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And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,

Where'er thy path invite thee, At parent Nature's grateful call,

With gladness must requite thee. A gracious welcome shall be thine,

Such looks of love and honour As thy own Yarrow gave to me

When first I gazed upon her;
Beheld what I had feared to see,

Unwilling to surrender
Dreams treasured up from early days,

The holy and the tender.

And what, for this frail world, were all

That mortals do or suffer,
Did no responsive harp, no pen,

Memorial tribute offer?
Yea, what were mighty Nature's self?

Her features, could they win us,
Unhelped by the poetic voice

That hourly speaks within us? Nor deem that localised romance

Plays false with our affections ;
Unsanctifies our tears-made sport

For fanciful dejections:
Ah, no! the visions of the past

Sustain the heart in feeling
Life as she is—our changeful life,

With friends and kindred dealing.
Bear witness, ye, whose thoughts that day

In Yarrow's groves were centered Who through the silent portal arch

Of mouldering Newark entered,

And clomb the winding stair that once

Too timidly was mounted,
By the last Minstrel (not the last)

Ere he his tale recounted !

Flow on for ever,

Yarrow stream!
Fulfil thy pensive duty,
Well pleased that future bards should chant

For simple hearts thy beauty,
To dream-light dear while yet unseen,

Dear to the common sunshine,
And dearer still, as now I feel,

To memory's shadowy moonshine!




Now we are tired of boisterous joy,
Have romped enough, my little boy!
Jane hangs her head upon my breast,
And you shall bring your stool and rest;

This corner is your own.
There ! take your seat, and let me see
That you can listen quietly;
And, as I promised, I will tell
That strange adventure which befel

A poor blind Highland boy.
A Highland boy !--why call him so ?
Because, my darlings, ye must know,
In land where many a mountain towers,
Far higher hills than these of ours !

He from his birth had lived.

He ne'er had seen one earthly sight:
The sun, the day; the stars, the night;
Or tree, or butterfly, or flower,
Or fish in stream, or bird in bower,

Or woman, man, or child,

And yet he neither drooped nor pined,
Nor had a melancholy mind;
For God took pity on the boy,
And was his friend ; and gave him joy.

Of which we nothing know,

His mother, too, no doubt above
Her other children him did love:
For, was she here, or was she there,
She thought of him with constant care,

And more than mother's love,

And proud she was of heart, when clad
In crimson stockings, tartan plaid,
And bonnet with a feather gay,
To kirk he on the Sabbath-day

Went hand in hand with her.

A dog, too, had he; not for need,
But one to play with and to feed;
Which would have led him, if bereft
Of company or friends, and left

Without a better guide.

And then the bagpipes he could blow; And thus from house to house would go, And all were pleased to hear and see; For none made sweeter melody

Than did the poor blind boy.

Yet he had many a restless dream;
Both when he heard the eagles scream,
And when he heard the torrents roar,
And heard the water beat the shore

Near which their cottage stood.

Beside a lake their cottage stood,
Not small like ours, a peaceful flood;
But one of mighty size, and strange;
That, rough or smooth, is full of change,

And stirring in its bed.

For to this lake by night and day,
The great sea-water finds its way
Through long, long windings of the hills;
And drinks up all the pretty rills,

And rivers large and strong:

Then hurries back the road it came
Returns, on errand still the same;
This did it when the earth was new;
And this for evermore will do,

As long as earth shall last.

And with the coming of the tide,
Come boats and ships that safely ride,
Between the woods and lofty rocks;
And to the shepherds with their flocks

Bring tales of distant lands.

And of those tales, whate'er they were, The blind boy always had his share; Whether of mighty towns, or vales With warmer suns and softer gales,

Or wonders of the deep.

Yet more it pleased him, more it stirred,
When from the waterside he heard
The shouting, and the jolly cheers,
The bustle of the mariners

In stillness or in storm.

But what do his desires avail?
For he must never handle sail;
Nor mount the mast, nor row, nor float
In sailor's ship, or fisher's boat

Upon the rocking waves.

His mother often thought, and said,
What sin would be upon her head
If she should suffer this. “My son,
Whate'er you do, leave this undone;

The danger is so great."

Thus lived he by Loch Leven's side, Still sounding with the sounding tide, And heard the billows leap and dance, Without a shadow of mischance,

Till he was ten years old.

When one day (and now mark me well,
Ye soon shall know how this befell)
He in a vessel of his own,
On the swift flood is hurrying down

Towards the mighty sea.

In such a vessel never more
May human creature leave the shore!
If this or that way he should stir,
Woe to the poor blind mariner!

For death will be his doom.

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