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Before me begging did she stand,
Pouring out sorrows like a sea;
Grief after grief:-on English Land
Such woes I knew could never be;
And yet a boon I gave her ; for the Creature Was beautiful to see; “a Weed of glorious feature!'
I left her, and pursued my way;
And soon before me did espy
A pair of little Boys at play,
Chasing a crimson butterfly;
The Taller followed with his hat in hand, Wreathed round with yellow flowers, the gayest of
The Other wore a rimless crown,
With leaves of laurel stuck about :
And they both followed up and down,
Each whooping with a merry shout:
In their fraternal features I could trace Unquestionable lines of that wild Suppliant's face.
They bolted on me thus, and lo!
Each ready with a plaintive whine ;
Said I, “ Not half an hour ago
Your Mother has had alms of mine.”
“ That cannot be,” one answered, “ She is dead."
Nay but I gave her pence, and she will buy you
“ She has been dead, Sir, many a day.”
“ Sweet Boys, you're telling me a lie ;
It was your Mother, as I
say And in the twinkling of an eye, " Come, come!" cried one ; and, without more
ado, Off to some other play they both together flew.
(See the various Poems the Scene of which is laid upon the
Banks of the Yarrow ; in particular, the exquisite Ballad of Hamilton, beginning
“ Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny Bride,
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome Marrow !" -)
From Stirling Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravell’d;
Had trod the banks of Clyde, and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travell’d;
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 downwards 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
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 !