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• My brother Douglas may upbraid,
And strive with threatening words to move me;
My lover's blude is on thy spear,
How canst thou ever bid me love thee?
“Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of love,
With bridal-sheets my body cover;
Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door,
Let in the expected husband-lover!
• But who the expected husband is?
His hands, methinks, are bathed in slaughter.
Ah me! what ghastly spectre's yon,
Comes in his pale shroud bleeding after ?
Pale as he is, here lay him down,
Oh, lay his cold head on my pillow!
Take aff, take aff these bridal weeds,
And crown my careful head with willow.
• Pale though thou art, yet best beloved,
Oh, could my warmth to life restore thee !
Yet lie all night between my breasts ;
No youth lay ever there before thee.
Pale, pale indeed, o lovely youth !
Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter,
And lie all night between my breasts ;
No youth shall ever lie there after.'
A. Return, return, O mournful bride!
Return, and dry thy useless sorrow :
Thy lover heeds naught of thy sighs;
He lies a corpse on the braes of Yarrow!
When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,
And a' the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa' in showers fräe my e'e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.
Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride; 5
But saving a croun he had naething else beside :
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.
He hadna been awa' a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown
My mother she fell sick, and my Jamie at the sea-
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin' me.
My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin ;
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and wi' tears in his e'e 15
Said, Jennie, for their sakes, oh marry me!
My heart it said nay; I looked for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack ;
His ship it was a wrack-why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae's me?
My father urgit sair : my mother didna speak;
But she looked in my face till my heart was like to break :
They gi’ed him my hand, but my heart was at the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.
I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
25 When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door, I saw my Jamie's wraith, for I couldna think it heTill he said, I'm come hame to marry thee.
O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and I bad him gang away :
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, Wae's me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.
Lady Anne Lindsay.
Awake, Æolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow,
Now the rich stream of music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign :
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar,
O Sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell ! the sullen Cares
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control :
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curbed the fury of his car,
And dropped his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing :
Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Tempered to thy warbled lay ;
O’er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sports, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
30 Frisking light in frolic measures ; Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet : To brisk notes in cadence beating Glance their many-twinkling feet.
35 Slow-melting strains their Queen's approach declare :
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay :
With arms sublime that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O’er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await,
Labour and penury, the racks of pain,
Disease, and sorrow's weeping train,
And death, sad refuge from the storms of fate! 45 The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse ? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
50 He gives to range the dreary sky;
Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, 55
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom,
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
The unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles that crown the Ægean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish ?
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breathed around ;
Every shade and hallowed fountain
Murmured deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, O Albion, next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon strayed,
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face : the dauntless Child
Stretched forth his little arms, and smiled.
This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year :