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Who has not heard her witching lays,
Of Ettrick banks and Yarrow braes ?
But that sweet bard, who sung and pray'd
Of many a feat and border raid,
Of many a knight and lovely maid,
When forced to leave his harp behind,
Did all her tuneful chords unwind;
And many ages pass'd and came
Ere man so well could tune the same.

Bangour the daring task essay'd : Not half the chords his fingers play'd; Yet even then some thrilling lays Bespoke the harp of ancient days.

Redoubted Ramsay's peasant skill
Flung some strain'd notes along the hill ;
His was some lyre from lady's hall,
And not the mountain harp at all.

Langhorne arrived from southern dale,
And chimed his notes on Yarrow vale;
They would not, could not, touch the heart
His was the modish lyre of art.

Sweet rung the harp to Logan's hand: Then Leyden came from border land, With dauntless heart and ardour high, And wild impatience in his eye.

Though false his tones at times might be,
Though wild notes marr'd the symphony
Between, the glowing measure stole
That spoke the bard's inspired soul.'
Sad were those strains, when hymn'd afar,
On the green vales of Malabar :
O'er seas beneath the golden morn
They travell’d, on the monsoon borne,
Thrilling the heart of Indian maid,
Beneath the wild banana's shade.
Leyden, a shepherd wails thy fate,
And Scotland knows her loss too late.

The day arrived—blest be the day, Walter the Abbot came that way! The sacred relic met his viewAh! well the pledge of heaven he knew. He screw'd the chords, he tried a strain ; 'Twas wild-he tuned and tried again; Then pour'd the numbers bold and free, The simple magic melody.

The land was charm'd to list his lays; It knew the harp of ancient days. The border chiefs, that long had been In sepulchres unhearsed and green, Pass'd from their mouldy vaults away, In armour red, and stern array,

And by their moonlight halls were seen,
In visor, helm, and habergeon.
Even fairies sought our land again,
So powerful was the magic strain.

Blest be his generous heart for aye !
He told me where the relic lay ;
Pointed my way with ready will,
Afar on Ettrick's wildest hill;
Watch'd my first notes with curious eye,
And wonder'd at my minstrelsy :
He little ween'd a parent's tongue
Such strains had o'er my cradle sung.

From The Queen's Waka


But now the dreadful strand they gain, Where rose the sacred dome of the main; Oft had they seen the place before, And kept aloof from the dismal shore, But now it rose before their prow, And what they beheld they did not know. The tall gray forms, in close-set file, Upholding the roof of that holy pile ; The sheets of foam and the clouds of spray, And the groans that rush'd from the portals gray, Appall’d their hearts and drove them away.

They wheel'd their bark to the east around,
And moor'd in basin, by rocks imbound;
They awed to silence, they trode the strand
Where furnaced pillars in order stand,
All framed in the liquid burning levin,
And bent like the bow that spans the heaven,
Or upright ranged in horrid array,
With purfle of green o'er the darksome gray.

Their path was on wondrous pavement of old, Its blocks all cast in some giant mould, Fair hewn and grooved by no mortal hand, With countermure guarded by sea and by land. The watcher Bushella frown'd over their way, Enrobed in the sea-baize, and hooded with gray; The warder that stands by that dome of the deep, With spray-shower and rainbow, the entrance to

keep. But when they drew nigh to the chancel of ocean, And saw her waves rush to their raving devotion, Astounded and awed to the antes they clung, And listen'd the hymns in her temple she sung. The song of the cliff, when the winter winds blow, The thunder of heaven, the earthquake below, Conjoin'd, like the voice of a maiden would be, Compared with the anthem there sung by the sea.

The solemn rows in that darksome den, Where dimly seen like the forms of men,

Like giant monks in ages agone,
Whom the God of the ocean had sear'd to stone,
And bound in his temple for ever to lean,
In sackcloth of gray and visors of green,
An everlasting worship to keep,
And the big salt tears eternally weep.

So rapid the motion, the whirl, and the boil, So loud was the tumult, so fierce the turmoil, Appalled from those portals of terror they turn, On pillar of marble their incense to burn. Around the holy flame they prayThen turning their faces all west away, On angel pavement each bent his knee, And sung this hymn to the God of the sea.

From The Queen's Wake.



They claspit her weste and handis fayre, They kissit her cheik, and they kembit her hayir ; And runde cam ilka blumyng fere, Sayn, “Bonnye Kilmeny, ye're welcome here ! Wemyn are freeit of the litiand scorneOh, blest be the daye Kilmeny was born!

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