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0! while they minister to thee,
Each vying with the other,
With Strength, her venturous brother ; And Tiber, and each brook and rill
Renowned in song and story, With unimagined beauty shine,
Nor lose one ray of glory!
Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream !
Fulfil thy pensive duty,
For simple hearts thy beauty ;
Dear to the common sunshine,
To memory's shadowy moonshine!
For Thou, upon a hundred streams,
By tales of love and sorrow,
Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
Wherever they invite Thee, At parent Nature's grateful call,
With gladness must requite Thee.
ON THE DEPARTURE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT FROM
ABBOTSFORD, FOR NAPLES.
A gracious welcome shall be thine,
Such looks of love and honour As thy own Yarrow gave to me
When first I gazed upon her; Beheld what I had feared to see,
Unwilling to surrender Dreams treasured up from early days,
The holy and the tender.
A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
And what, for this frail world, were all
That mortals do or suffer,
Memorial tribute offer ?
Her features, could they win us, Unhelped by the poetic voice
That hourly speaks within us ?
A PLACE OF BURIAL IN THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND.
Nor deem that localised Romance
Plays false with our affections ; Unsanctifies our tears-made sport
For fanciful dejections :
Sustain the heart in feeling
With friends and kindred dealing.
Part fenced by man, part by a rugged steep
Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that day
In Yarrow's groves were centred ; Who through the silent portal arch
Of mouldering Newark enter'd ;
Too timidly was mounted
Ere he his Tale recounted.
ON THE SIGHT OF
A MANSE IN THE SOUTH
The pibroch’s note, discountenanced or mute;
The Roman kilt, degraded to a toy Say, ye far-travelled clouds, far-seeing hills
Of quaint apparel for a half-spoilt boy ; Among the happiest-looking homes of men
The target mouldering like ungathered fruit; Scatter'd all Britain over, through deep glen,
The smoking steam-boat eager in pursuit, On airy upland, and by forest rills,
As eagerly pursued; the umbrella spread And o'er wide plains cheered by the lark that trills To weather-fend the Celtic herdsman's head
All speak of manners withering to the root, His sky-born warblings—does aught meet your ken
And of old honours, too, and passions high : More fit to animate the Poet's pen,
Then may we ask, though pleased that thought Aught that more surely by its aspect fills
Among the conquests of civility,
[should range Pure minds with sinless envy, than the Abode
Survives imagination—to the change
Superior! Help to virtue does she give?
If not, O Mortals, better cease to live!
COMPOSED IN THE GLEN OF LOCH ETIVE.
« This Land of Rainbows spanning glens whose COMPOSED IN ROSLIN CHAPEL, DURING A STORM.
walls, The wind is now thy organist ;—a clank
Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists— (We know not whence) ministers for a bell
Of far-stretched Meres whose salt flood never To mark some change of service. As the swell
rests Of music reached its height, and even when sank
Of tuneful Caves and playful Waterfalls— The notes, in prelude, Roslin! to a blank Of Mountains varying momently their crests— Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof,
Proud be this Land! whose poorest huts are halls Pillars, and arches,—not in vain time-proof,
Where Fancy entertains becoming guests ; Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
While native song the heroic Past recals.” Came those live herbs ? by what hand were they Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught,
The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem
Her trophies, Fancy crouch ; the course of pride Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche (grown, Has been diverted, other lessons taught, Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green
That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread. Though mute, of all things blending into one.
COMPOSED AT DUNOLLIE CASTLE IN THE BAY OF OBAN.
There's not a nook within this solemy Pass, DISHONOURED Rock and Ruin ! that, by law
Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred
Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw Withered at eve. From scenes of art which chase Was on the wing ; stooping, he struck with awe That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes Man, bird, and beast ; then, with a consort paired, Feed it ʼmid Nature's old felicities,
From a bold headland, their loved aery's guard, Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass Flew high above Atlantic waves, to draw Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest, Light from the fountain of the setting sun. If from a golden perch of aspen spray
Such was this Prisoner once ; and, when his plumes (October's workmanship to rival May)
The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on, The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
Then, for a moment, he, in spirit, resumes That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay, His rank ’mong freeborn creatures that live free, Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest ! His power, his beauty, and his majesty.
IN THE SOUND OF MULL.
AT THE HEAD OF GLENCROE.
SUGGESTED AT TYNDRUM IN A STORM.
REST AND BE THANKFUL !'
Doubling and doubling with laborious walk,
This brief this simple way-side Call can slight,
And rests not thankful ? Whether cheered by talk sprung ; From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong,
With some loved friend, or by the unseen hawk
Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams, that shine What feuds, not quenched but fed by mutual woe.
At the sun's outbreak, as with light divine, Yet, though a wild vindictive Race, untamed
Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk By civil arts and labours of the pen,
Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose, Could gentleness be scorned by those fierce Men, Who, to spread wide the reverence they claimed
Will we forget that, as the fowl can keep
Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air, For patriarchal occupations, named
And fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep, Yon towering Peaks, ‘Shepherds of Etive Glen* ?'
So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows,
See what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot, This way or that, or give it even a thought
Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may, More than by smoothest pathway may be brought Shines in the greeting of the sun's first ray Into a vacant mind. Can written book
Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot. Teach what they learn ? Up, hardy Mountaineer!
The limpid mountain rill avoids it not ; And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One
And why shouldst thou!—If rightly trained and bred, Of Nature's privy council, as thou art,
Humanity is humble, finds no spot On cloud-sequestered heights, that see and hear
Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread. To what dread Powers He delegates his part
The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof, On earth, who works in the heaven of heavens,
Undressed the pathway leading to the door; alone.
But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor ;
proof, THE EARL OF BREADALBANE'S RUINED MANSION, Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer, AND FAMILY BURIAL-PLACE, NEAR KILLIN.
Belike less happy.-Stand no more aloof * !
THE HIGHLAND BROACH.
The exact resemblance which the old Broach (still in use, For the departed, built with curious pains
though rarely met with, among the Highlanders) bears to
the Roman Fibula must strike every one, and concurs, And mausolean pomp? Yet here they stand
with the plaid and kilt, to recal to mind the communiTogether,—’mid trim walks and artful bowers,
cation which the ancient Romans had with this remote To be looked down upon by ancient hills,
country. That, for the living and the dead, demand And prompt a harmony of genuine powers ;
IF to Tradition faith be due, Concord that elevates the mind, and stills.
And echoes from old verse speak true,
* In Gaelic, Buachaill Eite.
* See Note.
One small possession lacked not power,
Ere the meek Saint, Columba, bore Glad tidings to Iona's shore, No common light of nature blessed The mountain region of the west, A land where gentle manners ruled O’er men in dauntless virtues schooled, That raised, for centuries, a bar Impervious to the tide of war: Yet peaceful Arts did entrance gain Where haughty Force had striven in vain; And, 'mid the works of skilful hands, By wanderers brought from foreign lands And various climes, was not unknown The clasp that fixed the Roman Gown; The Fibula, whose shape, I ween, Still in the Highland Broach is seen, The silver Broach of massy frame, Worn at the breast of some grave Dame On road or path, or at the door Of fern-thatched hut on heathy moor: But delicate of yore its mould, And the material finest gold; As might beseem the fairest Fair, Whether she graced a royal chair, Or shed, within a vaulted hall, No fancied lustre on the wall Where shields of mighty heroes hung, While Fingal heard what Ossian sung.
As generations come and go,
But when, from out their viewless bed,
The heroic Age expired-it slept
* How much the Broach is sometimes prized by persons in humble stations may be gathered from an occurrence mentioned to me by a female friend. She had had an opportunity of benefiting a poor old woman in her own hut, who, wishing to make a return, said to her daughter, in Erse, in a tone of plaintive earnestness, “ I would give anything I have, but I hope she does not wish for my Broach !" and, uttering these words, she put her hand upon the Broach which fastened her kerchief, and which, she imagined, had attracted the eye of her benefactress.
When alternations came of rage
In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;
[Upon a small island not far from the head of Loch
Lomond, are some remains of an ancient building, which was for several years the abode of a solitary Individual, one of the last survivors of the clan of Macfarlane, once powerful in that neighbourhood. Passing along the shore opposite this island in the year 1814, the Author learned these particulars, and that this person then living there had acquired the appellation of The Brownie.' See “ The Brownie's Cell,” p. 231, to which
the following is a sequel. How disappeared he?' Ask the newt and toad; Ask of his fellow men, and they will tell How he was found, cold as an icicle, Under an arch of that forlorn abode; Where he, unpropp'd, and by the gathering flood Of years hemm'd round, had dwelt, prepared to try Privation's worst extremities, and die With no one near save the omnipresent God. Verily so to live was an awful choice A choice that wears the aspect of a doom; But in the mould of mercy all is cast For Souls familiar with the eternal Voice; And this forgotten Taper to the last Drove from itself, we trust, all frightful gloom.
PICTURE OF DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN, AT
Amid a fertile region green with wood
TO THE PLANET VENUS, AN EVENING STAR.
COMPOSED AT LOCH LOMOND.
Though joy attend Thee orient at the birth
(A FEEDER OF THE ANNAN.)
Avon-a precious, an immortal name!
(PASSED UNSEEN, ON ACCOUNT OF STORMY WEATHER.) IMMURED in Bothwell's towers, at times the Brave (So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn The liberty they lost at Bannockburn. Once on those steeps I roamed at large, and have