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As oft he rises midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum :-
Now teach me, maid composed
To breathe some soften'd strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit ;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return!
For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day,
And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene;
Or find some ruin midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
Or, if chill blustering winds, or driving rain
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light;
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace, Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!
The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill
THE sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill,
In Ettrick's vale, is sinking sweet; The westland wind is hush and still, The lake lies sleeping at my feet. Yet not the landscape to mine eye
Bears those bright hues that once it bore ; Though evening, with her richest dye, Flames o'er the hills of Ettrick's shore.
With listless look along the plain,
I see Tweed's silver current glide,
And coldly mark the holy fane
Of Melrose rise in ruin'd pride.
The quiet lake, the balmy air,
The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree,-
Are they still such as once they were?
Or is the dreary change in me?
Alas, the warp'd and broken board,
How can it bear the painter's dye!
The harp of strain'd and tuneless chord,
How to the minstrel's skill reply!
To aching eyes each landscape lowers,
To feverish pulse each gale blows chill;
And Araby's or Eden's bowers
Were barren as this moorland hill.
THERE lived a wife at Usher's Well,
And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
And sent them o'er the sea.
They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely ane,
When word came to the carline wife,
That her three sons were gane.
They had not been a week from her,
A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife,
That her sons she'd never see.
'I wish the wind may never cease,
Nor fishes in the flood,
Till my three sons come hame to me,
In earthly flesh and blood!'
It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are lang and mirk, The carline wife's three sons came hame And their hats were o' the birk.
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in ony sheugh;
But at the gates o' Paradise
That birk grew fair eneugh.
'Blow up the fire, my maidens !
Bring water from the well!
For a' my house shall feast this night,
Since my three sons are well!'
And she has made to them a bed,
She's made it large and wide;
And she's ta'en her mantle her about;
Sat down at the bed-side.
Up then crew the red red cock,
And up and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said,
"Tis time we were away!'
The cock he hadna craw'd but once,
And clapp'd his wings at a',
Whan the youngest to the eldest said
'Brother, we must awa'.
'The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
The channerin' worm doth chide :
If we be miss'd out o' our place,
A sair pain we maun bide.
'Fear ye well, my mother dear !
Farewell to barn and byre!
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass,
That kindles my mother's fire !'
ALLEN-A-DALE has no fagot for burning,
Allen-a-Dale has no furrow for turning,
Allen-a-Dale has no fleece for the spinning,
Yet Allen-a-Dale has red gold for the winning.
Come, read me my riddle! come, hearken my tale !
And tell me the craft of bold Allen-a-Dale.
The Baron of Ravensworth prances in pride,
And he views his domains upon Arkindale side,
The mere for his net, and the land for his game,
The chase for the wild, and the park for the tame;
Yet the fish of the lake, and the deer of the vale,
Are less free to Lord Dacre than Allen-a-Dale!
Allen-a-Dale was ne'er belted a knight,
Though his spur be as sharp, and his blade be as bright:
Allen-a-Dale is no baron or lord,
Yet twenty tall yeomen will draw at his word;
And the best of our nobles his bonnet will vail,
Who at Rere-cross on Stanmore meets Allen-a-Dale.
Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come;
The mother, she ask'd of his household and home :
'Though the castle of Richmond stand fair on the hill,
My hall,' quoth bold Allen, 'shows gallanter still;
'Tis the blue vault of heaven, with its crescent so pale,
And with all its bright spangles!' said Allen-a-Dale.
The father was steel, and the mother was stone;
They lifted the latch, and they bade him be gone;
But loud, on the morrow, their wail and their cry:
He had laugh'd on the lass with his bonny black eye.
And she fled to the forest to hear a love-tale,
And the youth it was told by was Allen-a-Dale!
The Beleaguered City.
I HAVE read, in some old marvellous tale,
Some legend strange and vague,
That a midnight host of spectres pale
Beleaguered the walls of Prague.
Beside the Moldau's rushing stream,
With the wan moon overhead,
There stood, as in an awful dream,
The army of the dead.
White as a sea-fog, landward bound,
The spectral camp was seen,
And, with a sorrowful, deep sound,
The river flowed between.
No other voice nor sound was there,
No drum, nor sentry's pace;
The mist-like banners clasped the air
As clouds with clouds embrace.
But, when the old cathedral bell
Proclaimed the morning prayer,
The white pavilions rose and fell
On the alarmèd air.
Down the broad valley, fast and far
The troubled army fled;
Up rose the glorious morning star,
The ghastly host was dead.
I have read, in the marvellous heart of man,
That strange and mystic scroll,
That an army of phantoms vast and wan
Beleaguer the human soul.
Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,
In Fancy's misty light,
Gigantic shapes and shadows gleam
Portentous through the night.