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Had he no friend—no daughter dear,
His wandering toil to share and cheer;
No son, to be his father's stay,
And guide him on the rugged way?
"Aye! once he had—but he was dead !"—
Upon the harp he stooped his head,
And busied himself the strings withal,
To hide the tear, that fain would fall.
In solemn measure, soft and slow,
Arose a father's notes of woe.

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THE

LAY

OF

THE LAST MINSTREL.

CANTO FOURTH

THE

LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.

CANTO FOURTH.

I.

Sweet Teviot! on thy silver tide
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more;

No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willowed shore;

Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill,

All, all is peaceful, all is still,

As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they rolled upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed,

Nor started at the bugle-horn.

II.

Unlike the tide of human time,

Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime,

Its earliest course was doomed to know;
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is stained with past and present tears.

Low as that tide has ebbed with me,
It still reflects to memory's eye
The hour, my brave, my only boy,

Fell by the side of great Dundee.
Why, when the volleying musket played
Against the bloody Highland blade,
Why was not I beside him laid!—
Enough—he died the death of fame;
Enough—he died with conquering Graeme.

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