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On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow!
But we will downwards with the Tweed,
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.

'There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,

Both lying right before us;

And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed
The lintwhites sing in chorus ;

There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land
Made blithe with plough and harrow:
Why throw away a needful day
To go in search of Yarrow?

'What's Yarrow but a river bare, That glides the dark hills under? There are a thousand such elsewhere

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 rock1,
But we will leave it growing.

O'er hilly path, and open strath,
We'll wander Scotland thorough;
But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.

'Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
The sweets of Burn-mill meadow;
The swan on still Saint Mary's Lake
Float double, swan and shadow !
We will not see them; will not go
To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough if in our hearts we know
There's such a place as Yarrow.

1 See Hamilton's ballad, as above.

'Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!

It must, or we shall rue it ;

We have a vision of our own;

Ah! why should we undo it?

The treasured dreams of times long past,
We'll keep them, winsome Marrow !
For when we're there, although 'tis fair,
'Twill be another Yarrow!

'If Care with freezing years should come,
And wandering seem but folly,-
Should we be loath to stir from home,

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.'

TO THE CUCKOO.

O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice.

O Cuckoo shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear,
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off, and near.

Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of sunshine and of flowers,

Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me

No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my school-boy days I listened to; that Cry

Which made me look a thousand ways In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen.

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget

That golden time again.

O blessed Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place :
That is fit home for Thee!

(1804.)

AT THE GRAVE OF BURNS.

(Seven Years after his Death.)

I shiver, Spirit fierce and bold,

At thought of what I now behold:
As vapours breathed from dungeons cold

Strike pleasure dead,

So sadness comes from out the mould
Where Burns is laid.

1803.

And have I then thy bones so near,
And thou forbidden to appear?
As if it were thyself that's here
I shrink with pain;

And both my wishes and my fear
Alike are vain.

Off weight-nor press on weight !-away
Dark thoughts!-they came, but not to stay;
With chastened feelings would I pay
The tribute due

To him, and aught that hides his clay
From mortal view.

Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
He sang, his genius 'glinted' forth,
Rose like a star that touching earth,
For so it seems,

Doth glorify its humble birth
With matchless beams.

The piercing eye, the thoughtful brow,
The struggling heart, where be they now?-

Full soon the Aspirant of the plough,

The prompt, the brave,

Slept, with the obscurest, in the low
And silent grave.

I mourned with thousands, but as one
More deeply grieved, for He was gone
Whose light I hailed when first it shone,
And showed my youth

How Verse may build a princely throne
On humble truth.

Alas! where'er the current tends,
Regret pursues and with it blends,-
Huge Criffel's hoary top ascends

By Skiddaw seen,—

Neighbours we were, and loving friends
We might have been :

True friends though diversely inclined; But heart with heart and mind with mind, Where the main fibres are entwined,

Through Nature's skill,

May even by contraries be joined
More closely still.

The tear will start, and let it flow;
Thou 'poor Inhabitant below,'
At this dread moment-even so-

Might we together

Have sate and talked where gowans blow,
Or on wild heather.

What treasures would have then been placed
Within my reach; of knowledge graced
By fancy what a rich repast!

But why go on?—

Oh! spare to sweep, thou mournful blast,
His grave grass-grown.

There, too, a Son, his joy and pride,
(Not three weeks past the Stripling died,)
Lies gathered to his Father's side,

Soul-moving sight!

Yet one to which is not denied
Some sad delight.

For he is safe, a quiet bed
Hath early found among the dead,
Harboured where none can be misled,
Wronged, or distrest ;

And surely here it may be said
That such are blest. ·

And oh for Thee, by pitying grace
Checked oft-times in a devious race,
May He who halloweth the place
Where Man is laid
Receive thy Spirit in the embrace
For which it prayed!

Sighing I turned away; but ere
Night fell I heard, or seemed to hear,
Music that sorrow comes not near,

A ritual hymn,

Chaunted in love that casts out fear
By Seraphim.

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