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TO A HIGHLAND GIRL,
AT INVERSNEYDE, UPON LOCH LOMOND.
Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head ;
And these gray rocks, this household lawn;
These trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
This fall of water that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake;
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode;
In truth together do ye seem
Like something fashioned in a dream ;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep;
Yet, dream and vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart :
God shield thee to thy latest years !
I neither know thee nor thy peers ;
And yet my eyes are filled with tears.
With earnest seeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away :
For never saw I mien, or face,
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense Ripening in perfect innocence. Here, scattered like a random seed, Remote from men, thou dost not need The embarrassed look of shy distress, And maidenly shamefacedness : Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear The freedom of a mountaineer. A face with gladness overspread ! Sweet looks, by human kindness bred! And seemliness complete, that sways Thy courtesies, about thee plays; With no restraint, but such as springs From quick and eager visitings Of thoughts, that lie beyond the reach Of thy few words of English speech: A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife That gives thy gestures grace and life! So have I, not unmoved in mind, Seen birds of tempest-loving kind, Thus beating up against the wind.
What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful!
O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some healthy dell;
Adopt your homely ways and dresse
A shepherd-thou a shepherdess !
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea : and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee and to see !
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, any thing to thee!
Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; and going hence
I bear away my recompense,
In spots like these it is we prize
Our memory,-feel that she hath eyes :
Then why should I be loath to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loath, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And thee, te spirit of them all!
How beautiful is Zion !-Like a queen, Arm'd with a helm, in virgin loveliness Her heaving bosom in a bossy cuirass, She sits aloft, begirt with battlements And bulwarks swelling from the rock, to guard The sacred courts, pavilions, palaces, Soft gleaming through the umbrage of the woods Which tufi her summit, and, like raven tresses, Waved their dark beauty round the tower of
David. Resplendent with a thousand golden bucklers, The embrasures of alabaster shine ; Hail'd by the pilgrims of the desert, bound To Judah's mart with orient merchandise. But not, for thou art fair aná turret-crown'd, Wet with ihe choicest dew of heaven, and bless'd With golden fruits, and gales of frankincense, Dwell I beneath thine ample curtains. Here, Where saints and prophets teach, where the stern
law Still speaks in thunder, where chief angels watch, And where the glory hovers, here I war.
ART thou a thing of mortal birth,
Whose happy home is on our earth!
Does human blood with life imbue
These wandering veins of heavenly blue,
'That stray along thy forehead fair,
Lost ’mid a gleam of golden hair?
Oh! can that light and airy breath
Steal from a being doomed to death ;
Those features to the grave be sent
In sleep thus mutely eloquent;
Or, art thou, what thy form would seem
The phantom of a blessed dream ?
A human shape I feel thou art,
I feel it at my beating heart,
Those tremors both of soul and sense
Awoke hy infant innocence !
Though dear the forms by fancy wove,
We love them with a transient love :
Thoughts from the living world intrude
Even on her deepest solitude: