Edward found his loyalest friends and saftest refuge, the blue sky shone through the open rafters, and the tattered tapestry trembled on the walk, and the fox and the bat made their coverts; the grand entrance, the massive bastions, the stately towers which had been there when the bold Border chieftains rode out to join the marching of the clans, had vanished like the glories of Alnaschar's dream, all that remained to tell their place a mound of lichen-covered ruin, with the feathery grasses waving in the breeze;—it was the funeral pile of a dead race.
And the last of their blood, the last of their title, stood looking at it in the light of the setting sun with a pang at his heart.
"Well! better so than built up with dishonoured gold! The power and the pomp are gone, but the name at least is stainless," thought Erceldoune, as be looked away from the dark and shattered ruins of his heritage, across the moorland, golden with its gorse, and towards the free and sunlit distance of the seas, stretching far and wide.