Oh, day disastrous! on her firm-set rock,
Dunedin's castle felt a secret shock;
Dark rolled the sympathetic waves of Forth,470
Low groaned the startled whirlwinds of the north;
Tweed ruffled half his waves to form a tear,
The other half pursued his calm career;
Arthur's steep summit nodded to its base,
The surly Tolbooth scarcely kept her place.
The Tolbooth felt—for marble sometimes can,
On such occasions, feel as much as man—
The Tolbooth felt defrauded of his charms,
- The Tweed here behaved with proper decorum; it would have been highly reprehensible in the English half of the river to have shown the smallest symptom of apprehension.
- This display of sympathy on the part of the Tolbooth (the principal prison in Edinburgh), which truly seems to have been most affected on this occasion, is much to be commended. It was to be apprehended, that the many unhappy criminals executed in the front might have rendered the Edifice more callous. She is said to be of the softer
Magistracy; and on examination, the balls of the pistols were found to have evaporated. This incident gave occasion to much waggery in the daily prints. [The first four editions read, "the balls of the pistols, like the courage of the combatants."]
[The following disclaimer to the foregoing note appears in the MS. in Leigh Hunt's copy of the Fourth Edition, 1811. It was first printed in the Fifth Edition :—]
"I am informed that Mr. Moore published at the time a disavowal of the statements in the newspapers, as far as regarded himself; and, in justice to him, I mention this circumstance. As I never heard of it before, I cannot state the particulars, and was only made acquainted with the fact very lately. November 4, 1811." [As a matter of fact, it was Jeffrey's pistol that was found to be leadless.]