Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
W. Wordsworth
 
CCLVII. Yarrow Unvisited
1803
 
FROM Stirling Castle we had seen 
  The mazy Forth unravell'd, 
Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay 
  And with the Tweed had travell'd; 
And when we came to Clovenford,         5
  Then said my "winsome Marrow," 
"Whate'er betide, we'll turn aside, 
  And see the Braes of Yarrow." 
  
"Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town, 
  Who have been buying, selling,  10
Go back to Yarrow, 'tis their own, 
  Each maiden to her dwelling! 
On Yarrow's banks let herons feed, 
  Hares couch, and rabbits burrow; 
But we will downward with the Tweed,  15
  Nor turn aside to Yarrow. 
  
"There's Gala Water, Leader Haughs, 
  Both lying right before us; 
And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed 
  The lintwhites sing in chorus;  20
There's pleasant Tiviotdale, a land 
  Made blithe with plough and harrow: 
Why throw away a needful day 
  To go in search of Yarrow? 
  
"What's Yarrow but a river bare  25
  That glides the dark hills under? 
There are a thousand such elsewhere 
  As worthy of your wonder."— 
Strange words they seem'd of slight and scorn; 
  My true-love sigh'd for sorrow,  30
And look'd me in the face, to think 
  I thus could speak of Yarrow! 
  
"Oh, green," said I, "are Yarrow's holms, 
  And sweet is Yarrow flowing! 
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,  35
  But we will leave it growing. 
O'er hilly path and open strath 
  We'll wander Scotland thorough; 
But, though so near, we will not turn 
  Into the dale of Yarrow.  40
  
"Let beeves and home-bred kine partake 
  The sweets of Burn-mill meadow; 
The swan on still Saint Mary's Lake 
  Float double, swan and shadow! 
We will not see them—will not go  45
  To-day, nor yet to-morrow; 
Enough if in our hearts we know 
  There's such a place as Yarrow. 
  
"Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown! 
  It must, or we shall rue it:  50
We have a vision of our own, 
  Ah! why should we undo it? 
The treasured dreams of times long past, 
  We'll keep them, winsome Marrow! 
For when we're there, although 'tis fair  55
  'Twill be another Yarrow! 
  
"If Care with freezing years should come, 
  And wandering seem but folly,— 
Should we be loth to stir from home, 
  And yet be melancholy;  60
Should life be dull, and spirits low, 
  'Twill soothe us in our sorrow 
That earth has something yet to show, 
  The bonny holms of Yarrow!" 
 
 
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