I love the brooks, the merry brooks,

That run 'midst flowers and weeds,
And spring from nature's greenest nooks,

To wander through the meads.

Time changes oft a landscape's face,

And trees, alas ! are hewn-
A stately pile will leave no trace

When stone or marble's strewn.

The field through which in youth we strayed,

Where waved the yellow corn,
Has long since been a farm-yard made,

And shrub and flower are shorn.

A dingy factory rears its head

Within the silent vale,
Where once the violet's mossy bed

Was wont to scent the gale.

But still a brook will babble on,

So ever fresh and young, As if — though years and years have gone

It just from earth had sprung.

It may be turned to work a mill,

Or irrigate the sward;
But still it is the self-same rill

We in our childhood heard.

The brook has wandered—so have I

Who knows where both have been ? Yet here I stand, its margin by,

Though years have slipt between.

Its music charmed my boyish ears,

Amid the grassy slopes ;
It sang to me in youth's bright years

Of life's gay rainbow hopes.

It murmured in my manhood's prime

Words sweet as love's first dream, And oft, through many a distant clime,

I longed to hear that stream.

And now in age it talks to me,

Like some dear, ancient friend, Right garrulous, and full of glee,

Whose gossip knows no end.

So playful once—so soothing now

All languages it speaks —
The brook 's not altered, well I know,

But changed my boyish freaks.

Methought it used to skip along,

And gurgle out of fun;
It sounds now like a parting song

To one whose race is run.

When I was young, the brook was old,

Reversed seems now life's page; Yet still we two can converse hold,

As youth may talk to age.

The fickle crowd will change its mind,

And earthly things prove vain ; But where's the brook we shall not find

To welcome us again?

Therefore I love the merry brooks

That through the meadows range; The merry brooks — the hearty brooks

The brooks that never change.



The long summer day was nearly done, but the last rays of the setting sun were still glancing along the broad and beautiful Westerdale, turning to gold the clear waters of its rushing river; and brightening the gray walls of the massive tower that stood on a rising ground not far from the river's side, and which frowned defiance on the Southron, for it was the stronghold of stern old David Scott, one of the most noted in raid and fray among the border chieftains.

And those parting rays gleamed also on two forms moving slowly along the path beside the river, yet sheltered from the observation of the tower by the clustering alders that overhung the bank. They were a youth and maiden, David Scott's only child and one of her distant kinsmen ; but it was evident that some tie nearer than that of kindred bound them to each other, for Malcolm Scott's dark eyes were often bent with an expression of deep interest on his beautiful companion, and there was affection in the glance that was sometimes raised to his. Yet those soft blue eyes were dimmed with tears, and a dark shade rested on Malcolm's brow, and told of a cloud overshadowing their youth and love.

“Oh, Sybil !” exclaimed the youth at last, “and must I still stand by, and see all I hold dearest on earth torn from me, and make no effort to retain it?

“Yes, Malcolm, you must,” said Sybil, firmly.

“Bid me do anything else, Sybil !” entreated her kinsman; “ tell me to die for you, or in your defence, and I could do it cheerfully.”

“But that is what you must not do,” replied Sybil, gravely; “no good could possibly come of it, but much evil. It would but incense my father against you; and, were it otherwise, think, O Malcolm, what misery it would be to wed your murderer !

“Nay, of that there is no fear,” said Malcolm, proudly. “I am a better swordsman than Robin Eliot."

“ Yet must not your sword cross his for Sybil Scott," said the young girl, with redoubled earnestness. “As you value my peace and happiness, Malcolm, promise me this again !”

The youth paused a moment.

“I do promise,” he answered, sadly; " but you know not at how bitter a sacrifice I bend to your will, nor how little I share your anxiety for a life that is now valueless to me.”

“Nay, Malcolm, say not so,” said Sybil ; "there are fairer maidens along the border than Sybil Scott, whose hands are their own to give. It would lighten my heart, in years to come, to think that one of them shed brightness over your home in Glenconan.”

“No, Sybil," said he, quietly, “ Glenconan will never know brightness, since what should have been its star will shed its light in the hall of Robin Eliot.”

But the generous girl's attempts at consolation were cut short by the hurried approach of one of her maidens, to apprise her of the return of her father, accompanied by Robin Eliot, and that her presence was required.

“Farewell, then, Sybil!” said Malcolm, mournfully; “I cannot go beneath your father's roof to meet that man in peace, and you will not suffer me to meet him otherwise."

And, with a swelling heart and burning brow, Malcolm stood

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