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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 Isla

By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

O MAID of Isla, from the cliff,

That looks on troubled wave and sky,

Dost thou not see yon little skiff

Contend with ocean gallantly?

Now beating ’gainst the breeze and surge,

And steeped her leeward deck in foam,

Why does she war unequal urge?—

O Isla’s maid, she seeks her home.

O Isla’s maid, yon sea-bird mark,

Her white wing gleams through mist and spray,

Against the storm-cloud, lowering dark,

As to the rock she wheels away;—

Where clouds are dark and billows rave,

Why to the shelter should she come

Of cliff, exposed to wind and wave?—

O maid of Isla, ’t is her home!

As breeze and tide to yonder skiff,

Thou ’rt adverse to the suit I bring,

And cold as is yon wintry cliff,

Where sea-birds close their wearied wing.

Yet cold as rock, unkind as wave,

Still, Isla’s maid, to thee I come;

For in thy love or in his grave

Must Allan Vourich find his home.