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What softened views thy magic glass reveals,
I wish I was where Anna lies;
For I am sick of lingering here;
Go and partake her humble bier.
I wish I could! for when she died
Since that sad hour a dreary void,
But who, when I am turned to clay,
Shall duly to her grave repair,
And weeds that have no business there?
And who with pious hand shall bring
The flowers she cherished, snow-drops cold,
And violets that unheeded spring,
And who, while memory loves to dwell
Shall feel his heart with passion swell,
/ did it; and would fate allow,
Should visit still, should still deplore—
But health and strength have left me now, And I, alas! can weep no more.
Take then, sweet maid I this simple strain,
Thy grave must then undecked remain,
And can thy soft persuasive look,
Thy air, that every gazer took,
Thy spirits, frohcksome, as good,
Thy patience, by no Wrongs subdued,
Perhaps—but sorrow dims my eye:
Dear name, which I no more must sigh,
I climbed the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn,
And starting around me the echoes replied; On the right, Stratben-edge round the Red Tarn was bending. And Catchedecam its left verge was defending, One huge nameless rock on the front was impending, When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer had died.
Dark green was the spot, mid the brown mountain heather,
Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay; Like the corpse of an outcast, abandoned to weather,
Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay;
Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended,
For faithful in death, his mute favourite attended,
The much-loved remains of his master defended,
And chased the hill-fox and the raven away.
How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber?
When the wind moved his garments, how oft didst thou start? How many long days and long nights didst thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart? But ah! was it meet, that no requiem read o'er him, No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him, And thou, little guardian, alone stretched before him,
Unhonoured the pilgrim from life should depart?
When a prince to the fate of a peasant has yielded,
With 'scutcheons of silver, the coffin is shielded,
Through the courts at deep midnight the torches are
In the proudly arched chapel the banners are beaming,
Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming,
But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature,
To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb, When 'wildered he drops from some cliff huge in stature.
And draws his last sob by the side of his dam; And more stately thy couch, by this distant lake lying, Thy obsequies sung by the gray plover flying, With but one faithful friend to witness thee dying, In the arms of Helvellyn and Catchedecam.
Sir W. Scott.
Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps,