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Poem by Lydia Huntley Sigourney


THOUGH Scotia hath a thousand scenes
  To strike the travellers eye,
Clear-bosomed lakes, and leaping streams,
  And mountains bleak and high;
Yet when he seeks his native clime
  And ingle-side again,
T would be a pity, had he missed
  To visit Hawthornden.

Down, down, precipitous and rude,
  The rocks abruptly go,
While through their deep and narrow gorge
  Foams on the Esk below;
Yet though it plunges strong and bold,
  Its murmurs meet the ear,
Like fretful childhoods weak complaint,
  Half smothered in its fear.

There s plenty, in my own dear land,
  Of cave and wild cascade,
And all my early years were spent
  In such romantic glade;
And I could featly climb the cliff,
  Or forest roam and fen;
But I ve been puzzled here among
  These rocks of Hawthornden.

Here, too, are labyrinthine paths
  To caverns dark and low,
Wherein, they say, King Robert Bruce
  Found refuge from his foe;
And still amid their relics old
  His stalwart sword they keep,
Which telleth tales of cloven heads
  And gashes dire and deep;

While sculptured in the yielding stone
  Full many a niche they show,
Where erst his library he stored
  (The guide-boy told us so).
Slight need had he of books, I trow,
  Mid hordes of savage men,
And precious little time to read
  At leaguered Hawthornden.

Loud pealing from those caverns drear,
  In old disastrous times,
The Covenanters nightly hymn
  Upraised its startling chimes;
Here too they stoutly stood at bay,
  Or frowning sped along,
To meet the high-born cavalier
  In conflict fierce and strong.

And here s the hawthorn-broidered nook,
  Where Drummond, not in vain,
Awaited his inspiring muse,
  And wooed her dulcet strain.
And there s the oak, beneath whose shade
  He welcomed tuneful Ben,
And still the memory of their words
  Is nursed in Hawthornden.

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

Lydia Huntley Sigourney's other poems:
  1. Mrs. Mary Mildenstein Robertson
  2. Mrs. Charles N. Cadwallader
  3. Garafilia Mohalby
  4. Rev. Dr. F. W. Hatch
  5. Denison Olmsted, LL.D.

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William McGonagall Hawthornden ("In all fair Scotland theres no spot within my ken")
  • David Moir Hawthornden ("STRANGER! gaze round thee on a woodland scene")

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