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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

THE SUN upon the Weirdlaw Hill

In Ettrick’s vale is sinking sweet;

The westland wind is hush and still,

The lake lies sleeping at my feet.

Yet not the landscape to mine eye

Bears those bright hues that once it bore,

Though evening with her richest dye

Flames o’er the hills of Ettrick’s shore.

With listless look along the plain

I see Tweed’s silver current glide,

And coldly mark the holy fane

Of Melrose rise in ruined pride.

The quiet lake, the balmy air,

The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree—

Are they still such as once they were,

Or is the dreary change in me?

Alas! the warped and broken board,

How can it bear the painter’s dye?

The harp of strained and tuneless chord,

How to the minstrel’s skill reply?

To aching eyes each landscape lowers,

To feverish pulse each gale blows chill;

And Araby’s or Eden’s bowers

Were barren as this moorland hill.