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THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
There is a tradition in Tweeddale, that, when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence the lady fell into a consumption; and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognizing her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an incident similar to this traditional tale in Count Hamilton's "Fleur d'Epine."
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
O Lovers' eyes are sharp to see, And lovers' ears in hearing;
Can lend an hour of cheering.
And slow decay from mourning, Though now she sits on Neidpath's tower,
To watch her love's returning.
All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Her form decay'd by pining,
You saw the taper shining;
Across her cheek were flying; By fits, so ashy pale she grew,
Her maidens thought her dying.
Yet keenest powers to see and hear,
Before the watch-dog prick'd his ear, She heard her lover's riding;Ere scarce a distant form was ken'd, She knew, and waved to greet him;And o'er the battlement did bend, As on the wing to meet him.
He came—he pass'd—an heedless gaze,
As o'er some stranger glancing; Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,
Lost in his courser's prancing— The castle arch, whose hollow tone
Returns each whisper spoken, Could scarcely catch the feeble moan,
Which told her heart was broken.
All joy was bereft me the day that you left me, And climb'd the tall vessel to sail yon wide sea;O weary betide it! I wander'd beside it,
And bann'd it for parting my Willie and me.
Far o'er the wave hast thou follow'd thy fortune,
Ae kiss of welcome's worth twenty at parting,
When the sky it was mirk, and the winds they
Now that thy gallant ship rides at her mooring, Now that my wanderer's in safety at hame.