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"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.

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!"

XIV.

SONNET

IN THE PASS OF 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 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.

XV.

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;

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,
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:
Our Human-nature throws away
Its second twilight, and looks gay;
A land of promise and of pride
Unfolding, wide as life is wide.

Ah! see her helpless Charge! enclosed Within himself as seems, composed; To fear of loss, and hope of gain, The strife of happiness and pain, Utterly dead! yet in the guise Of little infants, when their eyes Begin to follow to and fro

The persons that before them go,

He tracks her motions, quick or slow.

Her buoyant spirit can prevail

Where common cheerfulness would fail ;

She strikes upon him with the heat

Of July suns; he feels it sweet;
An animal delight though dim!
"Tis all that now remains for him!

The more I looked, I wondered more— And, while I scanned them o'er and o'er, Some inward trouble suddenly

Broke from the Matron's strong black eyeA remnant of uneasy light,

A flash of something over-bright!

Nor long this mystery did detain

My thoughts; she told in pensive strain
That she had borne a heavy yoke,
Been stricken by a twofold stroke;
Ill health of body; and had pined
Beneath worse ailments of the mind.

So be it!-but let praise ascend To Him who is our lord and friend! Who from disease and suffering Hath called for thee a second spring; Repaid thee for that sore distress By no untimely joyousness; Which makes of thine a blissful state; And cheers thy melancholy Mate!

XVI.

FLY, some kind Harbinger, to Grasmere-dale!
Say that we come, and come by this day's light;
Fly upon swiftest wing round field and height,
But chiefly let one Cottage hear the tale;
There let a mystery of joy prevail,
The kitten frolic, like a gamesome sprite,
And Rover whine, as at a second sight
Of near-approaching good that shall not fail:
And from that Infant's face let joy appear;
Yea, let our Mary's one companion child—
That hath her six weeks' solitude beguiled
With intimations manifold and dear,
While we have wandered over wood and wild-
Smile on his Mother now with bolder cheer.

XVII.

THE BLIND HIGHLAND BOY.

A TALE TOLD BY THE FIRE-SIDE, AFTER RETURNING TO THE VALE OF GRASMERE.

Now we are tired of boisterous joy,

Have romped enough, my little Boy!

Jane hangs her head upon my breast,

And you shall bring your stool and rest;
This corner is your own.

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But soon they move with softer pace; So have ye seen the fowler chase

On Grasmere's clear unruffled breast A youngling of the wild-duck's nest With deftly-lifted oar;

Or as the wily sailors crept

To seize (while on the Deep it slept) The hapless creature which did dwell Erewhile within the dancing shell,

They steal upon their prey.

With sound the least that can be made, They follow, more and more afraid, More cautious as they draw more near; But in his darkness he can hear,

And guesses their intent.

"Lei-gha-Lei-gha"-he then cried out, "Lei-gha-Lei-gha❞—with eager shout; Thus did he cry, and thus did pray, And what he meant was, "Keep away, And leave me to myself!"

Alas! and when he felt their hands-
You've often heard of magic wands,
That with a motion overthrow
A palace of the proudest show,
Or melt it into air:

So all his dreams that inward light
With which his soul had shown so bright-
All vanished; 'twas a heartfelt cross
To him, a heavy, bitter loss,

As he had ever known.

But hark! a gratulating voice,
With which the very hills rejoice:
"Tis from the crowd, who tremblingly
Have watched the event, and now can see
That he is safe at last.

And then, when he was brought to land,
Full sure they were a happy band,
Which, gathering round, did on the banks
Of that great Water give God thanks,
And welcomed the poor Child.

And in the general joy of heart
The blind Boy's little dog took part;
He leapt about, and oft did kiss
His master's hands in sign of bliss,
With sound like lamentation.

But most of all, his Mother dear,
She who had fainted with her fear,
Rejoiced when waking she espies
The Child; when she can trust her eyes,
And touches the blind Boy.

She led him home, and wept amain,
When he was in the house again:
Tears flowed in torrents from her eyes;
She kissed him-how could she chastise?
She was too happy far.

Thus, after he had fondly braved
The perilous Deep, the Boy was saved;
And, though his fancies had been wild,
Yet he was pleased and reconciled
To live in peace on shore.

And in the lonely Highland dell
Still do they keep the Turtle-shell;
And long the story will repeat
Of the blind Boy's adventurous feat,

And how he was preserved.

Note. It is recorded in Dampier's Voyages, that a boy, son of the captain of a Man-of-War, seated himself in a Turtle-shell, and floated in it from the shore to his father's ship, which lay at anchor at the distance of half a mile. In deference to the opinion of a Friend, I have substituted such a shell for the less elegant vessel in which my blind Voyager did actually entrust himself to the dangerous current of Loch Leven, as was related to me by an eye-witness.

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