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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Craigcrook Castle

Craigcrook Castle

By Gerald Massey (1828–1907)

A HAPPY island in a sea of green,

Smiling it lies beneath the azure heaven,

Well pleased, and conscious that each wave and wind

Is tempered kindly or with blessing rich;

And all the quaint cloud-messengers that come

Voyaging the blue glory’s summer sea

In barks of beauty, built o’er the powdery pearl,

Soft, shining, sumptuous, blown by languid breath,

Touch tenderly, or drop with ripeness down.

Spring builds her leafy nest for birds and flowers,

And folds it round luxuriant as the vine

Whose grapes are ripe with wine of merry cheer,

The Summer burns her richest incense there,

Swung from the censers of her thousand flowers;

Brown Autumn comes o’er seas of glorious gold;

And there old Winter keeps some greenth of heart,

When on his head the snows of age are white.

Mid glimpsing greenery at the hill-foot stands

The castle with its tiny town of towers:

A smiling martyr to the climbing strength

Of ivy that will crown the old bald head,

And roses that will mask him merry and young,

Like an old man with children round his knees.

With cups of color reeling roses rise

On walls and bushes, red and yellow and white;

A dance and dazzle of roses range all round.

The path runs down and peeps out in the lane

That loiters on by fields of wheat and bean,

Till the white-gleaming road winds city-ward.

Afar, in floods of sunshine blinding white,

The city lieth in its quiet pride,

With castled crown, looking on towns and shires,

And hills from which cloud-highlands climb the heavens:

A happy thing in glory smiles the Firth;

Its flowing azure winding like an arm

Around the warm waist of the yielding land.