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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,
From Stirling castle 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, 5
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, 10
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, 15
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.
There's G-alla Water, Leader Haughs,
There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land
What's Yarrow but a river bare, 15
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; 30
And looked me in the face, to think
"Oh! green," said I, "are Yarrow's holms,
And sweet is Yarrow flowing!
Pair hangs the apple frae the rock,1 35
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. 40
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, 45
To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough if in our hearts we know
There's such a place as Yarrow.
1 See Hamilton's Ballad as above.
Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!
It must, or we shall rue it: 50
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, 55
'Twill be another Yarrow!
If Care with freezing years should come,
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
IN THE PASS OP KILLICRANKY.
An invasion being expected, October, 1803.
Six 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 mountainroad,
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. 0 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.
THE MATRON OF JEDBOROUGH AND HER HUSBAND.
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; 5
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
The weight of more than seventy years, io
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 15
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! 20
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 25
Of him in that forlorn estate!
With all its bravery on; in times
I praise thee, Matron! and thy due 35
This do I see; and something more;
Its second twilight, and looks gay;