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The Form remains, the Function never dies;
YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS.
COMPOSED (TWO EXCEPTED) DURING A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, AND ON THE ENGLISH BORDER, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1831.
SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.,
AS A TESTIMONY OF FRIENDSHIP, AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF INTELLECTUAL OBLIGATIONS, THESE MEMORIALS ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.
Rydal Mount, Dec. 11, 1834.
The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir Walter Scott and other Friends visiting the Banks of the Yarrow under his guidance, immediately hefore his departure from Abbotsford, for Naples.
The title "Yarrow Revisited" will stand in no need of explanation for Readers acquainted with the Author's previous poems suggested by that celebrated Stream.
The gallant Youth, who may have gained,
Was but an Infant in the lap
Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate 5
Long left without a warder,
Great Minstrel of the Border!
Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet day,
Their dignity installing 10
In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
Were on the bough, or falling; But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed—
The forest to embolden; Reddened the fiery hues, and shot 15
Transparence through the golden.
For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on
In foamy agitation;
For quiet contemplation: 20
No public and no private care
The freeborn mind enthralling, We made a day of happy hours,
Our happy days recalling.
Brisk Youth appeared, the Morn of Youth, 25
With freaks of graceful folly,— Life's temperate Noon, her sober Eve,
Her Night not melancholy; Past, present, future, all appeared
In harmony united, 30
Like guests that meet, and some from far.
By cordial love invited.
And if, as Yarrow, through the woods
And down the meadow ranging, Did meet us with unaltered face, 3 5
Though we were changed and changing;
If, then, some natural shadows spread
Our inward prospect over,
Its brightness to recover. 40
Eternal blessings on the Muse,
And her divine employment!
For hope and calm enjoyment;
Has o'er their pillow brooded;
Not easily eluded.
For thee, O Scott! compelled to change
Green Eildon-hill and Cheviot 50
For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes;
And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot For mild Sorento's breezy waves;
May classic Fancy, linking With native Fancy her fresh aid, 55
Preserve thy heart from sinking!
O! while they minister to thee,
Bach vying with the other,
With Strength, her venturous brother; 60 And Tiber, and each brook and rill
Renowned in song and story, With unimagined beauty shine,
Nor lose one ray of glory!
For Thou, upon a hundred streams, 65
By tales of love and sorrow,
Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,
At parent Nature's grateful call,
A gracious welcome shall be thine,
Such looks of love and honour As thy own Yarrow gave to me 75
When first I gazed upon her;
Unwilling to surrender
The holy and the tender. 80
And what, for this frail world, were all
That mortals do or suffer, Did no responsive harp, no pen,
Memorial tribute offer? Tea, what were mighty Nature's self? 85
Her features, could they win us, Unhelped by the poetic voice
That hourly speaks within us?
Nor deem that localised Romance
Plays false with our affections; 90
Unsanctifies our tears—made sport
For fanciful dejections:
Sustain the heart in feeling
With friends and kindred dealing.
Bear witness, Te, whose thoughts that day In Yarrow's groves were centred;
Who through the silent portal arch
Of mouldering Newark entered; 100