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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Sir Walter Scott

446. Harp of the North, Farewell!

HARP of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,

On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;

In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,

The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.

Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,

And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy;

Thy numbers sweet with nature’s vespers blending,

With distant echo from the fold and lea,

And herd-boy’s evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.

Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp!

Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,

And little reck I of the censure sharp

May idly cavil at an idle lay.

Much have I owed thy strains on life’s long way,

Through secret woes the world has never known,

When on the weary night dawned wearier day,

And bitterer was the grief devoured alone.—

That I o’erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own.

Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,

Some spirit of the Air has waked thy string!

’Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,

’Tis now the brush of Fairy’s frolic wing.

Receding now, the dying numbers ring

Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell;

And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring

A wandering witch-note of the distant spell—

And now, ’tis silent all!—Enchantress, fare thee well!