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



By Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791–1865)

THOUGH Scotia hath a thousand scenes

To strike the traveller’s 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 childhood’s 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.