Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Sweet Earlsburn, Blithe Earlsburn

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

Earlsburn, the River

Sweet Earlsburn, Blithe Earlsburn

By William Motherwell (1797–1835)

SWEET Earlsburn, blithe Earlsburn,

Mine own, my native stream,

My heart grows young again, while thus

On thy green banks I dream.

Yes, dream! in sooth I can no more,

For as thy murmurs roll,

They wake the ancient melodies

That stirred my infant soul.

I ’ve told thee, one by one, the thoughts;

Strange shapeless forms were they,

That hung around me fearfully

In childhood’s dreamy day;

And still thy mystic music spake

Dimly articulate,

Yielding meet answer to the dreams

That shadowed forth my fate.

I ’ve wept by thee a sorrowing child;

I ’ve sported, mad with glee,

And still thou wert the only one

That seemed to care for me;

For in whatever mood I came

To wander by thy brim,

Thy murmurs were most musical,

Soul-soothing as a hymn.

I ’ve wandered far in other lands,

And mixed with stranger men,

But still my heart untravelled sought

Repose within thy glen.

The pictures of my memory

Were fresh as they were limned,

Nor change of scene nor lapse of years

Their lustre ever dimmed.