Page images

An Ossian out of mural rock, 85

And leave the figurative Man—
Upon thy margin, roaring Bran !—
Fixed, like the Templar of the steep,
An everlasting watch to keep;
With local sanctities in trust, 90

More precious than a hermit's dust;
And virtues through the mass infused,
Which old idolatry abused.

What though the Granite would deny

All fervour to the sightless eye; 95

And touch from rising suns in vain

Solicit a Memnonian strain;

Yet, in some fit of anger sharp,

The wind might force the deep-grooved harp

To utter melancholy moans 100

Not unconnected with the tones

Of soul-sick flesh and weary bones;

While grove and river notes would lend,

Less deeply sad, with these to blend!

Vain pleasures of luxurious life, 105

For ever with yourselves at strife;

Through town and country both deranged

By affectations interchanged,

Aid all the perishable gauds

That heaven-deserted man applauds; no

When will your hapless patrons learn

To watch and ponder—to discern

The freshness, the everlasting youth,

Of admiration sprung from truth;

From beauty infinitely growing 115

Upon a mind with love o'erflowing—

To sound the depths of every Art

That seeks its wisdom through the heart?

Thus (where the intrusive Pile, ill-graced With baubles of theatric taste, 120

O'erlooks the torrent breathing showers
On motley bands of alien flowers
In stiff confusion set or sown,
Till Nature cannot find her own,
Or keep a remnant of the sod 125

Which Caledonian Heroes trod)
I mused; and, thirsting for redress,
Recoiled into the wilderness.



(See page 96.)

And is this—Yarrow ?—This the Stream

Of which my fancy cherished,

So faithfully, a waking dream?

An image that hath perished!

O that some Minstrel's harp were near, 5

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; 10

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 15

Is in the mirror slighted.

A blue sty bends o'er Yarrow vale,

Save where that pearly whiteness

Is round the rising sun diffused,

A tender hazy brightness; 20

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 25

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, 30

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, 35

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! 40

But thou, that didst appear so fair

To fond imagination,

Dost rival in the light of day

Her delicate creation:

Meek loveliness is round thee spread, 45

A softness still and holy;

The grace of forest charms decayed,

And pastoral melancholy.

That region left, the vale unfolds

Eich groves of lofty stature, 50

With Yarrow winding through the pomp

Of cultivated nature;

And, rising from those lofty groves,

Behold a Ruin hoary!

The shattered front of Newark's Towers, 55

Renowned in Border story.

Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,

For sportive youth to stray in;

For manhood to enjoy his strength;

And age to wear away in! 60

Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss,

A covert for protection

Of tender thoughts, that nestle there—

The brood of chaste affection.

How sweet, on this autumnal day, 65

The wild-wood fruits to gather,

And on my True-love's forehead plant

A crest of blooming heather!

And what if I enwreathed my own!

'Twere no offence to reason; 70

The sober Hills thus deck their brows

To meet the wintry season.

I see—but not by sight alone,

Loved Yarrow, have I won thee;

A ray of fancy still survives— 75

Her sunshine plays upon thee!

Thy ever-youthful waters keep

A course of lively pleasure;

And gladsome notes my lips can breathe,

Accordant to the measure. 80 The vapours linger round the Heights,

They melt, and soon must vanish;

One hour is theirs, nor more is mine—

Sad thought, which I would banish,

But that I know, where'er I go, 85

Thy genuine image, Yarrow!

Will dwell with me—to heighten joy,

And cheer my mind in sorrow.

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