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JAMES SKENE, Esq.
Ashestiel, Ettricke Forest.
An ancient minstrel sagely said,
And sure, through many a varied scene,
Though thou o'er realms and seas hast ranged,
Even now, it scarcely seems a day,
That now, November's dreary gale, Whose voice inspired my opening tale, That same November gale once more Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow shore; Their vex'd boughs streaming to the sky, Once more our naked birches sigh ; And Blackhouse heights, and Ettricke Pen, Have don'd their wintry shrouds again ; And mountain dark, and flooded mead, Bid us forsake the banks of Tweed. Earlier than wont along the sky, Mixed with the rack, the snow-mists fly: The shepherd, who, in summer sun, Has something of our envy won, As thou with pencil, I with pen, The features traced of hill and glen; He who, outstretched, the livelong day, At ease among the heath-flower lay, Viewed the light clouds with vacant look, Or slumbered o'er his tattered book,