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Nine tedious years; Until her house by frost, and thaw, and From their first separation, nine long years,
rain, She lingered in unquiet widowhood; Was sapped; and while she slept, the A Wife and Widow. Needs must it have
nightly damps been
Did chill her breast; and in the stormy day A sore heart-wasting! I have heard, my | Her tattered clothes were ruffled by the Friend,
wind, That in yon arbour oftentimes she sate Even at the side of her own fire. Yet still Alone, through half the vacant sabbath day; She loved this wretched spot, nor would for And, if a dog passed by, she still would quit
911 The shade, and look abroad. On this old Have parted hence; and still that length of bench
road, For hours she sate; and evermore her eye And this rude bench, one torturing hope Was busy in the distance, shaping things
endeared, That made her heart beat quick. You see Fast rooted at her heart: and here, my that path,
Friend, Now faint, — the grass has crept o'er its In sickness she remained; and here she grey line;
diea; There, to and fro, she paced through many | Last human tenant of these ruined walls!”
a day Of the warın summer, from a belt of hemp
BOOK VII That girt her waist, spinning the long
[Lines 395-481] drawn thread With backward steps. Yet ever as there
Almost at the root passed
Of that tall pine, the shadow of whose bare A man whose garments showed the soldier's And slender stem, while here I sit at eve, red,
Oft stretches towards me, like a long Or crippled mendicant in sailor's garb,
straight path The little child who sate to turn the wheel Traced faintly in the greensward; there, Ceased from his task; and she with falter
beneath ing voice
891 A plain blue stone, a gentle Dalesman lies, Made many a fond enquiry; and when they, From whom, in early childhood, was withWhose presence gave no comfort, were
401 gone by,
The precious gift of hearing. He grew up Her heart was still more sad. And by yon From year to year in loneliness of soul; gate,
And this deep mountain-valley was to him That bars the traveller's road, she often Soundless, with all its streams. The bird stood,
of dawn And when a stranger horseman came, the Did never rouse this Cottager from sleep latch
With startling summons; not for his delight Would lift, and in his face look wistfully; The vernal cuckoo shouted; not for him Most happy, if, from aught discovered Murmured the labouring bee. When there
409 Of tender feeling, she might dare repeat Were working the broad bosom of the lake The same sad question. Meanwhile her Into a thousand thousand sparkling waves, poor Hut
Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on Sank to decay; for he was gone, whose
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags, At the first nipping of October frost, The agitated scene before his eye Closed up each chink, and with fresh bands Was silent as a picture: evermore of straw
Were all things silent, wheresoe'er he Chequered the green-grown thatch. And moved. .. so she lived
Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts Through the long winter, reckless and Upheld, he duteously pursued the round alone;
Of rural labours; the steep mountain-side
Ascended, with his staff and faithful dog; And they, who were about him, did not The plough he guided, and the scythe he 1
421 In reverence, or in courtesy; they prized And the ripe corn before his sickle fell His gentle manners: and his peaceful Among the jocund reapers. For himself,
460 All watchful and industrious as he was, The gleams of his slow-varying counteHe wrought not: neither field nor flock he
Were met with answering sympathy and No wish for wealth had place within his
love. mind; Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or At length, when sixty years and five were care.
A slow disease insensibly consumed Though born a younger brother, need The powers of nature, and a few short was none
steps That from the floor of his paternal home | Of friends and kindred bore him from his He should depart, to plant himself anew.
home And when, mature in manhood, he be- (Yon cottage shaded by the woody crags) held
431 To the profounder stillness of the grave. His parents laid in earth, no loss ensued - Nor was his funeral denied the grace Of rights to him; but he remained well Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful pleased,
470 By the pure bond of independent love, Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude. An inmate of a second family;
And now that monumental stone preserves The fellow-labourer and friend of him His name, and unambitiously relates To whom the small inheritance had fal How long, and by what kindly outward len.
aids, - Nor deem that his mild presence was a And in what pure contentedness of mind, weight
The sad privation was by him endured. That pressed upon his brother's house; for - And yon tall pine-tree, whose composing
books Were ready comrades whom he could not Was wasted on the good Man's living ear, tire;
440 Hath now its own peculiar sanctity; Of whose society the blameless Man
And, at the touch of every wandering Was never satiate. Their familiar voiee,
480 Even to old age, with unabated charm Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave. Beguiled his leisure hours; refreshed his
And is this — Yarrow? — This the Stream The stormy day, each had its own re- | Of which my fancy cherished, source;
So faithfully, a waking dream ? Song of the muses, sage historic tale, 450 An image that hath perished ! Science severe, or word of holy Writ O that some Minstrel's harp were near, Announcing immortality and joy
To utter notes of gladness, To the assembled spirits of just men
And chase this silence from the air, Made perfect, and from injury secure.
That fills my heart with sadness ! - Thus soothed at home, thus busy in the field,
Yet why ? — a silvery current flows To no perverse suspicion he gave way,
With uncontrolled meanderings; No languor, peevishness, nor vain com
Nor have these eyes by greener hills plaint:
| Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
“SCORN NOT THE SONNET”
[Publ. 1827] SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have
frowned, Mindless of its just houours; with this
key Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the mel.
ody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's
wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; With it Camöens soothed an exile's grief; The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp, It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery
land To struggle through dark ways; and, when
a damp Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand 10 The Thing became a trumpet; whence he
blew Soul-animating strains — alas, too few !
Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet
ro In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
Were on the bough, or falling; But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed
The forest to embolden;
Transparence through the golden.
In foamy agitation;
For quiet contemplation:
The freeborn mind enthralling, We made a day of happy hours,
Our happy days recalling.
With freaks of graceful folly, -
Her Night not melancholy;
30 Like guests that meet, and some from far,
By cordial love invited.
SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.,
If, then, some natural shadows spread
Our inward prospect over, The soul's deep valley was not slow
Its brightness to recover.
The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir Walter Scott and other Friends visiting the Banks of the Yarrow under his guidance, immediately before his departure from Abbotsford, for Naples.
The title “ Yarrow Revisited" will stand in no need of explanation for Readers acquainted with the Author's previous poems suggested by that celebrated Stream.
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.
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;
Long left without a warder,
For thee, O Scott ! compelled to change
Green Eildon-bill and Cheviot so For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes;
And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot For mild Sorento’s breezy waves;
May classic Fancy, linking . With native Fancy her fresh aid,
Preserve thy heart from sinking !
Oh! while they minister to thee,
By the “last Minstrel,” (not the last !) Each vying with the other,
Ere he his Tale recounted. May Health return to mellow Age
With Strength, her venturous brother; 60 | Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream! And Tiber, and each brook and rill
Fulfil thy pensive duty, Renowned in song and story,
Well pleased that future Bards should chant With unimagined beauty shine,
For simple hearts thy beauty; Nor lose one ray of glory!
To dream-light dear while yet unseen,
Dear to the common sunshine, For Thou, upon a hundred streams, And dearer still, as now I feel, By tales of love and sorrow,
To memory's shadowy moonshine!
Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
[Publ. 1835) At parent Nature's grateful call, With gladness must requite Thee. THERE 's not a nook within this solemn
Pass, 'A gracious welcome shall be thine,
But were an apt confessional for One Such looks of love and honour
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn As thy own Yarrow gave to me
gone, When first I gazed upon her;
That Life is but a tale of morning grass Beheld what I had feared to see,
Withered at eve. From scenes of art which Unwilling to surrender
chase Dreams treasured up from early days, That thought away, turn, and with watchful The holy and the tender.
Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities, And what, for this frail world, were all Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear That mortals do or suffer,
than glass Did no responsive harp, no pen,
Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy Memorial tribute offer ?
quest, Yea, what were mighty Nature's self ? If from a golden perch of aspen spray Her features, could they win us,
(October's workmanship to rival May) Unhelped by the poetic voice
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast That hourly speaks within us?
That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught
lay, Nor deem that localised Romance
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest ! Plays false with our affections; Unsanctifies our tears — made sport For fanciful dejections:
“IF THIS GREAT WORLD OF Ah, no! the visions of the past
JOY AND PAIN" Sustain the heart in feeling
[Publ. 1835] Life as she is - our changeful Life, With friends and kindred dealing.
If this great world of joy and pain
Revolve in one sure track; Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that day If freedom, set, will rise again, In Yarrow's groves were centred;
And virtue, flown, come back; Who throngh the silent portal arch
Woe to the purblind crew who fill Of mouldering Newark entered;
The heart with each day's care; And clomb the winding stair that once
Nor gain, from past or future, skill Too timidly was mounted
To bear, and to forbear !