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MARMION.

Introduction to Canto first.

TO

WILLIAM STEWART ROSE, ESQ.

Ashestiel, Ettricke Forest.

November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear:
Late, gazing down the steepy linn,
That hems our little garden in,
Low in its dark and narrow glen,
You scaree the rivulet might ken,
So thick the tangled green-wood grew,
So feeble trilled the streamlet through:
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen
Through bush and brier, no longer green,

An angry brook, it sweeps the glade,
Brawls over rock and wild cascade,
And, foaming brown with doubled speed,
Hurries its waters to the Tweed.

No longer Autumn's glowing red Upon our Forest hills is shed'; . No more, beneath the evening beam, Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam; Away hath passed the heather-bell, That bloomed so rich on Needpath-fell; . Sallow his brow, and russet bare Are now the sister-heights of Yare. The sheep, before the pinching heaven, To sheltered dale and down are driven, Where yet some faded herbage pines, And yet a watery sun-beam shines : In meek despondency they eye The withered sward and wintry sky,

And far beneath their summer hill,
Stray sadly by Glenkinnon's rill :
The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold,
And wraps him closer from the cold;
His dogs no merry circles wheel,
But, shivering, follow at his heel;
A cowering glance they often cast,
As deeper moans the gathering blast.

My imps, though hardy, bold, and wild, As best befits the mountain child, Feel the sad influence of the hour, And wail the daisy's vanished flower; Their summer gambols tell, and mourn, And anxious ask,—Will spring return, And birds and lambs again be gay, And blossoms clothe the hawthorn spray?

Yes, prattlers, yes. The daisy's flower Again shall paint your summer bower;

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