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Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Is visibly delighted;
For not a feature of those hills
Is in the mirror slighted.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow Vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
Is round the rising sun diffused,
A tender hazy brightness;
Mild dawn of promise! that excludes
All profitless dejection;
Though not unwilling here to admit
A pensive recollection.
Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding?
His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding :
And haply from this crystal pool
Now peaceful as the morning,
The water-Wraith ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.
Delicious is the Lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The path that leads them to the grove,
The leafy grove that covers:
And pity sanctifies the verse
That paints, by strength of sorrow,
The unconquerable strength of love;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow!
But thou that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation:
Meek loveliness is round thee spread,
A softness still and holy:
The grace of forest charms decay'd,
And pastoral melancholy.
That region left, the vale unfolds
Rich groves of lofty stature,
With Yarrow winding through the pomp
Of cultivated Nature;
And rising from those lofty groves
Behold a ruin hoary,
The shatter'd front of Newark's Towers,
Renown'd in Border story.
Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,
For sportive youth to stray in,
For manhood to enjoy his strength,
And age to wear away in!
Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss,
A covert for protection
Of studious ease and generous cares
And every chaste affection!
How sweet on this autumnal day
The wild-wood fruits to gather,
And on my true love's forehead plant
A crest of blooming heather!
And what if I enwreathed my own?
'Twere no offence to reason;
The sober hills thus deck their brows
To meet the wintry season.
I see—but not by sight alone,
Loved Yarrow, have I won thee;
A ray of Fancy still survives,
Her sunshine plays upon thee!
Thy ever-youthful waters keep
A course of lively pleasure;
And gladsome notes my lips can breathe
Accordant to the measure.
The vapours linger round the heights,
They melt, and soon must vanish;
One hour is theirs, nor more is minem
Sad thought! which I would banish,
But that I know, where'er I go,
Thy genuine image, Yarrow!
Will dwell with me, to heighten joy
And cheer my mind in sorrow.
THE gallant Youth, who may have gained,
Or seeks, a 'winsome Marrow,'
Was but an Infant in the lap
When first I looked on Yarrow;
Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate
Long left without a warder,
I stood, looked, listened, and with Thee,
Great Minstrel of the Border !
Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet
Their dignity installing
In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
Were on the bough, or falling;
But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed-
The forest to embolden;
Reddened the fiery hues, and shot
Transparence through the golden.
For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on
In foamy agitation;
And slept in many a crystal pool
For quiet contemplation:
No public and no private care
The freeborn mind enthralling,
We made a day of happy hours,
Our happy days recalling.
Brisk Youth appeared, the Morn of youth,
With freaks of graceful folly-
Life's temperate Noon, her sober Eve,
Her Night not melancholy;
Past, present, future, all appeared
In harmony united, Like guests that meet, and some from far,
By cordial love invited.
And if, as Yarrow, through the woods
And down the meadow ranging, Did meet us with unaltered face,
Though we were changed and changing; If, then, some natural shadows spread
Our inward prospect over,
The soul's deep valley was not slow
Its brightness to recover.
Eternal blessings on the Muse,
And her divine employment ! The blameless Muse, who trains her Sons
For hope and calm enjoyment;
Albeit sickness, lingering yet,
Has o'er their pillow brooded;
And Care waylays their steps—a Sprite
Not easily eluded.
For thee, O Scott! compelled to change
Gre Eildon-hill and Cheviot
For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes,
And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot
For mild Sorrento's breezy waves;
May classic Fancy, linking
With native Fancy her fresh aid,
Preserve thy heart from sinking!
Oh! while they minister to thee,
Each vying with the other,
May Health return to mellow Age
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!
For Thou, upon a hundred streams,
By tales of love and sorrow,
Of faithful love, undaunted truth,
Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,
Wherever they invite Thee,
At parent Nature's grateful call,
With gladness must requite Thee.
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.
And what, for this frail world, were all
That mortals do or suffer,
Did no responsive harp, no pen,
Memorial tribute offer?
Yea, what were mighty Nature's self?
Her features, could they win us,
Unhelped by the poetic voice
That hourly speaks within us?
Nor deem that localized Romance
Plays false with our affections;
Unsanctifies our tears—made sport
For fanciful dejections;
Ah, no! the visions of the past
Sustain the heart in feeling
Life as she is our changeful Life,
With friends and kindred dealing.
Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that day
In Yarrow's groves were centred; Who through the silent portal arch
Of mouldering Newark enter'd;