(Walter Scott)

* * *

ON Ettrick Forests mountains dun
T is blithe to hear the sportsmans gun,
And seek the heath-frequenting brood
Far through the noonday solitude;
By many a cairn and trenchéd mound,
Where chiefs of yore sleep lone and sound,
And springs, where gray-haired shepherds tell,
That still the fairies love to dwell.

Along the silver streams of Tweed,
T is blithe the mimic fly to lead,
When to the hook the salmon springs,
And the line whistles through the rings;
The boiling eddy see him try,
Then dashing from the current high,
Till watchful eye and cautious hand
Have led his wasted strength to land.

T is blithe along the midnight tide
With stalwart arm the boat to guide;
On high the dazzling blaze to rear,
And heedful plunge the barbed spear;
Rock, wood, and scaur, emerging bright,
Fling on the stream their ruddy light,
And from the bank our band appears
Like Genii, armed with fiery spears.

T is blithe at eve to tell the tale,
How we succeed, and how we fail,
Whether at Alywns lordly meal,
Or lowlier board of Ashestiel;
While the gay tapers cheerly shine,
Bickers the fire, and flows the wine,
Days free from thought, and nights from care,
My blessing on the Forest fair.

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