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"'Tis drawing to day, nae mair can I say:

My message I trust, good father, with thee. If the black cock should craw, while I am awa, O weary, and weary, what wad come o' me!

Wi' a sound like a horn, away he was borne ; The grass was decay'd where the spirit had heen:

An' certain it is, from that day to this,
The ghost of the pedler was never mair seen.

The mill was repaired, and, low in the yird,

The banes lay under the inner mill-wheel The box an' the ellwand beside him war hid, An' mony a thimble, an' mony a seal.

Must the scene of iniquity cursed remain?

Can this bear the stamp of the heavenly seal? Yet, certain it is, from that day to this,

The millers of Thirlestane ne'er ha'e done weel?

But there was an auld mason wha wrought at the mill,

In rules o' providence skilfu' was he; He keepit a bane o' the pedler's heel,

An' a queerer wee bane you never did see.

The miller had fled to the forest o' Jed;
But time had now grizzled his haffets wi' snaw;

He was crookit an' auld, an' his head was turned bald,

Yet his joke he cou'd brik wi' the best o' them a'.

Away to the border the mason he ran,

To try wi' the bane if the miller was fey; An' into a smiddie, wi' mony a man,

He fand him a gaffin fu' gaily that day.

The mason he crackit, the mason he taukit,
Of a' curiosities mighty an' mean;

Then pu'd out the bane, an' declared there were


Who in Britain had ever the marrow o't seen.

When ilka ane took it, an' ilka ane lookit,
An' ilka ane ca'd it a comical bane;

Το miller it goes, wha, wi' spects on his nose
To ha'e an' to view it was wonderous fain.

But what was his horror, as leaning he stood, An' what the surprise o' the people around, When the little wee bane fell a streamin wi' blood, Which died a' his fingers, an' ran to the ground!

They charged him wi' murder, an' a' the hale


Declared, ere they partit, the hale they wad ken;

A red goad o' ern fra the fire they drew,

An' they swore they wad spit him like ony muirhen.

"O hald," said the mason, "for how can it be? You'll find you are out when the truth I reveal; At fair Thirlestane I gat the wee bane,

Deep buried anunder the inner mill-wheel.'

"O God," said the wretch, wi' the tear in his ee, "O pity a creature lang doom'd to despair; A silly auld pedler, wha begged of me

For mercy, I murdered, an' buried him there!"'~

To Jeddart they haul'd the auld miller wi' speed, An' they hangit him dead on a high gallow tree; An' afterwards they in full council agreed,

That Rob Riddle he richly deserved to dee.

The thief may escape the lash an' the rape,

The liar and swearer their leather may save, The wrecker of unity pass with impunity,

But when gat the murd'rer in peace to the grave?

Ca't not superstition; wi' reason you'll find it,
Nor laugh at a story attestit sae weel;
For lang ha'e the facts in the forest been mindit
O'the ghaist an' the bane o' the pedler's heel.



When the lady o' Thirlestane, rose in her sleep.

P. 17, v. 3.

The lady here alluded to was the second wife of Sir Robert Scott, the last knight of Thirlestane.

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O, lady, 'tis dark, and I heard the dead bell!
An' I darna gae yonder for goud nor fee.

P. 18, v. 6.

By the dead bell is meant a tinkling in the ears, which our peasantry in the country regard as a secret intelligence of some friend's decease. Thus this natural occurrence strikes many with a superstitious awe. This reminds me of a trifling anecdote, which I will here relate as an instance. Our two servant girls agreed to go an errand of their own, one night after supper, to a considerable distance, from which I strove to dissuade them, but could not prevail. So, after going to the apartment where I slept, I took a drinking glass, and, coming close to the back of the door, made two or three sweeps round the lips of the glass with my finger, which caused a loud shrill sound. I then overheard the following dialogue.B. Ah, mercy! the dead bell went through my head

just now, with such a knell as I never heard.-J. 1 heard it too!-B Did you, indeed! that is remarkable! I never knew of two hearing it at the same time before.-J. We will not go to Midgehope to-night.B. I would not go for all the world; I shall warrant it is my poor brother Wat; who knows what these wild Irish may have done to him!


An' ay' whan passengers bye war gaun,
A doolfu' voice cam frae the mill-ee,

On Saturday's night, when the clock struck one,
Cry'n, "O Rob Riddle, ha'e mercy on me!"

P. 20, v. 2.

To account for this, tradition adds, that the miller confessed, at his death, that the pedler came down to the mill to inform him that it was wearing late, and that he must come home to his supper, and that he took that opportunity to murder him.


The place was harassed, the mill was laid waste. P. 20, v. 3.

To such a height did the horror of this apparition arrive in Ettrick, that it is certain there were few in the parish who durst go to, or by the mill, after sunset.


But the minister there was a bodie o' skill,
Nae feared for devil or spirit was he.

P. 20, v. 5.

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