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Till light's returning Lord assume
The shaft that drives him to his northern field, Of power to pierce his raven plume
And crystal-cover'd shield.
Or sire of storms ! whose savage ear
The Lapland drum delights to hear,
When Frenzy with her bloodshot eye
Implores thy dreadful deity -
Archangel ! Power of desolation !
Fast descending as thou art,
Say, hath mortal invocation
Spells to touch thy stony heart :
Then, sullen Winter ! hear my prayer,
And gently rule the ruin'd year;
Nor chill the wanderer's bosom bare
Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear :
To shuddering Want's unmantled bed
Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lend,
And gently on the orphan head
Of Innocence descend,
Bnt chiefly spare, O king of clouds !
The sailor on his airy shrouds,
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep
And spectres walk along the deep.
Milder yet thy snowy breezes
Pour on yonder tented shores,
Where the Rhine's broad billow freezes,
Or the dark-brown Danube roars.
O winds of Winter ! list ye there
To many a deep and dying groan ?
Or start, ye demons of the midnight air,
At shrieks and thunders louder than your own?
Alas ! e'en your unhallow'd breath
May spare the victim fallen low ; But Man will ask no truce to death, No bounds to human woe.
ROM Stirling Castle we had seen
Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travellid;
And when we came to Clovenford,
Then said my 'winsome Marrow,
“Whate'er betide, we 'll turn aside,
And see the Braes of Yarrow.'
'Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
Who have been buying, selling,
Go back to Yarrow, 't is their own,
Each maiden to her dwelling !
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow,
But we will downward with the Tweed,
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.
“There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,
Both lying right before us;
And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed
The lintwhites sing in chorus ;
There's pleasant Tiviotdale, a land
Made blythe with plough and harrow :
Why throw away a needful day
To go in search of Yarrow?
What's Yarrow but a river bare
That glides the dark hills under ?
There are a thousand such elsewhere
As worthy of your wonder.'
Strange words they seem'd of slight and scorn ;
My true-love sigh’d for sorrow,
And look'd me in the face, to think
I thus could speak of Yarrow !
O green,' said I, "are Yarrow's holms,
And sweet is Yarrow flowing !
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,
But we will leave it growing.
O’er hiHy path and open strath
We 'll wander Scotland thorough ;
But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.
'Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
The sweets of Burn-mill meadow;
The swan on still Saint Mary's Lake
Float double, swan and shadow !
We will not see them ; will not go
To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough if in our hearts we know
There's such a place as Yarrow.
• Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown;
It must, or we shall rue it:
We have a vision of our own,
Ah! why should we undo it?
The treasured dreams of times long past,
We 'll keep them, winsome Marrow !
For when we ’re there, although 't is fair,
'T will be another Yarrow !
'If care with freezing years should come
And wandering seem but folly,
Should we be loth to stir from home,
And yet be melancholy;
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
'T will soothe us in our sorrow
That earth has something yet to show,
The bonny Holms of Yarrow !'
ND is this — Yarrow ? This the Stream
ANDP which my Fancy wherish'ais
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perish'd ?
O that some minstrel's harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness !
Yet why?- a silvery current flows
With uncontroll’d meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Is visibly delighted ;
For not a feature of those hills
Is in the mirror slighted.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow Vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
Is round the rising sun diffused,
A tender hazy brightness;
Mild dawn of promise ! that excludes
All profitless dejection ;
Though not unwilling here to admit
A pensive recollection.
Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding ?
His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding :
And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning,
The water-Wraith ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.
Delicious is the Lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The path that leads them to the grove,
The leafy grove that covers :
And pity sanctifies the verse
That paints, by strength of sorrow,
The unconquerable strength of love ;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !
But thou that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation :