halls in lambent flame,
When to his court bright Phoebus' offspring came.
Lost and confounded in a storm of light,
Each radiant view o'erpowered his darkened sight.
With gold and silver bright pyropus strove,
And glittering ivory crowned the roofs above.
But fairer here the roofs than ivory show,
Smoother than glass, more white than falling snow.
The polished marble owns each latent grace,
And shaded canvass shows the living face:
Dread heroes frown in all their ancient ire,

And softer eyes still dart the heavenly fire.
The mansion's lords, whose lofty lineage springs
From the long line of Caledonian kings,

Hold, with their consorts bright, the foremost place,
The dames, the chiefs of that illustrious race.

But who could hope Eliza's form to paint!
To blend in one the angel and the saint!
In whom her beauty is her lowest praise,

Though that the brightest that the sun surveys.
To heaven and nature just, their darling care
Repaid their bounty to each orphan-fair:
For, lest dull want and anxious penury
Should damp the dawning lustre of their eye;
Wither the roses which begin to blow,
Or tinge with sallow hue their native snow;
She reared her orphan charge with tender art,
And, like a parent, soothed each lonely heart.

As by the moisture nurst which Clyde supplics,
The mighty oak springs to gigantic size;
Proudly erects his wide-spread head on high,
While his long arms invest the distant sky;
So eminent this princely stock is found,
Extending prosperous branches wide around.




From Leicester's race descends the lofty line,
A generous breed, in battle doomed to shine; (')
The chief that spurned a minion's rank abuse,
And joined the fortunes of the warrior Bruce:
Faithful to Scottish kings the race has stood,
While circles in their veins their sovereign's blood.
Hence bold Bargenny and Belhaven rose;
Hence, Haddington, thy noble lineage flows;
Hence sprung rich Abercorn, a mighty peer,
And Selkirk, ever to the muses dear.

Yet most the name adorns their native Clyde,
Where frequent shine their domes on every side;
Whence, moving graceful, all the active race
Rush with their sprightly chief to urge the chase;
Where slyly lurking mid his caverned rocks,
By Clyde's fair banks, slow creeps the crafty fox:
Sagacious hounds his tainted track pursue,
He doubles, winds, and shuns the open view.
Their chiming sounds his frighted ears invade;
In vain his wiles he summons to his aid;

He, listening, hears in every blast of wind,



The deep-mouthed hound and thundering horse behind: He shoots the steep, and tracks the sightless road, 770 And winding mazes to his dark abode.

With aspect mean, a formidable foe,

The terrier drives him from his haunt below.
His guilt glares hideous, when in open day,
The villain stands revealed, with dumb dismay,
When guileful rapine's hoarded spoils are viewed,
And guilty caverns stained with guiltless blood.
None grieve, when low the trembling felon lies,
Who, unlamented, unlamenting dies.

His limbs the hungry brood of ravens feed;
Abhorred alive, more loathsome still when dead.

(1) See Note FAMILY OF HAMILTON, at end of Canto.


Not so the stately stag, of harmless force; In motion graceful, rapid in his course. Nature in vain his lofty head adorns

With formidable groves of pointed horns.


Soon as the hound's fierce clamour strikes his ear,
He throws his arms behind, and owns his fear;
Sweeps o'er the unprinted grass, the wind outflies ;—
Hounds, horses, hunters, horns, still sound along the skies;
Fierce as a storm they pour along the plain;
Their lively chief still foremost of the train;
With unremitting ardour leads the chase ;-
He, trembling, safety seeks in every place;
Drives through the thicket, scales the lofty steep;
Bounds o'er the hills, or darts through valleys deep;
Plunges amid the river's cooling tides,

While strong and quick he heaves his panting sides.
He from afar his loved companions sees,

Whom the loud hoop that hurtles on the breeze
Into a crowded phalanx firm had cast;

Their armed heads all outward round them placed :
Some desperate band, surrounded, thus appears,
Hedged with protended bayonets and spears:
To these he flies, and begs to be allowed
To share the danger with the kindred crowd;
But must, by general voice excluded, know
How loathed the sad society of woe.

The cruel hounds pour round on every hand;
Desperate, he turns to make a feeble stand:
Big tears on tears roll down his harmless face;
He falls, and sues in vain, alas! for grace.
Pitied and prized he dies. The ponderous prey
The jolly troop in triumph bear away.

Nor men infest alone the open field;

Even Clyde's deep floods can no protection yield.



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