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Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Or is it some more humble lay,
Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
YARROW UNVISITED. 1803.
[See the various poems the scene of which is laid upon the banks of the Yarrow; in particular, the exquisite ballad of Hamilton, beginning—
‘Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny Bride,
From Stirling's castle we had seen
'Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
'There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,
Both lying right before us;
And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed
There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land
'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's holms,
And sweet is Yarrow flowing!
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock',
O'er hilly path, and open strath,
'Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
1 See Hamilton's ballad, as above.
'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?
'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,
TO THE CUCKOO.
O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice.
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
While I am lying on the grass
Though babbling only to the Vale,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery ;
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
And I can listen to thee yet;
That golden time again.
O blessed Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
AT THE GRAVE OF BURNS. 1803
(Seven Years after his Death.)
I shiver, Spirit fierce and bold,
At thought of what I now behold:
As vapours breathed from dungeons cold
So sadness comes from out the mould
And have I then thy bones so near,
And both my wishes and my ear
Off weight-nor press on weight !—away
To him, and aught that hides his clay
Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
Deth glorify its humble birth
The piercing eye, the thoughtful brow,
The prompt, the brave,
Slept, with the obscurest, in the low
I mourned with thousands, but as one
How Verse may build a princely throne
Alas! where'er the current tends,
By Skiddaw seen,—
Neighbours we were, and loving friends
True friends though diversely inclined;
Through Nature's skill,
May even by contraries be joined