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Non can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote
From evil speaking ; rancour, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.
Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous
And thus, from day to day, my little boat
Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.
Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares :
The poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !
Oh! might my name be number'd among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.
SONNET COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1803.
Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty!
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still !
VEET Highland girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head :
And these gray rocks, this household lawny
These trees, a veil just half withdrawn ;
This fall of water, that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake ;
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode ;
In truth, together do ye seem
Like something fashion'd in a dream;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Yet, dream and vision as thou art;
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years !
I neither know thee nor thy peers,
And yet my eyes are filled with tears.
With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away :
For never saw I mien ór face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and homebred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here, scatter'd like' a random seed,
Remote from men, thou dost not need
The embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacedness:
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer :
A face with gladness overspread!
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred !
And seemliness complete, that sways.
Thy courtesies, about thee plays ;
With no restraint but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech :
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.
What hand but would a garland cull
For thee, who art so beautiful ?
Oh happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess!
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea : and I would have
Some claim" upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood,
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, anything to thee!
Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had ; and, going hence,
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
feel that she hath eyes :
Then why should I be loath to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her ;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loath, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland girl ! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall,
And thee, the spirit of them all!
FROM Stirling Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravellid;
Had trod the banks of Clyde, and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travellid;
And when we came to Clovenford,
Then said my "winsome Marrow,”
“Whate'er betide, we'll turn aside,
And see the Braes of Yarrow."
“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 Teviotdale, 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 glid the dark hills under ?
There are a thousand such elsewhere
As worthy of your wonder."
Strange words they seem'd, of slight and scorn;
My truelove sigh'd for sorrow;
And look'd 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 leaye it growing.
O'er hilly path and open strath,
We'll wander Scotland through ;
But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.
“Let beeves and homebred kine partake
The sweets of Burnmill 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!
“If Care with freezing years should come,
And wandering seem but folly ;
Should we be loath to stir from home,
And yet be melancholy ;
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
"Twill sooth us in our sorrow,
That earth has something yet to show,
The bonny holms of Yarrow !”