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The other wore a rimless crown,
With leaves of laurel stuck about;
And while both followed up and down,
Each whooping with a merry shout ;
In their fraternal features I could trace
Unquestionable lines of that wild suppliant's face.
They dart across my path, and lo
Each ready with a plantive whine ;
Said I, “ Not half an hour ago
Your mother has had alms of mine."
“That cannot be," one answered," she is dead.”— I looked reproof-they saw-but neither hung his head.
“She has been dead, sir, many a day.”
Sweet boys, you're telling me a lie ;
It was your mother, as I say-
And in the twinkling of an eye,
“Come, come !" cried one ; and, without more ado, Off to some other play the joyous vagrants flew.
FROM Stirling Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravelled ;
Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travelled ;
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, 'tis their own,
Each maiden to her dwelling !
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow!
But we will downwards with the Tweed,
Nor turn aside to Yarrow !
“ There's Gala 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 blithe 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 seemed of slight and scorn;
My true love sighed for sorrow;
And looked me in the face, to think
I thus could speak of Yarrow !
“Oh! green,” said I, are Yarrow holms,
And sweet is Yarrow's flowing !
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,
But we will leave it growing.
O'er hilly 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 'tis fair,
'Twill be another Yarrow?
“If care with freezing years should come,
And wandering seem but folly,-
Should we be loath to stir from home,
And yet be melancholy;
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
'Twill soothe us in our sorrow
That earth has something yet to show,
The bonny holms of Yarrow !"
And is this Yarrow this the stream
Of which my fancy cherished,
So faithfully, a waking dream?
An image that hath perished !
Oh, 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 uncontrolled 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 thosc 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.