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A midnight bell, a parting groan

These are the sounds we feed upon ; Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley ; Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

J. FLETCHIER. 105 TO A LOCK OF HAIR Thy hue, dear pledge, is pure and bright As in that well-remember'd night When first thy mystic braid was wove, And first my Agnes whisper'd love.

Since then how often hast thou prest The torrid zone of this wild breast, Whose wrath and hate have sworn to dwell With the first sin that peopled hell ; A breast whose blood 's a troubled ocean, Each throb the earthquake's wild commotion ! 10 O if such clime thou canst endure Yet keep thy hue unstain'd and pure, What conquest o’er each erring thought Of that fierce realm had Agnes wrought ! I had not wander'd far and wide With such an angel for my guide ; Nor heaven nor earth could then reprove me If she had lived, and lived to love me.

Not then this world's wild joys had been To me one savage hunting scene, My sole delight the headlong race And frantic hurry of the chase ; To start, pursue, and bring to bay, Rush in, drag down, and rend my prey, Then—from the carcass turn away! Mine ireful mood had sweetness tamed, And soothed each wound which pride inflamed :Yes, God and man might now approve me If thou hadst lived, and lived to love me !




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O waly waly up the bank,

And waly waly down the brae, And waly waly yon burn-side

Where I and my Love wont to gae ! I leant my back unto an aik,

I thought it was a trusty tree; But first it bow'd, and syne it brak,

Sae my true Love did lichtly me.



O waly waly, but love be bonny

A little time while it is new;
But when 'tis auld, it waxeth cauld

And fades awa' like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my head ?

Or wherefore should I kame my hair ? For my true Love has me forsook,

And says he'll never loe me mair.



Now Arthur-seat sall be my bed ;

The sheets shall ne'er be 'fil'd by me : Saint Anton's well sall be my drink,

Since my true Love has forsaken me. Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw

And shake the green leaves aff the tree ? O gentie Death, when wilt thou come ?

For of my life I am wearie.


'Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,

Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie ; 'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,

But my Love's heart grown cauld to me. When we came in by Glasgow town

We were à comely sight to see ;
My Love was clad in the black velvét,

And I myself in cramasie.

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But had I wist, before I kist,

That love had been sae ill to win ;
I had lockt my heart in a case of gowd

And pinn'd it with a siller pin.
And, 0! if my young babe were born,

And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I mysell were dead and gane,
For a maid again I'll never be.






I wish I were where Helen lies ;
Night and day on me she cries ;
O that I were where Helen lies

On fair Kirconnell lea!
Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,

And died to succour me! think na but my heart was sair When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair! I laid her down wi’ meikle care

On fair Kirconnell lea.
As I went down the water-side,
None but my soe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,

On fair Kirconnell lea ;
I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma',
I hacked him in pieces sma',

For her sake that died for me,
O Helen fair, beyond compare !
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair

Until the day I die.






O that I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries ;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,

Says, “ Haste and come to me !!
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste !
If I were with thee, I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest

On fair Kirconnell lea.
I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen's arms lying,

On fair Kirconnell lea.
I wish I were where Helen lies ;
Night and day on me she cries ;
And I am weary of the skies,
Since my Love died for me.






As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane ;
The tane unto the t'other say,

Where sall we gang and dine to-day ? '
'-In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new-slain Knight ;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.
· His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta’en another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.
· Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pick out his bonny blue een :
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.



· Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane ;
O’er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.'





Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.



What, were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good-night ?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,

And lose you quite.
But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave :
And after they have shown their pride
Like you awhile, they glide
Into the grave.





Fair Daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away so soon :
As yet the early-rising Sun

Has not attain'd his noon.

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