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"Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,
And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed
What's Yarrow but a river bare,
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,
Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!
The treasured dreams of times long past,
*See Hamilton's Ballad as above.
If Care with freezing years should come,
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!"
IN THE PASS OF KILLICRANKY,
An invasion being expected, October 1803.
O for a single hour of that Dundee,
THE MATRON OF JEDBOROUGH AND HER
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,
If not, make merry in despite
That there is One who scorns thy power:-
Nay! start not at that Figure-there!
Him who is rooted to his chair!
With legs that move not, if they can,
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:
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;
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
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!
FLY, some kind Harbinger, to Grasmere-dale!
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;
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-
So all his dreams that inward light
As he had ever known.
But hark! a gratulating voice,
And then, when he was brought to land,
And in the general joy of heart
But most of all, his Mother dear,
She led him home, and wept amain,
Thus, after he had fondly braved
And in the lonely Highland dell
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.