Tuesday, May 24, 2011

David I of Scotland

King David I of Scotland died on May 24, 1153.  David's time was one of great administrative reforms, one of which was the establishment of Abbeys, including Melrose Abbey.  Melrose is believed to be the resting place of Robert the Bruce's heart.  Melrose Abbey figures in Walter Scott's "The Lay of the Last Minstrel".  The Second Canto of this poem begins:
'If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins grey.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruin'd central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave,
Then go--but go alone the while--
Then view St. David's ruin'd pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!'

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