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

Cayla, the River

The River Cayla

By Thomas Pringle (1789–1834)

  • (From The Autumnal Excursion)
  • Cayla, or Cayle-Water, is one of the branches of the river Teviot.

  • CAYLA! like voice of years gone by,

    I hear thy mountain melody:

    It comes with long-forgotten dreams

    Once cherished by thy wizard streams;

    And sings of school-boy rambles free,

    And heart-felt young hilarity!

    I see the mouldering turrets hoar

    Dim-gleaming on thy woodland shore,

    Where oft, afar from vulgar eye,

    I loved at summer tide to lie;

    Abandoned to the witching sway

    Of some old bard’s heroic lay;

    Or poring o’er the immortal story

    Of Roman and of Grecian glory.


    But chief, when summer twilight mild

    Drew her dim curtain o’er the wild,

    I loved beside that ruin gray

    To watch the dying gleam of day.

    And though, perchance, with secret dread,

    I heard the bat flit round my head,

    While winds that waved the long lank grass

    With sound unearthly seemed to pass,

    Yet with a pleasing horror fell

    Upon my heart the thrilling spell;

    For all that met the eye or ear

    Was still so pure and peaceful here,

    I deemed no evil might intrude

    Within the saintly solitude.

    Still vivid memory can recall

    The figure of each shattered wall;

    The aged trees, all hoar with moss,

    Low-bending o’er the circling fosse;

    The rushing of the mountain flood;

    The cushats cooing in the wood;

    The rooks that o’er the turrets sail;

    The lonely curlew’s distant wail;

    The flocks that high on Hounam rest;

    The glories of the glowing west.