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The Lay of the Last Minstrel
by Sir Walter Scott
- Arthur Fire-the-Braes
- The person bearing this redoubtable nom de guerre
was an Elliott, and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale.
He occurs in the list of Border riders, in 1597.
- The visor of a helmet.
- bale of fire
- A beacon fire.
- The defence of the outer gate of a feudal castle.
- Barded, or barbed, was applied to a horse accoutred with defensive armour.
- St. Barnabright
- St. Barnaby's day, June 11. It is still called Barnaby Bright in Hants, from its being generally a bright sunshiny day.
- Baron's crest
- The crest of the Cranstouns, in allusion to their name, is a crane
dormant, holding a stone in his foot, with an emphatic Border motto,
Thou shalt want ere I want. Arms thus punning on the name,
are said heraldrically to be "canting".
- Priests were wont to carry their mass-books, for buring and marrying,
&c., in their bosoms.
- Bothwell, Earl of
- The ill-fated third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. His
children (twins) by Mary died at birth. He fled after she was
deposed, and he died in a Danish prison.
- Make ready. Usually used reflexively: "bowne them" = "make themselves
- The name is spelt differently by the various families who bear it.
Carr is selected, not as the most correct, but as the most poetical
- A mountain on the Border of England, above Jedburgh.
- Crescent and the Star
- The Crescent and the Star were armorial bearings of the Scotts of Buccleuch.
- cygnet from St. Mary's wave
- Flights of wild swans are often seen on St. Mary's Lake, which is
at the head of the Yarrow.
- The Viscount of Dundee, Claverhouse, was slain in the battle of
- Anne, the heiress of Buccleuch, who had been married to the unhappy
Duke of Monmouth, [bastard] son of Charles II. He was beheaded for
his rebellion against James II., 1685.
- Earl Francis
- The Duchess's late father.
- Earl Walter
- Walter, Earl of Buccleuch, grandfather of the Duchess,
and a celebrated warrior.
- Scottish eagle.
- Falcon and culver
- Ancient pieces of artillery.
- Fastern's night
- Shrove Tuesday, the eve of the great Spring fast.
- An asylum for outlaws.
- A stylized iris, used in heraldry.
- Magical delusion.
- Thank you, from the French Grand merci.
- A soldier armed with a hackbut (harquebus).
- Clump of firm ground in a bog or swamp.
- The place on Carlisle wall where the moss-troopers, if caught,
were hung. The neck-verse was the first verse of Psalm 51. If a criminal
claimed on the scaffold ``benefit of his clergy,'' a priest instantly
presented him with a Psalter, and he read his neck-verse. The power
of reading it entitled him to his life, which was spared; but he
was banished from the kingdom.
- Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now demolished.
- An early match-lock field gun, too heavy to be shoulder-fired.
Extensively used in Europe 1450-1530.
- The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of
the vassel, in name of Heriot, or Herezeld.
- The midnight service of the Catholic church.
- Powder flasks.
- A Borderer, whose profession was pillage of the English. These
marauders were called moss-trooper because they dwelt in the
mosses, and rode, on their incursions, in troops.
- mount for Branksome
- The gathering word of the Scotts.
- Newark's stately tower
- A ruined tower now; situated three miles from Selkirk, on the
banks of the Yarrow.
- A Border town.
- A martial piece of musc, adapted to the bagpipes.
- Rip, tear.
- Roman way
- An ancient Roman road, crossing through part of Roxburghshire.
- A steep embankment.
- Seven Spears of Wedderburne
- Sir David Home of Wedderburn, who was slain in the fatal battle
of Flodden, left seven sons, who were called the Seven Spears of
- A shepherd's hut.
- The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border clan.
- A mountain lake.
- A narrow band or border around a coin or shield.
- Unicorn's pride
- The Unicorn Head was the crest of the Carrs, or Kerrs, or
Cessford, the enemies of the child's late father.
- unquenchable lamp
- It was the belief of the Middle Ages, that eternal lamps were
to be found burning in ancient sepulchres.
- An inroad commanded by the Warden in person.
- The order to attack, blown upon horns.
- The massed soldiery of a clan or county.
- Large knives.
- The spectral apparition of a living person.
- To twitch, as shoemakers do, in securing the stitches of their work.
B A C K
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .