Wednesday, December 8, 2010

From "The Abbot"

"Ay, ay," replied the falconer, "Queen she was then, though you must not call her so now. Well, they may say what they will--many a true heart will be sad for Mary Stewart, e'en if all be true men say of her; for look you, Master Roland--she was the loveliest creature to look upon that I ever saw with eye, and no lady in the land liked better the fair flight of a falcon. I was at the great match on Roslin
Moor betwixt Bothwell--he was a black sight to her that Bothwell--and the Baron of Roslin, who could judge a hawk's flight as well as any man in Scotland--a butt of Rhenish and a ring of gold was the wager, and it was flown as fairly for as ever was red gold and bright wine. And to see her there on her white palfrey, that flew as if it scorned to touch more than the heather blossom; and to hear her voice, as clear and sweet as the mavis's whistle, mix among our jolly whooping and whistling; and to mark all the nobles dashing round her; happiest he who got a word or a look--tearing through moss and hagg, and venturing neck and limb to gain the praise of a bold rider, and the blink of a bonny Queen's bright eye!--she will see little hawking where she lies now--ay, ay, pomp and pleasure pass away as speedily as the wap of a falcon's wing."


Last year's post covered the birth of Mary Queen of Scots, on December 8, 1542. In the bit of text above from "The Abbot", Sir Walter Scott brings in much of her life after first husband Darnley's murder.  In particular, Earl Bothwell, who was related to the Sinclairs of Roslin is mentioned.

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