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


The Maid of Grishornish

By John Stuart Blackie (1809–1895)

THE CLOUDS are scowling on the hill, the mist is thick and gray,

The sun slants out behind the cloud a cold and meagre ray,

The shepherd wraps his plaid about, and reads the tristful skies,

And to his faithful collie dog across the moor he cries;

But in my heart there sings a bird, with song both loud and clear,

A song that makes me bright within, while all without is drear;

And thus the little bird doth sing with happy chirp to me,

The lovely maid of Grishornish thy bonnie bride shall be.

O Grishornish, thy rocks are black, thy moors are brown and bare!

Who would have thought so fair a thing was kindly nurtured there?

As mild as summer’s balmy breath upon thy wintry shore,

As gentle as an angel’s wing ’bove thy rude tempest’s roar,

As pure as pearl in lucid seas, and like a star serene,

When rifted clouds are racing past, with azure stripes between;

And thus the bird within my breast sings sweetly still to me,

Right soon the maid of Grishornish thy bonnie bride shall be.

O Grishornish, and Vaternish, and every Nish in Skye,

On you let heaven pour down the rain till all its wells be dry!

With rain and wind and mist and storm I am content to dwell,

If but the maid of Grishornish shall live and love me well;

If but her fine and dainty lip, and mildly beaming eye,

Shall make me lord of more than all Macleod commands in Skye;

If but the little bird shall sing within my breast to me,

The lovely maid of Grishornish thy winsome wife shall be.