Picture This: Melrose Abbey, Heart of the Borders

by Keith Savage · 4 comments


Be halde to ye hende. I am ascending the staircase when I spot the words carved into the stone, the mark of a stonemason, not a vandal, by their neatness. The words fade, their meaning inscrutable, as I gaze across the Tweed Valley from the ruins of Melrose Abbey. The Eildon Hills stand in shadow wheezing tales of Trimontium and the Queen of Elfhame while dignified Melrose town clings to the River Tweed like a child upon its mother’s frock. Here in the heart of the Central Borders, Melrose Abbey is an edifice that defies you to believe the best is yet to come.

The feel of sun and wind on my skin is a distant thing. I am a shade, pulled across immeasurable distance by a longing that cannot be described by tongue or tooth, like those who lost their way to Mab’s court. These holy places were built upon earlier holy places, their provenance lost, their knowledge transmuted to mystery. Yet something of those times pervades the air. Robert the Bruce’s heart lies buried here in the shadow of  St. John’s cross. I wonder if Melrose called him back, for I think, in this windblown moment, that heart is the unsunderable strand that binds one thing to another, to all the things we wish to keep at the end.


De'JavNo Gravatar December 16, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Looks like an amazing place that has been well kept.

HollyNo Gravatar December 13, 2014 at 12:55 AM

We were there in August. This is a stunning landmark. It’s hard to describe how beautiful it is and how mesmerizing it is.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM

You speak true, Holly. I tried my best 🙂

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