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TELL
Ballad after ballad come3 down loaded with a dirge-like
wail for some sad event, made still sadder for that it
befell in Yarrow.' The oldest surviving ballad, The
Dowie Dens o' Yarrow, is supposed to refer to a com-
bat at Deuchar Swire, near Yarrow kirk, in which
"Walter Scott, third son of Robert of Thirlestane, was
treacherously slain by his brother-in-law, John Scott of
Tushielaw : —
' Ab he gaed up the Tinnies Bank,
I wot he gaed wi' Borrow,
Till, down in a den, he spied nine armed men,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.
' Four has he hurt, and five has slain,
On the blndie braes of Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,
And ran his body thorough.'
Then comes his Sarah's exquisite lament : —
•* Yestreen I dreamed a dolefu' dream;
I fear there will be sorrowl
T dreamed I pu'd the heather green,
Wi' my true love on Yarrow.
1 " O gentle wind that bloweth south,
From where my Love repaireth,
Convey a kiss frae his dear mouth,
And tell me how he fareth!
' " Oh I tell sweet "Willie to come down,
And hear the mavis singing,
And see the birds on ilka bush,
And leaves around them hinging.
* u But in the glen strove armed men;
They've wrought me dule and sorrow;
They've slain — the comeliest knight they've slain :
He bleeding lies on Yarrow."
* She kissed his cheek, she kaimed his hair,
She searched his wounds all thorough ;
She kissed them, till her lips grew red,
On the dowie houms of Yarrow.'
We hear the same sad burden of a lover lost, by
drowning in Yarrow or by a rival's sword, in Willie's
rare, and Willie's fair (circa 1525; first printed 1724),
in Hamilton of Bangour's Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny,
bonny bride (1748), and in John Logan's Braes of Yarrow
(1770). Scott himself, the ' Ettrick Shepherd,' ' Chris-
topher North,' Henry Scott Eiddell, the 'Surfaceman
Poet,' and 'J. B. Selkirk,' have added each a spray to
Yarrow's garland of song. See Sir Thomas Dick Lauder's
Scottish Rivers (Edinb. 1874); Dr John Brown's Minch-
moor (Edinb. 1864) ; Prof. John Veitch's History and
Poetry of the Scottish Border (Glasg. 1878 ; new ed.
1892) ; Principal J. C. Shairp's ' Three Yarrows ' in
Aspects of Poetry (Oxf. 1881) ; Rev. R. Borland's
Yarrow, its Poets and Poetry (1890) ; and William
Angus's Ettrick and Yarrow (Selkirk, 1894). — Ord.
Sur., shs. 16, 24, 25, 1864-65.
Yell (anc. Jalla, Jala; Icel. gelid, gall, ' barren '),
the second largest of the Shetland Islands, and, except
TJnst, the most northerly of the group, lies 25 to 40
miles N of Lerwick, under which it has post and tele-
graph offices of Ulsta (in the SW), Mid Yell (E), and
Cullivoe (NE). It is separated, on the W and SW,
from Mainland by Yell Sound, If to 6 miles broad;
on the E, from Fetlar by Colgrave Sound, lj to 4£
miles broad; and on the NE, from Unst by Bluemull
Sound, 4J furlongs broad at the narrowest. Its utmost
length, from N to S, is 17J miles; its breadth varies
between \ mile and 6j miles; and its area is 81 "69 square
miles or 52, 923 "2 acres. The tides on both sides of
the island are very impetuous; and both in Yell and
Bluemull Sounds, where they meet with obstructions,
and often run at the rate of 9 or 10 miles, they for con-
tinuous hours defy boat navigation, and toss the sea,
even during a calm, into foam and tumult. The chief
bays which indent the coast are Gloup Voe on the N ;
Basta Voe, Mid Yell Voe, and Otters Wick on the E;
Burra Voe and Hamna Voe on the S; and Whale Firth
on the W. All these, and some smaller bays or creeks,
form natural harbours, several of which are capacious
1630
TESTER
and sheltered. Mid Yell Voe and Whale Firth ar®
opposite each other, a little N of the centre of the
island, and leave between them only a low boggy
isthmus \ mile across, which could be cut into a canal
communication. A landing can be effected at almost
any point on the E coast, but even in calm weather it
can nowhere be effected on the W except in Whale
Firth and one smaller creek. The coast along the E
is generally low and often sandy, but along the W it
is to a considerable extent rocky, bold, and even pre-
cipitous, rising rapidly in places to over 200 and 300
feet. The surface of the island presents a heavy and
cheerless aspect. Two nearly parallel ridges of gneiss
rocks, of almost uniform outline, and only from 200 to
600 feet in height, traverse it nearly from end to end,
sloping gradually toward the shores, and in some
places connected by transverse ridges running from E
to W. The northern division of the island at no point
exceeds 382 feet above sea-level; but S of Whale Firth
and Mid Yell Sound rise the South Ward of Reafirth
(615 feet), the Kame of Sandwick (531), and the Ward
of Otterswick (672). Of sixty-six little fresh-water
lochs or lochlets, most of them yielding good trout-
fishing, the largest are Kettlester Loch, Lumbister
Loch, Colvister Loch, and Gossa Water. The rocks are
principally gneiss and mica slate, with veins of granite
and nodules or masses of quartz and trap; and almost
all the soil is a deep moss, occasionally but seldom
mixed with clay or sand. Yell is described in Bu-
chanan's History (1582) as 'so uncouth a place that
no creature can live therein except such as are born
there.' But now there are a number of good sheep
farms, with thriving flocks of Cheviot and blackfaced
sheep. Eggs, cattle, and ponies are also exported;
fishing in the surrounding seas is a leading but perilous
employment; and the pursuit and capture of the 'caa'in
whale ' (Delphinus deductor) occasionally produces vast
excitement. The antiquities are some Picts' houses or
circular burghs, and nearly a score of shapeless ruins or
faint vestiges of pre-Reformation chapels. The island
was anciently distributed into the three parishes of
North Yell, Mid Yell, and South Yell. Subsequently
North Yell was united to Fetlar, whilst Mid and
South Yell formed one civil parish. In 1891, however,
the Boundary Commissioners disjoined North Yell from
the parish of Fetlar and North Yell, and annexed it to
the parish of Mid and South Yell. Under this arrange-
ment, and with an accompanying simplification in
nomenclature, the island of Yell, with dependent is-
lands, became the parish of Yell; and the island of
Fetlar, with dependent islands, became the parish of
Fetlar. Besides Yell island the parish consists of the
following islands:— Gloup Holm (30-4), Linga (122-2),
Hascosay (750 -5), Uynarey (71), Orfasay (37 - 9), and
also three small islands (15'6). The island of Bigga
(235 "8 acres) belongs in common to the parishes of Yell
and Delting. Yell is divided into the ecclesiastical
parish of Mid Yell, and the quoad sacra parishes of
North and South Yell. In the presbytery of Burravoe
and the synod of Shetland, the stipend of the former is
£189, of the latter £155 and £120. Mid Yell church,
with 500 sittings, was built in 1832; and South Yell
church, with 384, in 1841. A church hall was opened
in Mid Yell parish in 1893, and a mission church at
West Sandwick in 1894. The South Yell church was
re-roofed, reseated, and otherwise improved in 1891.
There are also a Free church of North Yell, a Free
Church preaching station at West Yell, and an Epis-
copal mission church of Burravoe. Eight public schools
— Burravoe, Cullivoe Braeside, East Yell, Gutcher, Mid
Yell, Ulsta, West Sandwick, and West Yell— with total
accommodation for 402 children, have an average attend-
ance of about 270, and grants amounting to nearly £375.
Valuation of island, £3138. Pop. of island (1831) 2649
(1861) 2716, (1871) 2732, (1881) 2529, (1891) 2511.
Yester, a parish in the S of Haddingtonshire, con-
taining Giffokd village, within J mile of the northern
boundary, and 4J miles SSE of Haddington, under
which there is a post office of Gifford, with money order>

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