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Over the pomp and beauty of a scene

Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods, unite To pay thee homage; and with these are joined, In willing admiration and respect,

Two Hearts, which in thy presence might be called
Youthful as Spring.-Shade of departed Power,
Skeleton of unfleshed humanity,

The chronicle were welcome that should call
Into the compass of distinct regard

The toils and struggles of thy infant years!
Yon foaming flood seems motionless as ice;
Its dizzy turbulence eludes the eye,
Frozen by distance; so, majestic Pile,
To the perception of this Age, appear
Thy fierce beginnings, softened and subdued
And quieted in character-the strife,
The pride, the fury uncontrollable,

Lost on the aërial heights of the Crusades* !



The history of Rob Roy is sufficiently known; his grave is near the head of Loch Ketterine, in one of those small pinfold-like Burial-grounds, of neglected and desolate appearance, which the traveller meets with in the Highlands of Scotland.

A FAMOUS man is Robin Hood,
The English ballad-singer's joy!
And Scotland has a thief as good,
An outlaw of as daring mood;

She has her brave ROB ROY!

Then clear the weeds from off his Grave,
And let us chant a passing stave,
In honour of that Hero brave!

Heaven gave Rob Roy a dauntless heart
And wondrous length and strength of arm:
Nor craved he more to quell his foes,
Or keep his friends from harm.

Yet was Rob Roy as wise as brave; Forgive me if the phrase be strong ;— A Poet worthy of Rob Roy

Must scorn a timid song.

Say, then, that he was wise as brave; As wise in thought as bold in deed: For in the principles of things

He sought his moral creed.

* The tradition is, that the Castle was built by a Lady during the absence of her Lord in Palestine.

Said generous Rob, "What need of books? Burn all the statutes and their shelves: They stir us up against our kind;

And worse, against ourselves.

We have a passion-make a law,
Too false to guide us or control!
And for the law itself we fight
In bitterness of soul.

And, puzzled, blinded thus, we lose Distinctions that are plain and few: These find I graven on my heart:

That tells me what to do.

The creatures see of flood and field, And those that travel on the wind! With them no strife can last; they live In peace, and peace of mind.

For why? because the good old rule
Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
That they should take, who have the power,
And they should keep who can.

A lesson that is quickly learned,
A signal this which all can see!
Thus nothing here provokes the strong
To wanton cruelty.

All freakishness of mind is checked; He tamed, who foolishly aspires; While to the measure of his might Each fashions his desires.

All kinds, and creatures, stand and fall
By strength of prowess or of wit:
"Tis God's appointment who must sway,
And who is to submit.

Since, then, the rule of right is plain,
And longest life is but a day;
To have my ends, maintain my rights,
I'll take the shortest way."

And thus among these rocks he lived, Through summer heat and winter snow: The Eagle, he was lord above,

And Rob was lord below.

So was it would, at least, have been But through untowardness of fate; For Polity was then too strong

He came an age too late;

Or shall we say an age too soon?

For, were the bold Man living now, How might he flourish in his pride,

With buds on every bough!

Then rents and factors, rights of chase, Sheriffs, and lairds and their domains, Would all have seemed but paltry things, Not worth a moment's pains.

Rob Roy had never lingered here,
To these few meagre Vales confined;

But thought how wide the world, the times
How fairly to his mind!

And to his Sword he would have said,
"Do Thou my sovereign will enact
From land to land through half the earth!
Judge thou of law and fact !

"Tis fit that we should do our part,
Becoming, that mankind should learn
That we are not to be surpassed
In fatherly concern.

Of old things all are over old,

Of good things none are good enough :-
We'll shew that we can help to frame
A world of other stuff.

I, too, will have my kings that take From me the sign of life and death: Kingdoms shall shift about, like clouds, Obedient to my breath."

And, if the word had been fulfilled,
As might have been, then, thought of joy!
France would have had her present Boast,
And we our own Rob Roy!

Oh! say not so; compare them not;
I would not wrong thee, Champion brave!
Would wrong thee nowhere; least of all

Here standing by thy grave.

For Thou, although with some wild thoughts,
Wild Chieftain of a savage Clan!
Hadst this to boast of; thou didst love
The liberty of man.

And, had it been thy lot to live
With us who now behold the light,
Thou would'st have nobly stirred thyself,
And battled for the Right.

For thou wert still the poor man's stay,

The poor man's heart, the poor man's hand; And all the oppressed, who wanted strength, Had thine at their command.

Bear witness many a pensive sigh
Of thoughtful Herdsman when he strays
Alone upon Loch Veol's heights,

And by Loch Lomond's braes!

And, far and near, through vale and hill, Are faces that attest the same;

The proud heart flashing through the eyes, At sound of ROB ROY's name.




DEGENERATE Douglas! oh, the unworthy Lord!
Whom mere despite of heart could so far please,
And love of havoc, (for with such disease
Fame taxes him,) that he could send forth word
To level with the dust a noble horde,
A brotherhood of venerable Trees,
Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these,
Beggared and outraged !-Many hearts deplored
The fate of those old Trees; and oft with pain
The traveller, at this day, will stop and gaze
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed:
For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures, yet remain.

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"Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
Who have been buying, selling,
Go back to Yarrow, 'tis their own;
Each maiden to her dwelling!
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow!
But we will downward 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 rock*,

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 St. 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.

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!

*See Hamilton's Ballad as above.

If Care with freezing years should come,
And wandering seem but folly,—
Should we be loth 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!"




An invasion being expected, October 1803.
Six thousand veterans practised in war's game,
Tried men, at Killicranky were arrayed
Against an equal host that wore the plaid,
Shepherds and herdsmen.-Like a whirlwind came
The Highlanders, the slaughter spread like flame;
And Garry, thundering down his mountain-road,
Was stopped, and could not breathe beneath the load
Of the dead bodies.-'Twas a day of shame
For them whom precept and the pedantry
Of cold mechanic battle do enslave.

O for a single hour of that Dundee,
Who on that day the word of onset gave!
Like conquest would the Men of England see;
And her Foes find a like inglorious grave.




At Jedborough, my companion and I went into private lodgings for a few days; and the following Verses were called forth by the character and domestic situation of our Hostess.

AGE! twine thy brows with fresh spring flowers,
And call a train of laughing Hours;
And bid them dance, and bid them sing;
And thou, too, mingle in the ring!

Take to thy heart a new delight;
If not, make merry in despite

That there is One who scorns thy power:-
But dance! for under Jedborough Tower,
A Matron dwells who, though she bears
The weight of more than seventy years,
Lives in the light of youthful glee,
And she will dance and sing with thee.

Nay! start not at that Figure-there!
Him who is rooted to his chair!
Look at him-look again! for he
Hath long been of thy family.

With legs that move not, if they can,
And useless arms, a trunk of man,
He sits, and with a vacant eye;
A sight to make a stranger sigh !

Deaf, drooping, that is now his doom:
His world is in this single room:
Is this a place for mirthful cheer?
Can merry-making enter here?

The joyous Woman is the Mate Of him in that forlorn estate! He breathes a subterraneous damp; But bright as Vesper shines her lamp: He is as mute as Jedborough Tower: She jocund as it was of yore, With all its bravery on; in times When all alive with merry chimes, Upon a sun-bright morn of May, It roused the Vale to holiday.

I praise thee, Matron! and thy due Is praise, heroic praise, and true! With admiration I behold

Thy gladness unsubdued and bold:
Thy looks, thy gestures, all present
The picture of a life well spent:
This do I see; and something more;
A strength unthought of heretofore!
Delighted am I for thy sake;
And yet a higher joy partake:
Our Human-nature throws away
Its second twilight, and looks gay;
A land of promise and of pride
Unfolding, wide as life is wide.

Ah! see her helpless Charge! enclosed Within himself as seems, composed; To fear of loss, and hope of gain, The strife of happiness and pain, Utterly dead! yet in the guise Of little infants, when their eyes Begin to follow to and fro

The persons that before them go,

He tracks her motions, quick or slow.

Her buoyant spirit can prevail

Where common cheerfulness would fail ;
She strikes upon him with the heat
Of July suns; he feels it sweet;
An animal delight though dim!
"Tis all that now remains for him!

The more I looked, I wondered more— And, while I scanned them o'er and o'er, Some inward trouble suddenly

Broke from the Matron's strong black eye-
A remnant of uneasy light,

A flash of something over-bright!
Nor long this mystery did detain

My thoughts; she told in pensive strain
That she had borne a heavy yoke,
Been stricken by a twofold stroke;
Ill health of body; and had pined
Beneath worse ailments of the mind.

So be it!--but let praise ascend To Him who is our lord and friend! Who from disease and suffering Hath called for thee a second spring; Repaid thee for that sore distress By no untimely joyousness; Which makes of thine a blissful state; And cheers thy melancholy Mate!


FLY, some kind Harbinger, to Grasmere-dale!
Say that we come, and come by this day's light;
Fly upon swiftest wing round field and height,
But chiefly let one Cottage hear the tale;
There let a mystery of joy prevail,
The kitten frolic, like a gamesome sprite,
And Rover whine, as at a second sight
Of near-approaching good that shall not fail:
And from that Infant's face let joy appear;
Yea, let our Mary's one companion child—
That hath her six weeks' solitude beguiled
With intimations manifold and dear,
While we have wandered over wood and wild-
Smile on his Mother now with bolder cheer.




Now we are tired of boisterous joy,

Have romped enough, my little Boy!

Jane hangs her head upon my breast,

And you shall bring your stool and rest; This corner is your own.


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