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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!"
IN THE PASS OF KILLICRANKY,
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
Our mortal complement of 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.