Monday, 5 August 2019

Poetry Revisited: The Sun Upon the Weirdlaw Hill by Sir Walter Scott

The Sun Upon the Weirdlaw Hill

(from George Thomson: A Select Collection of
Original Scottish Airs for the Voice. Volume V: 1818)

The sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill,
     In Ettrick‟s vale, is sinking sweet;
The westland wind is hush and still,
     The lake lies sleeping at my feet.
Yet not the landscape to mine eye
     Bears those bright hues that once it bore;
Though evening, with her richest dye,
     Flames o‟er the hills of Ettrick‟s shore.

With listless look along the plain,
     I see Tweed‟s silver current glide,
And coldly mark the holy fane
     Of Melrose rise in ruin‟d pride.
The quiet lake, the balmy air,
     The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree,—
Are they still such as once they were?
     Or is the dreary change in me?

Alas, the warp‟d and broken board,
     How can it bear the painter‟s dye!
The harp of strain‟d and tuneless chord,
     How to the minstrel‟s skill reply!
To aching eyes each landscape lowers,
     To feverish pulse each gale blows chill;
And Araby‟s or Eden‟s bowers
     Were barren as this moorland hill.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian

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