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This ballad was the first poetical composition of Sir Walter Scott, and was originally published in 1801,
in the “ Tales of Wonder,” edited by M. G. Lewis. It was written with the design that it should be supposed a translation from the Gaelic, whereby Scott considered himself “liberated from imitating the uat language and rude rhythm of the minstrel ballad.” The popularity that Glenfinlas immediately acquired was a chief inducement to the arrangement and publication of the “ Border Minstrelsy."
Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,
Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's deather Which murmurs through that lonely No more on me shall rapture rise,
Responsive to the panting breath,
Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes. Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,
When three successive days had flown; E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe, And summer mist in dewy balm
Where sunk my hopes of love and fame; Steep'd heathy bank, and mossy stone.
I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,
On me the Seer's sad spirit came. The moon, half hid in silvery flakes,
• The last dread curse of angry heaven, Afar her dubious radiance shed,
With ghastly sights and sounds of woe, Quivering on Katrine's distant lakes,
To dash each glimpse of joy was givenAnd resting on Benledi's head.
The gift, the future ill to know. Now in their hut in social guise,
The bark thou saw'st, yon summer morn, Their silvan fare the Chiefs enjoy ;
So gaily part from Oban's bay, And pleasure laughs in Ronald's eyes,
My eye beheld her dash'd and torn, As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy.
Far on the rocky Colonsay. What lack we here to crown our bliss,
• Thy Fergus too—thy sister's son, While thus the pulse of joy beats high? Thou saw'st, with pride, the gallant's W bat, but fair woman's yielding kiss,
power, Her panting breath and melting eye ?
As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe,
He left the skirts of huge Benmore. To chase the deer of yonder shades,
This morning left their father's pile • Thou only saw'st their tartans wave, The fairest of our mountain maids,
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound, The daughters of the proud Glengyle. Heard'st but the pibroch, answering brave
To many a target clanking round. Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart, And dropp'd the tear and heaved the "I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears, sigh:
saw the wound his bosom bore, But vain the lover's wily art,
When on the serried Saxon spears Beneath a sister's watchful eye.
He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.
THE GAY GOSS-HA W K.
Tinis ballad undoubtedly owes a portion of its merit to the improving hand of Walter Scott, who arrang
ed it for his “ Minstrelsy” from two different copies. Other versions have been published by Motherwell and Buchan. It is believed to be of great antiquity, but there is no record of any actual occurrence, on which it might have been founded.
O WALY, waly, my gay goss-hawk,
Gin your feathering be sheen!'· And waly, waly, my master dear,
Gin ye look pale and lean!
· And even at my love's bour-door
There grows a flowering birk ;
As she gangs to the kirk.
O have ye tint, at tournament,
And four-and-twenty fair ladyes Your sword, or yet your spear ?
Will to the mass repair ; Or mourn ye for the southern lass,
But weel may ye my ladye ken, Whom ye may not win near ??
The fairest ladye there.' I have not tint at tournament,
Lord William has written a love-letter, My sword, nor yet my spear ;
Put it under his pinion gray ; But sair I mourn for my true love,
And he is awa to Southern land Wi' mony a bitter tear.
As fast as wings can gae. · But weel's me on ye, my gay goss-hawk, And even at the ladye's bour Ye can baith speak and flee ;
There grew a flowering birk; Ye sall carry a letter to my love,
And he sat down and sung thereon Bring an answer back to me.'
As she gaed to the kirk. • But how sall I your true love bid,
And weel he kent that ladye fair Or how suld I her know?
Amang her maidens free; I bear a tongue ne'er wi' her spake,
For the flower, that springs in May morning An eye that ne'er ber saw.'
Was not sae sweet as she.
O weel sall ye my true love ken,
Sae sune as ye her see;
The fairest flower is she.
He lighted at the ladye's gate,
And sat him on a pin;
Till a' was cosh within.
• The red, that's on my true love's cheek,
Is like blood-drops on the snaw ; The whlte, that is on her breast bare,
Like the down o' the white sea-maw.
And first he sang a low low note,
the o'erword o' the sang Was Your love can no win here.'
sang a clear;