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For only one short hour to feel as I used to feel,
And still, with a voice of dolorous pitch,
She sang this Song of the Shirt.' Hood. 1 The Song of the Shirt.
elevate the condition of the hardfirst appeared in the Christmas toiling needlewomen. number of Punch for 1844. Its 2 Pitch, tone. touching appeal at once entered 3 From weary chime to chime, from one the heart of the nation, and did tedious hour to another. more than anything before it to
From Stirling Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravelled ;
And with the Tweed had travelled ;
Then said my winsome marrow,'
And see the braes of Yarrow.'
•Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
Who have been buying, selling,
Each maiden to her dwelling !
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow!
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.
• There 's Gala Water, Leader Haughs,
Both lying right before us ; And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed,
The lintwhites sing in chorus. There's pleasant Teviotdale, a land
Made blithe with plough and harrow; Why throw away a needful day
To go in search of Yarrow ?
• 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 scorn ;
My true love sighed for sorrow, And looked me in the face to think
I thus could speak of Yarrow ! "Oh! green,' said I, are Yarrow's holms,
And sweet is Yarrow flowing ! Fair hangs the apple frae the rocks,
But we will leave it growing. O'er hilly path, and open strath,3
We'll wander Scotland thorough ; But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.
• Let beeves 4 and home-bred kine partake
The sweets of Burn-Mill meadow ; The swan on still St Mary's Lake 5
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.
• Be Yarrow's 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 !
'Twill be another Yarrow !
care, with freezing years should come,
And yet be melancholy;
'Twill soothe us in our sorrow,
i Clovenfords, a hamlet on the Caddon, 3 Strath, valley.
a small tributary of the Tweed. 4 Beeves, oxen. 2 Dryburgh, situated on the left bank of 5 st Mary's Lako, a small lake in the
the Tweed. The fine ruins of an county of Selkirk, from the east old abbey and the tomb of Sir end of which rises the river Yarrow. Walter Scott render Dryburgh a 6 Holms, flat rich land lying along the place of considerable interest.
banks of a river.
And is this Yarrow? This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
An image that hath perished ?
To utter notes of gladness,
That fills my heart with sadness !
With uncontrolled meanderings ;
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
Is visibly delighted ;
Is in the mirror slighted.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow Vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
A tender hazy brightness :
All profitless dejection ;
A pensive recollection.
Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale 1 lay bleeding ? His bed, perchance, was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding: And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning, The water-wraith 2 ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.
Delicious is the lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The leafy grove that covers :
That paints by strength of sorrow, The unconquerable strength of Love;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !
To fond imagination,
Her delicate creation:
A softness still and holy;
of forest charms decayed, And pastoral melancholy. That region left, the vale unfolds
Rich groves of lofty stature, With Yarrow winding through the pomp
Of cultivated nature :
And, rising from these lofty groves,
Behold a ruin hoary !
Renowned in Border story.
Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,
For sportive youth to stray in ;
And age to wear away in !
A covert for protection
The brood of chaste affection.
The wild-wood fruits to gather,
A crest of blooming heather!
'Twere no offence to reason;
To meet the wintry season.
but not by sight alone,
Her sunshine plays upon thee !
A course of lively pleasure ;
According to the measure.
They melt, and soon must vanish;
Sad thought, which I would banish,
Thy genuine image, Yarrow!