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The Traveller, at this day, will stop and gaze
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed :
For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
(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,
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome Marrow!" -)
FROM Stirling Cas 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 downward with the Tweed,
« Nor turn aside to Yarrow.
“ There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs, “ Both lying right before us; “ And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed “ The Lintwhites sing in chorus ; “ There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, 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's Holms,
“ And sweet is Yarrow 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 St. 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.
• 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 ?
“ 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 loth 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 !”
IN THE PASS OF KILLICRANKY,
AN INVASION BEING EXPECTED, OCTOBER 1803.
Sıx thousand Veterans practised in War's game,
Tried Men, at Killicranky were arrayed
Against an equal Host that wore the Plaid,
Shepherds and Herdsmen. — Like a whirlwind came
The Highlanders, the slaughter spread like flame;
And Garry, thundering down his mountain road,
Was stopped, and could not breathe beneath the load
Of the dead bodies. — 'Twas a day of shame
For them whom precept and the pedantry
Of cold mechanic battle do enslave.
O for a single hour of that Dundee,
Who on that day the word of onset gave !
Like conquest would the Men of England see ;
And her Foes find a like inglorious Grave.
At Jedborough, my companion and I went into private Lodgings for a few
days; and the following Verses were called forth by the character and domestic situation of our Hostess.
AGE! twine thy brows with fresh spring flowers,
And call a train of laughing Hours ;
And bid them dance, and bid them sing;
And thou, too, mingle in the Ring !
Take to thy heart a new delight;
If not, make merry in despite,
That there is One who scorns thy power :
But dance ! for under Jedborough Tower,
A Matron dwells, who though she bears
Our mortal complement of years,
Lives in the light of youthful glee,
And she will dance and sing with thee.
Nay! start not at that Figure — there !
Him who is rooted to his chair!
Look at him - look again ! for He
Hath long been of thy Family.
With legs that move not, if they can,
And useless arms, a Trunk of Man,
He sits, and with a vacant eye;
A Sight to make a Stranger sigh !
Deaf, drooping, that is now his doom :
His world is in this single room :
Is this a place for mirthful cheer ?
Can merry-making enter here?
The joyous Woman is the Mate Of him in that forlorn estate ! He breathes a subterraneous damp; But bright as Vesper shines her lamp: He is as mute as Jedborough Tower; She jocund as it was of yore, With all its bravery on; in times When all alive with merry chimes, Upon a sun-bright morn of May, It roused the Vale to Holiday,
I praise thee, Matron ! and thy due Is praise, heroic praise, and true ! With admiration I behold Thy gladness unsubdued and bold: Thy looks, thy gestures, all present The picture of a life well spent: This do I see; and something more ; A strength unthought of heretofore ! Delighted am I for thy sake; And yet a higher joy partake,