The Lay of the Last Minstral ( Walter Scott )
O listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
--"Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.
"The blackening wave is edg'd with white:
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
"Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch:
Why cross the gloomy firth today?"
" 'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there Sits
lonely in her castle-hall.
" 'Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide,
If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle."
O'er Roslin all that dreary night
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light,
And redder than the bright moonbeam.
It glar'd on Roslin's castled rock,
It ruddied all the copse wood glen;
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak
And seen from cavern'd Hawthorn-den.
Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud,
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie,
Each Baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheath'd in his iron panoply.
Seem'd all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar s pale;
Shone every plllar foliage bound,
And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.
Blaz'd battlement and pinnet high,
Blaz'd every rose-carved buttress fair
So still they blaze when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high St. Clair.
There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!
And each St. Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung,
and the wild winds sung
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle
Althought Rosslyn, Roslyn or Roslin Chapel has always been a favourite place to visit, it has found new fame as the possible resting place of the Holy Grail since the publication of Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code, attracting new visitors from all over the world and tempting those who havent been there for ages to make a return visit.|
This amazing building, Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, third and last St Clair Prince of Orkney. It is in fact only part of the choir of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower at its centre. After Sir William died in 1484, he was buried in the unfinished Chapel and although the larger building he had planned was never completed, nevertheless the foundations of the nave are said to have been excavated in the nineteenth century and found to extend ninety-one feet beyond the Chapel's original west door, under the existing baptistry and churchyard.
However what was built however is truly extraordinary enough Anybody who has ever visited Roslyn Chapel will undoubltably feel that it deserves its current status. The exquisite carvings are some of the best in the whole of Europe, and portray scenes not found in any other 15th century chapel. It has, even before the da vinci code, been a kind of Mecca to those interested in the mysteries of life, and contains many carvings relevant to biblical, masonic, pagan and Knights Templar themes.
The area around Rosslyn has played an important role in the history of Scotland, and the castle was a key holding during the wars of independence. A battle was fought here in 1303, when small force of Scottish Knights defeated a larger English army three times in 24 hours, a feat which we Scots wish our sporting heros could recapture.
According to Father Richard Augustine Hay, who published a study on the genealogy of the St Clairs of Rosslyn. The workers and the materials were brought from far and wide. The village of Roslin being created for the numerous stonemasons and other labourers. It was in this period that the Apprentice is supposed to have been murdered for far surpassing his master's skills .The chapel did not remain in use for long, great changes in secular activity during the reformation led to the provost resigning under threat of violence, and by 1592 the altars of the chapel had been smashed in accordance with the reformation and puritanical thought. From this time onwards until the 18th century the building began to fall into ruination.
Cromwell's troops used the chapel as a stable while they were besieging nearby Rosslyn Castle in 1650. It is surprising they did not destroy the chapel further, as many ancient places of sanctity were destroyed by Cromwell's troops. Eight years later the chapel was attacked by an Edinburgh mob and some of the villagers from Roslin. The chapel was still seen as blatantly Catholic, and a target against idolatry, some of the interior carvings of the chapel were damaged during the rampage.
James St Clair halted some of the environmental damage to the chapel when in 1736 he re-flagged the floor and fixed the roof. The most extensive repairs were started in 1861 when architect David Bryce was commissioned to restore the chapel by James Alexander the 3rd Earl of Rosslyn. It was rededicated on April 22nd 1862.
Rosslyn Chapel, the official website
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Rosslyn Chapel, the official website
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