BETA

Lines Addressed to a Friend From the
Vicinity of Abbotsford.

Here, upon the waveful Tweed,1
Haunt of love and song decreed,2
Prone beneath a willow tree,3
Shall I chant a stave to thee.4
Would that thou wert with me here,5
Now when July warms the year,6
And the Tweed careers below,7
Bright and breakless in its flow,8
Save where trouts leap here and there,9
Bathing in the sunny air ;10
While, upon the adverse bank,11
May be viewed, in stately rank,12
All the trees which he, the lord,13
Ever-famed of Abbotsford,14
Planted with his wondrous hands,15
Pleasure-givers to the lands.16
Peeping o’er the leafy screen17
May the turrets, too, be seen,18
Of the bright “ romance of stone,”19
Builded by the Mighty Known.20
Towers, and crystal streams, and trees,21
Ever may the gazer please ;22
How much more should such as lie23
Now before my charmed eye,24
Steep’d in twilight, dewy, cool,25
Like the landscapes of a pool !26
Oft on such an eve have I27
Wander’d through these woods hereby,28
Musing on the mightiest mind29
Kernell’d e’er in earthly rind ;30
While from every shrub and tree31
Issued floods of melody.32
There the mavis pour’d its song,33
Like old wine, mellow and strong,34
Calling answers, pleased and loud,35
Even from those echoes proud,36
Which were wonted to rejoice37
At the master-minstrel’s voice ;38
There the blackbird’s stirring note39
Through the woods was heard to float ;40
And the finch’s whining plain41
Mingled with the linnet’s strain ;42
And an hundred other lays43
Made an evening hymn of praise,44
Such as caused that vast arcade,45
Bedded by the dark green glade,46
Once and oft to nod with glee47
To the pleasing minstrelsy.48
On the hilly slopes in view,49
Propp’d against the arc of blue,50
Mark’d I then the heather bell,51
Grasping close the mountain swell ;52
And the broom’s bright flowers were seen,53
Stars of gold in skies of green ;54
And the fox-glove’s purple cup55
Seem’d to drink the breezes up ;56
While, upon some brown scaur-side,57
Waved old Caledonia’s pride58
Emblem fit, in form and deed,59
Of her bold and hardy breed,60
Who, upon their island rocks,61
Laugh to scorn a foeman’s shocks.62
As the breeze with deeper plain,63
Seems to start away again,64
When its rash, assailing wing65
Meets the thistle’s wardful sting,66
So, e’en so do Scotland’s foes67
Still repent their hostile blows.68
Well the Minstrel might declare,69
Breathed I not my native air70
Saw I not the heather bloom71
Heard I not the wild bee’s boom72
Once as every year ran by,73
Surely, surely I should die ! ”74
Such a scene, and such a land,75
Well may poet’s love command !76
Die he did ! and, well-a-day,77
Short thereafter was the stay78
Of the daughters of his race,79
Who drew life but from his face !80
Brief thereafter was the span81
Of the sweet and gentle Anne,82
Who for her great father bore83
Such a love as child before84
Never felt, nor-may feel more.85
When the complete progeny86
Of bright works that cannot die,87
From that wondrous brain were born,88
And the earthly case was worn89
By the inward fire away,90
And the debt was paid of clay,91
Thou, the poet’s gentlest child,92
Felt a woe so deep and wild,93
That, if this should e’er be said,94
Thine was grief beyond all aid.95
Soon did that absorbing pain96
Burst the bonds of life in twain ;97
In the tomb wert thou laid low,98
Victim of that filial wo.99
Who can wander through these woods,100
Or behold these pleasant floods,101
Nor thus dwell on thee and thine,102
Poet of the living line ?103
Many a flower is scatter’d there,104
Nursling of the sunless air ;105
But the most I prize by far,106
One that, like an earth-born star,107
Seems to shrine the name of Scott,108
Saying still, “ Forget-me-not.”109
Yes! sweet flower, so brightly blue,110
Eye which Flora may look through111
‘When she scans man’s acts below,112
Scott shall ne’er oblivion know !113
While old Scotland lasts, his name,114
Fitly form’d for mutual fame,115
Shall with her’s still co-exist,116
First in honour’s lofty list.117
Till his land and race are not,118
Glory be to Walter Scott !119