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I've seen the forest adornd of the foremost,
With flowers of the fairest, both pleasant and gay: Full sweet was their blooming, their scent the air
perfuming, But now they are wither'd, and a' wede awae. I've seen the morning with gold the hills adorning,
And the red storm roaring before the parting day; I've seen Tweed's silver streams, glittering in the
sunny beams, Turn drumly and dark as they rolled on their way. Oh fickle Fortune! why this cruel sporting?
Why thus perplex us poor sons of a day? [me, Thy frowns cannot fear me, thy smiles cannot cheer
Since the flowers of the forest are a' wede awae.
JOHN LEYDEN. 1800.
AGAIN, sweet siren! breathe again
Whose melting tones of tender wo,
Which in the vales of Tiviot blow.
The Celtic warrior's parted shade ;
Where shipwreck'd mariners are laid.
The scenes of former life return;
Immured in mortal forms to mourn.
Can mingle with the mortal throng;
That warbles in our Scottish song.
They leave the amber fields of day:
They mingle in the magic lay. Sweet siren, breathe the powerful strain ! “ Lochroyan's damsel” sails the main ;
The crystal tower enchanted see! “Now break,” she cries, “ye fairy charms !" As round she sails with fond alarms,
“Now break, and set my true love free !" Lord Barnard is to greenwood gone, Where fair “Gil Morrice” sits alone,
And careless combs his yellow hair; Ah! mourn the youth, untimely slain! The meanest of Lord Barnard's train
The hunter's mangled head must bear. Or, change these notes of deep despair, For love's more soothing tender air:
Sing how, beneath the greenwood-tree, “ Brown Adam's" love maintain'd her truth, Nor would resign the exiled youth
For any knight the fair could see.
For he could speak as well as fly; Her brethren how the fair beguiled, And on her Scottish lover smiled,
As slow she raised her languid eye. Fair was her cheek's carnation glow, Like red blood on a wreath of snow;
Like evening's dewy star her eye; White as the sea-mew's downy breast, Borne on the surge's foamy crest,
Her graceful bosom heaved the sigh. In youth's first morn, alert and gay, Ere rolling years had pass'd away,
Remember'd like a morning dream, I heard these dulcet measures float, In many a liquid winding note,
Along the banks of Teviot's stream. Sweet sounds! that oft have sooth'd to rest The sorrows of my guileless breast,
And charm'd away mine infant tears :
That in the wild the traveller hears.
To visit Syria's date-crown'd shore ;
And scenes of early youth deplore.
I bid your pleasing haunts adieu!
Through scenes that I no more must view.
WHERE Bortha hoarse, that loads the meads with Rolls her red tide to Teviot's western strand, [sand, Through slaty hills, whose sides are shagg'd with
thorn, Where springs, in scatter'd tufts, the dark-green Towers wood-girt Harden, far above the vale, (corn, And clouds of ravens o'er the turrets sail. A hardy race, who never shrunk from war, The Scott, to rival realms a mighty bar, Here fixed his mountain-home; a wide domain, And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain; But what the niggard ground of wealth denied, From fields more bless'd his fearless arm supplied.
The waning harvest-moon shone cold and bright; The warder's horn was heard at dead of night; And as the massy portals wide were fung, With stamping hoofs the rocky pavement rung. What fair, half veil'd, leans from her latticed hall, Where red the wavering gleams of torchlight fall ? 'Tis Yarrow's fairest flower, who, through the gloom, Looks, wistful, for her lover's dancing plume. Amid the piles of spoil that strew'd the ground, Her ear, all anxious, caught a wailing sound; With trembling haste the youthful matron flew, And from the hurried heaps an infant drew.
Scared at the light, his little hands he flung Around her neck, and to her bosom clung; While beauteous Mary sooth'd, in accents mild, His futtering soul, and clasp'd her foster child. or inilder mood the gentle captive grew, Nor loved the scenes that scared his infant view; In vales remote, from camps and castles far, He shunn’d the fearful, shuddering joy of war;
Content the loves of simple swains to sing,
His are the strains, whose wandering echoes thrill
Long lay the ocean-paths from man conceald: Light came from heaven—the magnet was reveald, A surer star to guide the seaman's eye Than the pale glory of the northern sky; Alike ordain'd to shine by night and day, Through calm and tempest, with unsetting ray; Where'er the mountains rise, the billows roll, Still with strong impulse turning to the pole, True as the sun is to the morning true, Though light as film, and trembling as the dew.
Then man no longer plied with timid oar And failing heart along the windward shore ; Broad to the sky he turn'd his fearless sail, Defied the adverse, woo'd the favouring gale, Bared to the storm his adamantine breast, Or soft on ocean's lap lay down to rest ; While free, as clouds the liquid ether sweep, [deep; His white-wing’d vessels coursed the unbounded