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The air, composed by the Editor of Albyn's Anthology.1 The words written for Mr George Thomson's Scottish Melodies, [1822.]
The sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill,
In Ettrick's vale, is sinking sweet; The westland wind is hush and still,
The lake lies sleeping at my feet. Yet not the landscape to mine eye
Bears those bright hues that once it bore; Though evening, with her richest dye,
Flames o'er the hills of Ettrick's shore.
With listless look along the plain,
1 [" Nathaniel Gow told me that he got the air from an old gentleman, a Mr. Dalrymple of Orangefield, (he thinks,) who had it from a friend in the Western Isles, as an old Highland air." Gborge Thomson.]
The Sun Tjpon The Weirdlaw Hill. 291
And coldly mark the holy fane Of Melrose rise in ruin'd pride.
The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree,— Are they still such as once they were, Or is the dreary change in me?
Alas, the warp'd and broken board,
How can it bear the painter's dye!
How to the minstrel's skill reply!
To feverish pulse each gale blows chill;
Were barren as this moorland bill.
O, Maid Of Isla, from the cliff,
That looks on troubled wave and sky,
Contend with ocean gallantly?
And steep'd her leeward deck in foam,
O, Isla's maid, she seeks her home.
O, Isla's maid, yon sea-bird mark,
Her white wing gleams through mist and spray, Against the storm-cloud, lowering dark, As to the rock she wheels away;— Where clouds are dark and billows rave, Why to the shelter should she come Of cliff, exposed to wind and wave ?— O, maid of Isla, 'tis her home.
As breeze and tide to yonder skiff,
Thou'rt adverse to the suit I bring, And cold as is yon wintry cliff,
Where sea-birds close their wearied wing. Yet cold as rock, unkind as wave,
Still, Isla's maid, to thee I come; For in thy love, or in his grave,
Must Allan Vourich find his home.
SET TO MUSIC BY JOHN WHITEFIELD, MUS. DOC. CAM.
The last of our steers on the board has been spread,
And the last flask of wine in our goblet is red;Up! up, my brave kinsmen! belt swords and begone,
There are dangers to dare, and there's spoil to be won.
The eyes, that so lately mix'd glances with ours, For a space must be dim, as they gaze from the towers, And strive to distinguish through tempest and gloom, The prance of the steed, and the toss of the plume.
The rain is descending; the wind rises loud; And the moon her red beacon has veil'd with a cloud;
1 [Set to music in Mr. Thomson's Scottish Collection, 1880.]