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They bolted on me thus, and lo!
Each ready with a plaintive whine;
Said I, “Not half an hour ago
Your Mother has had alms of mine."
“ That cannot be,” one answer'd, “She is dead." « Nay but I gave her pence, and she will buy you bread.”
“She has been dead, Sir, many a day.”
“Sweet Boys, you're telling me a lie;
“ It was your Mother, as I say—”
And in the twinkling of an eye,
“Come, come!” cried one; and, without more ado, Off to some other play they both together flew.
(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 Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravell’d;
Had trod the banks of Clyde, and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travell’d;
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 downwards 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 turb “ 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
“ 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!,
* See Hamilton's Ballad as above.
" 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!"