The waves along thy pebbly shore,
There's pleasant Teviot-dale, a land
As blows the north-wind, heave their foam Made blithe with plough and harrow:
And curl around the dashing oar,
Why throw away a needful day
To go in search of Yarrow?
As late the boatman hies him home.
How sweet, at set of sun, to view
Thy golden mirror spreading wide, And see the mist of mantling blue
Float round the distant mountain's side.
At midnight hour, as shines the moon,
A sheet of silver spreads below,
And swift she cuts, at highest noon,
Light clouds, like wreaths of purest snow.
On thy fair bosom, silver lake,
O! I could ever sweep the oar,— When early birds at morning wake, And evening tells us toil is o'er.
FROM Stirling castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravelled;
Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travelled;
And when we came to Clovenford,
Then said my "winsome marrow:"
"Whate'er betide, we'll turn aside,
And see the braes of Yarrow."
"Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
Who have been buying, selling,
Go back to Yarrow; 'tis their own-
Each maiden to her dwelling!
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow!
But we will downward with the Tweed,
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.
*See the various poems, the scene of which is laid
the banks of the Yarrow; in particular, the exquisite ballad of Hamilton, on page 450 of this volume, begin
"What's Yarrow but a river bare,
That glides the dark hills under?
There are a thousand such elsewhere,
As worthy of your wonder."
Strange words they seemed, of slight and
ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny Bride,
ye, busk ye, my winsome Marrow!
My true-love sighed for sorrow,
And looked me in the face, to think
I thus could speak of Yarrow!
"O, green," said I, "are Yarrow's holms, And sweet is Yarrow flowing!
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,
But we will leave it growing.
O'er hilly path, and open Strath,
We'll wander Scotland thorough;
But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.
"Let beeves and homebred kine partake
The sweets of Burn-mill meadow;
The swan on still St. Mary's Lake
Float double, swan and shadow!
We will not see them; will not go
To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough, if in our hearts we know
There's such a place as Yarrow.
"There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,
Both lying right before us;
And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed Should we be loth to stir from home,
The lintwhites sing in chorus;
"If care with freezing years should come,
And wandering seem but folly,-
"Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!
It must, or we shall rue it:
We have a vision of our own;
Ah! why should we undo it?
The treasured dreams of times long past,
We'll keep them, winsome Marrow!
For when we're there, although 't is fair,
'T will be another Yarrow!
And yet be melancholy,-
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
T will soothe us in our sorrow,
That earth has something yet to show-
The bonny holms of Yarrow!"