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Methought that still with tramp and clang
The gate-way's broken arches rang; Methought grim features, seamed with scars, Glared through the window's rusty bars.
And ever, by the winter hearth,
Old tales I heard of woe or mirth,
Of lovers' sleights, of ladies' charms,
Of patriot battles, won of old
Of later fields of feud and fight,
When, pouring from their Highland height,
The Scottish clans, in headlong sway,
Had swept the scarlet ranks away.
Again I fought each combat o'er,
The mimic ranks of war displayed ;
And still the scattered Southron fled before.
Still, with vain fondness, could I trace,
Anew, each kind familiar face,
That brightened at our evening fire;
Wise without learning, plain and good,
in age, quick, clear, and keen, Shewed what in youth its glance had been ;
Whose doom discording neighbours sought,
Content with equity unbought ;
Our frequent and familiar guest,
Alas! whose speech too oft I broke
With gambol rude and timeless joke:
From me, thus nurtured, dost thou ask
The classic poet's well-conned task ?
Let the wild heathbell flourish still,
Cherish the tulip, prune the vine,
But freely let the woodbine twine,
And leave untrimmed the eglantine:
Nay, my friend, nay—since of thy praise