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Whistles the arrow from the bow,
Answers the harquebuss below;
While all the rocking hills reply,
To hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry.
And bugles ringing lightsomely.”—
Of such proud huntings, many tales Yet linger in our lonely dales, Up pathless Ettricke, and on Yarrow, Where erst the Outlaw drew his arrow. But not more blythe that sylvan court, Than we have been at humbler sport; Though small our pomp, and mean our game, Our mirth, dear Marriot, was the same. Remember’st thou my grey-hounds true ? O’er holt, or hill, there never flew, From slip, or leash, there never sprang, More fleet of foot, or sure of fang. Nor dull, between each merry chase, Passed by the intermitted space ;
For we had fair resource in store,
In Classic, and in Gothic lore:
We marked each memorable scene,
And held poetic talk between;
Nor hill, nor brook, we paced along,
But had its legend, or its song.
All silent now-for now are still
Thy bowers, untenanted Bowhill !
No longer, from thy mountains dun,
The yeoman hears the well-known gun,
And, while his honest heart glows warm,
At thought of his paternal farm,
Round to his mates a brimmer fills,.
And drinks, “ The Chieftain of the Hills !"
No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers,
Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers,
Fair as the elves whom Janet saw,
By moonlight, dance on Carterhaugh;
No youthful baron's left to grace
The Forest-Sheriff's lonely chace,
And ape, in maply step and tone,
The majesty of Oberon :
And she is gone, whose lovely face.
Is but her least and lowest grace ;
Though if to Sylphid Queen 'twere given,
To shew our earth the charms of heaven,
She could not glide along the air,
With form more light, or face more fair.
No more the widow's deafened ear
Grows quick, that lady's step to hear : :
At noontide she expects her not, i
Nor busies her to trim the cot;
Pensive she turns her humming wheel,
Or pensive cooks her orphan's meal;
Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread,
The gentle hand by which they're fed.
From Yair,—which hill so closely bind, Scarce can the Tweed his passage find,
Though much he fret, and chafe, and toil, Till all his eddying currents boil,Her long-descended lord is gone, And left us by the stream alone. And much I miss those sportive boys, Companions of my mountain joys, Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth,. When thought is speech, and speech is truth. Close to my side, with what delight, They pressed to hear of Wallace wight, When, pointing to his airy mound, I called his ramparts holy ground !* Kindled their brows to hear me speak; And I have smiled, to feel my cheek, Despite the difference of our years, Return again the glow of theirs. Ah, happy boys ! such feelings pure, They will not, cannot long endure;
. * There is, on a high mountainous ridge above the farm of Ashestiel, a fosse called Wallace's 'Trench.
Condemned to stem the world's rude tide,
You may not linger by the side;
For Fate shall thrust you from the shore,
And Passion ply the sail and oar.
Yet cherish the remembrance still,
Of the lone mountain, and the rill;
For trust, dear boys, the time will come,
When fiercer transport shall be dumb,
And you will think right frequently,
But, well I hope, without a sigh,
On the free hours that we have spent,
Together, on the brown hill's bent.
When, musing on companions gone,
We doubly feel ourselves alone,
Something, my friend, we yet may gain,
There is a pleasure in this pain :
It soothes the love of lonely rest,
Deep in each gentler heart impressed.