Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Ballads: Roslin


By Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)

THE LAST, the fatal hour is come,

That bears my love from me:

I hear the dead note of the drum,

I mark the gallows’ tree!

The bell has tolled; it shakes my heart;

The trumpet speaks thy name;

And must my Gilderoy depart

To bear a death of shame?

No bosom trembles for thy doom,

No mourner wipes a tear;

The gallows’ foot is all thy tomb,

The sledge is all thy bier.

O Gilderoy! bethought we then

So soon, so sad to part,

When first in Roslin’s lovely glen

You triumphed o’er my heart?

Your locks they glittered to the sheen,

Your hunter garb was trim;

And graceful was the ribbon green

That bound your manly limb!

Ah! little thought I to deplore

Those limbs in fetters bound;

Or hear, upon the scaffold floor,

The midnight hammer sound.

Ye cruel, cruel, that combined

The guiltless to pursue;

My Gilderoy was ever kind,

He could not injure you!

A long adieu! but where shall fly

Thy widow all forlorn,

When every mean and cruel eye

Regards my woe with scorn?

Yes! they will mock thy widow’s tears,

And hate thine orphan boy;

Alas! his infant beauty wears

The form of Gilderoy.

Then will I seek the dreary mound

That wraps thy mouldering clay,

And weep and linger on the ground,

And sigh my heart away.