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“A weary Palmer, worn and weak,
I wander for my sin ; 0, open, for Our Lady's sake!
A pilgrim's blessing win! “ I'll give you pardons from the Pope,
And reliques from o'er the sea,Or if for these you will not ope,
Yet open for charity. “ The hare is crouching in her form,
The hart beside the hind ; An aged man, amid the storm,
No shelter can I find. - You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
Dark, deep, and strong is he, And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
Unless you pity me.
At which I knock in vain;
Who hears me thus complain. “ Farewell, farewell ! and Mary grant,
When old and frail you be,
That's now denied to me."
And heard him plead in vain;
He 'll hear that voice again : For lo, when through the vapours dank,
Morn shone on Ettrick fair, A corpse
amid the alders rank, The Palmer welter'd there.
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
THERE is a tradition in Tweeddale, that, when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence the lady fell into a consumption ; and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognising her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an incident similar to this traditional tale in Count Hamilton's " Fleur d'Epine."
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
O LOVERS' eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers' ears in hearing; And love, in life's extremity,
Can lend an hour of cheering. Disease had been in Mary's bower,
And slow decay from mourning, Though now she sits on Neidpath's tower,
To watch her love's returning.
All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Her form decay'd by pining,
You saw the taper shining ;
Across her cheek was flying ; By fits, so ashy pale she grew,
Her maidens thought her dying.
Yet keenest powers to see and hear,
Seem'd in her frame residing;
She heard her lover's riding;
She knew, and waved to greet him;
As on the wing to meet him.
He came he pass'd--an heedless gaze,
As o'er some stranger glancing ;
Lost in his courser's prancing -
Returns each whisper spoken,
Which told her heart was broken.
All joy was bereft me the day that you
left me, And climb'd the tall vessel to sail
yon O weary betide it! I wander'd beside it,
And bann'd it for parting my Willie and me.
Far o'er the wave hast thou follow'd thy fortune,
Oft fought the squadrons of France and of Spain; Ane kiss of welcome 's worth twenty at parting,
Now I hae gotten my Willie again.
When the sky it was mirk, and the winds they were
wailing, I sat on the beach wi' the tear in my ee, And thought o' the bark where my Willie was sailing, And wish'd that the tempest could a' blaw on me.
Now that thy gallant ship rides at her mooring,
Now that my wanderer's in safety at hame, Music to me were the wildest wind's roaring,
That e'er o'er Inch-Keith drove the dark ocean faem.
When the lights they did blaze, and the guns they did
rattle, And blithe was each heart for the great victory, In secret I wept for the dangers of battle,
And thy glory itself was scarce comfort to me.
But now shalt thou tell, while I eagerly listen,
Of each bold adventure, and every brave scar; And trust me, I'll smile, though my een they may
glisten ; For sweet after danger's the tale of the war.
And oh, how we doubt when there's distance 'tween
lovers, When there's naething to speak to the heart thro'
the ee ! low often the kindest and warmest prove rovers,
And the love of the faithfullest ebbs like the sea.
Till, at times—could I help it?—I pined and I ponder'd,
If love could change notes like the bird on the treeNow I'll ne'er ask if thine eyes may hae wander'd,
Enough, thy leal heart has been constant to me.
Welcome, from sweeping o'er sea and through channel,
Uardships and danger despising for fame, Furnishing story for glory's bright annal,
Welcome, my wanderer, to Jeanie and hame!